The Cyberflâneur #12: Zephyr Teachout

This week, we are thrilled to feature Zephyr Teachout, a professor of law at Fordham University and a renowned progressive activist and anti-corruption crusader. As all our cyberflâneurs, Zephyr has chosen some excellent and provocative pieces, from an academic article on “digital colonialism” to an essay on the new means of workplace surveillance. Zephyr’s snappy Twitter comments are also worth following.

Below you can find a talk on fighting corruption in America, which Zephyr gave in 2017. A more recent podcast, on Trump and corruption, is available here.

As always, you can browse the selections by our previous cyberflâneurs here.

~ Evgeny Morozov


I.

Digital Colonialism: US Empire and the New Imperialism in the Global South

Once you see big tech as a form of politics, it reshapes where we are looking for colonialism.


II.

Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States

One of many important facts: Between 2000 and 2014, the number of people without access to water increased in Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, and Puerto Rico.


III.

Public Water and the Intimacy of Hydraulics

Drinking from a public water fountain is a sacrament of healthy civic life. Is public space where we talk or where water flows?


IV.

On Poetry

Listen for an hour to the poet who recently wrote: “the Biblical possibility/of nurture rising into a final rage“.


V.

The Post-Soviet Politics of Utopia: Language, Fiction and Fantasy in Modern Russia

The proliferation of fantasy and politics in post-Soviet Russia. What does fantasy tell us about the present?


VI.

Clio’s Laws: On History and Language

Something strange and wonderful, full of challenges and diversions, will set you spinning from the moment you read the first of his “laws”: “In history, everything turns out badly in the long run.”


VII.

Hannah Arendt and Participatory Democracy: a People’s Utopia

You can never read too much Hannah Arendt.


VIII.

The Question Concerning Techno-Utopia

Having spent too much of my adult life among techno-utopians and techno-distopians, I love this exploration of how utopia and tech are connected, when utopia used to be about the form of the state.


IX.

New Means of Workplace Surveillance. From the Gaze of the Supervisor to the Digitalization of Employees

How surveillance is creating a structure that makes us build better bodies – exercising, no fast food! –for employers.  A little Foucault, a little gazing, a little horror. 


X.

Swearing: Attempts to Ban it Are a Waste of Time – Wherever There Is Language, People Cuss

Can you ban swearing?


More about our Cyberflâneur series. You can also take a look at the previous versions of the Cyberflâneur: Brian Eno, Hito Steyerl, Adam Tooze, Rana Foroohar, Samuel Moyn, Rem Koolhaas, Paul Mason, Shehla Rashid, Holly Herndon & Matt Dryhurst.

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