Plan would recognise NHS as ‘economic anchor’ and link health measures to climate goals
As countries across Europe struggle with housing crises, Switzerland’s innovative housing co-operatives point the way towards an alternative.
“the Swiss example shows how these non-state and non-capitalist actors can build quality housing at a mass scale, if they’re encouraged — and that they can create a model of housing provision that moves beyond speculation into something more democratic and innovative.”
This article points to Switzerland and Zurich in particular as examples of more active housing co-op markets. Although it doesn’t give much insight into how to get to that point from our current position in the UK.
Amazon doesn’t feel it has a responsibility to make sure its groundbreaking technology is always used ethically.
“Civil rights groups have called it “perhaps the most dangerous surveillance technology ever developed”, and called for Amazon to stop selling it to government agencies, particularly police forces.”
“Mr Vogels doesn’t feel it’s Amazon’s responsibility to make sure Rekognition is used accurately or ethically.
“That’s not my decision to make,” he tells me.”
Murky AF. I guess this kind of moral self-absolution is a necessity if you’re in charge of Amazon.
“He likens ML and AI to steel mills. Sometimes steel is used to make incubators for babies, he says, but sometimes steel is used to make guns.”
Amazon’s ML/AI is not a raw material. It’s shaped (and sold) by a cadre of people at Amazon.
Do they build in any accountability mechanisms to their algorithms?
They’re making a loaded technology. They’re making the guns, and he’s saying “hey – it’s not our responsibility to add safety catches.”
The project has as its working title We Have Never Been Social: Rethinking the Internet. It revisits the history of the Internet’s development and, in particular, the rise of the social media structures that have come to dominate so much of our experience of networked communication, arguing that a significant part of what has led us to the mess we find ourselves in today is a desperately flawed model of sociality, one that is in fact not just un-social but anti-social.
That is to say: if the problem has not been the centralized, corporatized control of the individual voice, the individual’s data, but rather a deeper failure of sociality that precedes that control, then merely reclaiming ownership of our voices and our data isn’t enough. If the goal is creating more authentic, more productive forms of online sociality, we need to rethink our platforms, the ways they function, and our relationships to them from the ground up. It’s not just a matter of functionality, or privacy controls, or even of business models. It’s a matter of governance.
How to live a more sustainable life? By placing responsibility squarely on the individual, attention is deflected away from the many institutions involved in structuring possible courses of action.
When the focus is on practices, the so-called “value-action gap” can no longer be interpreted as evidence of individual ethical shortcomings or individual inertia. Rather, the gap between people’s attitudes and their “behaviour” is due to systemic issues: individuals live in a society that makes many pro-environmental arrangements rather unlikely.
Sacajawea Hall from Cooperation Jackson and Huriye Semdin from Rojava shared their experience during a workshop at Ways Forward.
There’s nothing really in-depth in this particular article, but I like the fact that representatives from both movements dialled in to a workshop in Manchester, England. Being able to so easily communicate remote can help us build international solidarity.
If we are serious about ushering in a just transition of our economy, then we have to be prepared to launch a no-holds-barred debate about the need to transform all the productive relationships in our society.
The program should also require the elimination of the planned obsolescence built into the life cycle of all modern consumer products from cars to cell phones, a practice that both enriches corporations and drives the need to extract more resources and expend more fossil fuels to make more products.
The Green New Deal (GND) is now part of the national conversation. But for decades, social movements have been doing the on-the-ground work to resist fossil capitalism and envision a different future. Such grassroots social mobilization — but at a massive scale — is vital to ensuring the GND catalyzes transformative social change.
“We have to articulate a program that concretely addresses the class’s immediate and medium-term need for jobs and stable income around the expansion of existing “green” industries and the development of new ones, like digital fabrication or what we call community production, that will enable a comprehensive energy and consumption transition.”
Most economists suffer from misplaced optimism about the oncoming Fourth Industrial Revolution. Some reskilling here and there would suffice to spread its benefits to all workers. They ignore how capitalism invents and employs technology for profits, not people.
Unsurprisingly though, there’s a very capitalist potential outcome of 3IR and 4IR too.
Like the previous revolutions, it *could* be liberatory, or it *could* as easily reinforce existing inequalities. The historical record isn’t too great in terms of global equality and liberation.
This article makes the argument for ensuring these revolutions are for liberatory ends.
“how technology is put to use fundamentally remains a social choice and a “global network of resistance” to the way the emerging technologies are utilised “is both necessary and feasible.”
To me that’s a given really – shame the article doesn’t go into much detail on actual strategy. (Which Cooperation Jackson do in great detail.)
There’s much more to 3/4IR, but selectively quoting from the connectivity and communication parts, as they piqued my IndieWeb interest:
“While social networking provides relatively open spaces for public expression, the immense wealth that is generated by the techno-capitalists shows us that even public spaces can become a profitable business model.”
“necessitates the need for resistance against the tendencies of capitalism in general that has historically encroached upon public spaces for profit.”
Here’s to being part of a global network of resistance.
A new generation of collaborative software that allows users to retain ownership of their data.
Foundational part of it are Conflict-free Replicated Data Types. Can’t say I know a thing about the details, but they sound pretty good:
CRDTs emerged from academic computer science research in 2011. They are general-purpose data structures, like hash maps and lists, but the special thing about them is that they are multi-user from the ground up.
Just as packet switching was an enabling technology for the Internet and the web, or as capacitive touchscreens were an enabling technology for smartphones, so we think CRDTs may be the foundation for collaborative software that gives users full ownership of their data.
It’s time to assert our sovereignty over our own stuff.
Our latest report portrays four alternate futures of work. What clues do current trends give us for the future that awaits us?
After this I think I’ll try some Kim Stanley Robinson – more speculative socialist futures as far as I understand.
To break down capitalism, coops should focus on shared protocols, not platform coops that replicate platform capitalist systems.
Relates somewhat to the Statebook article, which argued that the state would serve us better if it focused on building and promoting shared protocols, not on building a Facebook alternative.
To truly challenge the power of the tech giants, we need more than better regulation. We need class struggle.
“Tackling the problem at the root requires that we *abolish* Silicon Valley.”
Digital technology has an impact on climate change in three distinct ways – all of which we need to radically change if we want a chance of preventing climate chaos.
It uses a lot of raw materials; produces a lot of CO2 in manufacture; and the ‘cloud’ uses a vast amount of energy in use.
“What we really need is a whole new way of thinking about digital technology. In a world focused on ownership driven by conspicuous consumption, in the thralls of a digital revolution, we have created a sprawling global beast that might consume our society as well as ever greater amounts of energy and resources.”
Things we should do: use materials more efficiently; make things more repairable; use renewable energy.
I’d probably also add ‘abolish capitalism’ to the list.
Lots of tech projects these days, especially crypto-networks, aspire to decentralization. Or their evangelists say they do, because they feel they need to. Decentralization is the new disruption—the thing everything worth its salt (and a huge ICO) is supposed to be doing.
I’m intrigued by the idea of where centralisation arises in decentralised systems. Is the protocol by which decentralised apps communicate a point of centralisation? Maybe you need some things centralised to facilitate decentralisation. Is that then a single point of failure?
Personally think it’s healthy to see a plurality of decentralised protocols, and it’s even better to see them bridging to each other. All about the bridges.
The internet and near-costless scaling of digital has allowed the concentration of too much power in too few hands. Our systems for…
I don’t like the commercial nature of most PDS offerings (including Solid now).
Either way, some good general food for thought in this article.
How can we secure luxury for all without careering even faster towards climate catastrophe? Aaron Bastani discusses.
Following on the previous ‘degrowth vs accelerationism’ article, a view from what the other article would call the left accelerationist approach.
I wouldn’t call it accelerationism though. Just a harnessing of technology for the aims of equality and abundance. But not blind techno-optimism.
Repair is one of the secret keys to a better life. Repairs keep our gadgets in use longer (saving our pocketbooks) and divert e-waste from landfills or toxic recycling processes (saving our planet). Repair is an engine of community prosperity: when you get your phone screen fixed at your corner…
“This is the golden age of repairs, a moment made for a renaissance of shade-tree mechanics, electronics tinkerers, jackleg fixit shops, and mom-and-pop service depots. It has to be: our planet, our pocketbooks, and our neighborhoods all benefit when our property lasts longer, works better and does more.”
‘Municipal politics’ may raise new types of demands crucial in organising powerful social movements and improving material conditions, while orienting us towards new understandings of what is possible.
Hypothesis: “that the ‘municipal’ – whether we’re talking about towns, cities or city-regions – might be a fundamentally important scale at which, and through which, to generate progressive movements towards post-capitalism”
Some good thorny issues that need examining in the ‘Our questions’ section.
An interview with Nathan Schneider by Michel Bauwens, on this very interesting book about the past, present and future of the cooperative movement and how it intersects with the revival of the commons.
Nathan Schneider interview by Michel Bauwens.
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Interesting article on the tech choices behind CommonsCloud.
(CommonsCloud is a platform coop combining Discourse, NextCloud and Phabricator. They’re trying to build an online collaboration platform for the solidarity economy.)
President Erdogan announces that Turkish flag hoisted in the centre of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Afrin.
Crypto technology is coming to a crossroads. Plenty want to use it to radically redistribute wealth – but plenty don’t, says writer Josh Hall
I think the article could explain better what it is specifically that both the left the far-right are doing with cryptocurrency. And in what way the far-right is one step ahead.
Originally published in the Cooperative Business Journal’s winter 2018 issue. For a sizable portion of the people running the established cooperatives in the United States, I’ve found, the in…