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petej : technoutopianism   129

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Free Markets Don't Create Free People: Bitcoin's Tech Success Masks Its Failure - CoinDesk
A future where every transaction, financial or social, public or private, is irrevocably encoded in a public ledger which is utterly transparent to those in power is the very opposite of a democratic, egalitarian crypto utopia. Rather, it is the reinstatement of the divine right of kings, transposed to an elevated elite class where those with the money, whether they be state actors, central bankers, winner-takes-all libertarians or property-absolutist anarcho-capitalists, have total power over those who do not.
cryptography  encryption  communication  security  WorldWarII  PGP  government  ZimmermannPhil  Clipper  privacy  policing  distribution  money  KublaiKhan  authority  centralisation  creditCards  ChaumDavid  Cypherpunks  surveillance  control  technoUtopianism  blockchain  ledger  NakamotoSatoshi  identity  sacrifice  names  nyms  pseudonymity  Bitcoin  energy  sustainability  trust  politics  community  dctagged  dc:creator=BridleJames 
january 2019 by petej
How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump - MIT Technology Review
Rather, the problem is that when we encounter opposing views in the age and context of social media, it’s not like reading them in a newspaper while sitting alone. It’s like hearing them from the opposing team while sitting with our fellow fans in a football stadium. Online, we’re connected with our communities, and we seek approval from our like-minded peers. We bond with our team by yelling at the fans of the other one. In sociology terms, we strengthen our feeling of “in-group” belonging by increasing our distance from and tension with the “out-group”—us versus them. Our cognitive universe isn’t an echo chamber, but our social one is. This is why the various projects for fact-checking claims in the news, while valuable, don’t convince people. Belonging is stronger than facts.
socialMedia  politics  activism  communication  ArabSpring  Egypt  TahrirSquare  Tunisia  Syria  Iran  Twitter  MubarakHosni  authoritarianism  power  control  ObamaBarack  targeting  technoUtopianism  bigData  misinformation  polarisation  NSA  security  Facebook  Google  monopolies  YouTube  algorithms  attention  insults  TrumpDonald  USA  Russia  trolling  interference  corruption  accountability  filterBubble  surveillance  platforms  personalData  inequality  precarity  insecurity  dctagged  dc:creator=TufekciZeynep  recommendations 
august 2018 by petej
Coders of the world, unite: can Silicon Valley workers curb the power of Big Tech? | News | The Guardian
The name Tech Workers Coalition contains two provocations. The first is to recognise that what engineers do is work. Many aspects of life in Silicon Valley, from casual dress codes to horizontal management structures, are designed to discourage white-collar employees from seeing themselves as workers. Tech campuses offer the conveniences, and atmosphere, of a privileged childhood: cafeterias and cleaning services and gym classes; candy dispensers and dinosaur sculptures and even indoor jungle gyms. These perks encourage employees to spend more and more of their time at work, or even to erase the boundaries between life and work altogether. They also encourage people to think of themselves as potential founders or venture capitalists investing in their futures, rather than workers performing tasks in order to draw a wage.

The second idea is that white-collar professionals are not the only tech workers. According to the advocacy group Silicon Valley Rising, for every engineer who gets hired, three to four more lower-wage jobs get created. Large tech campuses separate their white-collar workers from the blue-collar workers who cook and serve their food, clean their floors and stand guard outside their doors; the latter are usually brought in by independent contractors. But they are all part of the same industry.
SiliconValley  CalifornianIdeology  technoUtopianism  privatisation  politics  misinformation  platforms  fakeNews  manipulation  regulation  TrumpDonald  DemocraticParty  TheLeft  TechLeft  work  labour  TWC  developers  programming  CeglowskiMaciej  TechSolidarity 
november 2017 by petej
Gaffes, ignorance and PR nightmares: why it's so easy to hate the tech industry | Technology | The Guardian
"Tech elites may like to think of themselves as rule-breakers, but they play by the same rules as the rest of American capitalism. The future they imagine for us is one in which markets predominate and small numbers of large corporations continue to own society’s wealth. This is ultimately what the Rebel Alliance has to offer: the same political economy as the Empire, with better UI."
SiliconValley  culture  counterculture  elites  elitism  technoUtopianism  idealism  capitalism 
september 2016 by petej
Who owns the future? How the prophets of Silicon Valley took control
"The 20th century was shaped by the communist attempt to overcome human inequality, even though this hope was never fulfilled. Our century might be shaped by the attempt to upgrade human beings and overcome death, even if this hope is a bit premature. The spirit of the age is changing. Equality is out, immortality is in.

