amor mundi

Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Green Rhet This Summer

Summer 2017
Rhet 153: GREEN RHETORIC

Instructor: Dale Carrico: dcarrico@sfai.edu, ndaleca@gmail.com
Course Blog: http://greenrhetoric.blogspot.com/2017/06/our-syllabus.html
Meeting: July 3-August 11, 2017, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 9-11.30am, Rhetoric Conference Room, 7415 Dwinelle Hall

Rough Basis for Final Grade, subject to contingencies -- Participation/Attendance, 15%; Reading Notebook, 15%; Object Reading, 1-2pp., 10%; Toulmin/Precis, 2-3pp., 15%%; Presentation, 15%; Final Project/Keyword Map, 30%.

Course Description

Of what does "Greenness" consist? In what does "Greenness" abide? Just what is "Greenness" good for? In this course we will survey a range of key vocabularies of environmental thought and activism -- Deep Ecology, eco-socialism, eco-feminism, environmental justice, anti-civilizationism, permaculture, sustainable development, disaster capitalism, and futurological geo-engineering -- as well as engage with more specifically and indicatively American traditions, from Transcendentalism to wilderness conservation (or exterminism), the land ethic, and consumer lifestyle ecology. We will also delve into what seem to be prevalent rhetorical strategies to communicate the urgency of environmental crises and mobilize sufficient constituencies to address them. What is compelling or not about current forms of environmental journalism? What delights lie in store for the reader of international agreements on climate change and policy papers available from the Environmental Protection Agency? Does the scientificity of statistics lend force to environmental claims or alienate people from narratives of lived distress and shared threat? If liberal governance is inadequate to address environmental catastrophe are efforts to circumvent the political via macro-design strategies or micro-mindfulness lifeways more likely to succeed? Does the proliferation of environmentalist identities and subcultures facilitate necessary political organization or undermine it or simply reveal its ineradicable intersectional stratification? We will even ponder why so many environmentalist websites make recourse to similar color palettes and fonts and images. Our focus will never drift far from current dilemmas, but the premise of the course is that these dilemmas are illuminated by critical vocabularies just as the critical vocabularies are substantiated by the dilemmas to which they are applied. At the end of the term, each student will create a conceptual-keyword map tracing their own course through the course materials and finding their own settlement within them, however unsettling it may be.

Provisional Schedule of Meetings

Week One

Tuesday, July 4 -- Holiday

Wednesday, July 5 {Introductions}

Thursday, July 6 {Inconvenient Truths}
-- Screening and discussion of film, "An Inconvenient Truth" (1-2pp. Object Reading due Tuesday)
-- Bill McKibben, With the Ascent of Trump Is It Game Over for the Climate Change Fight?

Week Two

Tuesday, July 11 {Hyperobjects, Slow Violences, Number Soup, Intersections}
-- Timothy Morton, The End of the World
-- Naomi Klein, Climate Rage
-- Rob Nixon, Slow Violence
-- Bill McKibben, Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
-- Brentin Mock, Are There Two Different Versions of Environmentalism, One "White," One "Black"?

Wednesday, July 12 {Transcendentalist Precursors and Successors}
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Nature
-- Henry David Thoreau, from Walden
-- Mary Austin, The Land of Little Rain
-- Aldo Leopold, Thinking Like A Mountain
-- Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic

Thursday, July 13 {Ah, Wilderness!}
-- PBS Site for the Ken Burns Miniseries, America's Best Idea
-- Alan Spears, No, National Parks Are Not America's "Best Idea"
-- Lisa Campbell, National Parks and Environmental Racism
-- John Muir, Save the Redwoods
-- Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, Chapters 1-3
-- Astra Taylor, Who Speaks for the Trees?

Week Three

Tuesday, July 18 {Deep Ecology}
-- Arne Naess, The Shallow and the Deep
-- Arne Naess and George Sessions, Deep Ecology Platform
-- Stephen Harding, What Is Deep Ecology?
-- Joanna Macy, The Ecological Self
-- William Cronon, The Trouble With Wilderness
-- Murray Bookchin, Social Ecology Versus Deep Ecology

Wednesday, July 19 {Eco-Feminism}
-- Rosemary Radford Reuther, Ecofeminism
-- Cathleen and Colleen McGuire, Ecofeminist Visions
-- Catherine Keller, Dark Vibrations: Ecofeminsm and the Sacred
-- Nick Estes, This Land Was Made for Decolonized Love
-- Allison Kilkenny, 5 Reasons You Should Care About Environmental Justice If You Care About Women
-- Greta Gaard, Toward A Queer Ecofeminsm
-- Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands, Unnatural Passions? Notes to a Queer Ecology

