This week we interview David Skrbina, an author and professor who writes about his anti-technology philosphy. David has written a book with Ted Kazynski (the Unabomber) who holds a similar philosophy.
In the interview, we discuss David’s philosophy, his vision for the future, as well as his book with Ted Kazynski.
You can find his books here: Confronting Technology, Metaphysics of Technology, Technological Slavery.
If you’d like to join David’s “Anti-Tech Collective”, you can do so here.
David Skrbina (sker-BEE-na), PhD, was a senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Michigan, Dearborn from 2003 to 2018. He taught a graduate course in Technology and Sustainability at the University of Helsinki in fall, 2020. His areas of interest include philosophy of mind, eco-philosophy, philosophy of technology, and environmental ethics.
The tech elite have a plan to survive the apocalypse: they want to leave us all behind.
Five mysterious billionaires summoned Douglas Rushkoff to a desert resort for a private talk. The topic? How to survive The Event: the societal catastrophe they know is coming. Rushkoff came to understand that these men were under the influence of The Mindset, a Silicon Valley–style certainty that they can break the laws of physics, economics, and morality to escape a disaster of their own making—as long as they have enough money and the right technology. In Survival of the Richest, Rushkoff traces the origins of The Mindset in science and technology through its current expression in missions to Mars, island bunkers, and the Metaverse. This mind-blowing work of social analysis shows us how to transcend the landscape The Mindset created—a world alive with algorithms and intelligences actively rewarding our most selfish tendencies—and rediscover community, mutual aid, and human interdependency. Instead of changing the people, he argues, we can change the program.
Evil Genes is a book by Barbara Oakley, a systems engineer, about the neurological and social factors contributing to chronic antisocial behavior. The text was published on October 31, 2007 by Prometheus Books. The book has earned both praise and criticism for its treatment of what Oakley considers gaps in psychological research surrounding “successfully sinister” individuals — those who show subclinical symptoms of personality disorders, and who are often found in positions of authority in politics, religion, business, and academia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_Genes
Neurology (from Greek: νεῦρον, neuron, and the suffix -λογία -logia “study of”) is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system. Neurology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of conditions and disease involving the central and peripheral nervous system (and its subdivisions, the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system); including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue, such as muscle. Neurological practice relies heavily on the field of neuroscience, which is the scientific study of the nervous system. A neurologist is a physician specializing in neurology and trained to investigate, or diagnose and treat neurological disorders. Neurologists may also be involved in clinical research, clinical trials, and basic or translational research. While neurology is a non-surgical specialty, its corresponding surgical specialty is neurosurgery. There is significant overlap between the fields of neurology and psychiatry, with the boundary between the two disciplines and the conditions they treat being somewhat nebulous. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurology
Anti-social behaviours are actions that harm or lack consideration for the well-being of others. Many people also label behaviour which is deemed contrary to prevailing norms for social conduct as anti-social behaviour. The term is especially used in British English. Anti-social is frequently used, incorrectly, to mean either “nonsocial” or “unsociable”. The words are not synonyms. The American Psychiatric Association, in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, diagnoses persistent anti-social behaviour as antisocial personality disorder. The World Health Organization includes it in the International Classification of Diseases as “dissocial personality disorder”. A pattern of persistent anti-social behaviours can also be present in children and adolescents diagnosed with conduct problems, including conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder under the DSM-5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-so…
Psychopathy, sometimes considered synonymous with sociopathy, is characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits. Different conceptions of psychopathy have been used throughout history that are only partly overlapping and may sometimes be contradictory. Hervey M. Cleckley, an American psychiatrist, influenced the initial diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality reaction/disturbance in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), as did American psychologist George E. Partridge. The DSM and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) subsequently introduced the diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and dissocial personality disorder (DPD) respectively, stating that these diagnoses have been referred to (or include what is referred to) as psychopathy or sociopathy. The creation of ASPD and DPD was driven by the fact that many of the classic traits of psychopathy were impossible to measure objectively. Canadian psychologist Robert D. Hare later repopularized the construct of psychopathy in criminology with his Psychopathy Checklist. Although no psychiatric or psychological organization has sanctioned a diagnosis titled “psychopathy”, assessments of psychopathic characteristics are widely used in criminal justice settings in some nations and may have important consequences for individuals.[specify] The study of psychopathy is an active field of research. The term is also used by the general public, popular press, and in fictional portrayals. While the term is often employed in common usage along with “crazy”, “insane”, and “mentally ill”, there is a categorical difference between psychosis and psychopathy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychop…
The larger-than-life composition is mostly invisible to the naked eye. Advanced technology helped uncover the stunning composition.
Deep in the dark recesses of a limestone cave in Alabama soar life-sized figures that span earthly and spiritual realms. Traced into the mud of the cave ceiling by torchlight more than a thousand years ago, the sprawling scene is so enormous and faint it cannot be discerned by the naked eye—yet the ancient etchings are being celebrated as one of the largest rock-art creations in all of North America, and the largest to ever be discovered in a cave.
In a study published today in the journal Antiquity, researchers describe how they used a process known as 3D photogrammetry, originally developed to capture vast expanses of Earth via aerial photos, to uncover the enigmatic images sheltered in an underground system in the Southeast United States known prosaically as “19th Unnamed Cave.” Its location is shielded to prevent looters and casual cavers who could damage or destroy the ancient artwork for profit or by mistake.
April temperatures at unprecedented levels have led to critical water and electricity shortages
For the past few weeks, Nazeer Ahmed has been living in one of the hottest places on Earth. As a brutal heatwave has swept across India and Pakistan, his home in Turbat, in Pakistan’s Balochistan region, has been suffering through weeks of temperatures that have repeatedly hit almost 50C (122F), unprecedented for this time of year. Locals have been driven into their homes, unable to work except during the cooler night hours, and are facing critical shortages of water and power.
Ahmed fears that things are only about to get worse. It was here, in 2021, that the world’s highest temperature for May was recorded, a staggering 54C. This year, he said, feels even hotter. “Last week was insanely hot in Turbat. It did not feel like April,” he said.
As the heatwave has exacerbated massive energy shortages across India and Pakistan, Turbat, a city of about 200,000 residents, now barely receives any electricity, with up to nine hours of load shedding every day, meaning that air conditioners and refrigerators cannot function. “We are living in hell,” said Ahmed.