astra taylor

astra taylor bw


astra on organizing

astra on security

can’t pay won’t pay

astra on end of uni

astra on unschooling


unschooling.. high recommend – very short read.

quote of Astra’s found in Dale’s – Hacking Your Education:

The difference,” Astra said, “is that my parents trusted me to be curious. And that’s really what this entire debate is about.

huge thanks to @rogre for intruducing me to Astra Taylor (video on unschooling)
at 18:00 talks specifically about unschoolers recruitments to college at brown – too spineless to rock the boat
is that what homeschooling all about.. getting in the back door to compulsory ed – credentialing
unschooling is a life-long curriculum
the difference between educating and credentialing is profound
what do academic credentials signify anyway
38:00 – work for first graders doubled since 1981
6 mill on ritalin
i would have loved to commune with some peers to study marine biology, discuss number theory, etc.. but that wasn’t an option, instead, held up 7 hrs a day,why do we want to believe that the masses can’t be trusted to teach themselves, so militant about other people’s kids

genius is as common as dirt, we suppress our genius because we haven’t figured out how to manage a population of education men and women – gatto

unschooling fundamentally is driven by a profound trust in the human capacity to be curious, the challenge we face, and it’s a difficult one is finding a way to extend this trust outwards beyond the home and into the public sphere where it is so desparately needed

talk ends at 46:36

homeschooling – doing school at home (curriculum, parent plays teacher, etc)

unschooling – not playing school all day – you’re playing

home as a nutrient rich environment, they unleashed us, let us explore, very rich place to be, lots to be interested in, indulged passions, but they didn’t stand over us, occassionaly there was resistance. fundamental encouraging and facilitating, what do you want to do i’ll help you

why it works – the trust is absolute, interests always respected, no matter what they might be, trust has to be really profound

another benefit of unschooling – the act of solitude

what about unschoolers who’s parents don’t have degrees, etc, educated

the cause of public ed – sharing of resources…

homeschooling – more helicopter, coddling parenting&

;unschooling – more hands off ;unschooling happens all around us – it’s just something we don’t recognize

uni is an important space – just wish it could be exposed and opened a bit

committed to the idea of an intellectual community that doesn’t end at age 20 or 24..

what needs to be accessed for those less privileged – what are the basics:

1) trust in self

2) trust in curiosity

3) a few good libraries

4) inspiring role models

don’t really have an answer, just know that school isn’t always the best, even for those who have the least

Roberto’s post on Astra

her examined life trailer (Cornel West and Michael Hardt):

here she’s interviewing Rebecca Solnit .. who she wrote a book about:

There’s a funny dialectic between knowing what you’re doing and having it surprise you. You’re like a jazz musician; you have to learn really hard how to control the instrument before you start breaking the rules.
esp like this:
We are not a school (although we are often mistaken for one). We’re not even a nice school, or a democratic school, we are rethinking the idea of institutionalizing youth entirely.

other things he intro’d me to:
the purple art institute  
where Astra is part of the faculty
youth centers – online magazine   with overview of the workspace at purple thistle
more images

matt hern

[Matt is director of the purple thistle centre]
on twitter
his site.. books
rogre @monk51295 ‘Everywhere, All the Time’ is like an updated ‘Deschooling Our Lives’, both collections of writing from Gatto, Holt, Llewellyn… rogre @monk51295 …Tolstoy, Guterson, Farenga, etc. You probably know lots od that, so, I’d probably recommend ‘Field Day’:

rogre @monk51295 These might serve as inspiration as you plan your space: 


taylor compulsory law:

astra taylor quote

Read more:


Many people, liberal and conservative alike, are deeply offended by critiques of compulsory schooling. Every day we’re told that schools hold the key to equalizing opportunity, that the proper credentials will allow poor and marginalized people to participate fully in society, and that education provides the only legitimate path out of poverty. The question is a difficult one. Are schools social levelers or do they reinforce the class pyramid by tracking and sorting children from a young age?

What I really wanted—what I still want, even now, as an adult—is that intellectual community I was looking for in high school and college but never quite found. I would have loved to commune with other young people and find out what a school of freedom could be like. But for some reason, such a possibility was unthinkable, a wild fantasy—instead, the only option available was to submit to irrational authority six and a half hours a day, five days a week, in a series of cinder-block holding cells. If nothing else, we should pause to wonder why there’s so rarely any middle ground. 


unschooling taylor

book links to amazon


peoples platform

book links to amazon

excerpt preface (share by Michel on fb):

Networked technologies do not resolve the contradictions between art and commerce, but rather make commercialism less visible and more pervasive.

Despite the exciting opportunities the Internet offers, we are witnessing not a leveling of the cultural playing field, but a rearrangement, with new winners and losers.

same time as Michel‘s preface share Rutger saying much the same:

Why the biggest freeloaders are at the top (and living off teachers, nurses, and waste collectors)

Original Tweet:

we live in a reverse welfare state

Corporate power and the quest for profit are as fundamental to new media as old. From a certain angle, the emerging order looks suspiciously like the old one.

