Friend: "Why are you wearing that mask around the house?"— chris g (@hypervisible) March 31, 2018
Me: "I don't want my fridge to tell Amazon, my employer, and my insurance company (which are all the same at that point) that I'm stress-eating right now because I have a deadline." 😬😬😬
Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Saturday, March 31, 2018
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Politics here are as usual beyond horror... but it is clear that the coming generations are primed for multicultural social democracy, the GOP is clinging to power by their fingernails, their criminality is a measure of their desperation, they feel the world that is coming will repudiate the lies against which we have struggled all our lives. They can do untold damage before they are through, of course, and are doing their worst all around us, but I am beginning to think once more that we will prevail... Our generation, generation X and X-ish, was a considerably smaller population cohort than the Boomers behind us or the Millennials after us and I now believe that quite a lot of our trouble is that we simply didn't have the numbers to defend ourselves against the worst selfish impulses of our human, all too human (and, not to put too fine a point on it, racist cis greedhead as hell), parents... but in rebuilding a world that works for the majority of the young people coming after us I suspect they will also join their numbers to our long ineffectual efforts to save ourselves... they will save and expand social security, expand medicare into single payer, and employ everybody building a sustainable agriculture and communication and energy infrastructure in the context of a less racist, less sexist, less toxic society...It's taken a couple of years, but after my hospitalization, the Trump election, a union battle, the loss of Sarah, and a struggle with chronic insomnia it would appear that my inner Mouseketeer is beginning to re-assert herself...
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
"In my defense, I never believed e2e equals liberty. I do believe e2e to be a necessary-but-not-sufficient condition for freedom. Does that make me a bad person? BTW e2e entered my vocabulary via you.
"In my defense, I never believed the Internet was edenic at any stage of its development. I have in fact been cognizant from the start of the fact that it has its origins in the military industrial complex. Nevertheless, I prefer the way online culture worked circa 1991 to the way it worked circa 1995 to the way it worked circa 2006 to the way it works today. Does that make me a bad person?
"It seems there a lot of things today that can make one a bad person.
"I'm currently struggling hard with the hacker or gift economy ethos of my (and I assume your) generation vs. the FYPM ethos emerging today. I fully understand that doing open source development without pay comes from a place of privilege, but I'm having a hard time training myself not to think of DRM as a bug."
"The primary force of my point is rhetorical -- It is the libertarian rationalization of deregulatory disruption and elite-incumbent (indicatively privileged young straight white male) upward-failure via "disruption" "innovation" "decentralization" faux-"democratization" etc. enabled by the e2e/negative liberty identification that I disapprove.
"I think one can grasp this point without becoming a booster for DRM in any particular construal, especially versions presently advocated by this or that industry over another. I'm all for p2p-gift economy participatory democracy utopianism (fully automated luxury gay space communism, y'all!) -- but I have never thought digi-spiritualist or corporate futurological discourses inevitably freighted with either left or right anarcho-vacuities were the route to deliver such an outcome. Probably neither did you -- in which case there is no need for you to feel defensive or targeted by the original comment in the first place.
"I think a universal employment guarantee at a living wage, with universal free healthcare, lifelong education, secure housing, reliable information, and equitable recourse to accountable law, franchise and civil rights in the context of prison abolition, community policing, and sustainable food, energy, and transportation systems is the way to that outcome.
"I once hoped online education, agitation, organization would facilitate that outcome, and maybe it has done -- even granting the misinformation, false advertising, conspiracy propagation, bad manners, harassment, hate-organizing, surveillance, financial fraud, wealth concentration, and reactionary deregulation facilitated online as well.
"As I've gotten older I have come to question the usefulness or correctness of identifying the critique of apparently bad ideas with the assertion that those who hold them are "bad people," especially given how many bad ideas I have held over the wayward course of my own explorations."
