In the modern world, we channel our almost every aspect of our lives through digital technology. Through a steady accumulation of seemingly neutral choices, I believe that we are changing our relationship to reality faster than we can understand the consequences.
Most talk about technology concerns the bleeding edge: quantum computers, artificial intelligence, and satellite internet. While these endeavors make the headlines, technology far more mundane is what actually reshapes our world. From SIM cards to social media and ID systems to supply chains, I spent my Watson year examining the societal, political, and personal effects of the invisible technology that underpins, and increasingly dictates, everything we do.
There’s a prevailing optimism that technology is always good, that our remaining problems just haven’t gotten the right upgrade, the newest gadget, or are still “offline.” My travels indicated otherwise, that technology and politics are always deeply intertwined and can no longer be understood without the other.
Sewanee: University of the South
California Institute of Technology
College of the Atlantic
University of Puget Sound