The truth is subtler: technology alone cannot deliver the cultural transformation we have been waiting for; instead, we need to first understand and then address the underlying social and economic forces that shape it. Only then can we make good on the unprecedented opportunity the Internet offers and begin to make the ideal of a more inclusive and equitable culture a reality. If we want the Internet to truly be a people’s platform, we will have to work to make it so.

a nother way – short bit


peoples platform highlights

oh my..

There are plenty of inventive financial arrangements that could put sustainability and civic responsibility front and center, yet so far they mostly go untried

rewire ness ..

We envision a cultural commons accessible to all but shy away from discussing how to make this aspiration a reality

we need to develop supports that allow for the prolonged immersion and engagement artistic and journalistic endeavors often require, nurturing projects that are timeless rather than timely

all together, we spend more than $700 billion a year on advertising, a tremendous waste of money on something that has virtually no social value and that most of us despise.

Advertising is, in essence, a private tax

While few of us actually believe followers and hits directly indicate talent or ability, these metrics are becoming the ones by which we are measured. We live in public in part because we believe we have to. New-media moguls and the advertisers they serve benefit from the uncertainty that drives us to do so

Strategically constructing an identity requires a kind of feigned authenticity that involves the continual management and monitoring of audience feedback. Self-censorship is inevitable; one must be “liked” above all. Thus the attention economy favors the attractive and obvious, the pandering and unthreatening. It puts a premium on quickness and sensation, on the emotions of anger and awe proven to trigger virality.59 If slow-moving and sometimes solitary work was always at a disadvantage, now it is even more so

2 needs

In order to survive under such a paradigm, creative types are advised to constantly remind the world of their accomplishments, honing their personas and trumpeting their own horns through social media, angling around the clock for clicks and comments, for links and likes.

echo chamber ness toward authenticity

What we are witnessing is the emergence of a new form of discrimination, one led by companies you can’t see, using data you didn’t give them permission to access, dictating what you are exposed to and on what terms


interview astra

– – –

Technology isn’t simply addictive—it’s addictive because it’s a servant to business incentives. 

One consequence of this is that people are expected to make it on their own by chasing clicks or building a brand. What a diminished vision that is.

Rumpus: If someone were to take one thing away from The People’s Platform, what would you hope it would be?

Taylor: Just that, that we shouldn’t be afraid to think big and make suggestions that sound crazy. Right now there’s this growing but pretty rudimentary sense that something’s not right, that technology companies are gaining power and conspiring with the government in scary ways. All the utopianism of the early days of the Internet seems to have dissipated. But I don’t want us to lose that utopianism altogether, even if it was naïve and ill-informed and sometimes silly. Rather I want us to ask about the obstacles that are preventing the good stuff from coming to fruition. Let’s investigate and think about creating something worthwhile instead of assuming that there is an inevitable track of increased centralization, consolidation, and commercialization that we can’t do anything about.

yes. let’s.


platform ness

post in globe on astra


peoples platform as primer

Yet public understanding of the implications of this convergence lags some way behind the emerging reality, which is why we need books like this. Astra Taylor is a talented documentary-maker who was dismayed by the way her work was appropriated and pirated online. But instead of fuming silently in her studio, she set out to seek an understanding of the paradoxical world that the merging of cyberspace and meatspace has produced. What she finds is a world which is, on the one hand, hooked on an evangelical narrative about the liberating, empowering, enlightening, democratising power of information technology while, on the other, being increasingly dominated and controlled by the corporations that have effectively captured the technology.


book review


Michel on Jeremy and Yochai:

beyond rifkin



The cooperative activists themselves often recognize the problem. Marina Sitrin, the author of several books about horizontalism, never believed that the large assemblies that characterized the early days of Occupy Wall Street would be sustainable for a prolonged period. She told me that horizontalism needs to be grounded in a specific place and have a well-defined purpose in order to function. A hundred people debating abstract principles in a public forum will likely drive each other bonkers, but the same hundred people may be able to run a school or a health center or a factory if their community and lives depend on it. In other words, for consensus decision-making to be practicable, there has to be something at stake, something to stick to and stick with. You need a school or a health center or a factory.

..cooperative momentum will flag if the movement doesn’t take the problem of finance seriously. Until we create loan funds or build banks that are committed to non-extractive economic growth, cooperatives will remain marginal phenomena, nice places to shop for organic food and get your bicycle repaired, but not much more.




sept 2014:

Nice short video of @FloodWallStreet arrests and testimonies. And yup, plenty of footage of my awesome sister.

