The short answer to the question, “Are gig economy companies like Uber or Airbnb anarchist in nature?” is a dismissive wave of the hand. But one of my political science textbooks for a kind of ideologies 101 class has a chapter dedicated to anarchism, which I was excited for. To my dismay and concern, the comical and entirely contradictory branch of “anarcho-capitalism” is briefly explored. Sure, it might be a noteworthy aberration to point at and critique, but here it appears to be treated as legitimate – I guess that’s a consequence of the US’ lunacy…
Continue reading “Anarcho-Capitalism and Gig Economy as “Crypto-Anarchism”: A Response”
Reading Sacha Molitorisz’s Net Privacy: How We Can Be Free in an Age of Surveillance, I have appreciated the background and philosophical backing for protecting privacy. In particular, the relational approach to privacy he describes I think is a brilliant way to expand the scope of what actually constitutes privacy as an individual and societal concern. However, there have been a few points that I do not agree with or wish were explored more; as young as it is, the role blockchain technology has and could play in ensuring net privacy is not even mentioned once. Instead, the chapter I am currently reading speaks of regulation and legislation, talking about the privacy of individuals and society but then falling back on the State or global institutions to uphold it – a tad problematic.
Continue reading “Governments Can’t Self-Regulate Surveillance”
I am currently reading Merchants of Doubt, a 2010 book written by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway about how a number of global issues have been corrupted by a small number of “experts” and powerful special interests. The topics covered are quite varied, from smoking, to environmental concerns like acid rain, to Reagan’s Star Wars plans, etc. Probably the most important one is climate change, which I have not reached yet, but it’s an obvious one. But why? The free market loving capitalists should be flocking to support renewable energy, not because they give a shit about the planet, but because it could be the freest market ever created.
Continue reading “Is Renewable Energy Not the Capitalist Dream?”
The more varying anarchist literature and essays I read (which is, admittedly, not even that much overall), the more I realise that, beyond the central theme of “opposing” all forms of authority and hierarchy, anarchism only has one other uniting feature – it can’t really decide or agree on much more than that. One such field is that of technology, with anarcho-primitivists and crypto-anarchists essentially being on opposite ends of that particular spectrum.
Continue reading “Anarchism and the Neutrality of Technology”
Abigail Thorn, better known as Philosophy Tube on YouTube, released her latest video Data recently. Much of the content was stuff I was already aware of, and some I have written a bit about before, but there were a few parts that really stuck out – partly because, the very next day, what happened in the scene happened to me.
Continue reading “Privacy for Sale”
Admittedly, I thought I had read more books than the ones on this list, but alas it is much smaller than anticipated when I compiled it. I wasn’t expecting anything huge, and 16 books is still a reasonable feat, in my view, but I can’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment that I didn’t get through more. I would, however, suggest that finishing university and keeping up with news events and analysis probably makes up for that. Nevertheless, these are the books I read this past year, with a few thoughts looking back on them and links to piece that refer to them.
Continue reading “My 2019 Reading List”
Modern slavery takes a variety of forms, but the most prominent, overarching sector it infiltrates is supply chains. From raw materials to the distribution of a final product, slave labour can be used to tarnish the origins of many things we consume without a second thought, from foodstuffs to electronics. But what if there was a way to blow this shady and opaque industry open and to the light of public scrutiny?
Continue reading “Addressing Modern Slavery: A Reflection Pt.2”
In my last piece, I threw together some thoughts about how blockchain could reshape how we approach work. It offers itself perfectly – if implemented right – to essentially abolishing the idea of corporate hierarchies, decentralising online platforms and giving individuals autonomy and security. Like the rise of the Internet, however, which promised similar ideas of freedom, blockchain is being hit with corporate influence. In this piece, though, I want to talk about one way blockchain fights back against the most lucrative market to ever exist: data.
Continue reading “Blockchain: Owning Your Data”
I have been reading Blockchain Revolution by Don and Alex Tapscott recently – at an admittedly slow pace, I’ve had a lot of reading to get through for university – and researching blockchain elsewhere. It’s a bizarre read, not because I don’t understand the concept of blockchain, but because the authors appear pro-capitalism while so many of the benefits they have talked about so far lend themselves more towards abolishing it piece by piece.
Continue reading “Blockchain Technology Can Reshape Work”