Thursday, July 20 {Eco-Socialism} (Precis/Toulmin)
-- John Bellamy Foster, The Four Laws of Ecology and the Four Anti-Ecological Laws of Capitalism
-- John Bellamy Foster, Trump and Climate Catastrophe
-- Vandana Shiva, The US Patent System Legalizes Theft and Biopiracy
-- Systems Change Not Climate Change, What Is Ecosocialism?
-- Jason Moore, The End of Cheap Nature
-- David Schwartzman, From Climate Crisis to Solar Capitalism

Week Four

Tuesday, July 25 {Environmental Justice}
-- Robert Bullard, Poverty, Pollution, and Environmental Racism
-- Laura Pulido, Flint, Environmental Racism, and Racial Capitalism
-- Sarah Lazare, From Fracking to Coal Waste, NAACP Confronts Environmental Racism in North Carolina
-- Melissa Harris-Perry, Being Black on Earth Day
-- Larry Buhl, The Color of Pollution
-- Rio Declaration
-- Johannesburg Declaration

Wednesday, July 26 {Permaculture/Polyculture}
-- John Zerzan, Agriculture
-- Malcolm Scully, The Destructive Nature of Our Bountiful Harvests
-- Wes Jackson and Wendell Berry, A 50-Year Farm Bill
-- Wes Jackson, Becoming Native To This Place
-- The Land Institute, Vision and Mission and Our Work
-- David Holmgren, Permaculture Design Principles
-- UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Agroforestry, Basic Knowledge (By all means, dig deeper.)

Thursday, August 27 {Green Eats} (Potluck Brunch)
-- Clara Jeffery, Michael Pollen Fixes Dinner
-- Dale Allen Pfeiffer, Eating Fossil Fuels
-- Claudia Deutsch, Trying to Connect the Dinner Plate to Climate Change
-- John Vidal, Ten Ways Vegetarianism Can Help Save the Planet
-- Sarah Henry, Former Black Panther Launches Urban Farm to Give Ex-Prisoners a New Start
-- Marc Abrahams, Food for Thought
-- Gretel Schueller, The Truth Behind Food Labels
-- EPA, Food and Pesticides
-- Tom Philpott, Trump's EPA Greenlights A Nasty Chemical

Week Five

Tuesday, August 1 {Standing Rock}
-- History
-- Nick Estes, Fighting For Our Lives
-- Wikipedia, List of Pipeline Accidents in the 21st Century
-- Julian Brave Noisecat and Ann Spice, A History and Future of Resistance
-- Black Lives Matter, Solidarity With Standing Rock
-- Anna J. Willow and Sara Wiley, Politics, Ecology, and New Anthropology of Energy: Hydraulic Fracking

Wednesday, August {Peak Everything}
-- James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency
-- Michael Klare, Are Resource Wars Our Future?
-- Maxwell, Fuller, Brooks, and Watson, Biodiversity: The Ravages of Guns, Nets, and Bulldozers
-- Saul Landau, Reagan and Bottled Water
-- World Wildlife Fund, Deforestation
-- Kate Kelland, Antibiotics Overuse Threatens Modern Medicine

Thursday, August 3 {Green Capitalism/Disaster Capitalism}
-- Paul Hawken, Natural Capitalism
-- Michael Albert, Natural Capitalism?
-- Richard Stroup, Free Market Environmentalism
-- Herman Daly and Kenneth Townsend, Sustainable Growth: An Impossibility Theorem
-- The Economist, The Triple Bottom Line
-- IPCC, Thirty Years To Climate Calamity If We Carry On Blowing the "Climate Budget"
-- Harvey Wasserman, King CONG vs. Solartopia
-- Bruce Watson, The Troubling Evolution of Corporate Greenwashing
-- Naomi Klein, Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump's Disaster Capitalism

Week Six

Tuesday, August 8 {Green Urbanity} (Last of the Presentations)
-- Mike Davis, Slum Ecology
-- Mike Davis, Sinister Paradise: Does the Road to the Future End at Dubai?
-- Stewart Brand, How Slums Can Save the Planet
-- Bob Berwyn, To Keep Cities Cool We Must Green Them Right
-- Joshua Leon, What Broadacre City Can Teach Us
-- Annalee Newitz and Emily Stamm, 10 Failed Utopian Cities That Influenced the Future

Wednesday, August 9 {Tech Talk}
-- John Zerzan, Against Technology
-- Kirkpatrick Sale, Lessons from the Luddites
-- Bryan Walsh, Your Data Is Dirty
-- Aaron Labaree, Our Science Fiction Apocalypse
-- Marc Stiegler, The Gentle Seduction
-- Naomi Klein, Geoengineering: Testing the Waters
-- Karl Mathiesen, Is Geoengineering A Bad Idea?

