Demand for Infrastructure Essential

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After reading a short piece by Christopher Jones (assistant professor of history at Arizona State University and author of Routes of Power: Energy and Modern America, 2014), I was reminded of just how essential “demand” is when it comes to actually getting politicians to invest in shared infrastructure (rather than fall back on ill-advised cost-savings measures that delay or push-back maintenance).

The basic idea is that we are focused on “game changing innovations,” rather than the day-to-day maintenance of our infrastructure. For most of us, of course, effective roadways and public transportation are at least as important as ground-breaking innovations. But Jones goes a step further in our understanding of this, effectively suggesting that innovations primarily promote/aid/help the already wealth, monied upper-class elites who can benefit socially, politically, and financially from emphasis on innovation as opposed to maintenance on, for example, roadways, subways, waterways, and all manner of other ways.

Jones’s solution: Demand it! (after all, we once did, and worked out rather well). See his new piece “New tech only benefits the elite until the people demand more,” and start demanding!

7 thoughts on “Demand for Infrastructure Essential

  1. Not that I’ll be applying since I still have a couple of semesters of coursework left before I start my dissertation, but the jobs site doesn’t have a listing for the position number yet…


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  3. A colleague joked with me the other day about this very topic. We were discussing it, and she said “Turn off Netflix.”

    On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 8:51 AM, Installing (Social) Order wrote:



  4. this is the kicker tho no? how to get people to be engaged in the long and slow aspects of political processes over things they generally aren’t aware of (invested in) seems to be an open question at best and while we can see the still-born attempts by folks like Latour to assemble publics being heralded near and far we still come up empty when it comes to how to get beyond protest and art-openings/conferences to political machine/party, so what’s next?
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