NYPD arrest 102 people (incld. 1 polar bear, 2 Captain Planets and people in wheelchairs)


feb 2015 – a strike against student debt


may 2015 – student debt protest

One thing that’s motivated me is to feel that lack of stress. Not to be drowning in debt is to be able to decide what to do with your time. I get to do this.”

huge. luxury ness. our sustainably/ongoingly thriving energy.

and isn’t there a law that debts are off if college closes? (just read an article from 2013 – sounds like loopholes/fine print ville)


Astra talks about student debt and her initiative – rolling jubilee at pdf15

taylor debt law:

astra on debts

transforming entire economy is huge. civil disobedience. our responsibility. @astradisastra #PDF15

the debts we erase are illegitimate/immoral to begin with. no one should incur debt for basic living. – @astradisastra #PDF15

on the rolling jubilee – – we erased the debts of thousands of strangers – @astradisastra #PDF15

 – – –

student debt

Astra et al – and strike debt:

You are not a loan.

Strike Debt is a nationwide movement of debt resisters fighting for economic justice and democratic freedom.

rolling jubilee:

The Rolling Jubilee Fund is a non-profit 501(c) (4) organization with the exclusive mission of buying and abolishing debt. 100% of the money raised goes to the process of buying and abolishing debt (a process that includes some associated costs such as paperwork, accounting, and legal fees). The volunteers managing the fund receive no compensation. In the interest of transparency, a full accounting of funds received and spent is reported on our website.

For updates about the Rolling Jubilee, read the Strike Debt Blog.

can’t pay won’t pay


interview aug 2015

While reading the conclusion to Astra Taylor’s The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, I was overwhelmed by that feeling you might get when you hear a perfectly relatable song – the sense that someone finally is articulating a very nuanced and human concept you had been harboring, but never had the right words for. “It may seem counterintuitive at a time of information overload, viral media, aggregation, and instant commenting to worry about our cultural supply,” she writes. “But we are at risk of starving in the midst of plenty.” The chapter is presented as a “Manifesto For Sustainable Culture.”


Taylor’s book interrogates the internet’s relationship with culture: specifically, it challenges the idea that the web has made culture more accessible, fair, and democratic….”Networks do not eradicate power: they distribute it in different ways, shuffling hierarchies and producing new mechanisms of exclusion,” Taylor writes. “The ‘People’s Platform’ is both sarcastic and aspirational,” she told me. “The internet is not a people’s platform. It’s highly corporatized. But it could be if we had the political willpower. It could be a more civic-minded realm.”

www ness

In my opinion, it’s especially incumbent upon artists that we deeply analyze and be very critical of the current paradigm because the creative ethos is being used to bolster this very exploitative new form of capitalism.

form of new capitalism.. that we are all artists … so should work around the clock.. because we love it (paraphrase)

We are in these conditions where everything we do contributes to the profit of the system.


the dominant attitude right now is kind of sold out, in my opinion. People don’t seem to be drawing a lot of lines in terms of what they are and aren’t willing to do.


I like what you said about “the passive producer.” I think that’s a good point. You don’t even have to be making a creative object, like a video or a song, you just have to be passively clicking on the Internet and you’re emitting data that generates profit for the people who own the online platforms you are using. ……We’re all in what’s been called a social factory. It’s not this old-fashioned, twentieth century factory of working to make widgets. Now we’re embedded in this network and we’re always being exploited; value is being extracted from us.


The internet has continued that trend in the sense that the channels of distribution have been further corporatized. Now, to even participate on the internet, to use the internet as a distribution platform, is to use corporate infrastructure. There is very little non-commercial virtual space.


What are we going to invent for this moment that brings in some kind of political values we care about?

For me, it’s important to think about carving out non-commercial space on the web.


There are really strong political arguments for wanting to create alternatives. To me, it comes down to how twisted the advertising model is. And it’s way more twisted than just seeing annoying ads. There are all sorts of perverse social consequences that I am obsessed with. I’m amazed that this retrograde model dominates the high-tech landscape.


If you just think advertising just has to do with what you see, and those stupid pre-roles you see on YouTube, you don’t understand the whole picture. Those ads are a symptom of a deeper disease, and that disease is the whole data-driven economy. We don’t pay for Google or Facebook with money, but we pay with our private information.

self-talk as data


I can’t believe that we just take for granted that this totally insane roundabout way of funding culture is the main legitimate way to do it.


I want to be involved in projects that try to carve out non-commercial space and be part of trying to build alternatives or amplify alternatives. I think it’s really crucial.


That’s why I wanted to focus on the systemic level – what are the driving forces that are creating the conditions of utter commercialism? And a lot of it is the underlying inequality problem.

systemic.. a nother way ness.. [w/ self-talk as data – if output matters input matters]


I still think the underlying point that Occupy made is totally right. Which is that capitalism is undermining democracy. And people need to start getting in the way and saying no.


