amor mundi

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Free

"Downloud our app for free" is no more giving you something for free than "come visit our store for free" is giving you something for free.

Useful

Monday, June 19, 2017

Digi Demos This Summer at Berkeley

Summer 2017 
Rhet 166: DIGITAL DEMOCRATIZATION & ANTIDEMOCRATIZATION UNDER THE LAW

Instructor: Dale Carrico: dcarrico@sfai.edu, ndaleca@gmail.com

Course Blog: https://digidemosunderlaw.blogspot.com/2017/06/our-syllabus.html
Meetings: July 3-August 11, 2017, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 2-4.30pm, 140 Barrows Hall
 
Rough Basis for Final Grade, subject to contingencies -- Participation/Attendance, 15%; Reading Notebook, 15%; Toulmin/Precis, 2-3pp., 15%; Presentation, 15%; Final Paper, 6-8pp. 40%. 
                Course Description
How did the promise of peer-to-peer participatory democracy devolve into twitter harassment, doxxing, toxic comment sections, and zero comments? Is techno-progressive "disruption" merely reactionary deregulation, venture capitalist "innovation" merely marketing hyperbole, futurological "acceleration" merely social precarization, tech's vaunted "sharing economy" merely a digital sharecropping society, its "openness" vacuity, its "participation" another form of television? How did early legal and political squabbles over privacy and property online set the stage for our current distress? How might the "end-to-end principle" defining internet architecture across its many layers comport with the ideologically reactionary figure of "negative liberty" playing out in generations of anarchic, spontaneist, populist online activism? What are the politics of a digitality figured as an immaterial spirit realm, when digital networks abet financial fraud and military surveillance via an "internet" powered by coal smoke, accessed on toxic landfill-destined devices manufactured by wage slaves in overexploited regions of the real world? Setting aside the logical possibility and engineering plausibility of "artificial intelligence" does AI as a rhetorical trope in legal and cultural discourse facilitate and rationalize unaccountable algorithmic mediation and muddy our thinking about "autonomous" weapons systems? How does social media facilitate the transformation of factual disputes over climate change, harm reduction, and the macroeconomics of public investment into polarizing culture wars? Are there appropriate and appropriable techniques at hand through which democratizations might resist these degradations? Might "The Future" still be more evenly distributed? Can we still count on the street finding its own uses for things?

                Week One                                                                                                            

Tuesday, July 4 Holiday

Wednesday, July 5 Introductions

Thursday, July 6 

                Week Two            

Tuesday, July 11 
-- John Maynard Keynes, from "Europe Before the War"
-- Tom Standage, on his book The Victorian Internet
-- Lawrence Lessig, from Code, Chapter 1, "Code Is Law," pp. 1-8; and Chapter 7, "What Things Regulate" pp. 120-137.
-- Lawrence Lessig, from The Future of Ideas, Freedom on the Wires, Chapters 2-3, Building Blocks and Commons on the Wires, pp. 19-48.
-- John Oliver, Net Neutrality Explainer
-- Malkia A. Cyril, The Antidote to Authoritarianism

Wednesday, July 12
-- Paulina Borsook, Cyberselfish
-- Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, The Californian Ideology
-- Landon Winner, The Cult of Innovation

Thursday, July 13
-- Jessica Littman, Sharing and Stealing

                Week Three         

Tuesday, July 18
-- Eric Hughes, A Cypherpunk's Manifesto
-- Bruce Sterling, Maneki Neko
-- David Golumbia, Bitcoin Will Eat Itself
-- David Golumbia, Bitcoinsanity, Part I and Part II

Wednesday, July 19
-- Evgeny Morozov, The Perils of Perfectionism
-- Yochai Benkler, from The Wealth of Networks, Conclusion

Thursday, July 20 (Precis/Toulmin due following Tuesday)
-- Noah Berlatsky Interviews DeRay Mckesson, Hashtag Activism Isn't A Cop-Out

