Portlandia

The story of “a homeless Portland woman [who] was charged with third-degree theft when she plugged her cellphone charger into an outlet on a sidewalk planter box“. Like the dream of the 90s, the digital divide is alive in Portland.

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Economically Segregated

“The more I look at this, the more I’m coming to conclude that economic segregation and persistent poverty…are bigger problems than gentrification and housing affordability.”

— Richard Florida, in a new report that names Austin “the most economically segregated major metro area in U.S.”

The Myth of Uninterrupted Technical Progress

Technological society thrives on a tenacious myth, the myth of uninterrupted technical progress accompanied by a continuing moral ‘backwardness’ of man relative thereto…A supposed moral contradiction serves to conceal the true contradiction, which is the fact, precisely, that the present production system, while working for real technological progress, at the same time opposes it (along with any restructuring of social relationships to which it might lead).

— Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects: 124

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth. We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

— John Perry Barlow

from “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” (1996)

 

Barlow

A Cyborg Divide

Another critical aspect of the social relations of the new technologies is the reformulation of expectations, culture, work, and reproduction for the large scientific and technical work-force. A major social and political danger is the formation of a strongly bimodal social structure, with the masses of women and men of all ethnic groups, but especially people of colour, confined to a homework economy, illiteracy of several varieties, and general redundancy and impotence, controlled by high-tech repressive apparatuses ranging from entertainment to surveillance and disappearance.

 — Donna Haraway

“A Cyborg Manifesto” in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women (1991): 169.

 

Haraway