The wrong way: New book reveals flaws in the technology industry’s vision of the transport of the future, says NL author

Modern technology and innovation companies are driving the world’s transportation systems the wrong way, says local writer, blogger and technology critic Paris Marx.

Marx has written a book about it, and it arouses great interest.

“Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong About the Future of Transportation” will be launched at Benevolent Irish Society, 30 Harvey Rd. in St. John’s Friday night, July 15th.

The book, he says, reveals the shortcomings of the technology industry’s vision for the future and offers a more collective way of organizing transport systems that takes into account the needs of poor, marginalized and vulnerable people in society.

“I think some of the core pieces of the book are really meant to make people think more critically about the way we think about transport and transport systems,” said Marx, who is originally from the Burin Peninsula but now live in paradise. “First of all, over the last decade or so, we have had a number of promises about how new technologies should improve the transport system. What has actually happened is that it has made traffic worse, it is taking people away from transit systems and puts more cars on the road.

“We have a lot of serious issues with the transportation system, including car addiction, and how many people have to own a car to get around, and there are not really many other options for people. And that comes with a really high financial cost to people, especially at a time when the cost of living is high and many people feel really squeezed with their budgets.So it is really important to have alternatives.


The author Paris Marx hopes that his book
Author Paris Marx hopes his book “Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong About the Future of Transportation” makes people think more critically about transportation systems in cities. Tania Heath photo – Contribution

“We are also facing a climate crisis, and we need to address that, and transport is a major contributor to climate change. Is the answer to that just to promote electric vehicles and people switching from internal combustion engines to battery power? Or should we think? more fundamentally about enabling people not to own a car at all and to be able to deal reliably with alternatives? ”

Marx says his interest in technology started when he was young, but writing about it and transportation evolved over time.

He said he went to Memorial University, traveled to various countries and then took a master’s degree at McGill University in Montreal.

“My graduate was in urban geography, and it really focused on transportation and the technology industry, and how the technology industry saw the future of transportation, and whether it would actually solve the problems we have with our transportation system to make it fairer and more accessible to people. ,” he said.

Marx is no stranger to writing either.

Local technology critic Paris Marx has set foot in the pedal and written a new book,
Local technology critic Paris Marx has set foot in the pedal and written a new book, “Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong About the Future of Transportation.” Tania Heath photo – Contribution

He has been writing freelance since 2015-16 on issues related to cities, transportation, technology and climate change, and he has been featured in national and international media.

He also started a podcast in 2020 called “Tech Won’t Save Us.”

“The book is based on much of the authorship I have written over the last six or seven years and the research I did in my master’s degree. It is in a way to take those things and reformulate them to a more general audience rather than an academic audience, ”he said. “So the book draws a lot from the story, from people like Peter Norton who wrote ‘Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City,’ and people like Fred Turner who made a great story about the technology industry in the United States, and Margaret O’Mara, who has written on the subject, and also a lot of critical work that has been done over the past decade with the proposals for the future transportation of the tech industry.

“I also withdrew from people like Ursula K. Le Guin, an American science fiction novelist, just to give other perspectives on technology and transportation and society to try to get people to think differently about the ways our society can built in the ways we can think about technology. “

The book launch is sponsored by Downtown Comics and Verso Books and will run from 19: 30-20: 30, where Marx will read aloud, answer questions and sign books.

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