On the occasion of IAM 2021 Weekend, Alessandro Y. Longo continues his research on the idea of Tech Collapse, that was started with this article.
It takes an entire civilization to build an iPhone. California, Japan, Taiwan, Congo, Switzerland, China are all connected by the supply chains of tech capitalism, in a twisted realization of the old Nokia motto “connecting people”.
Like the idea of the fold developed by Deleuze, a device embodies the realms of the microscopic and the macroscopic, from the knowledge of Korean engineers to the layering of minerals underground. Global supply chains are needed to let us play Candy Crush on the bus. Old lesson from military history: the longer supply chains become, the more fragile.
But what if that fragility becomes unsustainable? In a world where, eighty years from now, summers will last about six months, such a scenario might not be so far off. If that sounds too catastrophic, you are right. Let's take it as a thought experiment and imagine a tech collapse.