[Flash Forward] POWER: Mothers Against Digital Danger

POWER: Mothers Against Digital Danger

10/12/2019 by Rose Eveleth

Web player: https://podplayer.net/?id=89510091
Episode: https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.megaphone.fm/FLASH1554903947.mp3?updated=1575995815

Today we travel to a future where a coalition of concerned mothers convinces the United States to shut off the Internet.
Guests: Philip Elmer‑DeWitt, journalist Chipo Dendere, assistant orofessor of Africana Studies, Wellesley College Tim Maughan, author of Infinite Detail
Actors: Billy’s mother — Tamara Krinsky
→ → → Further reading on today’s episode can be found here ← ← ←
Content Notes [2:20 -6:00 ] [21:00 -23:00 ] Suicide, onling bullying & mass shooting [11:20 -17:00 ] Pornography [23:00 -25:00 ] Drunk driving fatality
Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky. Huge huge huge thanks to Tamara Krinsky who played Billy’s mom on this episode, and also (did you notice?) played a time traveler dipping in and out of all the futures this season. Get in touch: Twitter // Facebook // Reddit // info@flashforwardpod.com Support the show: Patreon // Donorbox Subscribe: iTunes // Soundcloud // Spotify
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Listen date: 2020-02-07


  • After reading (and talking about) Twitter and Tear Gas, (and being in the middle of Because Internet), I was a little open mouthed at how one sided the opening speech about the dangers of the internet was.
  • I loved, though, that Rose Eveleth took the moral panic route to an internet collapse, rather than something technical; and also acknowledging that internet architecture makes it so unlikely that there’s a technical cause for a blackout.
  • Thinking back on the episode now, I wish that it had suggested some more background reading on moral panics than just this one Time cover story case; though I realise that this is probably expecting superhuman levels of reading and research from Rose Eveleth.
  • Even the bits about Mothers Again Drunk Diving, and the detail that was offered in the bonus podcast – still a bit too deep and not the broad discussion of moral panics that I would like to read or listen to.
  • Infinite Detail immediately wishlisted.
  • The excerpt from Infinite Detail about nostalgia for the time the internet was exciting – again ties up with Gretchen McCullough’s Because Internet and her classification of five demographics of internet users.
  • Because of that, I don’t know if the nostalgia of early users is that feasible any more. More on this once I finish Because Internet and write it up.
  • One slight exasperation about both the episode and Infinite Detail: when people complain about a corporate controlled internet, which specific part of the internet are they grumbling about and what do they want in its place? Because while I can get behind co-op or academic free software for internet protocols, servers, architecture, etc; if the grumbling is more about Amazon and Google being the user interface, my feelings are more mixed.


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