doctorow city as prison law

from doctorow thread

But if cities are slow torture chambers for their inhabitants, it makes perfect sense.

If you think of cities as prisons for poor people, then The Event riots make perfect sense — they’re just another version of the prison riot. Completely plausible.

hari rat park law.. ie: then addictions to heroin makes perfect sense; then tragedy of the commons makes perfect sense; et al

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whole thread

son of an asylum seeker, father of an immigrant (@doctorow) tweeted at 7:24 AM – 27 Jul 2018 :
Science fiction sucks at predicting the future, but it sure is good at predicting the present (c.f. @greatdismal): that is, the stuff that seems plausible in science fiction at any given moment is a good source of insight into what’s on our collective minds. (http://twitter.com/doctorow/status/1022835206347141120?s=17)

Lots of people have noted that the fear of AIs taking over the world (especially when evinced by the super-rich) is really just a tell that capitalism has spawned transhuman, immortal colony lifeforms that use humans for gut flora (AKA corporations, AKA “slow AIs”)

But today I’d like to discuss another tell: the trope that when there is some kind of disaster, your neighbors are coming for you, that we can expect arson and carnage the moment that society’s guard-labor levels drop below a critical threshold.

Obviously, this is not true. If you and everyone you know are pretty much decent people who sometimes do dumb or bad things, it’s statistically likely that you know a representative sample and that means it’s very, very unlikely that 99.9% of the world are total bastards.

assume good law

For more, read Rebecca Solnit’s magesterial, vital, crucial history of selflessness, nobility, and elite panic during disasters, “A Paradise Built in Hell”

rebecca

To understand this, consider a related trope: *the prison riot. When we encounter a story about life in prison, it’s not hard to understand why the prisoners riot the instant the guards’ attention wavers.

*or tradegy of commons.. et al

Those stories are at pains to establish that the prisons are not good for the prisoners. They exist to punish the prisoners, not to rehabilitate them. They are basically slow torture chambers, designed to inflict misery on the prisoners.

Prisoners set fire to the cellblock for the same reason that a galley slave would sink the ship where they have been chained to an oar for years. Whatever beneficial purpose the ship serves for its owners, for the rowers, it is an instrument of torture. I’d sink that ship too.

Back to the idea that The Event will precipitate total destruction of society and all its physical plant. That doesn’t make any sense if you think of people as being served by society: water, sanitation, food, education, safety and security

But if cities are slow torture chambers for their inhabitants, it makes perfect sense.

If, for example, cities fund themselves by manufacturing petty infractions to charge poor people with, arresting them when they can’t pay fines and putting them to hard labor…

Or if rents are too damned high and your debt mounts and mounts, or if you spend all your time cowering in fear of a one-star review on your gig economy app, or….

If you face license-plate cameras, CCTVs, gait recognition, predictive policing, facial recognition, school-prison pipelines, etc…

or thinking we’re getting better by crypto ing or algo ing ourselves into efficiency

You’re living in a city that exists to control you, not to help you realize safety, security, shelter, dignity, etc.

aka: you’re living in the rat experiment sans bruce‘s insight of the need for a rat park

Which is, of course, totally, blindingly obvious — and also completely outside the Overton Window. No one in (e.g.) the Democratic establishment (and certainly not in the GOP) is willing to talk about this naked class warfare.

deeper than ..beyond ..class warfare.. it’s any form of measureing/labeling.. validation.. of a human.. which we often clothe as security.. id..

if you see that.. seems obvious ..it’s hurting all of us.. but too.. there’s a nother way for all of us

let go of crypto ness control

But it comes out in our collective dreaming. If you think of cities as prisons for poor people, then The Event riots make perfect sense — they’re just another version of the prison riot. Completely plausible. #ElitePanic

As Leonard Cohen once noted: “Everybody Knows.” Everybody knows we’re in a state of class warfare, but we dare not speak that aloud. Instead, we whisper it in our fiction, and nod our heads in recognition when it’s said.

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Cory Doctorow

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laws\ish

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