James Hughes, who is doing a panel with me tomorrow on Science & Technology for Liberation, pointed out this syllabus and bibliography he put together for a science fiction and politics study group several years back, and so I figured I’d share with the class.

tg_web_graphicI’m participating on a panel this weekend at Think GalactiCon, a radical science fiction convention in Chicago. The panel will be on the topic of Science & Technology for Liberation. Here’s the description:

Counter to dystopian futures and the portrayal of technology as a tool of oppression, many writers illustrate how technology can also be implemented for liberatory uses and to instigate radical social change. (A few examples include sousveillance, boundary-collapsing communications, and post-scarcity via nanofabrication, among others.) What can we learn from these explorations and how can we apply them to develop a real-world anarchist/egalitarian/technoprogressive/left approach to science and technology?

Joining me on the panel will be James Hughes, author of Citizen Cyborg, board member for Humanity Plus, executive director for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and all-around very busy and prolific transhumanist guy. I presume I’ll be giving the non-state ideas while he throws down his technoprogressive arguments.

There are some other interesting-looking discussions scheduled at the con. I’m particularly looking forward to the Continuing Appeal of the Apocalypse.

Think GalactiCon

April 30, 2009

anarchistbookI’m thinking of putting together a panel/workshop for the ThinkGalactiCon radical sci-fi convention in Chicago (June 26-28). So far what I have in mind is along the lines of discussing feminism and transhumanism — specifically why, despite its emphasis on reproductive and morphological freedom, transhuman sci-fi, writings, and activism are all male-dominated areas. There is a lot of related material that could fit into such a discussion: eugenics issues, uploading/resleeving and gender identity, repro tech, and so on.

That’s one idea anyway. Another is to discuss sci-fi examples of using H+ technologies (specifically AI, nano, and communications tech) to achieve anarchist/horizontal/egalitarian societies and/or social change. Perhaps related to this could be the development of an anarchist approach to science and technology.

Any of our readers planning on going? Have an interest in any particular topic? You can see some of the other panel/workshop ideas being discussed here.

Anarchists and Space

April 7, 2009

spacelegoI must admit, I wasn’t that excited when I first heard that the topic for this year’s Finding Our Roots anarchist theory conference in Chicago was going to be “space” — as in, the anarchist use of locations, territory, or idea/cultural space. Now that the conference is just a few weeks away, however, I’ve been toying with the idea of putting together a guerrilla workshop on anarchists _in_ space — as in, outer space.

An obvious starting point for a discussion of this sort would be the Association of Autonomous Astronauts, and similar groups like Red Giant, that tackled issues like the demilitarization and (non-)corporate colonization of outer space. On the more abstract/theoretical level, we could discuss science fiction portrayals of anarchists in space — Robinson’s Mars books, LeGuin’s Dispossessed, Ian Banks’s Culture books, MacLeod’s Fall Revolution, etc. — and how anarchists could play a role in expanding outward from Earth and potentially use it to claim autonomous anarchist space.

While such sci-fi and speculative fiction is often dismissed, it does open the door for anarchists to talk about these issues with people unfamiliar to anarchism.

Anyone reading this going to FOR? Anyone potentially interested in such a guerrilla workshop?

tg-logoSome local friends of ours, who hold a monthly radical-left sci-fi reading group called Think Galactic, were BoingBoinged yesterday thanks to a free PDF download they are offering for three of Paolo Bacigalupi’s short stories. I haven’t read any of Paolo’s stuff yet, but it sounds interesting, so I recommend checking it out. There’s also an amusing interview with Paolo over at EcoGeek.

The Think Galactic group is also holding a Think Galacticon radical sci-fi convention here in Chicago on July 26-28. Check it out if you’re in the area.

Global Catastrophic Risks

November 14, 2008

The Global Catastrophic Risks conference is going on today, preceding the Convergence transhumanist conference this weekend. Over at Avatar | Anima, John Carter McKnight was liveblogging the GCR presentations. Some of them look pretty interesting:
* Jamais Cascio on “Risks and Resilience”
* George Dvorsky on Political Extremism
* J. Storrs Hall on “The Weather Machine: Nano-Enabled Climate Control for Earth”
* James Hughes on “Building Transnational Solutions to Global Catastrophic Risks”

I suspect many of these presentations will be posted in full online soon.

Remember …

November 4, 2008

No matter who you vote for today, the capitalists still win.


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