Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
No shock: In the Future eveybody dies. 1— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 29, 2016
The reason this isn't just a tasteless observation is because a disavowal of finitude, mortality, vulnerability, error drives futurology. 2— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 29, 2016
Never forget the essence of futurology is a death-dealing peddling of status quo amplification as accelerating progress via denial of death.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 29, 2016
Tech's "Thought Leaders" love to confuse making bets with having thoughts: Toffler was a trailblazer for our ruinous artificial imbecilence.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 30, 2016
I went from future shock to future fatigue years ago.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 30, 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
Sunday, June 26, 2016
As regular readers of Amor Mundi know, my partner and I have been together for over fourteen years now. But we aren't gay married because we disapprove of marriage as a vestige of human trafficking and as an irrational acquiescence to damaging Hallmark card fantasies of romantic completion. And yet we both fought for marriage equality and are cheered by its successes because our exclusion from the institution damages the lives of queer folks who feel differently than we do and because that exclusion long remained an injustice enabled other worse exclusions and injustices, and also simply because it seems more forceful politically to oppose norms from which you are not already excluded and the refusal of which costs you something.
Appalled by the deathly demoralizing anti-democratizing energies of corporate-militarism as I am, I grasped nonetheless the indispensability of ending Bill Clinton's gargoyle "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and the ban of queer folks from serving openly in the military for reasons similar to those that make marriage equality victories good -- but, again, I cannot say the jingoist cadences inevitably framing the victory felt particularly enlivening to me personally here in the belly of the beast of the imperialist abroad police-state enabling at home endless War on Terror. Ending employment discrimination against queer folks seems to me a more substantial goal that will help many truly precarious people in this country while imposing a constraint on many truly pernicious people in this country -- and hence I cannot say that I am surprised to find it the assimilationist goal that still most stubbornly resists accomplishment, year after year after year. I don't like kids enough to wallow in gay adoption victories, and while I am all for Families We Choose, I wonder why the Chosen Families we celebrate must always be so drearily conventional.
But even if, as I say, I fully recognize the indispensability of demanding the availability of legibility on conventional institutional terms, lest illegibility marginalize so many of us in ways that literally ruin and end lives, I personally believe that a life more fully lived demands selves made of both prose and poetry, freedom requires both answerability before the eyes of power as well as the questionableness out of which different worlds are made (I recommend you read Fanon if that doesn't make sense to you).
Yes, all told, I am one of those grumps you hear about who think that celebrating Pride as assimilation to the institutional norms of reprosexual corporate-militarism is nothing to be Proud of. While Pride originated in the righteous impulse to defy the hurtful shame imposed on wanted queer lifeways by mean, fearful, ignorant majorities, I think there is plenty to be ashamed of in the complacency, conformism, and consumerism our new Prideful majority celebrates.
Especially now that I'm past fifty I find that I more or less want Pride to get off my lawn. It is like a crowd of vacant consumers and squalling kids hard to distinguish from a food court in a Tornado Alley suburban mall even with the interchangeable shirtless guys and sequins shorn of their magic by too much sunlight. I do know that there are plenty of older folks who draw a real measure of strength and support from Pride, and yet I do think Pride is something youthful at heart, and in a way that registers both the fabulousness and foibles that can characterize youth in dumb overgeneralized stereotypical ways I won't make many friends getting into in any depth. But the hazy ambivalent fondness I still feel for Pride, while feeling at once quite contented that Pride is no longer the thing for me, is something like the hazy ambivalent fondness I feel for my own time of youthful adventuring.
I marched with my friends in Queer Nation in the Pride Parade in Atlanta half a dozen times at least, in the early nineties, and that really felt like something. Perhaps it was because we didn't seem quite as respectable as the Pride tag insisted we should be aspiring to be, for one thing. I marched in San Francisco's Parade just once, the summer after I moved here, in 1996, and it already felt terribly belated and pro forma. I wasn't really part of any movement anymore, and that left me feeling like I was at a County Fair cruising a loud crowd for dick and funnel cakes. That's, gosh, twenty years ago now! Now I see on my tee vee that queers march behind banners designating the tech companies they work for. I must say I felt quite a lot of sympathy for the Occupride moment in 2012 -- but I heard about it on the news after the fact. There was some political alchemical spark there, some joyful noisy resistance, some futural opening onto elsewhere that felt truly queer. To connect with that kind of queer futurity, I might even drag my tired old unrepentant queer ass onto the street again one day...
