Date archives "April 2020"

How Contact Tracing Apps Can Foil Both COVID-19 and Big Brother

Do we really need to sacrifice privacy for health in the fight against covid-19? The DP-3T protocol can save lives without furthering surveillance capitalism. Originally published at Download this comic as a .zip! Sources: DP-3T, TCN Protocol, Ferretti & Wymant et al

We Are Not the Virus. We Are the Kamikazes.

I understand why environmentalists have concluded that Covid-19 is nature’s way of repelling human activity. If we’re going to keep mucking around with Earth’s biodiversity, climate, topsoil, oceans, and air, eventually nature’s going to respond. In this view, the virus is nature’s own antibodies, repelling human invasion. I sympathize with the systemic style of this… Continue reading

Double Edge Theatre: Art & Commoning

Matthew Glassman and Carlos Uriona, co-artistic directors of Double Edge Theatre in western Massachusetts, explain how commoning informs the performances and stewardship of their artist-owned ensemble theater company. About Double Edge Theatre Double Edge Theatre, an artist-run organization, was founded in Boston in 1982 by Stacy Klein as a feminist ensemble and laboratory of actors’… Continue reading

Commons-based peer production at the edge of a chaotic transition

Interview by Simone Cicero and Stina Heikkilä. Originally posted at Platform Design Toolkit. Michel Bauwens believes that because societies are complex adaptive systems, the only way to move towards a new, stable system is through a chaotic transition. The current pandemic shock will serve as a wake-up call, exposing the fallacies of our current systems. What we need… Continue reading

Take back the App! A dialogue on Platform Cooperativism, Free Software and DisCOs

Take Back the App! We need platform co-ops now more than ever. If the 19th and 20th centuries were about storming the factory and taking back the means of production, then the 21st century is about storming the online platforms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon and the apps that increasingly control our economy and our… Continue reading

Pandemic Priorities: supporting alternatives now is promoting a sustainable economy

Especially in these times, honoring our ancestors is investing in and trusting alternatives that are based in dignity, health and livelihoods for all of us.  In the early 1960s, my grandma was a secretary at the Caymanas Sugar Estate in Portmore, Jamaica. She helped the cane cutters who worked on the estate’s land create a… Continue reading

Italy, democracy and COVID-19

The crisis triggered by COVID-19 is challenging the very meaning of coexistence and cohabitation and redesigning the boundaries of public space in an absolutely unprecedented way, with unpredictable results. Written by Francesco Martone and originally published by the Transnational Institute. Measures to contain free movement and prohibitions on assembly have led to the temporary limitation,… Continue reading

Coronavirus Spells the End of the Neoliberal Era. What’s Next?

Coronavirus is a political crucible, melting down and reshaping current norms. Will the new era be a “Fortress Earth” or a harbinger of a transformed society based on a new set of values? Think Bigger Whatever you might be thinking about the long-term impacts of the coronavirus epidemic, you’re probably not thinking big enough. Our… Continue reading

Let the Institutional Innovation Begin! (Part I)

In covid-19, neoliberal capitalism has met a formidable foe. The pandemic has shown just how fragile and dysfunctional the market/state order — as a production apparatus, ideology, and culture — truly is. Countless market sectors are now more or less collapsing with a highly uncertain future ahead. With a few notable exceptions, government responses to… Continue reading

A Universal Basic Income Is Essential and Will Work

According to an April 6 article on, Spain is slated to become the first country in Europe to introduce a universal basic income (UBI) on a long-term basis. Spain’s Minister for Economic Affairs has announced plans to roll out a UBI “as soon as possible,” with the goal of providing a nationwide basic wage that… Continue reading

Open-source medical supplies battle COVID-19

Written by Anders Lisdorf. Originally published in Shareable While health authorities focus on top-down measures to get COVID-19 supplies to hospitals in need, home-grown initiatives are enlisting regular people to create open-source equipment. Rather than wait for the impact of government efforts to persuade manufacturers to move into emergency production of ventilators and protective equipment,… Continue reading

Small and local are not only beautiful; they can be powerful

By Vasilis Kostakis and Chris Giotitsas, Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology.. Originally published in Antipode Online. Introduction E.F. Schumacher’s seminal work Small Is Beautiful (1973) champions the idea of smallness and localism as the way for meaningful interactions amongst humans and the technology they use. Technology is very important after all. As Ursula… Continue reading

Organizing under lockdown: online activism, local solidarity

Written by Bernd Bonfert. Orignally published in ROAR Magazine. As the pandemic forces us into lockdown, activists across Europe demonstrate that there are still ways to organize and practice solidarity at a safe social distance. The coronavirus pandemic is confronting us with unprecedented contradictions. The foundations of neoliberal capitalism are crumbling before our eyes, as… Continue reading

Free the Vaccine for Covid-19

Republished from the Center for Artistic Activism. We’re forming a global, advocacy innovation lab to Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 and you can take part. Around the globe we are taking rapid, drastic action to slow the spread of COVID-19. As we come to terms with the daunting path forward, it’s hard to imagine the… Continue reading

Coronavirus demands radical transformation, not a ‘return to normal’

Written by Robert Raymond. Republished from Early last week, when Republican Lt. Gov. of Texas, Dan Patrick, suggested that the elderly should be willing to die from COVID-19 to get the economy back in action, something major shifted. If just briefly, the mask came off. Here was an elected official explicitly offering human sacrifices to appease… Continue reading

What the decentralized web can learn from Wikipedia

By Eleftherios Diakomichalis, with Andrew Dickson & Ankur Shah Delight. Originally published in permaweird In this post, we analyze Wikipedia — a site that has achieved tremendous success and scale through crowd-sourcing human input to create one of the Internet’s greatest public goods. Wikipedia’s success is particularly impressive considering that the site is owned and… Continue reading