                Week Four

Tuesday, July 25
-- Evgeny Morozov, The Net Delusion

Wednesday, July 26
-- Alice Marwick and Rebecca Lewis, Media Manipulation andDisinformation Online
-- Zeynap Tufekci, Mark Zuckerberg Is In Denial
-- Sam Levin, Pay to Sway

Thursday, July 27
-- Jeremy Crampton and Andrea Miller, Introduction to Algorithmic Governance

                Week Five

Tuesday, August 1 Screen film, Colossus: The Forbin Project

Wednesday, August 2
-- Vernor Vinge, Technological Singularity
-- Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek #ACCELERATE Manifesto

Thursday, August 3 Final Paper Workshop

                Week Six
Tuesday, August 8 Poetry Reading/Individual Meetings

Wednesday, August 9
-- Jarett Kobek, I Hate the Internet (novel to purchase): We Heard You Like Books (2016). 
ISBN-10: 0996421807 ISBN-13: 978-0996421805/Individual Meetings

Thursday, August 10 Concluding Remarks (Hand in Final Paper, 6-8pp.)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Queer Resistances and Abolition Democracy

"[T]he point is to call for an equally livable life that is also enacted by those who make the call, and that requires the egalitarian distribution of public goods. The opposite of precarity is not security, but, rather, the struggle for an egalitarian social and political order in which a livable interdependency becomes possible -- it would be at once the condition of our self-governing as a democracy, and its sustained form would be one of the obligatory aims of that very governance." -- Judith Butler

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

If I'm Not Mistaken, We've Made It About One Tenth of the Way Through This Thing

Assuming he doesn't get impeached because there still won't be enough Democrats or others of sufficient integrity in Congress to impeach him even after the midterms. Assuming he doesn't get re-elected. Assuming there is a real election for him to lose in 2020.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Trump Disapproval Hits New High of 60% in Gallup Daily Tracking Poll

This would matter for any other administration in history. Will it matter this time? If it doesn't, will it ever matter again? (That it didn't matter for the last real test, the general election, is not encouraging.)


Monday, June 12, 2017

The F.A.B. One Was On To Something?

BBC Science & Environment News:
Great Britain is in the top 10% of areas for harbouring alien species, according to a study. Animals that have moved in from afar include the grey squirrel, rose-ringed parakeet and the noble false widow spider. The UK also has more established alien plants than elsewhere in Europe, such as Himalayan balsam. Scientists say islands and mainland coastal regions are global "hotspots" for alien species.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

As Goes Kansas...


-- Lawmakers rolled back Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature tax policy over his objections Tuesday night, forcing into law tax increases to fix a budget shortfall and provide more money for schools. The legislation ends the "march to zero" income tax cuts that Brownback heralded for much of his time as governor...  The Senate and House voted 27-13 and 88-31, respectively, to override Brownback’s veto. The action took place on the 109th day of the legislative session and paves the way for lawmakers to wrap up their work quickly, potentially this week. The override represents a blow to the legacy of one of the most unpopular governors in America, amid speculation that he may not serve out his remaining time in office but instead take a federal position.
Republican deregulatory disruption destroys everything it touches, and another noble experiment in Republican deception and plunder like Iraq Year Zero now ends with the state of Kansas brought low. The cherry on top of this shit sundae is of course the inevitable genuflection to Brownback's hopes for a golden parachute, enabling his upward failure from the Kansas catastrophe to a perch in the Trump Administration where he can bring his brand of destruction and misery to millions and millions more everyday working citizens.  

