Category Archives: Hacking

Vita Obscura: Reclaiming Your Life Through Lies, Surgery and Performance

Here’s a little video I made. It’s a coda to a paper I’m working on titled Vita Obscura: Obfuscating Biopower. In the paper I talk about how obfuscation as an anti-surveillance strategy can be used to resist biopower (Michel Foucault’s formula for how command and control works in modern societies). The video has some imaginative examples of how this could […]

Quantum Identities: Reflections on #QIS2

Note: this is about the 2017 Queer Internet Studies Symposium, a conference I participated in at UPenn last week.  You can find this article on the event website here. Imagine you’re online and something unexpected happens. You see an image that you didn’t intend to see or come across a message meant for somebody that isn’t you. You […]

intention and its discontents

In light of the DAO hack (here’s a tl;dr for those not in the know), a lot of people have been talking about intention — the role that conscious will, something we generally ascribe to humans, should play in code-based organizations that are designed to be run without centralized human oversight. The logic goes that […]

it’s summertime

This is my last full week in Asheville! Next Sunday or Monday I’ll be heading to Columbia, South Carolina, where I’ll be spending the fourth of July. Around the seventh, I start driving to the Hudson Valley to house-sit/see friends and family (including my new nephew, born in May, who I’ve yet to meet) for […]

note

At the very beginning of my PhD research — which formally begins in August — here’s some stuff I hope to be working on: The  all-encompassing directive of transparency, in particular the role of interiority and personal myth-making in the “post-privacy” age. Power differentials between individuals and institutions re: surveillance and data gathering. Social issues of blockchain development and other “Web […]

A Theory of Mythos

(abstract for project) A brief history of hacker and psychedelic subcultures from the 1950s onward, with a focus on chronological parallels and commonalities between the two. As I illuminate the various characteristics these cultures share, I note that one point of overlap in particular may be spiritually instructive for those seeking meaning in the wake […]

Some Thoughts on Anti-Surveillance Activism

Anti-surveillance activism is different from other forms of activism because it can’t be quite as easily coopted by consumerism. Anti-racist, feminist, environmental, and other movements give themselves more easily to being corporatized. Made into stuff and things. They’re nice as a brand. If you hate capitalism, you know their transformative potential is always undermined unless […]