ACFM Trip 24: Technology

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Episode notes

What defines each era? Historians often lean on terms that point to technology: bronze, steam, carbon, silicon. So is technology a fundamental aspect of being human? On this wide-ranging Trip, the gang take on one of their biggest topics yet.

Starting from the basis that technology is an application of knowledge for a practical purpose, Jeremy Gilbert, Nadia Idle and Keir Milburn propose the washing machine as the most important invention of the 20th century, theorize a fully automated luxury Keynesianism, and consider what motivates the left’s apparent technophobia.

They also discuss techno-adjacent political formations, from Luddites to Accelerationists to cyborg feminists, and return to a classic ACFM conversation about technologies of the self.

Expect techno music, obviously, plus songs from Kraftwerk, Phuture and Laurie Anderson. An ever-expanding playlist of all the music discussed on the show can be found on Spotify.

Books & articles: Katrine Marçal – Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men / JM Keynes – The Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren / EP Thompson – The Making of the English Working Class / Joseph Schumpter/ Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy / Donna Haraway – A Cyborg Manifesto / Helen Hester – Xenofeminism / Foucault – Technologies of the Self / Nick Srnicek & Alex Williams – Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work / David Stubbs – Future Days / Andy Beckett – Promised You a Miracle

Music: Pink Floyd – ‘Welcome to the Machine’ / Kraftwerk – ‘The Robots’ / Model 500 – ‘No UFO’s’ / Horrible Histories – ‘The Luddites Song’ / Phuture – ‘Acid Trax’ / Laurie Anderson – ‘O Superman’ / Disco Inferno – ‘Even The Sea Sides Against Us’ / The Houghton Weavers – ‘The Song of the Weavers’

Produced and edited by Matt Huxley and Chal Ravens. PRS Licence Number: LE-0016481