The “People’s Platform” is both sarcastic and aspirational. The internet is not a people’s platform. It’s highly corporatized. But it could be if we had the political willpower. It could be a more civic-minded realm.


The Debt Collective looks at debt as a sort of asset. At a certain point, collectively you owe so much money that you have a kind of economic power. We see student debtors, who together owe 1.3 trillion dollars, as having 1.3 trillion dollars of leverage that they are not using. Today a million people default on their student loans every year one by one. What if they all bound together and worked collectively and made demands? People have so much power they’re not using.


We need to have a clear political vision and how capitalism works today and how the culture industry works today. Then we need to build creative responses.

responses? or just start living another way..?

What I like about activism is that it’s a laboratory for experimenting with ideas. And as someone who cares about how ideas spread I have to care about media, and that means thinking seriously about the Internet, in all its glory and all its grossness. I think there’s tremendous potential with these new communications tools and we should fight to make good on it.


nov 2015 – platform coop

a nother way

talk at end of conference:

starts at 50 min – sneak peek of douglas’s book

52 min – he makes case that digital tech makes dream of a fairer world is possible.. i don’t see how case is that much stronger today.. those obstacles are why i fear the idea of reprogramming.. i think it sounds too easy

53 min – credit union as watchdogs we wish we had in econ crisis..

i want my cooperatism to be confrontational… we want cooperation.. but we also need non-cooperation (non-violent) that says no to the existing order too…

55 min – how much change is afoot.. how much continuity.. always dreamed of getting rid of bosses…  1768 – ie – one of first strikes.. walking off job to start a coop… 1880s tons of coops… collective courage – book black coops… consumer coops..  my point is lots of lessons of coops start ups.. and almost as many failures.. and almost always because of lack of access to capital..

57 min – corp platforms overvalued.. but they cheapen things… so get rid of platform.. then need to pay people more.. still need line of credit

58 min – douglas’ book – need to create system that’s not harmful to people…  experiment w/alternate currencies..

59 min – finance… driving much of inequality we see today… idea that robots are eating jobs.. but stats don’t bear out… things driving ineq are massive salaries/profits of people working in financial sector and company ceos

1:00 – question of scale… small/local/decentralized.. small is going to be extra challenging..  difficult time getting tractions against other services… persisting while small might be more challenging… douglas likes small/local/human… douglas.. de centralized tech don’t verify equitable distribution

1:02 – devolution – devolved power.. we kick problems downstream.. to little places that can’t handle it..

i think we need to combine centralized and de centralized

1:03 – on shifts… youth and demo’s likeing socialism now.. opens a space for new things

we need to rebrand taxation as crowdsourcing..

we need to believe there’s a zietgeist so we can start doing ti..

in my book – i started listing things i’d like to see.. but i didn’t reflect how they could be put into action…

1:05 – since then.. i’ve been putting my theories into action

elaine brown in her 70s… led black panther party.. advice from her: puts emphasis on ownership and now workers/builders…her coop will be run by prisoners.. in oakland… what’s keeping her back is capital…

1:07 – elaine: you never mobilize/organize around abstracts/principles/arguments…you do it..

don’t say .. you have a right.. just do it..

graeber model law

for (blank)’s sake

she motivates by focus on the community ness when you share..

q&a back on platform coop page


jan 2016

They helped innovate the kinds of immersive and interactive media environments that are now ubiquitous—the “democratic surrounds” of Turner’s title. This kind of thinking was essential to U.S. efforts during the Cold War to build democratic character and facilitate communication, both within America’s borders and globally. But as Turner shows in his examinations of international trade expositions and world fairs where the United States sought to distinguish itself from its communist adversaries, the democratic personality was becoming synonymous with the consumer mindset. Democracy was equated with commercial abundance and choice.


When tens of thousands of hippies flooded Golden Gate Park in 1967 for the “Gathering of the Tribes” or when rock bands performed alongside trippy projections, these aspiring rebels were in fact fulfilling the democratic ambitions of their parents’ generation, not overturning or subverting them.


Fortunately, Turner has written another, earlier book that can help us find answers. Published in 2006, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism is an eye-opening and essential account of the rise of what could be called the “managerial mode of control.” In it, Turner examines how a close-knit group of countercultural collaborators and colleagues who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s—with one figure, Stewart Brand, front and center—adopted “cybernetic” ideas that could later be found at the heart of the internet-fueled “new economy” of the 1990s. Taken together, Turner’s studies shed indispensable light on contemporary thinking about media, technology, democracy, and the free market.


Those of us who live within the surround and under the managerial mode of control, and who hope to change it, can only welcome the possibility of one day finding ourselves discomfited and cast out from the world we call home.

fred turnerre wire ness


Astra’s bit before Aaron‘s writings on unschooling in – the boy who could change the world..

