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The Maternal, Feminist Utopias of Charlotte Perkins Gilman
An excerpt from Michael Robertson’s book *The Last Utopians* that addresses Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s odd politics.
Charlotte_Perkins_Gilman  feminism  literarycriticism  animal_rights  utopia 
10 days ago by micahrobbins
John Perry Barlow, Internet Pioneer, 1947-2018 | Electronic Frontier Foundation
via Pocket - John Perry Barlow, Internet Pioneer, 1947-2018 - Added February 12, 2018 at 08:51AM
IFTTT  Pocket  culture  pioneer  settler  planner  technoenthusiasm  technology  totalitariansm  utopia 
20 days ago by lgalli
Who we are | seeds of good anthropocenes
"Seeds are existing initiatives that are not widespread or well-known. They can be social initiatives, new technologies, economic tools, or social-ecological projects, or organisations, movements or new ways of acting that have that appear to be making a substantial contribution towards creating a future that is just, prosperous, and sustainable."
newsletter  utopia  science  research 
29 days ago by thewavingcat
Critical Design Fictions CSPL 225
"Design fiction involves the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. Through practices of estrangement and defamiliarization, and through the use of carefully chosen design methods, this course experiments with the creation of provocative scenarios and imaginative artifacts that can help us envision different ways of inhabiting the world. The choices made by designers are ultimately choices about the kind of world in which we want to live--expressions of our dreams, fantasies, desires, and fears. As an integrated mode of thought and action, design is intrinsically social and deeply political. In conversation with science fiction, queer and feminist theories, indigenous discourses, drag and other performative interventions, this course explores speculative and critical approaches to design as catalysts for imagining alternate presents and possible futures. We examine a number of environmental and social issues related to climate change, incarceration, gender and reproductive rights, surveillance, emerging technologies, and labor."



"Readings include: Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby, SPECULATIVE EVERYTHING: DESIGN, FICTION, AND SOCIAL DREAMING and Patrick Parrender (ed.) LEARNING FROM OTHER WORLDS: ESTRANGEMENT, COGNITION, AND THE POLITICS OF SCIENCE FICTION AND UTOPIA, along with selections from Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Julian Bleeker, Paul Preciado, Bruce Sterling, Darko Suvin, Samuel Delany, Elizabeth Grosz, José Esteban Muñoz, Ursula LeGuin, and Octavia Butler, among others.

Examination and Assignments:
Participation and collaboration, short assignments in conversation with readings, midterm and final projects. Students will design and prototype a series of objects, scenarios, and characters as devices to explore alternate presents and possible futures."

[see also:
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/channels
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/speculative-design-1519962911
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/misc-design-1519956499
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/sensory-ethnography
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/ethnographic-design-films
https://www.are.na/barbara-adams/design-methods-1519961030

http://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/baadams/profile.html
http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2017/10/23/taylor-07-teaches-design-thinking-workshop-at-wesleyan/
http://wesleyanargus.com/2018/02/02/fellow-barbara-adams-talks-design-ideas-minor/
http://www.wesleyan.edu/ideas/faculty.html
http://www.wesleyan.edu/ideas/index.html
http://www.gidest.org/barbara-adams/
https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/design-as-future-making-9780857858399/
https://nssr.academia.edu/BarbaraAdams ]
barbaraadams  design  designfiction  2018  classes  anthonydunne  fionaraby  patrickparrender  carrielambert-beatty  paulpreciado  brucesterling  darkosuvin  samueldelany  elizabethgrosz  joséestebanmuñoz  ursulaleguin  octaviabutler  speculativefiction  speculativedesign  scifi  sciencefiction  utopia  julianbleecker  dunne&raby  wesleyan 
5 weeks ago by robertogreco
Ring the Bells That Still Can Ring: On Optimistic SF in Dystopian Times | Sarah Pinsker
"The Handmaid's Tale," like "Parable of the Sower," wasn't meant to be predictive. Those books are explorations of possible futures, possible futures with big warning signs posted all over the fence. The fact that these dystopic visions feel more real this month should be chilling all of us.
[We don't] have to abandon those books or those exercises, but we have to approach them in a different way. We have to acknowledge that the topics we are playing with are serious and real. That "over there" has the potential to become "over here." That every hypothetical we toss out might be something a real person has to actually face. That involves approaching the topic with greater empathy: toward the audience, toward the other panelists, toward ourselves.
We're not supposed to read these books and despair; we're supposed to read them and react. We're supposed to open our eyes and keep them open. We're supposed to stand up and say, "What can I do to keep this from happening?"
We need both of these kinds of fiction. The dystopic still serves a purpose, but hopeful visions become even more important in dark times. Faith in human goodness, in small acts, in the positive outcomes that can come from human persistence? Those are all things that feel like they're in short supply right now. I don't want or need them to be the only things I read, but even the smallest positives feel important and necessary right now.
toread  sf  scifi  politics  dystopia  optimism  utopia  hope  activism 
5 weeks ago by jefurii
Dystopias Are Not Enough - Kelly Robson - Clarkesworld Magazine
Like many people, I’ve been badly shaken by recent political events, and contemplating clever, cute answers to complex political problems is comforting. It doesn’t do much good, though.

For the past five hundred years, indigenous peoples worldwide have lived in a dystopia unperceived and unacknowledged by the overarching social order. Their lands have been invaded by foreign settlers, their cultures decimated by disease and displacement, their religions and languages outlawed, their children stolen. Even now, indigenous people have to fight to protect the land they have left. That’s a dystopia.

