May 27, 2013

NEXT POST
Breezily Apocalyptic: Silicon Valley Vs. The World Technology can be an answer to incompetence and inefficiency. But it has little to say about larger issues of justice and fairness, unless you think that political problems are bugs that can be fixed by engineering rather than fundamental conflicts of interest and value. Evgeny Morazov, in his new book “To Save Everything, Click Here,” calls this belief “solutionism.” Morozov, who is twenty-nine and grew up in a mining town in Belarus, is the fiercest critic of technological optimism in America, tirelessly dismantling the language of its followers. “They want to be ‘open,’ they want to be ‘disruptive,’ they want to ‘innovate,’” Morozov told me. “The open agenda is, in many ways, the opposite of equality and justice. They think anything that helps you to bypass institutions is, by default, empowering or liberating. You might not be able to pay for health care or your insurance, but if you have an app on your phone that alerts you to the fact that you need to exercise more, or you aren’t eating healthily enough, they think they are solving the problem.” Steven Johnson, the author of many books about technology, recently published “Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age.” Johnson argues that traditional institutions and ideologies are giving way to a new philosophy, called “peer progressivism,” in which collective problems are solved incrementally, through the decentralized activity of countless interconnected equals—a process that mirrors the dynamics of the Internet. In politics, peer progressivism could mean the rise of...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

DSE
The Typepad Team

Recent Comments