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
While every prior technological revolution created jobs to replace those that were phased out, the digital upheaval is only leaving more excess labor. The four tech giants which effectively control the American economy – Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon – employ relatively few people. Once thriving industries, from music to media to retail, are verging toward a form of extinction – existing, but only as spectral after-images of what they once were. When politicians typically nod toward this dire status quo, they talk nebulously about “retraining” workers for the jobs of the future, even if there really won’t be many jobs. There’s the hope that if only we teach enough kids to code, we will have a thriving economy on par with America’s golden years after the second world war. This, of course, is a fallacy...
[Here is a] proposal that animated Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and last saw life in the 1970s... The idea is simple. The government guarantees a job with livable wages and benefits to anyone who wants one. A national infrastructure bank could set a much-needed floor on wages and benefits. Imagine a Marshall plan for America. Spending to put people to work instead of sending them off to war...
[O]ne muscular vision: a bank to fund vital infrastructure projects and pay at least a national annual minimum wage of $24,600, with health benefits and opportunities to advance. This would go far beyond the universal basic income idea circulating in progressive and tech circles now. [Emphasis added: for my critique of libertechian Basic Income proposals see this piece.]
A jobs guarantee would likely boost wages in the private sector, where consolidation has killed competition and monopolies dominate the landscape. Competing with the government, the private sector would feel pressure to increase pay and benefits. In struggling cities and hollowed out towns, politicians hunt for answers. Local governments can only do so much. A robust federal jobs program would offer hope for the millions who want to work but can’t because the factory or the shopping mall or the local hardware store shuttered long ago. Working class and poorer people would have the dignity of a job, a place to go, people to see. A rising wage floor would mean the end of working poverty – people who have jobs but still can barely afford rent and food. If Democrats actually want to build a long-lasting majority and be the party that stands on the side of the vast number of people, a jobs guarantee offers a path forward...
Monday, March 26, 2018
Zuck wasn't smart. He was just an asshole. A lazy asshole who thought he could do an end-run around everyone else with his amateur programming skills.— Mar Hicks (@histoftech) March 26, 2018
And the really sad part?
He was right.
And look where it's gotten us.— Mar Hicks (@histoftech) March 26, 2018
Remember this the next time venture capitalists & Wall St. are falling all over themselves to fund terrible people's awful ideas into existence. Facebook was *always* as shitty as it seemed--but they didn't care because it promised profit.
The through line here is that Facebook always lacked accountability--but people just didn't care enough to see it, take it seriously, & call fb to account until--instead of wrecking individual women's lives--it wrecked an entire national election (or 2 if we're counting Brexit)— Mar Hicks (@histoftech) March 26, 2018
So yeah, don't believe fb's crocodile tears. They're not going to stop doing what they're doing until the company gets *broken up*. It's long past due that that happened. Facebook is far more of a threat to our communication landscape than Ma Bell ever was.— Mar Hicks (@histoftech) March 26, 2018
1. The mis-identification of negative liberty with liberty as such coupled with the mis-identification of e2e/net-tech "neutrality" with such negative liberty.
2. The mis-identification of instrumental force with political power coupled with the mis-identification of amplified capacitation for incumbents with progress-in-general.
