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How ‘Maintainers,’ Not ‘Innovators,’ Make the World Turn

Source: TheAtlantic.com New technologies and their inventors are often celebrated as society’s heroes. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Larry Page: These are all contemporary “innovators” whose “visionary ideas” and “creative leaps” led to “disruptive realities”—that is, if you buy the rhetoric of certain books and novelty-oriented publications (including, sometimes, your very own CityLab). But those who’ve questioned whether technology really is society’s salve aren’t alone. Lee Vinsel,...

Hail the maintainers

Source: aeon Innovation is a dominant ideology of our era, embraced in America by Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and the Washington DC political elite. As the pursuit of innovation has inspired technologists and capitalists, it has also provoked critics who suspect that the peddlers of innovation radically overvalue innovation. What happens after innovation, they argue, is more important. Maintenance and repair, the building of infrastructures, the mundane labour that goes into sustaining funct...

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