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Rebel Alliance Continues To Grow

On June 5, Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia would join the Climate Alliance as did Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Governor John Carney of Delaware and Governor Ricky Rosello of Puerto Rico. As of today, June 7, 2017, Alliance member states make up 31.4% of the U.S. population and 36.3% of U.S. GDP as of 2016.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

That Is To Say, Most Of It

It is amazing to grasp just how much tech innovation finally amounts to deliberate futurological enervation of criticism and citizen action.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Real America Backs Paris

The governors of Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont have joined the initial three states, California, New York, and Washington, as part of the Climate Alliance upholding the Paris Agreement from which the evil idiot Trump and his killer clowns have momentarily withdrawn us to the disgust and horror of the world. More than a quarter of the population of the country and over a third of the GNP of the country are represented by The Climate Alliance, even more so once the statements of Americas mayor's are taken into account. First formed just a few days ago, a dozen more states are thought to be considering joining the Alliance.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Getting Past The Trumpian Impasse

You know, ten or fifteen years ago Atrios used to say on his blog all the time that the best way to understand Republicans was just to assume that they do whatever they think will piss off liberals. That has always seemed too true, but we may have arrived at the time when that is literally all that remains to hold one of the two national parties together even as it devotes itself to taking the nation apart. I am not a psychologist, and I do not like celebrity profiles of politicians. I have given up trying to figure out what drives Donald Trump. The only thing that seems to logically connect his many initiatives is Trump's hostility to his immediate predecessor. I mean, I do see quite a bit a self-serving corruption and impropriety and deception and ignorance and indecency that reflect Trump's whole life up to this point, and which obviously did and should have disqualified him from the presidency. Like Gingrich, Trump is hard to distinguish from most other d-list conservative hate-media liars grifting for cash on the lecture circuit like their cousin conservative televangelists.... I mean, little to distinguish him apart from the pointless and portentous accident that he is the lying d-list conservative hate-media grifter who happened to be catapulted at this supremely dysfunctional conjuncture into the most dangerous position in the world. The Republican Party has been a shambles as a governing party for years and years by now. But I don't think there has been a Republican governing philosophy for many, many years now. (Anti-governmentality doesn't exactly lend itself to coherence in governing philosophies anyway.) Trump has no principles we can appeal to, the Trump base just wants to poke liberals to watch them scream, the Republican party no longer has a electorally-viable coalition apart from the Trump base -- there is very little sense of an availability for shared assumptions, contexts, values, hopes, norms to which the reasonable might make recourse to move us from where we are. I teach students how to think critically, how to argue more effectively, how to articulate complex problems, how to historically situate political struggles... at a time when it feels as though these skills are failing their address, stuck in stasis, demoralized. Radical and provocative visions of sustainability, equity, diversity, consent, flourishing are not to be found in the idiotic minute by minute fray of Trumpian follies -- but on the streets, in the classrooms, in the studios, in the conversations that look past the Trumpian impasse to a futurity with civil rights for all, accountable representation in government and policing, a living wage for all, unemployment disability and retirement security for all, lifelong education and training for all, healthcare for all, securing the scene informed nonduressed consent to the terms of everyday commerce, and paid for by progressive taxation and tolls re-internalizing the costs and risks of unsustainable enterprise.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Proud To Be A Californian

Link
OLYMPIA - In response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee today announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.

“I am proud to stand with other governors as we make sure that the inaction in D.C. is met by an equal force of action from the states," said Inslee. "Today’s announcement by the president leaves the full responsibility of climate action on states and cities throughout our nation. While the president’s actions are a shameful rebuke to the work needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, states have been and will continue to step up.”

“The White House’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has devastating repercussions not only for the United States, but for our planet. This administration is abdicating its leadership and taking a backseat to other countries in the global fight against climate change,” said Governor Cuomo. “New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions. We will not ignore the science and reality of climate change which is why I am also signing an Executive Order confirming New York’s leadership role in protecting our citizens, our environment, and our planet.”

New York, California and Washington, representing over one-fifth of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, are committed to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan.

“The President has already said climate change is a hoax, which is the exact opposite of virtually all scientific and worldwide opinion,” said Governor Brown. “I don't believe fighting reality is a good strategy - not for America, not for anybody. If the President is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up.”

Together, New York, California and Washington represent approximately 68 million people – nearly one-in-five Americans – and the states account for at least 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Washington will continue to work closely together with other states  to help fill the void left by the federal government.

With input from all participants, the U.S. Climate Alliance will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy.