Aug 1, 2022

Lost Utopias

A History of World’s Fairs and the Nature of Technology

New Books Network 2022

Techno-utopianism is everywhere. It’s driven by a new tech-bro/crypto culture, supported by online hordes of true believers, and couched in philosophies of meritocracy and technocracy. But this thinking is not new, and World’s Fairs are a perfect example.

One of our ongoing series within Darts and Letters is techno utopias, and we do mean that with all the skepticism it’s due. Silicon Valley is trying to change the world with NFTs and metaverses and electric cars and all kinds of nonsense technologies that will do nothing to improve the lives of the world’s poor, but will increase the wealth of Zuckerburg and Musk, probably while destroying the planet in the process.

To start that series off we decided to go to the original techno-utopia: The World’s Fair. Host Gordon Katic talks to a historian of world’s fairs, and then to a photographer who spends her time in the dilapidated abandoned glory of former world’s fair sites. We’ve got loads of really fun historical footage in this episode too… it’s funny and nostalgic, I think you’re gonna love it.

It’s not all world’s fairs though. We also explore the nature of technology itself… like what actually is a technology?

So that seemed a good place to start off this week’s theme of the politics of technology and techno utopias. We’re doing a different theme every week until we relaunch the show on September 18th.

So here it is… Lost Utopias: A History of World’s Fairs.

—————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————-

You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button.

If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too.

——————-FURTHER READING AND LISTENING——————

—————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————-

You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button.

If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too.

——————-ABOUT THE SHOW——————

For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Gordon Katic

Gordon Katic is an award-winning radio producer and journalist with a background in health, science, and climate reporting. He is director of Cited Media Productions, which produced Cited Podcast and CRACKDOWN. Now, Gordon hosts Darts and Letters. When he’s not making podcasts, he’s working on a PhD at the University of Toronto focussed on theorizing a critical theory of science communication. Previously, he earned a Masters in Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

Learn More