A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothes: The Myth of Disruption
The tech world’s catch phrase du jour is “disruption.” But what’s being disrupted? Uber disrupts taxis, AirBnB disrupts hotels, Twitter disrupts mainstream media, but are these changes substantive or superficial? Beyond the trite rhetoric of a revolutionary future, you’ll find the status quo is alive and well. We know. Since early 2012, we’ve been interviewing a cross-section of American thinkers about the difference between actual new ideas and the counterfeit “futurism” of existing systems.
Numerous ideas of “The Good” compete in modern American thought, but some carry greater weight. The most prevalent is a mix of free-market capitalism, representative democracy, material progress, and scientism. Much of the tech industry espouses these values, but where do they come from and where do they lead?
This talk will examine multiple ideas of “The Good”, from transhumanism to primitivism, liberalism to libertarianism, and we’ll try to determine what disruption *really* looks like.
Additional Supporting Materials
- What are some of the implicit philosophical assumptions that shape how the tech industry approaches the future? Where do they come from? Where do the lead us?
- What are some other visions of the future? What do they look like? What values shape them?
- How do issues like environmentalism, class equality, and race interact with technological progress? In what ways can they work together? In what ways can they not?
- How do thinkers from outside the tech world view its values and the future that they lead us towards? Is there a valid critique that stems from something other than luddism or fear? If so, what does that critique look like?
- Is it possible to create a cross-domain conversation about the future, incorporating thinkers from technology/science, the arts, and the humanities? Is this conversation occurring? Who is having it?
Micah Saul The Conversation
Show me another