- L. M. Sacasas in conversation with Ezra Klein, This Conversation Changed the Way I Interact With Technology
A lot of technological criticism today is about weighing whether a technology is good or bad, or judging its various uses. But there’s an older tradition of criticism that asks a more fundamental and nuanced question: How do these technologies change the people who use them, both for good and for bad? And what do the people who use them — all of us, in other words — actually want? Do we even know?
L.M. Sacasas explores these questions in his great newsletter, “The Convivial Society.”… Sacasas recently published a list of 41 questions we should ask of the technologies and tools that shape our lives. What I loved about these questions is how they invite us to think not just about technologies, but about ourselves, and how we act and what we want and what, in the end, we truly value. So I asked him on the show to talk through some of them, and to see what light they shed on the lives we live.
Related reading: Ivan Illich, Tools for Conviviality
- Know Your Enemy (podcast hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell), After Nationalism (w/Sam Goldman)
In this episode, Matt and Sam are joined by political theorist and conservative intellectual Samuel Goldman—a very sensible and polite “enemy”—to discuss his brilliant new book, After Nationalism. Topics include: Goldman’s punk-rocker past; the influence of Leo Strauss on his thinking; historical attempts to provide Americans with a coherent, enduring symbol of national identity; why these symbols have failed; what all this means for debates about teaching U.S. history; and what alternatives to nationalism its critics can offer.
For the record, I have favorable views of Sitman, Adler-Bell and Goldman. We disagree some on the path forward, but I think Goldman’s diagnosis is largely correct.
Also Worth Your Time
- Ruth Marcus, Require the vaccine. It’s time to stop coddling the reckless.
- Patrick Iber, How the War on Terror Undermined American Democracy
- Zach Beauchamp, It happened there: how democracy died in Hungary
- Pat Lowery Collins, I’m Old. And I Still Have Things To Do
Ending on a Positive Note