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Britain was of course stupid to Leave (maybe maybe maybe Parliament or even the Scottish Parliament will find some workaround to put a stop to it still?) and Britain should be made to pay when they come crawling back, come what may. They were already half-assed members, enjoying benefits of EU membership but with all sorts of carve-outs insulating them from EU responsibilities and still whining and insulting and mucking things up all the while. One hopes there will be less toleration of that nonsense when Britain comes back like Oliver with its gruel bowl in hand begging for more.
You know, neoliberal and awful though the EU is, and yes of course it is, it is less so than Britain to my eyes -- consider the greater, not adequate but greater, progressivity of taxation and the more ample social supports in so many of its member states, for example. I know euro-bureaucratization is a drag and even tyrannical at worst, but to see that to the exclusion of seeing that implementation of environmental, health, education, labor, safety standards and civil liberties is actually a rare, precious, fragile emancipatory triumph is much more a blindness than an insight.
Brexit is also, of course, one more wake up call in a decade of wake-up calls to Europe that austerity threatens its stability and exacerbates dangerous right-wing political formations (in France, the Netherlands, Italy...) and one would hope they really do wake up this time and finally change course in consequence: especially since austerity hasn't delivered on its promises otherwise anyway. Yanis Varoufakis is someone who is advocating noisily right now for the left remaining in the EU as indispensable to any efforts to radically democratize European politics from within, a position with the broad contours of which I agree, whatever my specific disagreements and distaste for the digirati-broleftist Assange-to-Zizek tinge of his milieu (check out the DiEM25 Manifesto, you'll see what I mean, goodish and illish).
Were the EU to make some adjustments away from neoliberalism and toward democratization (more transparency and accountability in governance processes, more shared public investment in sustainable infrastructure and industry rather than mortgages and financial instruments) then the demands it would be in a position to make upon a rapidly marginalized radically under-performing Britain yearning for Bre-Entry would be all the more welcome. The nonsense of the whole notion of a monetary union without a fiscal union might be closer to a solution, for one thing. Reversing current crazy conspicuous wealth concentration even a little bit in Europe, coupled with an effective PR campaign shifting from gross xenophobic politics onto climate threat politics, say, would be worthy work for all the bright brittle eurocrats to earn their salaries with, if you ask me. Many prominent austerians are inflicted with "the anglo disease" and a temporary loss of Britain could be an occasion facilitating such a course correction. A fellow can dream.
You ask: "Whose terms should be more demanding, the Brits' or the Eurocrats'?" I say Europeans should be more demanding of Europe, and Europe should be more demanding when Britain tries to crawl out of the hole they've dug. Till then, one hopes the left takes up this opportunity to push for our agenda (that agenda in a phrase? sustainable accountable equity-in-diversity) as the right most certainly will do. But I fear the usual inertial professionals (well-meaning and otherwise) looking to cash in while the usual passionate and righteous activists squander the moment in purity cabaret will either break our hearts or muddle through according to something like an historical coin toss.
I'm a dumb American, of course, so what do I know about Europe? It isn't modesty but honesty when I say the obvious -- I'm an interested but inept outside observer, anybody is better to ask about this stuff than me. In this moment I will say the US looks much better off: We went for inadequate but real stimulus not austerity in 2008 despite the GOP and have stuck to weak tea variations of the same. The Obama coalition outnumbers our dim dupe racists providing better chances for comparatively sane national outcomes. The American version of Brexit is old straight white bigots dying of old age in an ever more diverse and secular society. If HRC wins -- blah blah monster blah blah evil blah blah notwithstanding -- the Supreme Court may become reliably liberal till 2050, corrections to jerrymandering if Dems stay organized for the midterms may lead to Congressional representation in line with actual voting results, and then quite a lot can change quite quickly after years and years of too little changing too little (the first years of the Obama administration provide a narrow glimpse of the pragmatic possibilities): We can have more public investment, more progressive taxes, sustainability and harm-reduction policy-making can be prioritized and yield virtuous circles, all the while the country approaches majority-minority diversity and then this ridiculously lucky stupid criminal pack of infants get yet another shot at blowing our chance to do some good in the world.