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Good luck to all the young people gathering and marching across the country today. If this is your first experience of activism, may it be a good one & lead to a lifelong commitment to addressing injustices.— #Prisonculture (@prisonculture) March 24, 2018
On this day in 1965, young people marched from Selma to Montgomery for the right of all citizens to vote. They marched and they triumphed. Today’s young people march for safety against guns in our streets and our classrooms. We must make sure they win again. #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/AnZjDB0Bw7— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 24, 2018
Today we march. Then we vote. pic.twitter.com/5efuibUSeI— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) March 24, 2018
Thursday, March 22, 2018
The mis-identification of e2e with liberty (via the older classical liberal/market libertarian mis-identification of negative liberty with liberty), defined the internet ethos from its inception -- there was no edenic golden age of internet freedom to which we should now return.— Dale Carrico (@dalecarrico) March 22, 2018
Yes, it is important to emphasize that facebook's "business model" is the same logic governing the algorithmic surveillance and extraction that now passes for "social media" and/or "the internet" across the board (since the very late 90s or so) and hence the fall of even so grand and terrible a bad actor as facebook -- which I far from expect to happen in any case, much though I would like it to -- will not put an end to the problem facebook so poignantly symptomizes and symbolizes in this moment. Platform monopolization, algorithmic targeting/profiling and disruptive deregulation of public goods defines this phase of corporate-militarism (er, capitalism), unfortunately for us all. Online search, publication, exchange, funding, organizing, expression platforms should be nationalized as indispensable public utilities and made absolutely accountable to the public (or at any rate the monopolies broken up by renewed antitrust, and non-profit public options made available to all). Implementing legible regimes to protect people from fraud, misinformation, and nonconsensual exploitation of personal information (consent is not clicking a button after scrolling through legal boilerplate you don't read and which you wouldn't understand if you read it anyway) will also be necessary -- which would require not only a radical re-orientation of digital media but of the whole suffusion of our public sphere with the deceptive and hyperbolic norms and forms of marketing (including the legal deceptions of consumer advertising, self-promotional branding norms, and the think-tankification of intellectual life).
That said, while I understand and sympathize with your efforts to remain anonymous and autonomous online (I stopped using facebook YEARS ago, for example) I would warn you not to imagine there are rugged individualist strategies to elude these structural problems -- facebook for one thing creates profiles of non-users as well as its users and profiles aggregated with and without our knowledge and understanding from public and private databases frame us all, however we seek to evade them (though taking security measures remains prudent as far as that goes of course), and only organized democratic resistance and governance can get us out of this stupid predictable (and predicted) mess. I think everybody should be reading Frank Pasquale, Zeynep Tufekci, David Golumbia, Chris Gilliard, Safiya Noble, and Audrey Watters, among many others (not including me) right now for guidance on these questions.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Patriotism Is the Virtue of the Vicious -- Unless and Until It Is the Participatory Work of Abolition Democracy
On this day in 1965, civil rights leaders in Alabama began their third march from Selma to Montgomery, protesting discrimination in the Jim Crow South.— ACLU (@ACLU) March 21, 2018
Today and always, dissent is patriotic. pic.twitter.com/3h8JS7GVpK
Monday, March 19, 2018
Users: Our data was stolen.— James Grimmelmann (@grimmelm) March 18, 2018
FB: It wasn’t “stolen.” An app lied about how it used your data.
Users: Same result. Does it really matter what we ca—
FB: STOP CALLING IT THEFT! IT WAS FRAUD! WE DEFRAUDED YOU! THAT’S WHAT WE DO! STOP CALLING US THIEVES! FRAUD! FRAUD! FRAUD! https://t.co/3O9uYqGq4B
Just a reminder that:— ✊🏿Black Aziz aNANsi✊🏿 (@Freeyourmindkid) March 18, 2018
- Majority black Flint, Michigan still has drinking water that will give you brain damage if consumed.
- Republicans are still trying to keep black people from voting.
- A terrorist has been targeting black families for assasination in Austin, Texas.
...and the Muslim bans ...and the wall ...and ending DACA ...and ACA sabotage ...and Charlottesville ...and Puerto Rico ...and "shithole" countries ...and the escalation of the racist war on drugs ...and on and on and on....
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Let me uncomplicate it.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) March 18, 2018
The Democratic Party is two parties: a progressive party and a conservative party.
The Republican Party is a corrupt white supremacist death cult.
In 2018 vote for the Democrat.https://t.co/jbyBgQKom6
Run progressives and conservatives in every Democratic primary.— Julius Goat 🦆 (@JuliusGoat) March 18, 2018
Vote for the winner.
Repeat until the death cult is gone.
