Here are ten pieces picked by Bruce Schneier, Justin McGuirk, James Bradburne, Wendy Liu, and Vincent Bevins. To see all of their selections and more from the Cyberflâneur series.
An article selected by Bruce Schneier
A fascinating dialog that centers on how movements such as BLM have hacked traditional race power dynamics and are acting as a force for change… “with an unapologetic Black queer feminist politic led by women-identified, queer, trans*, gender-conforming, working-class folks calling for an end to anti-Black state-sanctioned violence.”
An essay chosen by Bruce Schneier
This essay expands on the notion that people should “hack” democracy as a vehicle for change. Peering beyond the buzzwords, a healthier approach to political transformation through technological means “would involve refraining from fetishizing the tools while taking their intrinsically political nature into account along with the question of their design.”
An article picked by Justin McGuirk
A detailed conversation about decolonising museum collections that predates the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
A blog post marked by Justin McGuirk
A series of lengthy blog posts in which Dan Hill thinks through all of the potential for change latent in the Covid-19 lockdown.
An article selected by James Bradburne
Another article indebted to Anna Komaromi, it addresses the issue of who, exactly, was reading samizdat editions, and how they were constituted in ways that went beyond individual literary enjoyment. It raises the question of whether samizdat literature still exists, or needs to exist, in a digital world being increasingly menaced by all pervasive state censorship.
An article marked by James Bradburne
A profoundly personal reading of the experience of the Soviet Union and of reading banned or dissident literature. One of the most difficult tasks of any historian is to recover the reception of the works in the time they were first read – which does not always mean when they were written – and first integrated into a broader discourse about the limits to political and civil activity.
An essay chosen by Vincent Bevins
How would the internet be different it it had not taken shape in the era of undisputed US hegemony? If there were competing models, or if even had to merge with different technological visions? As the article notes, Salvador Allende was also experimenting with cyber-socialism before the CIA-backed coup in 1973.
A paper marked by Vincent Bevins
“The world’s offline populations are the disputed territories of tech empires, because whoever gets them locked into their digital feudalism, holds the key to the future.”
An article picked by Wendy Liu
A must-read for anyone interested in labor organizing in the high-tech sector, with anonymous stories that double as practical advice for overcoming anti-union sentiment. I also enjoyed this paper’s from-first-principles explanation of capitalism’s ideological legitimation mechanisms, drawing on the work of Luc Boltanski.
An article selected by Wendy Liu
The author argues that under contemporary capitalism, innovation has become as much a financial process as it is a technical one. Today’s ‘innovation’ is driven increasingly by the need to provide returns to capital, resulting in a banal, IP-backed rentiership, rather than the creation of socially useful products. Until we manage to disentangle innovation from finance, innovation itself may be the problem.