stuff that’s happening/stuff to do:
part one: i was originally interested in the overlap i see between open source software projects and grassroots organizing. this now only seems like half of what i’m interested in. we don’t organize just for the hell of it, just like we don’t “build community” for the hell of it. organizing builds collective power. collective power is important to the extent that it results in material improvements to people’s lives. i’m curious about the extent to which the scalability and accessibility of a distributed open source model can be used to expand the reach of and participation in IRL social movements.
part two: everyone’s talking about digital literacy. but to what end? i’m interested in a digital literacy that empowers people as civic participants. i’m interested in a digital literacy that helps activists build tools to leverage power as workers and users of digital platforms. currently, these platforms benefit from intentional information asymmetries, but the reality is that they would not exist without us. how do we leverage this to demand accountability, fair wages, transparency? this looks different in different kinds of cases. in particular, i’m interested in two kinds of recent cases:
- instacart strike.
- facebook collaboration with police to censor police killing of korryn gaines.
these are technical design challenges. maybe they look like apps or browser extensions or encrypted email lists or a combination of all the above or something else entirely.
so that’s it. those are the things. going forward, i need to work on elaborating what i see as the lay of the land, the problems, and the opportunities here. aside from that, there are some prototypes to be very sketchily sketched and design challenges to think through. everyone’s talking about algorithmic accountability lalala, but what if we never get access to proprietary algorithms? what if, instead, we hack our way around them the way instacart workers did? i’m interested in a digital literacy, a kind of thinking aided by a technical skill set, that makes this possible on a larger scale.