Thursday, August 10 {Final Symposium} (Hand in Final Project, Keyword Map)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Good Vs. Evil

Democrats seek to alleviate precarity in order to build equity-in-diversity. Republicans seek to amplify precarity in order to exploit-&-control. Needless to say, one wishes more Democrats were better at building equity-in-diversity, and one can imagine or at any rate remember Republicans who weren't entirely given over to exploitation and control, but I gotta say this distinction seems pretty apt and it pretty much is the difference between good and evil and, like it not, here we are.

Which Side Are You On?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Free

"Downloud our app for free" is no more giving you something for free than "come visit our store for free" is giving you something for free.

Useful

Monday, June 19, 2017

Digi Demos This Summer at Berkeley

Summer 2017 
Rhet 166: DIGITAL DEMOCRATIZATION & ANTIDEMOCRATIZATION UNDER THE LAW

Instructor: Dale Carrico: dcarrico@sfai.edu, ndaleca@gmail.com

Course Blog: https://digidemosunderlaw.blogspot.com/2017/06/our-syllabus.html
Meetings: July 3-August 11, 2017, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 2-4.30pm, 140 Barrows Hall
 
Rough Basis for Final Grade, subject to contingencies -- Participation/Attendance, 15%; Reading Notebook, 15%; Toulmin/Precis, 2-3pp., 15%; Presentation, 15%; Final Paper, 6-8pp. 40%. 
                Course Description
How did the promise of peer-to-peer participatory democracy devolve into twitter harassment, doxxing, toxic comment sections, and zero comments? Is techno-progressive "disruption" merely reactionary deregulation, venture capitalist "innovation" merely marketing hyperbole, futurological "acceleration" merely social precarization, tech's vaunted "sharing economy" merely a digital sharecropping society, its "openness" vacuity, its "participation" another form of television? How did early legal and political squabbles over privacy and property online set the stage for our current distress? How might the "end-to-end principle" defining internet architecture across its many layers comport with the ideologically reactionary figure of "negative liberty" playing out in generations of anarchic, spontaneist, populist online activism? What are the politics of a digitality figured as an immaterial spirit realm, when digital networks abet financial fraud and military surveillance via an "internet" powered by coal smoke, accessed on toxic landfill-destined devices manufactured by wage slaves in overexploited regions of the real world? Setting aside the logical possibility and engineering plausibility of "artificial intelligence" does AI as a rhetorical trope in legal and cultural discourse facilitate and rationalize unaccountable algorithmic mediation and muddy our thinking about "autonomous" weapons systems? How does social media facilitate the transformation of factual disputes over climate change, harm reduction, and the macroeconomics of public investment into polarizing culture wars? Are there appropriate and appropriable techniques at hand through which democratizations might resist these degradations? Might "The Future" still be more evenly distributed? Can we still count on the street finding its own uses for things?

                Week One                                                                                                            

Tuesday, July 4 Holiday

Wednesday, July 5 Introductions

Thursday, July 6 

                Week Two            

Tuesday, July 11 
-- John Maynard Keynes, from "Europe Before the War"
-- Tom Standage, on his book The Victorian Internet
-- Lawrence Lessig, from Code, Chapter 1, "Code Is Law," pp. 1-8; and Chapter 7, "What Things Regulate" pp. 120-137.
-- Lawrence Lessig, from The Future of Ideas, Freedom on the Wires, Chapters 2-3, Building Blocks and Commons on the Wires, pp. 19-48.
-- John Oliver, Net Neutrality Explainer
-- Malkia A. Cyril, The Antidote to Authoritarianism

Wednesday, July 12
-- Paulina Borsook, Cyberselfish
-- Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, The Californian Ideology
-- Landon Winner, The Cult of Innovation

Thursday, July 13
-- Jessica Littman, Sharing and Stealing

                Week Three         

Tuesday, July 18
-- Eric Hughes, A Cypherpunk's Manifesto
-- Bruce Sterling, Maneki Neko
-- David Golumbia, Bitcoin Will Eat Itself
-- David Golumbia, Bitcoinsanity, Part I and Part II

Wednesday, July 19
-- Evgeny Morozov, The Perils of Perfectionism
-- Yochai Benkler, from The Wealth of Networks, Conclusion

