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Can the internet serve collective liberation and ecological sustainability? This is the question that the latest issue of Branch online magazine addresses, with a series of articles focusing on issues ranging from solarpunk and other speculative futures to resistance to big tech to the relationship between artificial intelligence and sustainability. Featured among this issue's articles are two pieces from APC's latest Global Information Society Watch report, which focused on technology, the environment and a sustainable world.
"Big tech goes green(washing): Feminist lenses to unveil new tools in the master’s houses", by authors Camila Nobrega and Joana Varon, discusses the greenwashing of technology from a feminist perspective.
"It is not that we do not like data and data science; but it is worrisome to see, again, the promise that 'big data' will play the role of saving the planet," they stress. "Again, monopolistic companies, that have already extracted a lot of resources from our territories and data about our minds and bodies, portraying themselves as capable of filling the gap left by governments in monitoring and acting against deforestation, and other factors contributing to climate change, while using their latest state-of-the-art technologies to extract and own more geopolitical data."
"Bigger, more, better, faster: The ecological paradox of digital economies", by Paz Peña, discusses how even though the advancement in technology’s power is seen as a revolution, it is essentially a case of capitalism finding new life with digital technologies. Because of this, she argues, "In the urgent times of the Capitalocene, it is imperative to create alternative technologies; but rather than designing hackerspaces or open-source ventures as valuable but individual attempts that falter in the absence of a political horizon, the challenge is for digital technologies to be deployed in a socioeconomic and socio-environmental qualitatively different configuration that is not just 'less of the same'. In this context, maybe it is time to explore the degrowth project critically."
Read the full issue of Branch's "A Sustainable Internet for All" here.
Access the full contents of Global Information Society Watch 2020: Technology, the environment and a sustainable world here.