Upstream Podcast: A People’s History of Silicon Valley

The dark shadow of Silicon Valley is growing longer everyday, covering more and more of the globe and spreading not just technology, but a particular value set as well.

By this time many know about the hyper-exploitative business models of companies like Uber or TaskRabbit. Or about how AirBnB has heavily reduced housing stocks in cities worldwide. But in his new book, Keith A. Spencer goes further than just picking on a few high profile companies. He lays out an argument for why Silicon Valley, at its core, is a highly exploitative and problematic industry. With a look at the tech world from the vantage point of the marginalized and oppressed—those who have not benefited from the incredible wealth bubbling up in the valley—”A People’s History of Silicon Valley: how the tech industry exploits workers, erodes privacy, and undermines democracy” presents a damning thesis for why this new world of addictive gadgets and union-busting is increasingly undemocratic and dangerous.

The book is published by Eyewear Publishing.

Upstream producer Robert R. Raymond spoke with Keith A. Spencer at the offices of Salon in San Francisco, where Spencer is an editor.

Intermission music is by The California Honeydrops.

Upstream is an interview and documentary series that invites you to unlearn everything you thought you knew about economics. Weaving together interviews, field-recordings, rich sound-design, and great music, each episode of Upstream will take you on a journey exploring a theme or story within the broad world of economics. So tune in, because the revolution will be podcasted. 

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