A Digital Digestive Tract, and more SF Bay Blurbs…


< Oct.29 > JCCSF Lectures w/ Cory Doctorow, with David Pescovitz
Presented in partnership with Boing Boing (warning : expensive! )

Extract: ” Can lesser-known artists still thrive in the Internet era? Can giant record labels avoid alienating their audiences? Science fiction author, activist, journalist and Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founder of the U.K. Open Rights Group. His latest book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, takes on the state of copyright and creative success in the digital age. He is joined by his partner at Boing Boing, co-editor David Pescovitz, for a conversation about the pitfalls and opportunities that creative industries (and individuals) face today.”

Some very hot topics !

[ Which btw, we think Astra Taylor's The People's Platform has addressed with amazing tactical precision, and which we've written a little about in previous bits; Ideas we've been spreading through our CiTiZEN KiNO - episode 40 tour : All You Can't Eat ! ]

So here’s a little XLt preface…

Cory’s on a tour w/ this new book which takes a spin on Stewart Brand’s infamous quote ” Information wants to be free.”

We now have a digital culture which has nearly wiped out the ability for artists and writers to make a living, while the Big 5 Publishing houses and the internet’s new blood-sucking Giants are swelling like a global predator parasite engorging itself on everything you make and share. So the XLterrestrials are a Little curious what tacts he’s advocating in these times of a digital digestive tract with an insatiable appetite for livelihoods… and all your data.

Keeping in mind Cory’s a full-on technotopian who is still evangelizing about liberation through technological means, and advocates for the “internet of things” … i.e. imagine the current asymmetric corporate net exponentially accelerated, that is, getting far worse and far more controlling when it has access to every object you possess and interact with.

And utilizing Amanda Palmer as an intro-writer is a very very bad sign… Her fairytale kickstarter is rumored to have been primarily backed by Scientology connections, not her fans; And is anyway a perfect model for viral narcissicism and the downward popcult spiral, rather than a good example of high-level collective production and radical community intelligence for challenging times. And she played the kickstart game like a true winner-take-all shark, feeding the +1million dollars into her own projects, while avoiding payment to her collaborating / laboring musicians who tour(ed) with her.

Come prepared w/ deep questions. The net-dominated culture remains a dangerous labyrinth that needs to be strategically navigated, passionately debated and urgently re-shaped by a multitude of diverse voices.


Added: Afterward impressions:

Cory’s an incredibly fluid and intense thinker, speaker, creator … and we’re processing many thoughts and having some great conversations as a result. We appreciate all his prolific work, and we are happy to see that he’s on top of the fight for a free net culture. But we find some troubling trends and paradoxes in some of his thinking, that will take time to analyze…

But here’s a taste of some disturbing resonances…

“Ok, let’s sink our teeth into this : “the Internet is our – society’s – central nervous system. EVERYTHING we do will be with computers.” (Doctorow )…  OR… Is the internet the spineless white men’s best hope for post-humanity (and ongoing capitalist operating systems) since sliced bread. And moreover tools of remote control domination, oppression and plunderpalooza colonialism ?? (XLterrestrials )

Hmm, probably a bit of both, but currently more of the latter. Stay tune for a full report. And we’re happy to have an advance copy of “Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free “  to think these issues further through. It’s a carefully crafted directory for some very important social struggles ahead.


And more SF Bay Listings coming soon !

< Oct.28 > Internet Archive.org annual party

< Oct.29/30 > BETTER HOMES & GARDENS TODAY! A project by Megan Wilson and Christopher Stratton on the housing struggles. Weds. & Thursday! at ATA (Artists’ Television Access) 992 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 7pm – 9pm

< Oct.29 > Shaping SF Talks w/ James Tracy discussing his new PM Press book Dispatches Against Displacement

< Nov. 8 > Moon Fails, a space operetta by David Cox debuting at Othercinema, in SF

< Nov./DEc. > CiTiZEN KiNO #41 : The Occupied Territories , dates TBA

And in NYC:

< Nov. 14-16 > Digital Labor Conference, New School, NYC


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