Palo Alto: Discussion with the Author – Recording

May 18, 2023

Palo Alto, California, is considered the birthplace of tech, where the first virtual message was received on a computer the size of a garage. But underneath the shiny veneer of innovation and growth lies a more sinister story, one where capitalistic ambition, extractive labor models, and inequitable technologies have shaped the world economy as we know it today.

On Thursday, May 18th 12-1pm PT, we had a conversation with author Malcolm Harris about his book and how understanding the history of Silicon Valley’s epicenter is vital for knowing how we can change the tech industry today. The webinar was a conversation between Harris and Catherine Bracy, CEO and Co-Founder of TechEquity.

We recommend picking up the book from your favorite local bookstore; you can find its availability in your area on IndieBound.

As always with our book club series, you don’t have to read the book to join! If you’re looking for a brief primer on the topic before the event, we recommend this Vox interview with Harris.


  • Webinar kicked off at 12:00 PM
  • Panel discussion began at 12:05 PM
  • Q&A from attendees from 12:40-1:00 PM

About Malcolm Harris

Malcolm Harris is an American journalist, critic, and thought leader. He is an editor at The New Inquiry and authored Kids These Days: The Making of Millennials and Shit is Fucked Up and Bullshit: History Since the End of History.

About Palo Alto

In Palo Alto, the first comprehensive, global history of Silicon Valley, Malcolm Harris examines how and why Northern California evolved in the particular, consequential way it did, tracing the ideologies, technologies, and policies that have been engineered there over the course of 150 years of Anglo settler colonialism, from IQ tests to the “tragedy of the commons,” racial genetics, and “broken windows” theory. The Internet and computers, too. It’s a story about how a small American suburb became a powerful engine for economic growth and war, and how it came to lead the world into a surprisingly disastrous 21st century. Palo Alto is an urgent and visionary history of the way we live now, one that ends with a clear-eyed, radical proposition for how we might begin to change course.

This webinar was hosted on Zoom.