Painting Tech Dystopia: How the West tells itself fairytales about Asia - and believes they are real

Katharin Tai

Playlists: 'rc3-2021' videos starting here / audio

Have you heard that every person in China receives a numerical score, rating their social trustworthiness? Or that people in Asia have their movements tracked 24/7, which was an important part of every Asian country's anti-Covid campaign? Congratulations, you have been duped into believing tech dystopia fairy tales about Asia, that bear at most a passing resemblance to reality. What are they, where do they come from, why are they dangerous - and what do they say about Western tech discourse?

These myths don't come from anywhere - they're mentioned off-handedly by outlets as respected as the New York Times or Politico, and have become a mainstay on German talkshows during the Covid pandemic. This talk will present some of these myths, debunk them, and then explore what this willingness to believe complete bullshit about other parts of the world says about our tech discourse - and why they're dangerous. Lastly, it will attempt to give people some tools to not be duped as easily in the future.


These files contain multiple languages.

This Talk was translated into multiple languages. The files available for download contain all languages as separate audio-tracks. Most desktop video players allow you to choose between them.

Please look for "audio tracks" in your desktop video player.