I appeared on ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Company) in an episode of The Science Show, “Tribute to Ursula Le Guin.”
Thank you so much to Ariel Bogle who let me talk about one of my favorite authors. (I also had a chance to bash Elon Musk.)
Ursula Le Guin: I’ve got a stone axe on my desk at home, not for self-defence but just for pleasure, my father used to keep it on his desk, it makes a good paperweight. When you pick it up you can’t help but think of the human hands polishing that granite. There’s a sense of solidity and community in the touch and the feel of that axe to me.
Ariel Bogle: I think this sums up a lot of Le Guin’s science fiction writing. She was never just interested in the object alone, the stone axe or the shiniest new technology of the future, she was interested in the hands that touched it, how it felt to them. For Le Guin, technology meant nothing without community or context.
Audrey Watters: That’s a useful way of thinking about technology, not simply as a scientific object, not simply as a product but as a practice, as something that is already embedded in systems and beliefs and values. Having that anthropological folkloric background helps me think a lot about in my work the stories that we tell about the future.