SF writers and readers are incredibly smart and well-informed. We’re dystopia experts. We should know how to deal with real-world dystopias. But unfortunately, we don’t. That’s not what dystopias are for.
If dystopias are cautionary tales, their efficacy in preventing the horrors they describe has yet to be proven. ... It could be argued that dystopias have no practical use at all. Maybe they’re just misery porn.

Worst-case scenario thinking is deeply disheartening and at worst, paralyzing. Right now, we cannot give in to paralysis. We need action. But there is no action without hope, and optimism seems to be in short supply.
For younger people, cynicism is psychological suicide. This doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for older people to be cynical. Anyone who’s not on their deathbed still has a future ahead, and cynicism will not serve that future.
We absolutely must not be cynical right now—none of us. Young and old, we must fight against it. If we give into cynicism, we betray the future.
No more dystopias. What we need is near- and mid-future stories that show an array of trajectories out of the gloomy toilet bowl we’re spiraling.
toread  sf  scifi  politics  dystopia  utopia  solarpunk  optimism  hope 
5 weeks ago by jefurii
Invisible Labor and Digital Utopias
“I want to make it clear that the problems we face with digital labor and digital utopias are not necessarily simply about the digital but rather about systems and structures that have long been in place.”
open  opensource  utopia  futurism  essay  lecture 
6 weeks ago by Mr0grog
Invisible Labor and Digital Utopias
"So I’ve been thinking a lot, as I said, about “permissions” and “openness.” I have increasingly come to wonder if “permission-less-ness” as many in “open” movements have theorized this, is built on some unexamined exploitation and extraction of labor – on invisible work, on unvalued work. Whose digital utopia does “openness” represent?"



"I like to remind people that with all this sweeping rhetoric about revolution and transformation, that John Perry Barlow wrote “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” in 1996 in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum. I don’t know about you, but that’s neither a site nor an institution I’ve never really associated with utopia. Indeed, perhaps much of this new technology was never meant to be a utopia for all of us after all."



"When we think about “open” and labor, who do we imagine doing the work? What is the work we imagine being done? Who pays? Who benefits? (And how?)"



"Ignoring racism in the technological imagination does not make it go away."



"What do machines free us from? Not drudgery – not everyone’s drudgery, at least. Not war. Not imperialism. Not gendered expectations of beauty. Not gendered expectations of heroism. Not gendered divisions of labor. Not class-based expectations of servitude. Not class-based expectations of leisure.

And so similarly, what is the digital supposed to liberate us from? What is rendered (further) invisible when we move from the mechanical to the digital, when we cannot see the levers and the wires and the pulleys."
audreywatters  2018  utopia  technology  labor  resistance  permission  open  openness  opensource  exploitation  copyright  creativecommons  johnperrybarlow  freedom  class  leisure  work  servitude  liberation  digital 
6 weeks ago by robertogreco
Leaving Herland | The Point Magazine
But even after I overcame my instinct for detachment, I remained wary of the movement’s language, which was a language of binaries: women and men.
feminism  gender  literature  men  metoo  reading  revolution  utopia  women  stream 
7 weeks ago by therourke
The myth of an ending: why even removing Trump from office won’t save American democracy
the desire for a dramatic explosion of the Trump presidency at times seems to blend into a desire for the dramatic blowup of the American political system altogether, a sense that we need some apocalyptic event that will wipe the slate clean and revitalize our democracy in one big revolutionary motion. It’s no accident that the rise of Trump has coincided with fearful but titillated worries about coups d’état, collapses into tyranny, and even a second American civil war or secession. These concerns are partially specific to Trump. But they reflect worries that transcend him too.

The reality is that Trump’s removal or resignation from office, while desirable, would not do much to change the trajectory of America’s political institutions. And the mounting desire for something cataclysmic that could change their trajectory strikes me as dangerous. The best we can do, I fear, is to muddle along and try our best to keep things from getting worse. And the less we accept that, and the more we escape into fantasias of collapse and redemption, the harder making those modest incremental improvements will be. […]

Humans, as the late literary critic Frank Kermode argued in his book The Sense of an Ending, crave narrative structure. “We are surrounded by [chaos], and equipped for coexistence with it only by our fictive powers,” he writes. We can’t see the world as a sequence of events, one right after another, with no end or resolution in sight. “To see everything as out of mere succession,” he observes, “is to behave like a man drugged or insane.”

We can’t see what’s happening to American politics as just a succession of events that, in themselves, mean nothing. They have to be leading up to a climactic Götterdämmerung in which our slate is wiped clean. This is the yearning behind bold predictions of the Trump administration’s collapse, or of a dramatic descent into tyranny at Trump’s hand.

We fantasize about an early, dramatic end to the Trump years in part because that signals a return to normalcy and a rejection of all the dysfunctions he symbolizes. For more sophisticated observers who know that the forces that produced Trump will continue after he’s gone, you see either a wallowing into dystopia — musing about an American descent into outright tyranny, of the kind occurring in the formerly democratic Hungary and Poland right now. Or you see fantasies of utopia, as in Bernie Sanders’s characterization of the anti-Trump resistance as a broader “political revolution, something long overdue” that will sweep into power “an agenda that works for the working families of our country and not just the billionaire class.”
DonaldTrump  Politics  Storys  nct  Memetics  Dystopia  Utopia  ncpin 
8 weeks ago by walt74

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