5\ unschooling

p 285-6 – part of what i find so captivating about aaron’s writing on education is his exuberance at discovering a philosophy of learning that aligns with his instincts and experiences. aaron was nothing if not a compulsively curious and hardworking person, yet, as these pages make viscerally clear, he felt profoundly stifle in school….. online, aaron found a community that pointed to the possibility of another way of doing things…. fear is a big them of aaron’s writing on education, as is boredom, and for him the two go together. like most prominent unschooling advocates, aaron believe human beings are naturally curious; the problem is that conventional schooling stamps this inherent inquisitiveness out of us…. fear tends to toe the line,  while curiosity interrogates and crosses it….. though only a fragment of what he envisioned as a larger project, the essays that follow are a welcome and thought-provoking contribution to a long-standing and ongoing debate about learning, freedom,pedagogy, econ, and the public good…. provide a valuable window on the learning process – an illustration of aaron’s fundamental argument about curiosity engaged…what a gift to see such a keen/conscientious mind at work, striving to understand a world he care so much about… . astra taylor

a nother way



This piece by @astradisastra on the replacement of organizers by activists is the best thing I’ve read in months:…

No doubt the thriving of activism in recent decades is a good thing, and activism is something we want more of. The problem, rather, is that the organizing that made earlier movements successful has failed to grow apace.


To be an activist now merely means to advocate for change, and the hows and whys of that advocacy are unclear.


today, the term signals not so much a certain set of political opinions or behaviors as a certain temperament……… some quirk of personality, they enjoy long meetings, shouting slogans, and spending a night or two in jail the way others may savor a glass of biodynamic wine. Worse still, Smucker contends, is the fact that many activists seem to relish their marginalization, interpreting their small numbers as evidence of their specialness, their membership in an exclusive and righteous clique, effectiveness be damned.


education is not organizing, which involves not just enlightening whoever happens to encounter your message, but also aggregating people around common interests so that they can strategically wield their combined strength. Organizing is long-term and often tedious work that entails creating infrastructure and institutions, finding points of vulnerability and leverage in the situation you want to transform, and *convincing atomized individuals to recognize that they are on the same team (and to behave like it).

perhaps we design that into the day. rev of everyday life ness… with a mech simple enough.. io dance ness.. redefining decision making.. then perhaps we could disengage from *convincing ness

Activism, the expression of our deeply held feelings, used to be only one part of building a movement. It’s a tactic which has been elevated to the level of strategy, in the absence of strategy,” he lamented.(Rudd)


But one major challenge in these neoliberal and post-Fordist times is to find inventive ways to update the union model for our current conditions of financialization and insecurity. We need to create fresh ties among the millions of stranded people who lack stable employment, let alone union membership, so that they become a force to be reckoned with

perhaps .. a nother way

debt.. climate.. blm…


All things considered, the word activist isn’t that bad. It is, at the very least, certainly preferable to social entrepreneur,change agent, or—god forbid—social justice warrior.


With polls showing that a growing number of young people and the majority of Democratic primary voters have a positive view of socialism, we need good, smart organizing to back up this astonishing uptick in leftist sentiment and to productively channel people’s enthusiasm and energy beyond the limited frame of the presidential race and electoral politics. Semantics alone will not determine history’s course, for it matters less what we call ourselves and more what we do, but often the language we use doesn’t help the cause.


mar 2016


Trying to write about the refugee crisis. Oscillating between a clinical description of the horror/policies & just wanting to scream FUCK.


Astra Taylor (@astradisastra) tweeted at 9:57 AM on Sat, Jun 09, 2018:
Really great to premiere the film (and debut the movie poster) w my wonderful team, producer @leamarin3 & editor @RobertJKennedy — no one threw any thing at us so I think we’re off to a good start.

what is democracy – trailer:




money ness




Céline Keller (@krustelkram) tweeted at 6:46 AM – 4 Oct 2018 :
“fauxtomation” & the insights of socialist feminism – this is such an important read (also mentions Jefferson’s “gilding the chains of slavery” @narration_sd ) (

Her point is not that women have, historically, performed reproductive labor outside the sphere of waged work, that their efforts are supplemental to the real action. Rather, she insists that reproductive labor is utterly central: in its absence, the entire system would collapse.

caring labor.. interpretive labor.. et al

The joint creation of social life is the very basis of all economic activity. There would be no GDP to contribute to without it, no assets to leverage or profits to hoard. We are more important and powerful than we have been led to believe—and the we in question here is no longer the marginalized ranks of women performing reproductive labor, but increasingly the postindustrial precariat at large

going deeper.. gdp, econ activity.. as irrelevant

Our general lack of curiosity about how the platforms and services we use every day really work means that we often believe the hype, giving automation more credit than it’s actually due. In the process, we fail to see—and to value—the labor of our fellow human beings. We mistake fauxtomation for the real thing, reinforcing the illusion that machines are smarter than they really are.

