Deadline for full submissions: 2 October
The original pioneers of Silicon Valley dreamed of a better world, but digital disruption has become a threatening catchphrase in recent years. Many of the technologies now at our fingertips are deliberately disruptive, changing industries, economies, politics and institutions and many facets of our lives from work and romance to art and travel.
These new tools allow us to know more and find out more. We are better connected, and our information ecosystem is richer. But new opportunities for manipulation and abuse are also emerging: we’re starting to see the enormity of changes and effects that are already underway, and their ethical, moral and social consequences are huge.
A focus on fakes news, surveillance capitalism, the weaponisation of data and the gig economy can make the promise of revolution feel more like a dystopia. Is the world of Facebook, Amazon, Google and Uber one of decentralization, anti-elitism and individual freedom – or surveillance, monopoly and control?
Griffith Review 64: The new disruptors takes a wide-ranging look at the upheavals that have come with our increasingly technological world. What drives the development of new technologies? What are the impacts of their application – their unintended consequences as well as those they’re designed for? How can we define or regulate the futures of such continually evolving and novel tools? How do they complement or threaten the ideas and institutions of civic space? What is the interface between trust and technology? How much of the established order is up for grabs, or will the future be like the past but with devices everywhere?
Nearly six hundred years ago, the invention of the printing press changed the world. Will digital metamorphosis now bring us to the cusp of an equally revolutionary moment?
From public policy to governance, media to medicine, science to surveillance, research to education, democracy to digital humanities, we’re seeking stories, essays and analysis that delve into the specific ways complex technologies impact on and interrupt our already complex world. Original and insightful work – be it essay, reportage, memoir, creative non-fiction, fiction or poetry – will be welcome.