Death in The Garden
Death in The Garden
#60 Who Were the Luddites, and What Can We Learn from Them in the Age of A.I.?

#60 Who Were the Luddites, and What Can We Learn from Them in the Age of A.I.?

On this episode of “Death in The Garden,” we discuss what we can learn from the Luddites and how the true meaning of what they stood for can be instructive for how we deal with the rise of A.I. and in our time. In addition to discussing the Luddites, we discuss other works of fiction from the industrial age. We talk about humanity’s proximity to technology, toolmaking, and therefore, machines, and what that means for us moving forward in a tech-entangled world. We discuss the problem of striving for efficiency at all costs, and how humans, and nature, are not “efficient”… and shouldn’t be. We discuss the virtues of “adequate technology” or, as the Luddites put it, “technologies of commonality.” We talk about the awkward tradeoffs that come with all technology, and discuss which lines we personally don’t want to cross in the A.I. age. We talk about the mythic qualities of A.I. and the ancient stories it conjures, such as Prometheus, Kabbalistic Golems, Frankenstein, and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. We discuss the pseudo-religious reasons for the development of A.I., the idea of creating a “divine” intelligence, and the apocalyptic fantasies that inspire some of the leaders of the field.

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Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and their War on the Industrial Revolution by Kirkpatrick Sale, 1995

Erewhon by Samuel Butler, 1872

The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster, 1909

Why Artifical Intelligence Must Be Stopped Now” by Richard Heinberg, 2024

The AI Boom Could Use a Shocking Amount of Electricity” by Lauren Leffer, 2023

Darwin Among the Machines” by Samuel Butler, 1863

The New AI-Powered Bing Is Threatening Users. That’s No Laughing Matterby Bill Perrigo

Can Myth Teach Us Anything About the Race to Build Artificial General Intelligence? With Josh Schrei - Your Undivided Attention Podcast

AI Ethics Surpass Human Judgment in New Moral Turing Test” by Georgia State University

On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big?” by Emily M. Bender, Timnit Gebru, Angelina McMillan-Major, and Margaret Mitchell, 2021

I Wrote What? Google's AI-Powered Libel Machine” by Matt Taibbi, 2024

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Death in The Garden
Death in The Garden
“Death in The Garden” is a multimedia project that explores the complex intersection of the cycle of life and death, holism, climate change, civilization, ecology, and health from the perspective of two incredibly curious millennials on a journey to make sense of a very nuanced world. In addition to those listed above, our podcast highlights topics like regenerative agriculture, food, psychology, spirituality, politics, society, and our overall relationship with Nature and the ecosystems we are part of.