consumerism

Breaking up the Tech Giants is not Enough

ARTICLE
MonopolyMonopoly used to be understood in a kind of one dimensional space, how a company may have gained dominance in its industry. However, today’s tech monopolies exist in multidimensions; they monopolize and control our data, they decide when and if to censor our speech, and they purchase government officials, the same ones charged with reigning them in. But our old conception of monopolies is totally inadequate to describe or understand the significance of today’s big tech companies.

Breaking up the Tech Giants is not Enough

>> MORE

The Underground Episode 5: Is Capitalism Amoral? with Charles Love and Wilfred Reilly

PODCAST
The Underground Ep 5In this episode, Sasha and Nesim are joined by Charles Love and Wilfred Reilly to continue a discussion on capitalism that started on the Cut the Bull Podcast co-hosted by Charles, Wilfred, and Shemeka Michelle.

The Underground Episode 5: Is Capitalism Amoral? with Charles Love and Wilfred Reilly

>> MORE

Anti-Oppression Politics is a Red Herring to Divert Our Attention from Empire, Inequality, and Class Solidarity

ARTICLE
Why are the rich so much better at uniting around class issues than the plebes? Outrage is a sentiment that feels so pure and so right. When it is pointed at injustice and burns bright inside of us we are reaffirmed as the moral beings that we believe ourselves to be. That our strongly held sense of righteousness could be a useful tool for others and even redirected to serve their purposes may seem impossible and even unbearable.

Anti-Oppression Politics is a Red Herring to Divert Our Attention from Empire, Inequality, and Class Solidarity

>> MORE

When Populism Meant Collective Strength Against a Rigged System

ARTICLE
Southern farmers 1880sThe word populism gets thrown around these days to mean many different things. But the populist farmers revolt of the 1880s has so much to teach us today.

When Populism Meant Collective Strength Against a Rigged System

>> MORE

The Progress Paradox: Revisiting Steven Pinker’s Brand of Optimism

ARTICLE
The Progress Paradox: Revisiting Steven Pinker’s Brand of OptimismIs the world a better place? Opinions vary, though the enduring Western-centric belief is that humankind has never had it better. This belief is commonly espoused by technologists who praise the information age for ushering in a new era of opportunity and prosperity. The information age, coupled with industrialization, has certainly shaped the world in ways previously thought unimaginable. Advances in technology have transformed everyday life. Facial recognition software. Artificial intelligence. Microchip implants. Renewable energy. Genetic engineering. A revolutionary mRNA vaccine designed in just two days.

Given all this progress, it’s hard not to believe in the “prosperity presumption,” the belief that the world, as a whole, is getting better. Indeed, techno-utopians who adhere to the prosperity presumption also hold the belief that any form of technological stagnation is antithetical to progress. Some of the biggest technologists fall under this category.

The Progress Paradox: Revisiting Steven Pinker’s Brand of Optimism

>> MORE

Is the World Going Plant-Based? It’s Complicated.

ARTICLE
Every day we learn more about our home planet’s fascinating cohabitants: we know that mother pigs sing to their piglets while nursing; we know that chickens form complex social hierarchies; we know that dolphins have the longest memories in the animal kingdom; we know that birds can sing a wide range of complex songs, each with its own specific meaning; we know that when a goose’s mate dies, its partner will remove themselves from the flock and mourn for life.

Is the World Going Plant-Based? It’s Complicated.

>> MORE

“Identity Politics is Being Pushed Because it Disrupts Class Analysis” -Hamza Watani

PODCAST
Hamza WataniHamza Watani joins me for an in depth conversation on the nature of identity politics to disrupt conversations around class. We also talk about the super straight movement, gender identity ideology, the wave of anti-woman bullying going on right now and much more.

“Identity Politics is Being Pushed Because it Disrupts Class Analysis” -Hamza Watani

>> MORE

On the Loss of Ritual

ARTICLE
On the Loss of Ritual - Rozali TelbisWhether subconscious or not, most of us seek out rituals or initiations in whichever way we can. In The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell writes, “Young people just grab this stuff. Mythology teaches you what’s behind literature and the arts, it teaches you about your own life. It’s a great, exciting, life-nourishing subject.” Kids are naturally drawn to mythology, but they seek myths out in different ways – in the 80s and 90s, kids found them in film and television, now they are found primarily through their digital devices.

Much of our rituals today do not support personal growth or transformation, instead they serve to confuse and disorient. And in the absence of myths altogether, personal transformation isn’t possible. According to Campbell, “The absence of myth is the absence of psychological transformation.”

On the Loss of Ritual

>> MORE

Substack: A Re-Assembling of the Old Media

ARTICLE
Over the past several months, many of these reputable voices – including high-profile journalists – have been jumping ship from their safe, cushy jobs to join Substack, a newsletter-based subscription platform, to escape the onslaught of ideology, censorship, and rigid editorial control.

Some are calling this migration the “beginning of the gold rush," others are comparing Substack to the old Internet, while others are likening it to the early newsletters of the 17th century. In some ways, Substack does harken back to the old blogosphere; it is reminiscent of a former Internet, and elicits a certain sense of nostalgia. As tempting as it is to see this as a step towards building a rich information ecosystem, I fear this mass migration will simply re-organize the establishment class in new ways and create more toll booths on the information highway.

Substack: A Re-Assembling of the Old Media

>> MORE

Who Owns the Internet?

ARTICLE
The democratizing potential of the Internet echoed across the world: it was seen as a true equalizer, a force for good, and one that looked the same everywhere irrespective of one’s geographical location -- it defied all territorial borders. This vision was hardly seen as radical or controversial. Quite the opposite, it was widely embraced among tech circles, even by the likes of Microsoft.

But that Golden Age of the Internet is long gone.

Who Owns the Internet?

>> MORE