Thursday, July 20 (Precis/Toulmin due following Tuesday)
-- Noah Berlatsky Interviews DeRay Mckesson, Hashtag Activism Isn't A Cop-Out

                Week Four

Tuesday, July 25
-- Evgeny Morozov, The Net Delusion

Wednesday, July 26
-- Alice Marwick and Rebecca Lewis, Media Manipulation andDisinformation Online
-- Zeynap Tufekci, Mark Zuckerberg Is In Denial
-- Sam Levin, Pay to Sway

Thursday, July 27
-- Jeremy Crampton and Andrea Miller, Introduction to Algorithmic Governance

                Week Five

Tuesday, August 1 Screen film, Colossus: The Forbin Project

Wednesday, August 2
-- Vernor Vinge, Technological Singularity
-- Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek #ACCELERATE Manifesto

Thursday, August 3 Final Paper Workshop

                Week Six
Tuesday, August 8 Poetry Reading/Individual Meetings

Wednesday, August 9
-- Jarett Kobek, I Hate the Internet (novel to purchase): We Heard You Like Books (2016). 
ISBN-10: 0996421807 ISBN-13: 978-0996421805/Individual Meetings

Thursday, August 10 Concluding Remarks (Hand in Final Paper, 6-8pp.)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Queer Resistances and Abolition Democracy

"[T]he point is to call for an equally livable life that is also enacted by those who make the call, and that requires the egalitarian distribution of public goods. The opposite of precarity is not security, but, rather, the struggle for an egalitarian social and political order in which a livable interdependency becomes possible -- it would be at once the condition of our self-governing as a democracy, and its sustained form would be one of the obligatory aims of that very governance." -- Judith Butler

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

If I'm Not Mistaken, We've Made It About One Tenth of the Way Through This Thing

Assuming he doesn't get impeached because there still won't be enough Democrats or others of sufficient integrity in Congress to impeach him even after the midterms. Assuming he doesn't get re-elected. Assuming there is a real election for him to lose in 2020.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Trump Disapproval Hits New High of 60% in Gallup Daily Tracking Poll

This would matter for any other administration in history. Will it matter this time? If it doesn't, will it ever matter again? (That it didn't matter for the last real test, the general election, is not encouraging.)


Monday, June 12, 2017

The F.A.B. One Was On To Something?

BBC Science & Environment News:
Great Britain is in the top 10% of areas for harbouring alien species, according to a study. Animals that have moved in from afar include the grey squirrel, rose-ringed parakeet and the noble false widow spider. The UK also has more established alien plants than elsewhere in Europe, such as Himalayan balsam. Scientists say islands and mainland coastal regions are global "hotspots" for alien species.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

As Goes Kansas...


-- Lawmakers rolled back Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature tax policy over his objections Tuesday night, forcing into law tax increases to fix a budget shortfall and provide more money for schools. The legislation ends the "march to zero" income tax cuts that Brownback heralded for much of his time as governor...  The Senate and House voted 27-13 and 88-31, respectively, to override Brownback’s veto. The action took place on the 109th day of the legislative session and paves the way for lawmakers to wrap up their work quickly, potentially this week. The override represents a blow to the legacy of one of the most unpopular governors in America, amid speculation that he may not serve out his remaining time in office but instead take a federal position.
Republican deregulatory disruption destroys everything it touches, and another noble experiment in Republican deception and plunder like Iraq Year Zero now ends with the state of Kansas brought low. The cherry on top of this shit sundae is of course the inevitable genuflection to Brownback's hopes for a golden parachute, enabling his upward failure from the Kansas catastrophe to a perch in the Trump Administration where he can bring his brand of destruction and misery to millions and millions more everyday working citizens.  

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Rebel Alliance Continues To Grow

On June 5, Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia would join the Climate Alliance as did Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Governor John Carney of Delaware and Governor Ricky Rosello of Puerto Rico. As of today, June 7, 2017, Alliance member states make up 31.4% of the U.S. population and 36.3% of U.S. GDP as of 2016.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

That Is To Say, Most Of It

It is amazing to grasp just how much tech innovation finally amounts to deliberate futurological enervation of criticism and citizen action.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Real America Backs Paris

The governors of Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont have joined the initial three states, California, New York, and Washington, as part of the Climate Alliance upholding the Paris Agreement from which the evil idiot Trump and his killer clowns have momentarily withdrawn us to the disgust and horror of the world. More than a quarter of the population of the country and over a third of the GNP of the country are represented by The Climate Alliance, even more so once the statements of Americas mayor's are taken into account. First formed just a few days ago, a dozen more states are thought to be considering joining the Alliance.