Three Ecologies Podcast podcast

#4.1 w/ Alf Hornborg: Machine Fetishism & Global Magic

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Will technological progress deliver us from the crises of climate change and global poverty?

Our guest Alf Hornborg levels some troubling challenges to the supposed 'factuality' and 'rationality' of such notions. In our conversation we find out that washing machines actually perform magic and that the notion of technological progress keeps us from devising genuinely emancipatory approaches to the ecological crisis.

Alf Hornborg is Professor at the University of Lund (Sweden) and coordinates their Human Ecology Division.

In his wide ranging academic work, he has developed an intruiging critique of the common notion of 'technology'. Strongly influenced by World Systems Theory, he points out the widespread neglect of systemic inequalities of the global economic system as the conditions for so called 'technological progress'. From Alf Hornborg's interdisciplinary approach emerges a whole series of provocations on themes such as 'alternative currencies', the local/global entanglement, the connections between poverty and ecological devastation, and many more. His work has found much resonance beyond the field of Anthropology, including Ecological Economics and Science and Technology Studies (STS)

This is part 1 of our conversation with Alf Hornborg

Music by: Gaetano Fiorin (

Produced by: Lukas Peter

Artwork by: Lukas Peter

(using a photo of

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