Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday Walk

The morning was cool and gray, autumnal, as we set off for brunch at our diner on Piedmont Avenue. By the time we had finished, the sun had burned all the gray away and bright blue daylight made us ambitious for a longer trek to the summit of Mountain View. The rest of my afternoon is given over to lecture prep: Situationism and Naomi Klein in my first lecture tomorrow and then AI and the Singularity (all the old anti-techno-triumphalist hits, Mechanical Turk, Lanier, Vinge, Kurzweil, Mechanical Turk again), then a reprise Tuesday in my grade seminar on design thinking. We're past the mid-term point and the rhythms are all shifting, workshops and film screenings take some pressure off of lecture prep in weeks to come, but writing deadlines and committee work all seem to intensify to ratchet the pressure right back up again. The election wind-up has everybody nervous and jangly, me not least of all, I can tell you.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, October 19, 2018

A Day Off...?

Got Scalzi's The Consuming Fire in the mail yesterday -- a sequel to his The Collapsing Empire, which was a punchy little diversion for me last year -- and I've got half a mind to run a hot bath and read a few chapters and put off the lecture prep for once this damn term. Anything to avoid the disgusting cruelty and criminality endlessly unfolding in the headlines...

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Bolstering

Mailed in our mid-term ballots yesterday, got an unexpected visit from some beloved former students, got ahead of my lecture prep for next week -- it's looking like I may be able to enjoy a weekend without too much working in it for the first time in quite a while. A torrent of paper grading begins pouring in from my two undergraduate courses next week, so this respite is well-timed and very welcome indeed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Soothing

Reading a slim book called Libraries in the Ancient World on the BART from lecture tonight, then watching Dr. Who and the Halloween Baking Championship episode we've recorded when I finally get home deep in the dark with my burrito in hand. This is what sanity looks like for me in the unending unendurable horrorshow that is Trumpmerica.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, October 15, 2018

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Long Teaching Day

...long teaching day ahead... Barthes, then online privacy/publicity, six hours lecture, three hours commute... final prep on the train... Here we go!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Walk

Back to brunch and a long lovely walk to the Rose Garden this afternoon, blue skies and a sweet crisp breeze for a quiet Sunday stroll. Lecture prep for tomorrow out on the patio should occupy me the rest of the day. Last week was a bit of a bear, and I'm frazzled still as I move into next week. Roland Barthes in crit theory should be a piece of cake, but my digital anti-democratization class is getting a bit wild and woolly. Public/private, publication/privation, publicity/privacy this week, a little intellectual property, a little hashtag resistance, a little fake news. Taking up the same themes in my design thinking class the next day. But I feel a bit surer of my grad students this term, my undergraduates still seem not to have quite taken to the material or to my teaching in the usual way -- perhaps I'm a bit tired coming right off an earlier three-hour lecture, perhaps the topic of tech talk has left me feeling a bit burned out, perhaps the lateness of the class and the onset of darkness has my students feeling restive, whatever it is, the class isn't yet working quite as I'd like, I'm feeling uninspired and so I'm being uninspiring and hence losing the charge of energy from inspired students to compensate the shyness and insecurity that always bedevils my teaching efforts. Prepping for a turnaround tomorrow.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Yer Evil Phone

The Guardian:
[C]obalt is found in every lithium-ion rechargeable battery on the planet -- from smartphones to tablets to laptops to electric vehicles. It is also used to fashion superalloys to manufacture jet engines, gas turbines and magnetic steel. You cannot send an email, check social media, drive an electric car or fly home for the holidays without using this cobalt... Such companies are collectively worth trillions of dollars. Yet according to Amnesty International in a report at the end of 2017, none of them are making sufficient efforts to ensure that their riches are not being built on the backs of the oppressed women, men and children of the Congo who toil in putrid conditions, endure pitiful wages, grave injury and risk death to mine their cobalt...[T]hey descend into darkness each day, spending up to 24 hours at a time in narrow tunnels unable to stand, hacking away for cobalt. Every minute is suffused with dread, because many tunnels have collapsed in Kasulo, burying alive everyone inside.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

"Crushing It"

From the Washington Post:
With cameras in the room for a prescription-drug bill signing Wednesday, Trump introduced “the great Larry Kudlow, whose voice is so beautiful. . . . The economy, Larry, how is it doing?”
“Couldn’t be better,” replied Kudlow.
And Kudlow’s message couldn’t be otherwise:
Oct. 7: “Right now, the American economy is crushing it.”
Sept. 28: “We’re crushing it, we’re absolutely crushing it.”
Sept. 17: “We’re crushing it.”
Sept. 6: “We’re crushing it.”
Aug. 28: “America today is just crushing it everywhere.”
Aug. 17: “We are crushing it. And people say this is not sustainable, it’s a one-quarter blip? It’s just nonsense.”
Also, from the article:
After the Dow Jones industrials plunged 832 points on Wednesday, Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s chief economic adviser, walked up the White House driveway and proclaimed that there was no cause for concern... “Our economy and the people and the workers and entrepreneurs, they’re killing it. We’re the hottest in the world,” Kudlow proclaimed in front of the CNBC camera. “We’re crushing it right now..." But the Pollyanna performance didn’t play well on Wall Street. The Dow lost another 546 points Thursday. The index had a partial recovery Friday but finished the week down 4.2 percent, the third straight weekly decline.
No doubt they'll get the numbers back up in time for the lies of November.

Friday, October 12, 2018

One Hundred Companies Are Killing Us All

The Guardian:
Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report. The Carbon Majors Report (pdf) “pinpoints how a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions,” says Pedro Faria, technical director at environmental non-profit CDP, which published the report in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute... Compiled from a database of publicly available emissions figures, it is intended as the first in a series of publications to highlight the role companies and their investors could play in tackling climate change. The report found that more than half of global industrial emissions since 1988 – the year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established – can be traced to just 25 corporate and state-owned entities. The scale of historical emissions associated with these fossil fuel producers is large enough to have contributed significantly to climate change, according to the report. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are identified as among the highest emitting investor-owned companies since 1988. If fossil fuels continue to be extracted at the same rate over the next 28 years as they were between 1988 and 2017, says the report, global average temperatures would be on course to rise by 4C by the end of the century. This is likely to have catastrophic consequences including substantial species extinction and global food scarcity risks...