Friday, June 24, 2016
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Monday, June 20, 2016
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Friday, June 17, 2016
Everybody says don't.
Everybody says don't get out of line.
When they say that, then lady that's a sign,
Nine times out of ten,
Lady, you are doing just fine.
Yeah, it's Barbra and Sondheim and HRC and I lurve it. I'm a fifty-year-old showtune faggot liberal teaching at Berkeley and a San Francisco art school. This is supposed to surprise you?
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016
Pluralism, Politics, and Belief; Or, Of Walking And Chewing Gum At The Same Time (A Twitter Essaylet)
I'm a champion of both performance art pieces and uncompromising ethical stands, but I don't think elections are good occasions for either.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
1 Pluralists propose there are different sorts of beliefs embedded in different sorts of ends and histories...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
2 What we want from scientific beliefs is different from what we want from moral beliefs or aesthetic judgments...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
3 Ethical belief ascription is different from political, legal, or any number of forms of professional belief ascription...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
4 James' oft-quoted pragmatic definition of truth as the "good in the way of belief" is lamentably and mis-educatingly truncated too often:— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
5 Truth is that which is "good in the way of belief, and good, too, for definite, assignable reasons."— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
6 From this, the pluralist and pragmatist proposes an understanding of reasonableness in the way of belief and belief-guided conduct...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
7 ...for which reasonable belief requires not only that beliefs be warranted but the criteria of warrant be proper to the form of belief.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
8 Far from muddying or relativizing, this seems a more demanding practice of reasonablenness than the usual facile scientisms and moralisms.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
9 To spell this out, the criteria that warrant scientific beliefs (testability, coherence, etc) in order to provide prediction and control,— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
10 are very different from the criteria that warrant moral beliefs (citation, loyalty, etc) in order to provide for belonging and dignity...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
11 and it is unreasonable not only to hold scientific or moral beliefs that are unwarranted but to warrant scientific beliefs as moral ones— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
12 ...and vice versa, or to seek from scientific belief the work of aesthetic belief, or to dismiss ethical belief from a legal vantage.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
13 It is quite as perniciously irrational to mis-apply scientific belief beyond its proper precinct as to deny science within that precinct.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
14 Similar confusions and mischief-making arise from the mis-application of moral, aesthetic, technoscientific warrants to political belief.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
15 Politics is the ongoing reconciliation of the diversity of stakeholders who share the present and coming world and its problems...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
16 Compromise (and anticipation of resistance) inheres in all political problem-solving work and reasonable political belief ascription...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
17 ...very much including progressive emancipatory work to solicit agreement about shared problems or build different ways of world-sharing.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
18 This receptivity and compromise is crucially different from the kind of exclusivity moral belief permits or purity aesthetic belief does.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
19 It is not to denigrate morals, ethics, aesthetics that I insist they not be mis-applied to politics but to defend and celebrate them all.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
20 None of this is to deny an inter-implication of these domains -- humans live lives in bodies and histories with integrities -- but...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
21 I absolutely do deny that these domains are reducible to one another or that any is inherently or always prior to the others.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
22 Of irrationalities one could decry, confusions of science with morals, or of morals&aesthetics with politics seem to me underappreciated.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
23 Pluralism reminds us that reasonableness is not only a cerebral affair, but much a matter of walking and chewing gum at the same time.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 12, 2016
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Saturday, June 11, 2016
It takes few people to disrupt a process but many people to win an election.
Thursday, June 09, 2016
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Monday, June 06, 2016
OneGreen economic stimulus/increase employment: mass FDR-style tree planting and soil restoration projects, federal high-speed rail or even maglev trains connecting twenty-five major cities by 2025, bury exposed wire to harden/weatherize vulnerable power grid, replace water infrastructure (especially given lead issues), provide public EU-level high speed connectivity via local not-for-profit co-ops, subsidize residential/small business rooftop solar and solar parking canopies in every state, limit food deserts and encourage sustainable agriculture and lower long-term health costs by building local/organic farmer's markets-cum-community centers in neighborhoods.
