Data & Society > our work > essay > A rare and toxic age

Increment | 02.02.18

A rare and toxic age

Ingrid Burrington

In the essay, Data & Society INFRA Lead Ingrid Burrington grounds technological development in the environment.

“While the aforementioned narratives are strategic in their own worlds, they tend to maintain the premise that the environmental cost of technology is still orthogonal or an externality to the more diffuse, less obviously material societal implications of living in an Information Age. The politics of a modern world increasingly defined by data mining may only exist because of literal open-pit mining, but the open pit is more often treated as a plot pivot than a natural through-line: Sure, you feel bad about a social media site being creepy, but behold, the hidden environmental devastation wrought by your iPhonedoesn’t that make you feel even worse?”

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