According to Chen, more people work in the shadow mines of content moderation than are officially employed by Facebook or Google. Fauxtomatons make the internet a habitable place, cleaning virtual public squares of the sort of trash that would chase most of us offline and into the relative safety of face-to-face interaction.

Capitalism needs workers to be and feel vulnerable, and because automation has an ideological function as well as a technological dimension, leftists must keep intervening in conversations about technological change and what to do about it.

When pundits predict mass unemployment following a robot takeover, *we should call for collective ownership of the robots and generous social benefits detached from employment status, including pushing for a progressive variation of a universal basic income under a rallying cry that updates the 1970s socialist feminist slogan to Wages for All Work—not just the work that bosses recognize as worthy of a meager paycheck.

*rather.. we should call for a disengagement from money/measure/ownership..

tech as it could be..



Patrick Meier (@PatrickMeier) tweeted at 5:17 AM – 3 Oct 2018 :
“The problem is that the emphasis on technological factors alone, as though ‘disruptive innovation’ comes from nowhere or is as natural as a cool breeze, casts an air of blameless inevitability over something that has deep roots in class conflict.” (

Automation is both a reality and an ideology, and thus also a weapon wielded against poor and working people who have the audacity to demand better treatment, or just the right to subsist.

I propose making our idea of automation itself obsolescent. A new term, “fauxtomation,” seems far more fitting.

But fauxtomation also has a more nefarious purpose. It reinforces the perception that work has no value if it is unpaid and acclimates us to the idea that one day we won’t be needed.

As socialist feminism usefully highlights, capitalism is dedicated to ensuring that as much vital labor as possible goes uncompensated.

interpretive labor

caring labor

Our general lack of curiosity about how the platforms and services we use every day really work means that we often believe the hype, giving automation more credit than it’s actually due. In the process, we fail to see—and to value—the labor of our fellow human beings. We mistake fauxtomation for the real thing, reinforcing the illusion that machines are smarter than they really are.

Fauxtomatons make the internet a habitable place, cleaning virtual public squares of the sort of trash that would chase most of us offline and into the relative safety of face-to-face interaction

Automation, whether real or fake, hasn’t undone these disturbing dynamics, and may well intensify them.

Of course capitalists want working people to be precarious, pitted against one another, and frightened about what the future may hold. .. But it, and indeed anything like it, has not come close to being true. If the automated day of judgment were actually nigh, they wouldn’t need to invent all these apps to fake it.

Capitalism needs workers to be and feel vulnerable, and because automation has an ideological function as well as a technological dimension, leftists must keep intervening in conversations about technological change and what to do about it.



The RSA (@theRSAorg) tweeted at 12:15 PM – 2 Jan 2019 :
“These days machines are used to deskill, speed up, or displace work (meaning it simply gets shifted to other people, typically customers), but work rarely disappears.” @astradisastra argues that we’re living in an age of “fauxtomation”, not “automation”. (


democracy may not exist but miss it when gone (ch 8) – on hold via prospector – thanks library

Astra Taylor (@astradisastra) tweeted at 12:39 PM – 6 May 2019 :
An excerpt from my new book up at @thenation in which I ponder fun stuff like:
What is the relationship of democracy to time? Do some ancestors need to be disenfranchised? Can we transcend capitalism so generations to come have a chance? (

Advocating for self-destructing legislation is a rather charitable, self-deprecating position for a founding father of the United States.

but we need that to happen everyday

Karl Marx expressed sublime horror at the persistent presence of political zombies: “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.”

ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work

let’s just facil daily curiosity .. call it democracy if you like/must

ie: curiosity and decision making

From those democratic innovators Jefferson and Paine we inherited an obsession with novelty, in daily life and in activism. This was groundbreaking in the 18th century, but in the 21st it has become orthodoxy. Our relentless presentism, encouraged by the 24/7 news cycle and social media, enjoins us to immerse ourselves in an eternal now, a state of amnesiac contemporaneity. It severs us from the past and the future—*which serves the powerful just fine: the past contains many ideas they would rather see buried than revived, and reconfiguring our way of life to account for the future would entail a massive disruption of business as usual.

*it could serve all of us.. if we started listening to every voice.. everyday.. ie: via 2 convers as infra.. tech as it could be..

Capitalism thrives on speed, novelty, consumption, obsolescence, and, above all, growth. True sustainability, then, is anathema to capitalism, which rests on the following precept: there must be more value at the end of the day than there was at the beginning. Contraction is a crisis for capital—indeed, without expansion there is no capital, for there is no profit. At bottom, the twin perils of inherited wealth and mass indebtedness, as well as the threat of ecological apocalypse, flow from an economic system predicated on greed and boundless accumulation.

