1/ So, I read “Blockchain Chicken Farm" by @xrw . It’s one of the best books I read this year, not just because its starting point (the countryside) is counter-intuitive for a “metronormative” person like me, but also because it’s much more than simply a book about tech. Image
@xrw 2/ It’s a reflection on the transformation of social and natural life under digital capitalism, full of off-hand remarks such as: The “right to privacy is not an individualistic one of secrets and stories, but a social one that requires us to lead with trust in our daily lives.”
@xrw 3/ @xrw is sharply critical of how the drive for optimization and scale underlying the transformation of the Chinese country-side is driving a ‘race to the bottom.’ Yet, the past of back-breaking poverty offers no reason for nostalgia, they (the author is non-binary) are also ...
@xrw 4/ … very attentive to why people still grasp the very real opportunities and where there are forward-looking alternatives, in bottom-up, open-source, shanzai appropriation of tech. The story is about agriculture leapfrogging directly into a post-industrial phase:
@xrw 5/ extremely fractured, yet highly integrated, free-wheelingly entrepreneurial, yet fully dependent on the all-powerful platform. Information-rich, but culturally impoverished. Moving between rural China and the US, they show how deeply intertwined these two have become,
@xrw 6/ not just economically, but also culturally. Similar sadness, alienation, but also energy to somehow still make it, even if it means to fake it. Indeed, faking it has become an entire way of life.
@xrw 7/ In the writing style, one can feel that the author also works as an artist. In this, the book is similar to @jamesbridle “New Dark Age”, but less panicky negative, rather the queer American-Chinese perspective seems to inoculate against the view that things used to be OK.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with felix stalder (@festal@tldr.nettime.org)

felix stalder (@festal@tldr.nettime.org) Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @stalfel

Jan 25, 2022
It has always been clear to me that #bitcoin is not just environmentally but also socially destructive. 1/6
As a deflationary (by design and intent) currency, it promotes hoarding (hodling, if you will), favoring the rich who can afford to sit on their assets and live off their appreciation. 2/6
While all the crypto bros see themselves as 'entrepreneurs' their desire is to become #rentiers. That is baked into the design. But just how dominant this desire is and how evil its outcomes are, surprises even the cynic in me. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
Nov 17, 2021
I have long wondered why "big data" and AI are bringing back the worst kind of science from the late 19th and early 20th century, namely eugenics (assuming "intelligence" is bred, rather than acquired), physiognomy (linking measurements of the body to mental/social…
…characteristics) and behaviorism (postulating that external observation, rather than introspection is key to understanding human beings). Slowly, I think I start to understand. What connects these approaches is that they all side-step questions of consciousness.
For none of these approaches, what people think, how they view the world and themselves, are important.
Read 5 tweets
Mar 7, 2021
1/ This paper by @salome_viljoen_ is one of the best, and most substantial, pieces I know of on how to think of data politically.
2/ By now, many people are aware that the current model of nearly unchecked data extraction by large companies is terrible, for many reasons, not the least in terms of concentration of power and wealth. But what do about it?
3/ The critiques fall in two categories, “proprietarian” and “dignitarian”. The first group argues that we are under techno-feudalism where people are dependent and not paid for what is essentially theirs, either their own data or the work that does into producing data.
Read 11 tweets
Feb 23, 2021
Australia's proposed "media code" bill is a terrible solution to a very real problem and offers no template for Europe. In a nutshell. It proposes that media platforms, such as Google and FB, pay news orgs whose content is acessed through their platform. 1/
Sounds good? There are real problems. First, there is a very narrow definition of what media orgs are. Mainly concentrated corporate media (and the Guardian). Likely main beneficiary. Sky/Fox. Likely losers, small, local, and innovative media companies. 2/
Second, it makes the news media directly dependent on social media, creating an incentive to "optimize" their content for this toxic environment. In effect, it fuses the two environments, with social media dominating. 3/
Read 7 tweets
Nov 25, 2020
1/ So, I read @adriandaub “What Tech Calls Thinking”, a book I was predisposed to like, not just because I’m interesting in the topic (a cultural critique of tech), but also it caters directly to people like me who believe in the value of higher eduction and critical thinking Image
@adriandaub 2/ And how does tech, that is Silicon Valley, think? Basically, like bumbling undergrads who grab trivialized versions of serious concepts, which they misinterpret to provide their privileged and parochial experiences with faux drama (dropping out! disruption!) and universalism.
@adriandaub 3/ Fair enough, but is that really all? Unless you read the book closely, you might miss that most tech entrepreneurs were engineering rather than humanities students. Has perhaps the culture of engineering (or economics or law) also shaped their thinking?
Read 9 tweets
Nov 11, 2020
So, ich habe das neue Buch von @Viktor_MS gelesen. In a nutshell: Nicht Rechenleistung, nicht Algorithmen, nicht Data Scientists, nicht Risikokapital sind knapp, sondern der Zugang zu Daten. Die grossen Firmen (in USA und China) haben alle Modelle entwickelt, (1/5) Image
@Viktor_MS durch die sie immer mehr Daten sammeln, so dass ihr Konkurrenzvorteil immer grösser wird und sie de-facto Monopolstatus erreichen. Europa kommt dabei immer mehr ins Hintertreffen, Innovation wird abgewürgt, eine neue Form des Kolonialmus entsteht. (2/5)
@Viktor_MS Datenschutz ist ein untaugliches Mittel dagegen. Was würde helfen: Europa muss Konzerne zwingen, ihre Daten offen zu legen, so dass alle darauf zurück greifen können. Monopole werden aufgebrochen, die Hürden für Innovation radikal gesenkt. (3/5)
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!