Wed 1/25, 7pm
Dmitry Orlov discusses his book Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies That Limit Our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom
Over the past two centuries we have witnessed a wholesale replacement of most of the previous methods of conducting both business and daily life with new, technologically advanced, more efficient methods.
What exactly is progressive or efficient about this new arrangement is hardly ever examined in depth: if the new ways of doing things are so much better, then we must all be leading relaxed, stress-free, enjoyable lives with plenty of free time to devote to art and leisure activities. But a more careful look at these changes shows us that many of these advances are not weighing favourably in a harm/benefit comparison. The harm to the environment, society, and even to our own personalities, on an individual level, is plain to see, but is brushed off with hollow claims about efficiency and progress.
Shrinking the Technosphere guides readers through the process of bringing technology down to a manageable number of carefully chosen, essential, well-understood and controllable elements. It is about regaining the freedom to use technology for our own benefit, and is critical reading for all who seek to get back to a point where technologies assist us rather than control us.
Dmitry Orlov was born in Leningrad, USSR, into an academic family, and emigrated to the US in the mid-1970s. He holds degrees in Computer Engineering and Linguistics, and has worked in a variety of fields, including high-energy physics, Internet commerce, network security and advertising. He is the best-selling author of several previous books, including Reinventing Collapse and The Five Stages of Collapse.