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Trumpproval

Many Presidents have dipped below 50% Approval in their terms, but Trump is on track to being the first who has never managed to reach 50% Approval at any point in his term. More people have disapproved than approved of his performance every single day he has been in the White House. This unprecedently unpopular popular vote loser is the one destroying the country for parochial profit with the support of a party of desperate dwindling aging racist white greedhead ignoramuses in gerrymandered districts through a system of sweeping disenfranchisement under an electoral college that disproportionately empowers scattered rural citizens over the majorities who live in dense diverse cities. There is going to be a reckoning.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, October 08, 2018

Long Teaching Day, Long Teaching Week

Six hours of lecture back to back today in the City -- first up, Benjamin and Adorno in my critical theory survey, then privacy in my digital anti-democratization course: surveillance but also possessive individualism and IP. In my grad seminar tomorrow on "design thinking" we have arrived at cyberlibertarian ideology, so many manifestos will be scoffed at. Two of my grad thesis students are having their Intermediate Reviews this week as well... these hours of last minute writing samples, commuting, co-ordinating schedules among overclocked people take their toll. It's gonna be a rough week, I fear.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Sunday

It looks like no brunch and long walk this weekend -- Eric is swamped with work and my upcoming week demands extra prep as well, as my three lectures give way to intermediate reviews for my thesis students. It's sunny and briskly autumnal outside, quite lovely, so I'll do some lecture prep out on the porch at any rate... Politics are too grisly to comment on, the eager cruelty of the Trumpuglicans is on full display, and the stakes for the election just a month away feel fraught beyond belief. History is a hole we never dig out of in time, but sometimes this feels more bearable than others.

Today's Random Wilde

Dandyism is the assertion of the absolute modernity of Beauty.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.

Boo!

And also, Vote.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, October 05, 2018

That Is All (PM Dawn Edition)

Completely unsolicited and unsupported opinion: PM Dawn's The Bliss Album...? (Vibrations of Love and Anger and the Ponderance of Life and Existence), has aged very well, remains lovely and playful and musically stirring, and my obsessive listening to it back in 1993-1994 still makes perfect sense to me.

Today's Nonrandom Wilde (Trump, Pence, Kavanaugh Impeachments Edition)

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Barbara Lee Gives Me Hope...

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

Men become old, they never become good.

Barabara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday Walk

I always say the same thing, a Sunday visit to our favorite diner on Piedmont Avenue then a stroll to one of our favorite places, this time one of our hikes through the back side of Mountain View cemetery, then scooped up some new kitten toys for Penny on the way back home. Tech neutrality gives way to cyberlibertarianism in my digital anti-democratization course, Critical Theory is all about Freud, psychoanalysis, and fetishism (some of his grossest most cisheteronormative stuff), then in Tuesday's grad seminar we turn from greenwashing design thinking to faux-democratizing design thinking via code. We're covering some of the same ground my digi class does so I'm hoping less prep may be necessary. Midterm grad reviews for my thesis students and grading papers is about to be larded on top of what has seemed a pretty demanding teaching term already. October is going to be a slog, possibly a good distraction from the crazymaking high stakes of the November elections looming ever closer from week to week...

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Emoluments Santa Claus?

via electoral-vote.com:
One wonders if Donald Trump is enjoying a few days where the microscope is trained on someone other than him. Certainly, it's allowed a few somewhat embarrassing stories to largely fly under the radar. One of these is a ruling that U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued on Friday, which says that a lawsuit that 200 Democratic senators and representatives filed against Trump, charging him with violating the Constitution's emoluments clause, can move forward. This day was bound to arrive sooner or later, once Trump decided not to divest himself of his business holdings. Given how vague the emoluments clause is... it is not clear that Trump has violated the Constitution. But it is also not clear that he hasn't. [He clearly has, ask Jimmy Carter --d] That makes it a matter for the courts; the only issue was finding someone who has standing to sue. Now, we've got that someone (and there's also a case filed by the Attorneys General of Maryland and D.C. that is likely to be allowed to proceed). So, we are going to find out exactly what the limits of the emoluments clause are (and, as a byproduct, Donald Trump's tax returns are likely to become a matter of public record). [bolded passages bolded by me --d]

Kavanoff

Grounds for impeachment, the fix is in, Republicans, right until the jig is up.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the leading Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, told ABC News that if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, “the House will have to investigate” allegations of sexual assault and perjury if the Senate doesn’t “properly” do so through this week’s limited FBI probe. Said Nadler: “We can’t have a justice on the court who has been credibly accused of sexual assault, who’s been accused of other things, including perjury.”

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, September 28, 2018

Roosevelt Institute On Reviving Antitrust

Roosevelt Institute and Great Democracy Initiative Release Legislative Blueprint for Combating the Second Gilded Age (follow the link to explore the various papers described here, especially that last piece about regulating tech platform monopolies):
As concentrated corporate power threatens jobs and wages and worsens inequality, the Roosevelt Institute and the Great Democracy Initiative (GDI) today released two new papers outlining a progressive framework to reform America’s failing antitrust system. Addressing key elements of the growing monopoly problem, the first report argues for taking antitrust policymaking out of the courts and empowering antitrust enforcers, while the second offers an alternative to the outdated consumer welfare standard, along with policy solutions to increase competition and protect workers and consumers. Together, the papers provide a progressive blueprint for a robust 21st century antitrust regime that can begin to address the United States’ market power crisis.

In Taking Antitrust Away From the Courts: A Structural Approach to Reversing the Second Age of Monopoly Power, Ganesh Sitaraman, Director of Policy and Co-Founder of the Great Democracy Initiative, explains the problems with court-established antitrust policy and outlines a set of institutional reforms to the Federal Trade Commission in order to reinvigorate antitrust policymaking. In shifting the policymaking role from judges, who have eroded existing regulations, to agency experts, Sitaraman recommends a series of bold policy reforms, including a newly empowered anti-monopoly agency, new standards and practices for merger evaluation, and expanded third party enforcement.

“Antitrust laws are only as good as their implementation and enforcement,” said Ganesh Sitaraman, Director of Policy and Co-Founder of the Great Democracy Initiative, and a Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School. “As our growing market power problem demonstrates, leaving antitrust policymaking to the courts does not work. We need a strong antitrust agency with the authority to take action that promotes competition and addresses market concentration.”

A second paper, The Effective Competition Standard: A New Standard for Antitrust, tackles the dangerous implications of the ambiguous and inadequate consumer welfare standard. Authored by Roosevelt Institute economist Marshall Steinbaum and Maurice E. Stucke, a Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee, the report argues in favor of a new effective competition standard. If adopted, this framework would protect competition in the economy, including in the labor market and throughout supply chains, by meeting several essential goals:

1) to protect individuals, purchasers, consumers, and producers;

2) to preserve opportunities for competitors;

3) to promote individual autonomy and well-being; and

4) to disperse and de-concentrate private power.

“The current antitrust standard is not working. Market power and monopsony have been growing in our economy for decades and are a major factor driving wage stagnation and decreasing worker protections,” said Marshall Steinbaum, Fellow and Research Director at the Roosevelt Institute. “Antitrust enforcers need tools to hold corporate power accountable and to better prioritize the interests of consumers and workers.”

The Roosevelt Institute has been a leading voice on antitrust policy and the need for bold policies to tackle market power. Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz recently called for a new standard for antitrust during his keynote address at the ongoing FTC competition hearings. In 2018, the Roosevelt Institute released Powerless: How Lax Antitrust and Concentrated Market Power Rig the Economy Against American Workers, Consumers, and Communities, which outlines the 40-year assault on antitrust and competition policy. In 2018, Steinbaum also authored an issue brief titled A Missing Link: The Role of Antitrust Law in Rectifying Employer Power in Our High-Profit, Low-Wage Economy, which chronicled the ways the market power crisis is limiting worker power, depressing wages, and harming the economy. The Great Democracy Initiative has also championed progressive solutions to today’s skewed economy. In 2018, GDI released Regulating Tech Platforms: A Blueprint for Reform, which identified ways to break up and regulate technology platforms.

Working Not Working

Spent yesterday putting together teaching requests for next academic year (a nicely bolstering conceit, the thought of me teaching theory to students from around the world in an art school over a century old in San Francisco overlooking the Bay, next year, in a school, a City, a country, a world still managing to exist with all of us still on it...) and prepping my Freud lecture for next Monday (ditto). Today, I meant to read work from my thesis students today and start prepping discussion of texts assigned in cyberlibertarian ideology for my digital anti-democratization course... but I find myself drifting, disgusted, demoralized, dreading what comes next. The Kavanaugh hearing is unbearable, the brazenness of the power-grab, the baldness of the hypocrisy, the spectacle they are making of their eagerness for revenge, their salivation at the prospect of dismantling rights and protections is truly terrifying (and no, I am not "surprised," this isn't an expression of surprise, this is, as I said, an expression of disgust at the disgusting, one in a long line like everybody else's long line, this is why I don't really blog anymore...). Anyway, feeling grossed out and scared for the millionth time these last few years. When I was younger, these feelings would have activated me, made me sharp and loud and ferocious, but now I just feel exhausted and anxious and so sad. I truly fear the upcoming mid-terms are the last comparatively easy chance we have of turning the tide or beginning to turn the tide within our living generation in the ongoing cold civil war of deadly extractive white supremacist cisheteronormative corporate-militarism against the rising sustainable equitable democratic multiculture to a hot war of the utterly disenfranchised majority against fascists and their collaborators. The last chance before that was the election of the flawed, dreary, historically encumbered but conspicuously preferable HRC over the obviously bigoted, incompetent, authoritarian criminal Trump and we failed that one, so I'm not nearly as confident as some seem to be that we will pass the test of the mid-terms any better than the last one (especially given that unprecedented levels of disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, and foreign interference will mean privileged white voters, a majority of whom obviously cannot be trusted to vote for decency and sense, will have a disproportionate say in the outcome as usual).

Today's Random Wilde

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Today's Random Wilde

One should never listen. To listen is a sign of indifference to one's hearers.

Zing Ding Ding

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Bonus: Barbara Lee Speaks For Me On Voter Registration Day

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, September 24, 2018

Long Teaching Day

Off to the City soon, to teach my two undergraduate lectures back to back for six hours. Marxism and racist and/or market fundamentalist fantasies of "tech neutrality" will be the topics. Already tired, though my opinions on these subjects are passionate. Politics is a flabbergasting shitshow, I'm still not recovered from Dad's death and the familial chaos it has engendered, and in general I am still not in the world's best shape, forever battling at the edge of sleep deprivation, pervasive anxiety, and irritable depression. Clawing my way to modest pleasures, walks with Eric, watching Dr. Who and detective shows and cooking competitions, reading and talking theory with engaged students... even when the world is bleak and day to day challenges are painfully intense, life is well worth living and love a miracle to cherish.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Walk

Another long beautiful walk with Eric this Sunday, beginning with brunch at our favorite diner, the Piedmont Street Cafe and Bakery, then a long stroll through St. Mary's cemetery -- the rather shaggier neighbor to the posh Mountainview Cemetery next door -- where in over a mile's exploration we encountered just a single car and one other couple the whole time, walking their beagle. Still amazed by the sublime outdoor spaces bathing in sunlight and bristling with blooms that are ignored by throngs within walking distance here in my wonderful beloved City of Oakland. Can't say exactly why but so far I am not too nervous about upcoming teaching -- tomorrow I'm introducing my critical theory survey course to Marx(isms) and then my digital anti-democratization class is going to talk about "net neutrality," so-called, and read some Zeynep Tufekci and Frank Pasquale to go with last week's Safiya Noble. I get the feeling that the digi-demos wants less lecture and more hands-on workshopping, so I'm crafting in-class exercises for them -- these don't always cover quite as much ground, but the energy they generate often seems to help students retain more of what we do manage to cover. In my grad design thinking critique seminar we're weaving environmental justice and eco-socialist critiques of "bright" greens and "natural capitalists" (so-called) and this will lead us into a discussion of geo-engineering discourse. All topics I've gone on about a million times before, in class after class (not to mention a million old blog posts here).

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, September 21, 2018

Strategies to Rebuild Worker Power for the Global Economy

In Seven Strategies to Rebuild Worker Power for the 21st Century Global Economy, Roosevelt [Institute] Fellow Todd N. Tucker uses historical lessons to lay out a framework for how to rebuild worker power and fight inequality, starting with a global labor agreement—what Tucker calls the Worker Power Agreement—modeled on the Paris Climate Accords. The report argues for governments to take on explicit targets to increase union density, as well as complementary policies that our trading partners make use of, including:

    Privileging firms that cooperate well with unions;
    Making labor law enforcement more favorable toward labor;
    Extending union contracts to non-union workers;
    Structurally incorporating unions into the policymaking process;
    Allowing unions to manage public benefits; and
    Making union membership the default status for workers.

Recent Supreme Court decisions like Janus v. AFSCME reveal that the state (of which courts are a part) can and does put its thumb on the scale against labor. Thus, policy could instead actively tilt the other way. This paper proposes a fundamental re-visioning of the role of government in rebuilding worker power, which has a stronger foothold when it benefits from more than just one base of support. Instead of defeatist resignation, modest legal changes, or waiting for unions to save themselves, Tucker recommends ambitious and linked strategies at the international and domestic level to strengthen labor institutions across the globe.

Today's Random Wilde

No man is rich enough to buy back his past.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

Genius is born -- not paid.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Abolish Environmental Racism

"The iron law of climate change is: the less you did to cause it, the more likely you are to pay the price." -- Bill McKibben

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, September 17, 2018

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

A Hard Day Ahead

It's my long teaching day, six hours of lecture in a row are looming. Even if it's Nietzsche and Safiya Noble I'm talking about, this will be a slog. My brother called last night to let me know our father has died. He was just 79 years old. Long expected -- he has suffered from Alzheimer's nearly eight years, he hasn't recognized even close family for a couple of years now, and lately he has had some tough accidents -- and in the context of a longer political estrangement as he went from the supportive if confused pro-gay Southern bible-study Christian with whom I lived in Atlanta for a while right after college to being a supremely upsetting Fox News viewer later in our lives. I am remembering his earlier gentleness now, his insecurities, and the efforts he made to connect to his weird queer hyper-intellectual self-righteous son. Nights before my long teaching day are never easy -- I skip the cannabis assist that makes sleep a snap on other nights, and I'm always already nervous as hell anyway before a performance -- but last night I'd be surprised if I managed as much as three hours' sleep. Reminds me of the bad old insomnia nights of last winter -- but it's surely temporary. Still, I'm feeling rather bruised and bleary for the beginning of a long demanding day. We'll see how this goes.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Walk

Another long walk with Eric through sunny bucolic neighborhoods, blue skies and golden light and fading flowers, with a lettace-crisp breeze to keep us company, from brunch at our Piedmont Avenue Diner and Bakery to a quiet contemplation of our favorite big city rose garden, as beautiful as always and mostly with the whole place to ourselves. Mean to spend the rest of this afternoon prepping Nietzsche and internet history, from Standage and Lessig to Safiya Noble. I'm usually a bundle of nerves Sundays before my long teaching day, stage-fright and worries about being underprepared plague me as always, interfering all too much with the straightforward pleasures of connecting with students over interesting ideas and problems together. Since my hospitalization and then the ongoing Trumpmerican clusterfuck I've had a hard time clawing my way back to comfort and confidence in the classroom, tho' I'm back to fitness and sleeping better at any rate these days, and hope a string of successful courses will nudge me back to the pleasures I long took in teaching before this more recent couple years of distress.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, September 14, 2018

Prep...

Spent the day prepping my Nietzsche lecture for next week. For tomorrow, prepping to teach a material/practical history of what gets called "the internet." The next day? Green urbanities for my grad seminar "Designs on Us." Already, my thesis students are clamoring for meetings and students are eager to plan studio visits. Fall term really is something of a breezing buzzing confusion.

Today's Random Wilde

Nowadays we are all of us so hard up that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments. They're the only things we can pay.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Shorter Teaching Day

Classes went well yesterday, this year's students seem comparatively more talkative than in recent years past, and this makes lectures more engaging. Still, the back to back lectures were demanding, and I returned home late and quite exhausted. Mondays are going to be a slog. In my graduate seminar today we turn to sustainable design discourse, Viridians, biomimicry, cradle-to-cradle, permaculture. Most of this stuff amounts to greenwashing in my opinion, but I do find Wes Jackson and the Land Institute interesting and inspiring at any rate. The Bruce Sterling Viridian stuff has not aged well at all, I am finding. My notes are far more sparse and my expectations looser for the grad seminar, today's at any rate. We'll see how the conversation unfolds...

Today's Random Wilde

To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, September 10, 2018

Long Teaching Day

Fontenelle, Kant, DuBois, Wilde, Jefferson, Barlow, Butler, and who knows who else? Lecturing from one to seven, more or less non-stop today. Should be home by 9.30. Then it's dinner and right to bed, because I'm teaching again tomorrow and need to do prep in the morning before it's off to the City again. Mondays are going to be a bear this Fall. Imagine, I'll still be at this past the mid-terms. Things may be looking a bit different by the end of term in this country. Or not.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Another World Is Possible...

Sunday Walk

Beautiful long walk after brunch at our favorite Piedmont Street diner this afternoon, walking the crest of Mountain View Cemetery, "Millionaire's Row," where vast castles and pyramids and orientalist temples mingle before the most stunning views of Oakland and San Francisco and Berkeley and the endless stretch of blue Bay and blue sky to match... last week Eric Mom's and stepmom visited (I happen to feel much closer to and more congenial with Eric's family than my own, I'll admit) and we skipped our weekly jaunt, making our return to form that much more edifying today, creatures of habit that we are. The sun was hot as it has felt for months, and yet there was a real autumnal twang in the air as well. Trees and shrubs are settling in a bit, shadows seem already to be lengthening... Monday's are my long teaching day this term, two undergraduate lectures back to back, about three hours each, a survey of critical theory imparting so much information it feels exhausting to teach on its own, and then a topical course on digital anti-democratization via cyberlibertarianism (in David Golumbia's felicitous phrase) which is of course still urgent, but these days a topic that I feel a bit burned out about even as I keep flogging my usual anti-futurological critiques. The stage-fright and preparation worries (both over and under) are pretty ferocious the day before, so our long walks are an especially welcome distraction and grounding calm as I set out to look over my notes one more time before launching into the exactions of teacher-mode.   

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Keep Fighting for the Prison Strike Agenda


Elonging

The "thought leaders" of tech fleecing their fandoms like evangelists fleecing their flocks...

Today's Random Wilde

In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, September 07, 2018

More On A Public Banking Option

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mark Paul and Assistant Professor of Economics at Loyola Marymount University Thomas Herndon make the case for a public banking option, emphasizing the historical precedent set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “A forgotten lesson of the New Deal era is that a public option for basic services can both ensure universal access and empower regulators to curtail abuses. In the case of consumer finance, a public bank would go a long way toward improving the economic security of all U.S. households.”
Apart from and a part of urgent ongoing abolition struggles -- struggles to abolish white supremacy and patriarchy, pollution and waste, police brutality, prisons, nuclear weapons, illiteracy, homelessness, food insecurity, neglected treatable diseases and malnutrition, corruption, and so much more -- the work to provide a public option for banking (in part, I hope, via an expanded postal service), a public option for healthcare (in part via Medicare buy-in and Medicaid expansion), public options for internet and phone and streaming services (in part via community co-ops and expanded commercial-free national public radio and television programs with fairness doctrines and regulations against deceptive and fraudulent advertising and misinformation practices), public alternatives for sustainable energy, transportation, and food provision (mostly through co-ops and infrastructure and organic/permaculture farms and farmer's markets built and maintained and subsidized via full guaranteed public employment at a living wage programs -- not the basic income re-feudalization scam advocated by oligarchic "thought leaders" of tech) is looking like the work of the rising generation with whatever help my own eclipsed ineffectual dwindling generation can provide them as they rise in their diversity, awareness, rage, and promise.

Today's Random Wilde

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

India Strikes Down Sodomy Laws and Endorses Principle of Equal Treatment for LGBTQ People

Nico Lang for Into
It’s official: India has struck down its century-old law criminalizing gay sex. In a historic verdict announced Thursday, a five-judge panel ruled Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is unconstitutional. First enacted during British rule in the 1860s, the colonial codes outlaw “unnatural offenses… against the order of nature.” All four opinions submitted to the court were concurring, showing unanimous agreement. Justices concluded LGBTQ people are guaranteed equal treatment under the constitution and that anti-gay discrimination violates freedom of expression.
Joyful images of joy (for example, these via Buzzfeed) bring me joy. Nice to remember, how marvelous joy is. This is great news, and there is a big rolling world for the rising, secularizing, diversifying, greening, abolition-democratizing American coalition to join up with as we destroy the last vestiges of cisheteronormative white supremacist authoritarian extractive-industrial corporate-militarism here in sick sad Trumpworld.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Teaching Today

Labor Day gloriously nixed my long teaching day yesterday, today's grad seminar is a companion (illustration, contextualization, elaboration) to the general maps of the conceptual terrain I offered up in my introductory lecture last week: we'll be discussing Jenny Anderson's, "The Great Future Debate and the Struggle for the World" on Cold War futurological think-tankification; Lee Vinsel's amusing polemic, "Design Thinking Is Sort of Like Syphilis: It's Contagious And Rots Your Brain" on a generation of unnovative think-leadership and white upward failure in the Valley of the Silly Con, then Wendy Hui Kyong Chun's wonderful useful and clarifying, "Race And/As Technology," which in turn takes up Martin Heidegger's, "The Question Concerning Technology" (which I'll be connecting to Arendt, natch) and then William Gibson's first published story (and a manifesto of sorts), "The Gernsback Continuum" on retro-futurity and present-as-future sfnal dystopia with a chrome sharkfin. I have an order in mind (I just offered it, as it happens) and a set of pet concerns to emphasize, but who knows what the community of the classroom will fixate on or be provoked by or fall in love with? Should be an interesting seminar.

Today's Random Wilde

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Coming Crisis Blogging...

It's close to conventional wisdom by now. Here is Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post:
Trump has been able to get away with the political equivalent of murder largely because the Republican-led Congress protects him, refusing to do its constitutional duty. It won’t call him on his many lies; it won’t investigate his financial conflicts of interest; it won’t hold his Cabinet members accountable; and with the exception thus far of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it won’t even seriously investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. House committees led by Democrats would do all of these things and more. The most immediate threat to Trump from the election is not impeachment, though we may eventually reach that point. Rather, it is the prospect of genuine oversight and serious investigation. Scrutiny is Trump’s kryptonite. The other thing Trump fears, of course, is the Robert S. Mueller III investigation writ large. The probe by the special counsel has now metastasized to involve the Southern District of New York, the New York state attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney. Trump’s former campaign chairman was convicted on eight felony counts, and his former personal lawyer pleaded guilty to eight felonies — on the same day. Trump’s longtime accountant and a tabloid publisher who kept Trump’s secrets locked in a safe are talking to prosecutors under grants of immunity. Nothing in Trump’s history suggests he is going to sit back and let this process unfold — and perhaps destroy him. Everyone should assume this will get ugly. [Emphasis mine.--d] Trump desperately wants an attorney general who will shut Mueller down. The incumbent, Jeff Sessions, cannot do so because he is recused from the matter. Republican senators who once warned Trump not to dare fire Sessions now seem resigned to the fact that Trump will do just that. It makes sense for Trump to make his move after the election. [Don't count on it, then.--d] If Republicans still control Congress, he’ll get away with it. If Democrats take charge, he won’t. If anyone asks you what’s at stake in November, tell them democracy and justice.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Labor Day Adjunct Organizing Read

via In These Times: These Faculty Organizing Victories Show Labor Doesn’t Need the Courts On Its Side

Today's Random Wilde

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, August 31, 2018

More On The Coming Crisis...