TwoEnd the Hyde Amendment. End Unconstitutional restrictions and harassment of women's healthcare providers, waiting periods, unscientific moralizing interference with qualified diagnoses and recommendations, misleading and humiliating compulsory sermons, invasions of privacy and public threats. Never re-instate the global gag order. Provide safe, free, anonymous women's health, counseling and abortion services in every county, in every state, in every territory, in or of the United States.
ThreeSave our postal service and end predatory lending and finance while encouraging responsible savings by allowing post offices to function as community-based savings-and-loans and provide other needed financial services on a highest-standard non-profit basis.
FourProhibit for-profit policing/prisons, de-militarize police forces, end broken windows and racial profiling, mandate independent investigation and prosecutors in all cases of harm involving police, mandate community representation and oversight in police governance, train all police (anyone involved in policing at any level) in violence de-escalation and bias sensitivity, legalize recreational cannabis, shift from drug and sex-work prohibition to harm reduction/voluntary rehabilitation/protection of the vulnerable model, increase funding for mental health, rehabilitation, training programs and shift from zero-tolerance judgments to end school-to-prison pipeline and misuse of prisons as warehouses for traumatized and distressed citizens due our treatment and care, ban all military-style and assault weapons, make gun manufacturers and sellers liable for gun harms at least demonstration of negligence, include demonstration of competent use and knowledge of safety regulation in periodic licensing of gun possession for hunters and hobbyists, end inherently cruel and unusual, prohibitively costly, discriminatory, error-prone but irreversible capital punishment, increase funding to protect and facilitate independence of women and children and vulnerable who are sexually assaulted, bullied, or subject to hate crimes.
FiveStrengthen the general welfare in order to form a more perfect union and ensure domestic tranquility by increasing social security benefits, ensuring long-term unemployment benefits, federally mandating paid family/health leave, allowing medicare buy-in as a public option, lowering prescription drug costs through public bargaining with companies over prices, federally mandate a living wage pegged to inflation (allowing for local cost-of-living variances), vastly increase public grants for artistic work and scientific/technical research that is made available for immediate free public use, mandate equal pay for equal work, raise teacher salaries and shrink classroom sizes in every zip code, forgive current paralyzing college loan debt and provide for debt-free college in the future through free community college and public service after graduation (in public education, ecological restoration, support for first responders, community service, foreign aid work).
SixStop breaking up families and communities including immigrants, stop the regular harassment, arbitrary raids, and mass-detention of immigrants. Broaden the available pathways for people to enter the country legally in order to work and study, or to reunite with family members who are already here. Provide an accessible path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Increase legal immigration channels, taking special care to protect children and refugees from social, political, and ecological danger. Provide services to welcome the contributions and facilitate the successful integration of immigrants into our society.
SevenAutomatically register citizens to vote when they get or renew their drivers' license or their passport. Provide an option for postage-free vote-by-mail in every jurisdiction. Renew the Voting Rights Act and apply pre-clearance provisions to all states equally. Create a federal election day holiday. Provide an automatic one-dollar tax break or tax credit to every citizen who votes in the preceding year's election, the same one dollar that now goes optionally to the Presidential election campaign. End Citizen's United. Strengthen restrictions against and increase waiting periods for public servants to work as lobbyists. Within the Democratic Party itself: Eliminate exclusionary caucuses, close participation in primaries to non-Democrats but allow for same-day registration for membership in the Democratic Party, eliminate "superdelegates" but retain as separate from pledged delegate counts the necessary mechanism by which current Democratic politicians, leaders, activists can provide unity for a nationally viable nominee on the occasion of an emergency related to health, criminal conduct, or extraordinary misconduct disqualifying the elected nominee in the aftermath of voting in the primary contest.
EightBuild and maintain a permanent international science station on the Moon and a series of international Mars exploration missions with the aim of establishing a permanent international science station on Mars as well.