This should concern all of us. It is dangerous to mix godlike technology with megalomaniac politics but it might be even more dangerous to blend godlike technology with myopic politics. Our politics is becoming mere administration and is giving up on the future exactly when technology gives us the power to reshape that future beyond our wildest dreams. Indeed, technology gives us the power to start reshaping even our dreams. If politicians don’t want the job of planning this future, they will merely be handing it on a platter to somebody else. In consequence, the most important decisions in the history of life might be taken by a tiny group of engineers and businesspeople, while politicians are busy arguing about immigration quotas and the euro."
SiliconValley  technology  automation  technoUtopianism  neoliberalism  work  labour  jobs  inequality  politics  economics 
june 2015 by petej
Silicon Valley likes to promise ‘digital socialism’ – but it is selling a fairy tale | Evgeny Morozov | Comment is free | The Guardian
The citizens, who are not yet fully aware of these dilemmas, might eventually realise that the actual choice we are facing today is not between the market and the state, but between politics and non-politics. It’s a choice between a system bereft of any institutional and political imagination – where some permutation of hackers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists is the default answer to every social problem – and a system, where explicitly political solutions that might question who – citizens, firms, the state – ought to own what, and on what terms, are still part of the conversation. However one chooses to call the world that Silicon Valley is helping to usher in, “digital socialism” it clearly isn’t.
SiliconValley  humanitarianism  technoUtopianism  empowerment  technology  consumption  sharing  economy  monetisation  inequality  state  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=MorozovEvgeny  sharingEconomy 
march 2015 by petej
The truth about smart cities: ‘In the end, they will destroy democracy' | Cities | The Guardian
One sceptical observer of many presentations at the Future Cities Summit, Jonathan Rez of the University of New South Wales, suggests that “a smarter way” to build cities “might be for architects and urban planners to have psychologists and ethnographers on the team.” That would certainly be one way to acquire a better understanding of what technologists call the “end user” – in this case, the citizen. After all, as one of the tribunes asks the crowd in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus: “What is the city but the people?”
cities  technology  smartCities  design  planning  surveillance  tracking  automation  bigData  openData  democracy  technoUtopianism  solutionism 
december 2014 by petej
BBC - Blogs - Adam Curtis - HAPPIDROME - Part One
"The accepted version is that the neo-liberal right and the free market triumphed. But maybe the truth is that what we have today is far closer to a system managed by a technocratic elite who have no real interest in politics - but rather in creating a system of rewards that both keeps us passive and happy - and also makes that elite a lot of money.

That in the mid 1980s the new networks of computers which allowed everyone to borrow money came together with lifestyle consumerism to create a system of social management very close to Skinner’s vision.

Just like in the mental hospital we are all given fake money in the form of credit - that we can then use to get rewards, which keep us happy and passive. Those same technologies that feed us the fake money can also be used to monitor us in extraordinary detail. And that information is then used used to nudge us gently towards the right rewards and the right behaviours - and in extremis we can be cut off from the rewards.

The only problem with that system is that the pigeons may be getting restless. That not only has the system not worked properly since the financial crash of 2008, but that the growing inequalities it creates are also becoming a bit too obvious. The elite is overdoing it and - passive or not - the masses are starting to notice."
politics  Marxism  anarchism  BookchinMurray  Ocalan  PKK  Kurds  Turkey  repression  violence  hierarchy  networks  MumfordLewis  KahnHerman  technoUtopianism  technocrats  technocracy  control  inequality  dctagged  dc:creator=CurtisAdam 
november 2014 by petej
Evgeny Morozov | Don't believe the hype, the 'sharing economy' masks a failing economy | Comment is free | The Observer
"Given vast youth unemployment, stagnating incomes, and skyrocketing property prices, today's sharing economy functions as something of a magic wand. Those who already own something can survive by monetising their discomfort: for example, they can earn cash by occasionally renting out their apartments and staying with relatives instead. Those who own nothing, on the other hand, also get to occasionally enjoy a glimpse of the good life – built entirely on goods they do not own."
economy  sharing  technology  technoUtopianism  marketisation  commodification  cloudComputing  youth  unemployment  stagnation  politics  crisis  choice  dctagged  dc:creator=MorozovEvgeny  sharingEconomy 
october 2014 by petej
Change the World - The New Yorker
"Young people drawn to Silicon Valley can be more insular than those in other industries—they tend to come from educated families and top universities, and achieve success at a very early age. “They’re ignorant, because many of them don’t feel the need to educate themselves outside their little world, and they’re not rewarded for doing so,” the young start-up entrepreneur said. “If you’re an engineer in Silicon Valley, you have no incentive to read The Economist. It’s not brought up at parties, your friends aren’t going to talk about it, your employers don’t care.” He found that college friends who came out to the Valley to seek their fortune subsequently lost interest in the wider world. “People with whom I used to talk about politics or policy or the arts, they’re just not as into it anymore. They don’t read the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. They read TechCrunch and VentureBeat, and maybe they happen to see something from the Times on somebody’s Facebook news feed.” He went on, “The divide among people in my generation is not as much between traditional liberals and libertarians. It’s a divide between people who are inward-facing and outward-facing.”"
SiliconValley  PaloAlto  inequality  wealth  technology  SanFrancisco  entrepreneurs  startups  technoUtopianism  change  Google  Facebook  government  libertarianism  velocity  politics  ZuckerbergMark  AndreessenMarc  lobbying  advocacy  sharing  economy  poverty  exclusion  middleClass  pay  wages  Apple  meritocracy  sharingEconomy  pace  ObamaBarack 
august 2014 by petej
Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left | Jacobin
"At bottom, cyberlibertarianism holds that society’s problems can be solved by simply construing them as engineering and software problems. Not only is this false, but in many ways, it can make the problems worse. Since much of the thought grounding it emerges from the Right, encouraging mass computerization as a political project typically encourages the spread of rightist principles, even if they are cloaked in leftist rhetoric.

When we assume that the goals of the Left are promoted just by digital innovation, we too easily forget to think carefully and deeply about how to articulate those goals, and to work with others who share them. We put faith in a technocratic progressivism that does not clearly emerge from leftist foundations and that, without close and careful work, is unlikely to support those foundations. Most worryingly, we put aside active efforts to solve social problems and advance leftist perspectives by giving in to a technological form of magical thinking that is the opposite of engaged political action."
TheLeft  Internet  libertarianism  technoUtopianism  populism  openSource  EFF  BarlowJohnPerry  openData  business  solutionism  politics 
may 2014 by petej
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