Greg Sargent:
At his rally on Thursday night in Indiana, President Trump unleashed his usual attacks on the news media, but he also added a refrain that should set off loud, clanging alarm bells. Trump didn’t simply castigate “fake news.” He also suggested the media is allied with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe -- an alliance, he claimed, that is conspiring not just against Trump but also against his supporters. “Today’s Democrat Party is held hostage by left-wing haters, angry mobs, deep-state radicals, establishment cronies and their fake-news allies,” Trump railed. “Our biggest obstacle and their greatest ally actually is the media.” Robert D. Chain, who was arrested this week for allegedly threatening to murder journalists at the Boston Globe while mimicking Trump’s language, also connected Mueller’s investigation to the media. “You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every f–––ing one of you,” Chain snarled into one employee’s voicemail, according to FBI documents. “Why don’t you call Mueller, maybe he can help you out.” Trump surely knew about this arrest when he repeated his attacks on the news media Thursday night -- and when he connected the media to the Mueller investigation as part of a grand conspiracy against him and his voters. Periodically in this country, whenever there is violence with a political cast, or whenever political rhetoric strays into something more menacing than usual, we hold debates about the tone of our politics and their capacity for incitement... [M]ost of our elected leaders on both sides have used their prominence to calm passions in hopes of averting future horrors. This time, something different is happening. At this point, there is no longer any denying that Trump continues to direct incendiary attacks against working members of the free press even though his own language is being cited by clearly unhinged people making horrifying death threats against them... Previous presidents have tangled with the press, most notably Richard Nixon, who sicced his vice president on the TV networks. But... even these presidents maintained a grudging acceptance of the news media as an adversarial mechanism of accountability that legitimately informs the public debate and thus retains a vital institutional role in our democracy. Trump simply does not accept this at all. He is trying to destroy this foundational set of ideas in the minds of his supporters. And it seems to be working... The big political question of the moment is how far Trump will go in undermining our institutions and the rule of law as the walls of accountability close in around him.

Today's Random Wilde

Wherever there is a man who exercises authority, there is a man [sic] who resists authority.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Day "Off"

...spent corresponding with colleagues on administrative issues, union organizing, fiddling with enrollment lists, adjusting syllabi with new information from sign-up sheets for presentations and discussion co-facilitations, printing texts for next week's lecture. A whole day given over to administrivia... if Eric and I hadn't taken a break in the afternoon for exercise and yoga I'd have felt the day was mostly a wash, yet I spent the whole day working. Those who envy a teacher's extensive "free time" should see what we do in between lectures!

The Always Almost Inevitable Constitutional Crisis Is Arriving...

I remember saying well over a year ago that one of the things making intelligent people feel quite insane is trying to hold in your head at the same time the sense that it is at once impossible to imagine a President being and doing what Trump is and does not getting impeached for it as well as impossible to imagine President Trump actually getting impeached for any of it. This is more or less just a version of what the whole election campaign running up to this horror show always already felt like. The rolling approach to a Constitutional crisis over Trump's lawlessness (I'm not even referring to the moral and legal crises represented by Trump's ongoing war against queer folks and brown folks, or his international catastrophes in North Korea, Iran, the Paris Agreement, among so many others) has always had the fraught drumbeat of inevitability about it... Each day after day we brace for the worst as the drip drip drip of firings and indictments tit for tat between the Administration and Mueller and the rest. Josh Marshall warns -- there are of course lots of comparable warnings coming from various quarters these days, this one is at once nicely concise and representative -- that the peril is pitching upward, that various dangerous end-games are being jockeyed for, that it is clear that Trump will gladly take down the country to preserve his skin (as if anyone ever doubted it) and that the hollowed out remains of the GOP, with almost nothing left now but stupid grifters and cynical opportunists and ugly bigots and scarcely-stealthed fascists, are gladly enabling his demolitions:
... We’re heading toward a genuine constitutional crisis with the President. “Constitutional crisis” is sort of a meaningless word. But let me try to give it more specific meaning: a threat to the rule of law and adherence to the constitution which the constitution itself does not provide a ready to solution to, not under present political circumstances. The President is getting rid of staunch right-wing ideologues because they will not allow him – whatever their other faults -– to prevent the rule of law to applying to him and his family. To use a analogy, they’ll help him with his misdemeanors but so far at least not with his felonies. That’s what the laying the groundwork to fire Jeff Sessions is about. That’s what the firing of Don McGahn is about. When your boss announces you are leaving and you didn’t know you were leaving, that’s called being fired. Even the inability to state this obvious fact is a symptom of a larger problem: since there’s no apparent solution to the President’s push to make himself invulnerable to the law, we prefer not to say what is happening. We don’t know the precise order of events. But the President is apparently intent on pardoning Paul Manafort –- something that even by Trumpian standards has no real justification other than obstructing justice –- and either ending Robert Mueller’s investigation or putting it under the control of a loyalist who will defang it. This is happening before our eyes. There’s as yet no apparent path by which any of this will be prevented. The one partial path, which is political in nature as it should be, is if the House of Representatives moves to Democratic control in January... Trump appears to know he cannot let the Special Counsel’s investigation continue, not in its present form, not without risking his presidency, his wealth and perhaps his freedom. For now, there’s no reason to think anyone will stop him. Republicans are becoming more accommodating rather than less in helping him to do so. The check will be a Democratic congress which can not only investigate but conduct a largely public investigation.

Today's Random Wilde

I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

I delight in talking politics. I talk them all day long. But I can't bear listening to them.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

The growing influence of women is the one reassuring thing in our political life.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Monday, August 27, 2018

Long Teaching Day

Mondays are my longest teaching day this term, lecturing in two undergraduate courses back to back from one to seven. Seem terribly daunting and exhausting and raw with exposure -- fifteen years ago I did this all the time, but it's hard to pour out all that sharpness and focus and enthusiasm into such a long and sustained performance nowadays in my fifties. How am I still supposed to be doing this ten years from now? Here's hoping I've got enthusiastic students to engage with to keep things interesting and lively. On the one hand, opening lectures seem comparatively low-pressure, just a matter of going over the syllabus and course policies and introducing ourselves, but these opening moves and impressions set quite a tone, and I always tend to downplay just how many initial frames and formulations get trotted out in these first lectures, often in the form of comparatively off the cuff and informal statements...