The fact is, we’re up against ecological limits, not monetary shortages; we are constrained by a carbon budget not a federal one, and we need to remake our economy to reflect this reality. Ample wealth exists to be reclaimed for collective benefit, and bringing finance under democratic control will mean that *money will finally serve people, instead of the other way around.

rather.. money will finally become irrelevant.. it can never serve people.. it’s a cancer.. ie: money (any form of measuring/accounting)

That the affluent few are able to live idly off of unearned dividends and interest while most find themselves enduring extended shifts for a reduced pay-check makes this much clear: it is not just wealth but leisure that must be fairly apportioned if a sustainable democracy is to be achieved.

exactly.. and i’d say wealthy aren’t really living in true leisure at this time either..  we’re all ill

begs we base our days on gershenfeld something else law

Free time is not just a reprieve from the grindstone; it’s an expansion of freedom and a prerequisite of self-rule..t

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake

a nother way

The time to experiment with more ecologically conscious, personally fulfilling, and democracy-enhancing modes of valuing labor and leisure is upon us, at precisely the moment that time is running out..t

we can by augmenting interconnectedness getting us back/to an undisturbed ecosystem/eudaimoniative surplus

Nishnaabeg environmental ethics dictated that individuals could only take as much as they needed, that they must share everything following Nishnaabeg redistribution of wealth customs…

have/need ness.. but won’t/hasn’t ever work until everyone is free..  sync matters

To combat the apocalyptic apparitions, we need to conjure alternative worlds, leaping forward and looking back..t As Hannah Arendt observes in Between Past and Future, tradition does not have to be a fetter chaining us to dead matter; it can also be a thread that helps guide us toward something better and still unseen.


via hannah on astra‘s words

hannah epperson (@hannah_epperson) tweeted at 7:09 AM on Tue, Sep 17, 2019:
“To figure out how to move forward, we should pause and delineate the different tempos we dwell within”

I’m constantly searching for language that connects music & scales of time w/ the climate crises that define our present. Thanks for this incredible piece @astradisastra

@astradisastra: “Part of the difficulty of addressing the climate crisis has to do with different timescales operating simultaneously. End of the world, end of the month.” Why now is the time to rethink our relationship to time—and also the time to strike, literally.

from astra’s out of time:

For the working class, already stretched thin, time is a luxury fewer and fewer can afford. That was the message of France’s Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vests, revolt, ..rallying under a stark slogan: “The elites talk about the end of the world while we are talking about the end of the month.” But some Yellow Vest demonstrators soon adopted a different and more hopeful motto: “End of the world, end of the month, same struggle.”

yellow vests

Part of the difficulty of addressing the climate crisis has to do with different timescales operating simultaneously. End of the world, end of the month. There are so many clocks and so little time: economic clocks, physical and chemical clocks, nature’s innumerable biological clocks, our inner psychological clocks, and collective cultural clocks. It’s a temporal cacophony, a disorienting polyrhythm. To figure out how to move forward, we should pause and delineate the different tempos we dwell within.

For eons sun and seasons determined our ancestors’ habits. When night fell, work ceased; the first light signaled it was time to begin again. ..As industrialization progressed, all manner of clocks proliferated, a symbol of a new market-driven organization of time and synchronization of labor. Today your clock may be analog or digital, or maybe your clock is your phone.

Undergirding this shift in perception and organization was a transformation in energy supply: the shift to fossil fuels. Scattered energy resources—wood, human and animal labor, water, and wind—are no match for coal.

Lewis Mumford wrote in Technics and Civilization in 1934. But like “a drunken heir on a spree,” industrialists began burning through humanity’s bequest.

mumford non specialized law

Carbon has its own clock, the cadence of physical and chemical laws and facts of prehistory offering a counterbeat to modern capitalism, which seeks short-term gains and predictable outcomes pegged to a calendar. Fossil fuels, in contrast, are the past condensed, and the physical processes unleashed through their consumption are not linear, which is why scientists warn of “tipping points.”

Plants and animals are increasingly out of sync with each other, ..the interaction between species is shifting off the beat.

everyone in sync ness

Desynchronization upsets delicate relationships between migration, reproduction, and survival with cascading consequences..We are out of sync with everything on earth and even with one another. .t

begs we leap back in sync (is incrementing to sync even/ever possible?)

not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake..  a nother way ie: 2 convers as infra

holmgren indigenous law

“End of the world, end of the month, same struggle”—the slogan speaks a profound truth, but we still must work to make it real. Somehow we have to manage to conceive of multiple timescales and horizons at once, or we are toast.


So pleased to have worked with dear @astradisastra for this piece on societal listening @NewYorker
Original Tweet:

Their certainty about going unheard was painful to hear..t

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity– Luma Mufleh

Attempting to create what the essayist Rebecca Solnit calls “a democracy of equal audibility” is a social enterprise..The social prejudices that muffle other frequencies are often reinforced by those invested in the status quo…t

begs a mech to listen to everybody.. everyday

ie: tech as it could be..

we must sometimes strain to hear voices that the powerful would drown out.

could be made easier.. deeper.. than it’s ever been.. ie: tech as it could be.. listening to every voice everyday.. would/could change everything..

