techno-skepticism

Section 1: Mondays Jan 7- Mar 18

Section 2: Tuesdays Jan 8- Mar 19

Section 3: Wednesdays Jan 9- Mar 20

(all sections are online & meet via Zoom from 6-9 PM PST- 11 weeks)

The best and most evolved technologies are those that do not destroy the very base on which we live.

-Dr. Vandana Shiva

Have you noticed how the delusional arrogance of tech-bros (Elon Musk, The Big Bang Theory, et al) is the same Eurocentric, cisheteropatriarchal, capitalist colonial oppression killing us all? Have you observed how the tech industry advertises corporate responsibility while gentrifying, suppressing dissent, committing ecocide, exploiting child labor, violating our privacy, & fueling social unrest thru rapacious extraction? Have you considered the ecological toll of unnecessary gadgets & machinery? Isn’t the desire to colonize space the logical extension of the most violent injustices within all human history? Have you sensed that the cult of singularity is a twisted co-optation of our holistic interconnectedness, but you don’t quite have a solid analysis of what’s up? If you’re over the transhuman dystopia & shiny distractions from our most vital needs, this season is for you.

apply here

seasonal learning objectives (and whatever you co-create)

  1. Unlearn the ‘march of progress’ tech-myth that’s accelerating ecocide
  2. Learn why a Neo-luddite movement is vital
  3. Gain support in digital detoxification
  4. Practice material resistance to the surveillance state
  5. Cultivate a liberatory relationship with technology

seasonal devotion

To all of the peoples ravaged by social unrest fueled from high-tech extractive industries. To our miraculous forests, oceans, rivers, sands, rocks, minerals, plants, and non-human animals that have been ‘resource-ified.’ For all of the species that have been extinct-ed in the name of so-called progress. For Mauna Kea, and the other sacred lands being violated by exploitative non-consent calling itself science. For our future generations to even have a chance. To the pollinators and other life who are devastated by unnecessary electromagnetic radiation & environmental disruption. We see you. May we do something about it. May we not let one more species go extinct because of human materialism. May consumers shed their navel-gazing to holistically consider producers and the entire production line.  May we remember life affirming technologies. And cease the poison of industrial extraction. Let alone the mining of our very spirits.

weekly schedule (subject to change)

  1. intro to season & Slaughterbots (film)
  2. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism Dr.Safiya Umoja Noble (video)
  3. A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity
  4. Goodbye Mrs. Ant (film)
  5. Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, & Punish the Poor Dr. Virginia Eubanks (video)
  6. Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, & Other Threats of Toxic Tech Sara Wachter-Boettcher (video)
  7. My Life Isn’t Your Porn (article)
  8. Google and the World Brain (film)
  9. Of Woman Borg: Bionic Betties, Radical Robots,& the Evolution of the Artificial Woman (essay)
  10. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality & Threatens Democracy Dr. Cathy O’Neil (video)
  11. closing

supplementary materials

Curricular Note: It’s gonna get real, so please consider attending with intention and care. We’ll be flexible with the schedule as our (un)learning processes unfold, centralizing care.

Assignments

Weekly Materials

Please review as much of the assigned materials as possible before each gathering. Give yourself time, as some of them include suggestions for supplementary activities and they all merit close attention. If you’re not able to complete the entire assignment for a class, feel free to still attend, though. If there are words or concepts you’re unfamiliar with, try to look them up. Please consider watching the films with others (documentary night!) to spread awareness & dialogue. Feel free to jot down questions that arise while doing the work.

Attendance

To ensure the potency of our collective knowledge-production, (un)learning, and community building, no new participants will be able to sit in after Week 2.

Please let us know in Constellations at your earliest convenience if you plan to be late or miss a gathering so that we can plan accordingly. That’s where you can confidentially post your reflections for the week if you have to miss a class so we can bring your voice into the circle. I really encourage folks to post each time you may have to miss to ensure *consistency* in our (un)learning & community building. Also, please bring a journal and something to write with each week.

Financial Offering

Since I’m committed to taking seriously questions of access and privilege, this season is offered for $240 per participant to be paid in full by the first day of class. If it’s literally impossible for you to donate this, let me know.

Recording* This course will be audio recorded, primarily for folks who may miss a class so that they can access the recordings before our next gathering. Feel free to take this into consideration as you share with whatever level of discernment you prefer.

white noise

by Anjali Nath Upadhyay & Nicole Gervacio


My experience with Liberation Spring (and in particular, the Just Pleasure course) is that Anjali is inexplicably adept when it comes to seamlessly weaving learning objectives into readings, assignments, and group discussions. She has the uncanny ability to create a safe, brave space for connection, critical thinking, and integration of the introduced concepts into her students’ lives—not as distant theories but as lived practices with distinctly political ramifications. As with all of Anjali’s undertakings, her courses are incredibly rigorous and nuanced, and also anchored in deep respect for her students’ lived experiences. There is something incredibly vitalizing about being in a Liberation Spring course. I can expect to be challenged, perplexed, and delighted. I can expect to have my intellectual horizons stretched, to come back to beginner’s mind, and also to know that I’m an integral part of the learning community. This is the kind of consciousness-raising that nourishes me deeply—and reminds me on a daily basis of how my everyday choices impact not just my life, but the collective. ― Nirmala N.