Decentralize, Democratize, or Die

presented by Cory Doctorow

You might be more com­fort­able think­ing about deploy­ing math and code as your tac­tic, but I want to talk to you about the full suite of tac­tics that we use to effect change in the world. And this is a frame­work that we owe to this guy Lawrence Lessig.

We Need to Tell a Better Story Than Cyberpunk

presented by Pawel Ngei

We have a lot of pro­pos­als on how tech­nol­o­gy should work in this soci­ety, how we want to avoid all the dan­gers we can see that oth­ers can­not see. But we do a very very bad job at com­mu­ni­cat­ing it.

The Principles of Citizen Behavioral Science

presented by J. Nathan Matias

In a series of short talks we’re going to share exam­ples of some of our past and upcom­ing work, along­side exam­ples from our par­ent orga­ni­za­tion Global Voices. But I want to start by say­ing some­thing about how we go about our work.

Understanding Systems and Creating Change

presented by Ethan Zuckerman, J. Nathan Matias, Karrie Karahalios

One of the things I found inter­est­ing about both of your con­ver­sa­tions is that as we start to see code becom­ing a pow­er­ful force in soci­ety, we’re no longer just try­ing to change laws but we find ourselves—just as we’re cit­i­zens try­ing to encour­age the gov­ern­ment or con­gress­peo­ple to change laws—we’re now stand­ing out­side of com­pa­nies say­ing well, there’s code that affects our lives.

Managing Online Partisan Conflict in r/politics with CivilServant

presented by J. Nathan Matias, Mason English

Liberal users com­prise a larg­er per­cent­age of these r/politics users, while con­ser­v­a­tives will com­prise a small­er per­cent­age. Through those users and through their vot­ing, they can con­trol what is seen and what is not seen. So a lib­er­al user, as a block, will down­vote more often than not some­thing they don’t agree with nec­es­sar­i­ly.

Preventing Online Harassment in r/science

presented by J. Nathan Matias, Nathan Allen, Piper Below

r/science is real­ly the largest sci­ence forum on the Internet. We say that we have more than 18 mil­lion sub­scribed users. For a point of ref­er­ence, the total com­bined sub­scriber base of the top ten news­pa­pers in the United States is around ten mil­lion.

Public Accountability in Research Ethics

presented by Jonathan Zong

Experimentation is so com­mon­place on the Internet now that if you use a plat­form like Facebook you’re prob­a­bly part of many exper­i­ments all the time.

Reducing Side‐Effects of Copyright Bots on Twitter

presented by Jonathon Penney, Merry Mou

Underlying this project is a pret­ty sim­ple and we think pow­er­ful idea that pro­vides a solu­tion to a com­plex chal­lenge that’s fac­ing online com­mu­ni­ties like Twitter, like Reddit, with­in the CivilServant uni­verse. That chal­lenge is the increas­ing automa­tion of the enforce­ment of legal rules and norms online.

Public Lab & DIY Environmental Science

presented by

Public Lab is a com­mu­ni­ty and a non­prof­it, and we do envi­ron­men­tal work with peo­ple all over the world. And we real­ly try to address envi­ron­men­tal issues that affect peo­ple. What we do we call com­mu­ni­ty sci­ence.

Four Myths of Women and Online Gaming

presented by TL Taylor

I’m a pro­fes­sor here in com­par­a­tive media stud­ies and I’m codi­rec­tor of an orga­ni­za­tion called AnyKey which I’ll tell you a lit­tle bit about today. We launched 2016 with the help of Intel and ESL. We’re an orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to fair­ness, equi­ty, and inclu­siv­i­ty in gam­ing and in par­tic­u­lar esports.

Auditing Algorithms

presented by Christo Wilson

I con­sid­er myself to be an algo­rithm audi­tor. So what does that mean? Well, I’m inher­ent­ly a sus­pi­cious per­son. When I start inter­act­ing with a new ser­vice, or a new app, and it appears to be doing some­thing dynam­ic, I imme­di­ate­ly been begin to ques­tion what is going on inside the black box, right? What is pow­er­ing these dynam­ics? And ulti­mate­ly what is the impact of this?

HeartMob: Community Support for Online Harassment Targets

presented by Lindsay Blackwell

When I talk about online harass­ment I’m refer­ring to a very broad spec­trum of abu­sive behav­iors that are enabled by tech­nol­o­gy plat­forms and used to tar­get a user or a group of users. So this can be any­thing from a flam­ing or the use of per­son­al insults or inflam­ma­to­ry lan­guage, to things like dox­ing or reveal­ing or broad­cast­ing per­son­al infor­ma­tion about some­one such as a phone num­ber or address, to things like stalk­ing and imper­son­ation and things of that nature.

