Is all technology authoritarian?

The Terminator franchise draws from a deep well of mythology – preying on our fears that humans will be crushed by the technology that we ourselves create. The horrible inevitability of our fate makes it a compelling story. There is a converse myth: that through ever-advancing technological progress, rational man (and we can go down […]

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Making a TAZ – Reformulating the question

Having done lots of research around this theme, I’ve been able to get some perspective. So here’s a reformulation of the question into something more concrete: How do we best harness the energy and creativity of the maker movement (and associated groups, technologies and ideas) to develop new ways of living, production, commerce, and art that […]

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Making a Temporary Autonomous Zone

Well, my last hunch went a bit long, so here I’m just going to plant a stake in the ground and try to leave it alone. It’s fair to say that many of us dissatisfied with the dominant model for organising society, whether we’re marxists, anarchists, or just artists (I’m only the last of these), are attracted […]

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Platforms are the new gatekeepers

This post is one of a series of hunches that explore ideas around Liberatory technology. I am thinking aloud. Caveat emptor. OK, so a strand of any discussion about technology and emancipation has to be about the role of the web in enabling more people to access tools, information, collaborators, distribution and markets, and conversely […]

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Thinking in public – Liberatory technology

I’m trying to articulate an argument about the liberatory potential — or otherwise — of technology, and in particular the technology of makers: to help humans become freer, more creative, less beholden to systems of constraint, and so on. It’s proving difficult, so instead of trying to finish the whole in a one-er, I’m going […]

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Antiuniversity and Deinstitutionalisation

There’s some power in negating what already exists. Even if you reinforce the dominant institutions by accepting their framing and language. Anyway, without wishing to get into that, I’m intrigued by these anti-school systems that are popping up. This quote via Antiuniversity, who are reviving an original idea from – when else – 1968: ‘The […]

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Ruskin and the Maker Movement

I’m helping put together a conference later this month at the V&A called Maker Assembly. It’s an attempt to catalyse a more critical reflective discussion about maker culture, and add some more depth to our understanding of what making is about, and how we can do it better. As part of that effort, I interviewed […]

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