Apple’s WWDC, Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub, and author Naomi Klein on disaster capitalists in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Naomi Klein Went to Puerto Rico—and Stumbled on “Crypto Island”

Naomi Klein Went to Puerto Rico—and Stumbled on “Crypto Island”

Decoding the Logic of Silicon Valley
June 6 2018 4:01 PM

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.

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Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images, Cole Bennetts/Getty Images.

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:


Don’t Close My Tabs

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

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.