2 convers as infra


astra on security

can’t pay won’t pay

astra on end of uni


Based on the @haymarketbooks and @jacobinmag conversation between Angela  Davis and @astradisastra . As usual, Angela Davis does an incredible job of capturing the nuances, contexts, and intersections and internationalism of struggle. Detailed image description in comments on IG.
Original Tweet:

ultimately we have to dismantle this system and move in a different direction

moten abolition law et al

ie: cure ios city to undo our hierarchical listening for legit global systemic change


In my view, this is the end of the end of history in action.

Capitalism and democracy are splitting up and we need to pick a side. I choose democracy, which means—like a growing number of people—I choose socialism.
Original Tweet:

let’s imagine deeper and go with ie: cure ios city

decision making is unmooring us law


A long-brewing essay about how student loan cancellation became an issue, the power of social movements, double standards for corporate debtors, the challenge of reckoning what we owe, and an attempt to pay tribute to my late, great friend David Graeber.
Original Tweet:

on david dying

Though it would help struggling households make ends meet, debt relief isn’t just about money. There are also deeper moral questions to consider—and this is where David Graeber’s work is indispensable. In “Debt,” he sought to challenge his readers to rethink the very notion of owing..t

let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring

David wanted to help build a world unconstrained by the constant and petty accounting of debits and credits, one where value and worth were not denominated in dollars. Debt, he wrote, is “a promise corrupted by both math and violence.” t

oh my math

As David observed in “Debt,” money has the capacity “to turn mor­ality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic—and by doing so, to justify things that would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene.”  t

of math and men

The question of whether debts must be repaid is always also a question of who will pay them. t

moten abolition law et al.. we need to let go of money (any form of measuring/accounting)

“Debt” does more than challenge the reader to rethink the old shibboleth that all debts must be repaid—it questions the very notion of debt itself.

“On one level the difference between an obligation and a debt is simple and obvious,” David writes. “A debt is the obligation to pay a certain sum of money. As a result, a debt, unlike any other form of obligation, can be precisely quantified. This allows debts to become simple, cold, and impersonal—which, in turn, allows them to be transferable.” Although obligations to family and friends are nontransferable, a loan at a set interest rate is an asset that can be securitized and traded.

obligation is also a red flag we’re doing it/life wrong

We are all, David reminds us, caught up in relationships in which the balance sheet is never wholly settled—simultaneously debtors and creditors, in countless small exchanges. Our everyday language reveals this: the English “much obliged” and the Portuguese “obrigado” mean “I am in your debt,” while the French “de rien” and Spanish “de nada” assure others that it is nothing. To say “my pleasure” is to claim that an action is, in fact, a credit—you did me a favor by giving me an opportunity to be kind.

we need to let go of all forms of tit for tat ness.. all forms of measuring/accounting

Credit, of course, is the flip side of debt. Etymologically, the term conjures trust; extending trust to others is the basis of sociability. “The story of the origins of capitalism,” David writes, “is not the story of the gradual destruction of traditional communities by the impersonal pow­er of the market. It is, rather, the story of how an economy of credit was converted into an economy of interest.” What if, instead of believing the myth that we are guilty debtors, we saw ourselves also as creditors—as human beings entitled to a dignified, secure, and flourishing life? What if our societies really do owe us all an equal living?

what if we let go of that whole notion of owe ing.. ie: gershenfeld something else law sets us all (has to be all of us in sync or it won’t work/dance) free enough to where owing/exchanging.. et al.. becomes irrelevant

In David’s view, the slate must periodically be wiped clean, so that we can free ourselves from debt as both an economic burden and as an ideology that shapes and distorts our interactions.

let’s let go of money/measure/account ness.. and focus on a daily reset

ie: art (by day/light) and sleep (by night/dark) as re\set.. to fittingness/undisturbed ecosystem

David Graeber believed that we might one day free ourselves from the tyranny of debt to embrace a more expansive economic paradigm.  t

ie: oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space

museum of care ness

Even though I have spent years organizing for a mass jubilee, I, too, have held on to the idea that some debts are legitimate, and that what we need is a sort of moral audit to separate the odious from the upright. I wanted to ask David about this during the conversation we had planned. Now that he’s gone, I feel like I’m beginning to grasp his deeper point. How could I ever pay back what I owe him? My debt goes beyond what numbers or words can convey. The only way I can honor my obligation is to continue fighting for the transformed world he wanted to see.  t

yeah that..

moten abolition law et al.. we can’t repay.. and spending our days trying to keep track of all that obligation ness is killing/unmooring us.. killing the dance

begs a means to let go any form of measuring/accounting