NineCreate new millionaire, multi-millionaire, and billionaire tax brackets, raise and progressivize the taxable cap for social security, introduce taxes on global financial transactions, raise but progressivize property taxes, create a federal system of state-based public renewable/sustainable infrastructure investment banks.
I know of at least one tech-variety basic income "Thought Leader" who claims he is living the dream because he has paid subscribers... 1— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
...disregarding that this patronage is neither guaranteed nor scalable, hence irrelevant to conclusions about BIG/UBI as social program... 2— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
...disavowing the extent to which he depends on ongoing public investment in social/legal support of ritual and material infrastructure... 3— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
...and in his case further disavowing the extent to which he's insulated by white male cis youth privilege from threat of precarization... 4— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
Not to pick on him, but he is so exemplary of the usual clueless privilege enabling too much incoherent insensitive libertopian tech-talk. 5— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
Sunday, June 05, 2016
The Present Trap: Why We Are Wrong To Treat Futurists As Scientists Or Analysts Even To Criticize Them
1 There's a strange trap futurologists set for us--hardly by intention I think, indeed they're first trapped in it themselves many of them:— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
2 They do some foggy scene-setting, spin some facile fancy, extrapolate some parochialism, cough up a little PR jazz, or what have you…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
3 then we respond by debating the odds or due-date for its "realization," as though it were an hypothesis, technical specs, real theory,— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
4 and hence susceptible to critical or technical analysis on those terms, when what futurologists are offering up is much more like…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
5 doggerel poetry, low-rent advertising, wish-fulfillment fantasies or anxiety confessions so clumsy they require no therapist to read.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
6 Hyperbolizing some qualified scientific discovery into an historical turning point or end-point, tapping into the ol' magickal archive…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
7 (fountain of youth, unbeatable weapon, love potion, genie-in-a-bottle, sorcerer's apprentice, omni-predicate, eden, apocalypse, say) then…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
8 slapping a neologism on it (super! digi! nano!) and selling it like a late-nite infomercial-cum-sermon, promising sex, youth, easy money…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
9 I agree these debased genres are of *literary* & *rhetorical* interest and futurological fandoms/sub(cult)ures of *ethnographic* interest,— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
10 but to accept their given terms--as if they're matters of science, theory, public policy--disables engagement & amounts to collaboration,— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
11 however eventually debunking the treatment or skeptical the analysis, to accept the proffered hand and take up the futurological dance…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
12 is always to mobilize the trap, partner in the scam, authorize the deception, and facilitate the damage done by peddlers of "The Future."— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 5, 2016
Saturday, June 04, 2016
1 It is only sensible the Democratic Party have a way to ensure a viable nominee in the event of an unforeseen medical or legal disaster…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
2 …let us say some post-convention catastrophe or primary season hijacked by an egregiously scandalous unserious stunt/protest nominee...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
3 …but there is no good reason to call that mechanism "superdelegates" nor to include their endorsements in pledged delegate counts.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
4 Since, like superdelegates now, this protective mechanism would best involve elected representatives and committed party activists…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
5 …such people would exert a strong influence on the outcome of nomination contests through their endorsements and connections anyway.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
6 Superdelegates have never historically overturned the will of electorate, so it would not make much material difference to correct...— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
7 …what I agree seems very much in spirit if only little in practice an undemocratic or under-democratic element in the primary process.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
8 Given Clinton's extraordinary lead by every legitimate measure, popular votes, pledged delegates, key endorsements…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
9 …it goes without saying criticism of the superdelegate system scarcely impacts the legitimacy and achievement of our present nominee.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
10 Sanders' odd daydreams about superdelegate coups alternating with rants over superdelegate conspiracies are not much in point I'm afraid.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
11 If his -- and our -- criticisms of undemocratic superdelegate counts are consistent rather than opportunistic, they should also include…— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
12 …forceful criticisms of exclusionary caucuses, of open primaries that invite ratfucking, and support of easy party member registration.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) June 4, 2016
Friday, June 03, 2016
Thursday, June 02, 2016
There's only one word for Trump's approach to foreign policy and national security: chaos.https://t.co/Sx9s6NAGmr— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 2, 2016