ReshmaSaujani“In our age, technology has become a closed system…at first approximation, what is closed here seems to be a system of self-corroborating beliefs: technology setting the vocabulary of the world’s narrative in a way that allows nothing but technological action and that expresses any worry and trouble as a demand for a ‘technological fix’ (no boots on the ground). As far as the need for legitimation is concerned that closed system is truly self-propagating and self-perpetuating; it generates its own justification.” Zygmunt Bauman, Postmodern Ethics (Blackwell, 1993)

Reshma Saujani is a Democratic candidate for NYC Public Advocate. The Public Advocate is next in line to the Mayor of NYC. If elected she would be the first South Asian elected citywide in NYC. In her campaign vision statement, Ms. Saujani calls for computer programming in all schools and for expanding New York’s tech industry. She also is concerned about the safety of South Asian students and wants to make Halal food available in NYC public schools.

At a recent Press Q&A, LE asked Ms. Saujani about the proliferation of Wi-Fi in NYC public spaces and the health risks, especially to children, posed by the electromagnetic field (EMF). She seemed taken aback by the question saying: “Wow, if that’s true we have a problem.” Later when asked about technology causing a net job loss she commented: “We can’t stop it.”

For many public officials the tech treadmill is un-examined and can’t be stopped — which is unfortunate because society needs to be balanced and truly vital (not just with bandwidth) to be sustainable.

To her credit, Ms. Saujani seemed open to learning more about the health risks associated with digital devices, cell towers, Wi-Fi etc. Hopefully if elected she’ll understand and advocate for the common good — not just narrow interests.