Today's Random Wilde

Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sunday Walk

Cold and gray this morning, air quality a bit poor from the wildfires in the surrounding areas. Eric and I went to our greasy spoon for lunch and then for a short stroll around the neighborhood, but I'm on pins and needles as Fall term begins tomorrow and I have two courses back to back, teaching from one to seven from afternoon through evening. Mondays are going to be long (and my Tuesdays are given over to my third course, a graduate seminar on design discourse), by the end of term I expect it will be dark as midnight coming home evenings after nine first from MUNI then from BART. We'll see what this term has in store. No doubt I'll settle into a new groove soon enough. For now, I feel scarcely recovered from summer intensives at Berkeley and would like another week to clear my head. But here we go!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

The only way to atone for being occasionally a little over-dressed is by being always absolutely over-educated.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Friday, August 24, 2018

Older

Fifty-three years old today, somehow... How keenly I still remember, throughout my twenties, not expecting to live to see thirty in the shocking early years of the AIDS pandemic and the height of my activism, then feeling much the same thing about living to see forty after moving to San Francisco from Atlanta to go to grad school and study with my heroes. The last few years have been quite a personal and professional struggle, with serious scary health crises and an ugly protracted union fight and the whole Trumpmerican catastrophe to contend with on top of my usual insomnia, introversion, pervasive anxiety, and relentless self-recrimination... And yet here I am at fifty-three, fitter than I was a decade ago, knock on wood, and somehow this fraught itinerant adjunct teaching life has provided an ongoing living and passion, whatever its exactions and precarity. Hell, this year I paid off my student loan debt and got a three-year contract at one of my schools for the first time! Amazing. To have found and maintained love, friendship, conviction, and vocation in the face of the relentless cruelty and selfishness and stupidity of the world is something to celebrate. To my friends, here and elsewhere, I love you and thank you all for making life better...

Today's Random Wilde

I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Last Prep

Looks like I've got about sixty students this upcoming term, in three courses, an undergraduate survey and two seminars, one undergraduate and one graduate. Spent the day finalizing and printing up syllabi, starting to sketch notes for introductory lectures, reading material from the MA student theses I'm directing (two so far). Usually Fall feels like a bit of a relief, a return to a more normal pace after the sustained frenzy of summer intensives, but it feels as though the load and pace this academic year may match the intensity of summer teaching, at any rate this Fall. Well, it's better to be busy than not, I suppose. 

Today's Random Wilde

Sooner or later we have all to pay for what we do.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

All sins, except a sin against itself, Love should forgive. All lives, save loveless lives, true Love should pardon.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

But Her Emails...

Never gets old, never gets funny. Even on the day when, within minutes of one another, a Federal jury finds Paul Manafort guilty on eight counts while Michael Cohen pleads guilty to his own eight counts, directly implicating Trump in campaign finance violations. It's gonna be a hot time at Trump's Nazi/GOP rally tonight in West Virginia, I fear. Have your barf bags handy.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Today's Random Wilde

Friendship is far more tragic than love. It lasts longer.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sunday Walk

Late summer the Morcome Amphitheatre of Roses gets a second wind, and the beds bloom with fragrant vibrant roses second only to the miraculous frenzies of early spring -- today more than twenty folks, mostly older couples, but a pretty diverse lot all told, shared the sunlight space with us this afternoon. That's rare, usually the Rose Garden feels like it's ours alone, Eric and I settle on some private perch here or there near the fan of back garden beds, or near the long waterfall, or past the potted colonnade, or near the redwood glade, and feel we have the place more or less to ourselves. Today, the fountains conversed with the bell-like laughter of kids. A lovely afternoon. It's vacation time for me, my syllabi pruned and polished for fall (I posted them to the blog already this week for those who are interested), my grades for the summer all in, various events and orientations and meetings already gathering steam for the new term. This time next week I'll be a-flutter with stage fright on the verge of two opening lectures, but for now I can breathe easy... We have had our long walk and brunch at our favorite cafe on Piedmont Avenue. I plan to play with the cat, put a jigsaw puzzle together, read Mary Beard on the Roman Triumph, then get high tonight with Eric and Dr. Who. Perfectly lovely.  

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Previews of Coming Attractions: Syllabus for My Graduate Seminar "Designs On Us" at SFAI This Fall

Designs On Us: The Politics and Anti-Politics of Design

Course Blog: http://designsonus.blogspot.com/
Dale Carrico: dcarrico@sfai.edu; ndaleca@gmail.com

Attendance/Participation, 15%; Reading Notebook, 10%; Presentation, 15%; Symposium Presentation, 10%; Final Paper, 50%

We find ourselves in a world we make, and find that we are made and unmade in the making of it. What are we to make of the abiding artifice that is "the political"? What are we doing when we are doing design and what do we do when we discern that design has designs on us? In this seminar we will think design as a site through which politics are done, but typically done by way of the gesture of a circumvention of the political. At the heart of this disavowed doing of politics we will contend with a perverse conjuration of "the future." The good life is a life with a future, and it is to the future that design devotes its anti-politics at the expense of the open futurity in the political present. Design as a site of "designation" is a gesture of naming as mastery, of reduction as revelation, of problems as provocations to instrumental technique and not stakeholder struggle, an aesthetic with its own paradoxical temporality, publicity, linearity, knowledge. Design as a site of the "designer label" is an indulgence in fetishism, of the commodity-form, an auratic posture, the psychic compensation of lack and its threat. To elaborate and pressure these propositions, we will spend quite a bit of time in the critique of three design discourses in particular: (one) "Green" design which would accomplish sustainability without history, (two) social software design which would accomplish democracy without participation, and (three) eugenic design which would accomplish life-enhancement without lifeway diversity. In your individual presentations I hope we will ramify our attentions to other design sites: comparative constitutions, fashion design, food styling, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape design, "life coaching," and more.

