Read Frantz Fanon Against Facebook: How to Decolonize Your Digital-Mind (Versobooks.com)

From the Algeria to algorithms, Lizzie O’Shea argues that Frantz Fanon’s ideas have much to offer us as we seek to understand, and resist, some of the most profound challenges of living in the digital age.

Lizzie O’Shea discusses digital self-determination as a means to understand and resist some of the problems with big tech, using the rubric of Fanon’s work on self-determination. How can we have agency and create our own identity under the thumb of the big surveilling platforms?

Digital self-determination will involve:

  • making use of the technical tools available to communicate freely
  • designing information infrastructure in ways that favour de-centralisation
  • designing online spaces and devices that are welcoming

I definitely like all the conclusions. At first blush, any comparison between colonialism and racism and the problems of digital platforms feels like it could be a little crass… but O’Shea explains her thinking and says she feels Fanon’s ideas are so strong that they can be applied to different times and situations.

Even in a technologically-saturated world, in which human beings are categorised, surveilled and discriminated against, it is possible for us to carve out space for our own identity and shape our destiny.

Frantz Fanon Against Facebook: How to Decolonize Your Digital-Mind

Read On the Epidemic Situation (Versobooks.com)

Alain Badiou on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alain Badiou saying that despite the current necessary state interventions, the pandemic will not by itself change anything politically. But he doesn’t really say what actually is required to do so, other than the left needing to work on ‘new figures of politics’. Not much to go on.

Notes: On the epidemic situation.

Read Coronavirus Is the Perfect Disaster for ‘Disaster Capitalism’ (Vice)

Naomi Klein explains how governments and the global elite will exploit a pandemic.

Heritage Foundation met and came up with a wish list of “pro-free market” solutions to Katrina. We can be sure that exactly the same kinds of meetings will happen now— in fact, the person who chaired the Katrina group was Mike Pence.

Disaster capitalism is how private industries spring up to directly profit from a crisis.  The article doesn’t really give much examples here, but a couple we’ve seen already are the attempt to profit from vaccine patents, and medical equipment manufacturers hiding behind patents to keep schematics closed.

Read Arise, Sir Food Bank by Frances Ryan (tribunemag.co.uk)

Knighting Iain Duncan Smith – the man responsible for Universal Credit, the bedroom tax and ‘fit for work’ tests – shows just how much contempt the establishment has for ordinary people.

What a stitch-up. Man who has presided over the significant worsening of many people’s lives – here, have a knighthood.

tribunemag.co.uk/2019/12/arise-sir-food-bank

#shitesoftherealm

Read In Defence of Salford by Ronan Burtenshaw and Marcus Barnett (tribunemag.co.uk)

The Murdoch press has started its attacks on Rebecca Long Bailey and her Salford ‘mafia’. It’s not hard to figure out why – Salford is a proud and radical working-class community that points the way forward for the Labour Left in 2020.

Nice little article about Salford, socialism and Rebecca Long Bailey – obviously Tribune’s pick for next Labour leader. She’s already being hammered by the right-wing press.

Interesting description of Salford as “somewhere between the Manchester metropolis and the surrounding Lancashire towns” – obviously geographically, but politically too, hadn’t really thought about it like that before.

tribunemag.co.uk/2019/12/in-defence-of-salford/