Split into 2 or more parties.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Friday, March 16, 2018
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Stephen Hawking spent many of the last years of his life fighting to save the NHS. He knew that his own story was as much about social supports and healthcare as it was about his genius. https://t.co/Uh7B7no2g4— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) March 15, 2018
By the way, his drift late in life into futurological nonsense about AI risks and lifeboats to Mars was all terrible.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Powerful demonstration at Oakland Tech where speakers ask for silence as they list victims of gun violence nationwide, including 2014 shooting at Oikos University in Oakland. pic.twitter.com/xRmfLryTw7— Scott Morris (@OakMorr) March 14, 2018
PreRegistering to vote at Oakland Tech walkout. pic.twitter.com/ntvx7lUfPY— Michael Ubell (@mike_ubell) March 14, 2018
All that said, do remember:
No in fact they are not going to *save the world.* What a burden to put on them! They need grown folks to stop fucking up the world so there's a chance for a viable future. And they need representatives who fight harder for them than for their corporate donors. https://t.co/gsMDSgb15O— #Prisonculture (@prisonculture) March 14, 2018
Love and solidarity with all the students who walk out today — those who organize, those who protest, those who write and speak and fight for a better future— Audrey Watters (@audreywatters) March 14, 2018
53 years ago today there were solidarity marches across the country after Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. Young people led the protests, then and now pic.twitter.com/2gjYYhGABp— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) March 14, 2018
One point here: We keep forgetting this, but the GOP tax plan was also about holding on to educated white GOP-leaning suburbanites by getting them to suppress their gag reflex over Trump and vote on taxes instead.— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) March 14, 2018
Last night's results show this, too, may be failing: https://t.co/JEpVWJSip5
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Thursday, March 08, 2018
— With less than a week to go, the PA-18 special election moves from Leans Republican to Toss-up.(NB: This "good news" is not the prediction of a sure thing, it is not an excuse for complacency, it is not a guarantee against disenfranchisement schemes or digital/media manipulation shenanigans, nor is any of this a shorthand for saying Democrats, even at their best and certainly not at their worst, are love's young dream even if they are clearly preferable to Republicans in ways that matter more than pretty much anything else at a time like this.)
— In addition to that ratings change, we are making 25 other changes in the House, all in favor of Democrats.
— No Democratic incumbent is now rated worse than Likely Democratic, a nod to the reality that in a Democratic-leaning environment it will be difficult for Republicans to dislodge many or perhaps even any Democratic incumbents, though there are a handful of Democratic open seats that are more viable Republican targets.
— After these ratings changes, for the first time this cycle we have fewer than 218 seats (the number needed for a majority) at least leaning to the Republicans.
— Making his debut in our competitive House ratings is the chamber’s most powerful member, Speaker Paul Ryan (R, WI-1). While his district is competitive but clearly Republican-leaning on paper, this shift mostly reflects uncertainty surrounding his future.
Tuesday, March 06, 2018
Nixon --> Reagan --> Gingrich --> W. --> Trump --> It's Vile Criminal Bigot Idiot Con Artistry All the Way Down
Bush lied to the world and then destroyed an entire country for no reason at all. Which then destabilized the region and created ISIS. And that’s just his foreign policy. https://t.co/m2gSe5KgMp— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) March 6, 2018
Monday, March 05, 2018
Veiled threats by armed extremists against members of the media, actors, comedians and popular athletes sounds like something a far right wing party in a country requiring election monitors would do. https://t.co/RkHwzbTNWd— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 5, 2018
Sunday, March 04, 2018
Imagine the President of the United States rolling around the West Wing, disoriented, ranting, angry, carrying on and paranoid, dreaming up public policy -- it's a dangerous thing for America. Get ready for impeachment!— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) March 4, 2018
Friday, March 02, 2018
Games I'm uninterested in playing:— Shaenon K. Garrity (@shaenongarrity) March 1, 2018
1. Give Me One Example. Not That One. Or That One. Or
2. You Can't Prove It Was Us
3. Let's Rationally Debate Your Humanity
4. I'm the Victim Now That People Are Mad
5. Watch These 40-Minute Videos Where a Beard Mumbles Into a Webcam