Week One | August 28 -- Introductions

Week Two | September 4 -- Warnings, Maps, Keys

Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology
Jenny Anderson, The Great Future Debate and the Struggle for the World
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Race And/As Technology
Lee Vinsel, Design Thinking Is Sort of Like Syphilis: It's Contagious And Rots Your Brain
William Gibson, The Gernsback Continuum

Week Three | September 11 -- Biomimicy, Permaculture and Viridian Design

Bill McKibben, Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
Janine Benyus, A Biomimicry Primer
Cradle to Cradle Design Principles
The Land Institute Vision and Mission and Our Work
David Holmgren, Permaculture Design Principles
Bruce Sterling, Manifesto of January 3, 2000
Viridian Design Principles
Bruce Sterling, Last Viridian Note

Week Four | September 18 -- Green Urbanity and City Planning

Robert Bullard, Poverty, Pollution, and Environmental Racism
Laura Pulido, Flint, Environmental Racism and Racial Capitalism
Anthony Palette, Jane Jacobs Vs. Robert Moses
Mike Davis, Slum Ecology
Mike Davis, Sinister Paradise: Does the Road to the Future End at Dubai?
Stewart Brand, How Slums Can Save the Planet
Deland Chan, What Counts As Real City Planning?
Annalee Newitz and Emily Stamm, 10 Failed Utopian Cities That Influenced the Future 

Week Five | September 25 -- Geoengineering and Techno-Utopian Capitalism

Paul Hawken, Natural Capitalism
Michael Albert, Natural Capitalism?
Marguerite Holloway: New York Squared: The Man Who Mapped Manhatten
Hannah Arendt, The Conquest of Space and the Stature of Man
Time Magazine on Geoengineering
Scientific American, Has the Time Come to Try Geoengineering?
Naomi Klein, Geo-Engineering: Testing the Waters
General Motors, Futurama, 1939: New York World's Fair "To New Horizons"

Week Six | October 2 -- Internet Histories: p2p as Democracy, e2e as Liberty

John Maynard Keynes, from "Europe Before the War" (a snippet will be posted on our blog)
Tom Standage on his book The Victorian Internet
Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas, Chapter Three: Commons on the Wires
Yochai Benkler, Wealth of Networks, Chapter 12: Conclusion
Malkia A. Cyril, The Antidote to Authoritarianism
Saskia Sassen, Interactions of the Technical and the Social: Digital Formations of the Powerful and the Powerless  
Ian Bogost, Net Neutrality Was Never Enough
Emily Drabinski, Ideologies of Boring Things: The Internet and Infrastructures of Race
Zeynap Tufekci, How Social Media Took Us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump

Week Seven | October 9 -- Cyberlibertarianism

Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, California Ideology
Paulina Borsook, Cyberselfish
John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace
Eric Hughes, A Cypherpunk's Manifesto
Tim May, The Cryptoanarchist Manifesto
Shannon Mattern, Databodies in Codespace
David Golumbia, Zealots of the Blockchain
Katherine Hayles, Liberal Subjectivity Imperiled: Norbert Weiner and Cybernetic Anxiety
Bruce Sterling, Maneki Neko

Week Eight | October 16 -- Privacy/Publicity; Or, Privation/Publication

David Golumbia and Chris Gilliard, There Are No Guardrails on Our Privacy Dystopia
Flavia Dzoden, When White Fears Become Big Data
Digby (Heather Parton) The Netroots Revolution
Dan Gillmour, We The Media, Chapter One: From Tom Paine to Blogs and Beyond
Clay Shirky, Blogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing
Aaron Bady, Julian Assange and the Conspiracy to "Destroy the Invisible Government"
David Brin, Three Cheers for the Surveillance Society!
Tressie McMillan Cottom, The Real Threat to Campuses Isn't "PC Culture," It's Racism
Madeline Ashby, Domestic Violence

Week Nine | October 23 -- Revolution, Acceleration, Singularity, Seduction

Jaron Lanier, One Half of a Manifesto
Jason Sadowski, Potemkin AI
Jedediah Purdy, God of the Digirati
Vernor Vinge, Technological Singularity
Nathan Pensky, Ray Kurzweil Is Wrong: The Singularity Is Not Near
Michel Bauwens, The Political Economy of Peer Production
Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek, #ACCELERATE Manifesto
Yuk Hui, On the Unhappy Consciousness of Neoreactionaries
Marc Steigler, The Gentle Seduction

Week Ten | October 30 --  Regulation, Reform, Regret

Frank Pasquale, from The Black Box Society
K. Sabeel Rahman, The New Octopus
Trebor Scholz, Platform Cooperativism
Karen Gregory, From Sharing to Cooperation: Lessons from Mondragon
Audrey Watters, The Regrets Industry
L.M. Sacasas, The Tech Backlash We Really Need
Evgeny Morozov, The Perils of Perfectionism
Justin Reynolds, Designing the Future
Hal Foster, Design and Crime

Week Eleven | November 6 -- Posthumanisms and Neoliberal Eugenics

Peter Cohen, dir., Homo Sapiens 1900
C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
Critical Art Ensemble, Eugenics: The Second Wave
Slavoj Zizek, Bring Me My Philips Mental Jacket
Eskow, RJ Homo Futurus: How Radically Should We Remake Ourselves -- Or Our Children?
Amy Goodman Interview with Harriet A. Washington, author of Medical Apartheid
Maggie Fox, Drug Giant Glaxo Teams Up With DNA Testing Company 23andMe
Jasbir K. Puar, The Right to Maim: Disablement and Inhumanist Biopolitics in Palestine 
Octavia Butler, The Evening, the Morning, and the Night (handout)

Week Twelve | November 13 -- screening, dir. Pedro Almodovar, All About My Mother
Donna Haraway, Manifesto for Cyborgs

Week Thirteen | November 21 -- screening, dir., Hiroyuki Kitakubo, by Katsuhiro Otomo, Roujin Z
Alison Kafer, Imagined Futures from Feminist, Queer, Crip

Week Fourteen | November 28 -- Symposium I

Week Fifteen | December 5 -- Symposium II  Hand in final papers and notebooks.