If Then

People Want Power, Not Just Electricity

If Then interviews Naomi Klein about the plans of tech execs and private utilities for post-Maria Puerto Rico.

Listen to If Then by clicking the arrow on the audio player below, or get the show via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk about how Microsoft is buying GitHub, how Google is ending its Pentagon contract, and all the news from Apple’s developer conference on Monday—including the company’s effort to engineer a less addictive iPhone.

April is joined by journalist, author, and activist Naomi Klein to discuss her new book, The Battle for Paradise, about how corporations and politicians are trying to cash in on the chance to rebuild Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria’s destructive sweep through the island last fall. Some of the people descending on the island: blockchain enthusiasts hoping to build a “Crypto Island” of their own.

On Tabs this week, the hosts discuss Silicon Valley’s relative silence on local elections and some listener mail about politicians who won’t stop texting us.

Stories discussed on the show:

Slate: Microsoft Is Buying GitHub. Now It Has to Convince GitHub’s Users to Trust It.

Wired: “How Will Microsoft Handle GitHub’s Controversial Code?

Gizmodo: “Google Plans Not to Renew Its Contract for Project Maven, a Controversial Pentagon Drone A.I. Imaging Program

Slate: Apple’s Plan to Help You Put Down Your Phone—and Why It Might Work

Slate: Apple Will Let You Make an Animoji That Looks Like You

Slate: How Siri Shortcuts Will Make Life Easier for iPhone Users

New York Times: Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends

Slate: “The FCC’s Plan to Finally Restore Phone and Internet Service in Puerto Rico Comes With a Big Trade-Off

The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists, by Naomi Klein

Don’t Close My Tabs

New York Times: “Tech Was Supposed to Get Political. It’s Hanging Back in This Election.

Listener mail!

Podcast production by Max Jacobs.

If Then plugs:

You can get updates about what’s coming up next by following us on Twitter @ifthenpod. You can follow Will @WillOremus and April @Aprilaser. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at ifthen@slate.com.

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.