Squadbox: Fighting Harassment with Friends

presented by Amy Zhang

Online harass­ment is a huge prob­lem today. Pew and Data & Society have done reports that show that 40 to 50% of peo­ple online expe­ri­ence online harass­ment. That’s a huge num­ber of peo­ple.

Discrimination Audits & Challenges to Discrimination Studies

presented by Karrie Karahalios

By using these tools like the sock­pup­pets, and scrap­ing, and using bots, and using APIs, we can look at a site for hous­ing and maybe try to fig­ure out if some dis­crim­i­na­tion is hap­pen­ing. Are these homes pri­or­i­tized dif­fer­ent­ly for dif­fer­ent peo­ple based on their age, on their sex, and so forth? And it’ll help us actu­al­ly under­stand why some of this might be hap­pen­ing.

Custodians of the Internet

presented by Tarleton Gillespie

What I’d like to do just with the few min­utes that I’m up here is to set the stage. This is a huge set of ques­tions, and I think a set of ques­tions that are explod­ing into pub­lic view in a way that they hadn’t even just a few years ago. So I want to sort of like, set the broad place that some of these ques­tions kin­da live.

Using Data to Create Social Change

presented by Ethan Zuckerman

I think that it’s becom­ing hard­er for many peo­ple to feel like they can achieve social change either through the bal­lot box, or through protest, which is sort of our main mech­a­nism where when we can’t win argu­ments at the bal­lot box we stand up and show that we’re not hap­py about things. I want to make the case that both of those meth­ods are actu­al­ly suf­fer­ing as a form of social change.

Managing the Internet’s Dumpster Fires: CivilServant Community Summit 2018

presented by J. Nathan Matias

I want you to know that in this slide there is more than just a dump­ster fire. There are also peo­ple in suits who are train­ing and ded­i­cat­ed to man­age that fire.

Automating Inequality
How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

presented by Virginia Eubanks

I start the sto­ry in 1819 rather than 1980. And that allows me to do some very spe­cif­ic work, which is to talk about what I think of as the deep social pro­gram­ming of the tools that we’re now using in pub­lic ser­vices across the United States.

Disposable Life: Zygmunt Bauman

presented by Zygmunt Bauman

In pre‐modern soci­eties there was no idea of waste; every­thing was going back into life—recycled, as we would say today. If there were more chil­dren com­ing into the world in a fam­i­ly, then obvi­ous­ly there was room for them, and extra work some­where in the farm­yard, in the field, in the sta­ble. And of course a place around the table. So the idea of being redun­dant, hav­ing no place in soci­ety, sim­ply didn’t occur.

Disposable Life: Slavoj Žižek

presented by Slavoj Žižek

Under cap­i­tal­ism, the prob­lem is not there are evil peo­ple here and there. The prob­lem is the basic log­ic of the sys­tem as it was devel­oped by Zygmunt Bauman and many oth­ers. Some peo­ple even claim that if you look in a non­hu­man­i­tar­i­an way just at the pure log­ic of today’s glob­al cap­i­tal­ism, you arrive at a ratio even some peo­ple claim of 2080%.

Disposable Life: Saskia Sassen

presented by Saskia Sassen

Disposable life. What comes to my mind is a set of dynam­ics, I think, that are mark­ing the cur­rent peri­od, that are mark­ing a dif­fer­ence in the cur­rent peri­od. And it is the mul­ti­pli­ca­tion of expul­sions. And once some­thing is expelled (and I’ll elab­o­rate) it becomes invis­i­ble. And that is part of the tragedy, I think.

Disposable Life: Richard Sennett

presented by Richard Sennett

In the world of labor and work, the phrase dis­pos­able life” refers to a new wrin­kle in neolib­er­al cap­i­tal­ism. And that wrin­kle is that it’s cheap­er to dis­pose of work­ers in Europe and America than it’s ever been in the past.

Disposable Life: Max Silverman

presented by Max Silverman

My approach to the ques­tion of dis­pos­able lives is this: In an age of late cap­i­tal­ism, advanced tech­nol­o­gy, and mass media, are lives eas­i­er to dis­pose of now than in the past? And my response is, unfor­tu­nate­ly, yes it is eas­i­er now. And this isn’t sim­ply because of the tech­nol­o­gy that is avail­able today that sim­ply wasn’t avail­able in the past.

Disposable Life: Jean Franco

presented by Jean Franco

I sup­pose Foucault has to be cred­it­ed with talk­ing about dis­pos­able life. And it’s inter­est­ing to me that at the very moment when he was giv­ing the lec­tures on this top­ic, Henry Kissinger in the United States was admit­ting, or pub­lish­ing, the results of the com­mis­sion on ster­il­iza­tion. The idea was that ster­il­iza­tion should be encour­aged in Third World coun­tries in order to reg­u­late the pop­u­la­tion.

Disposable Life: Gustavo Esteva

presented by Gustavo Esteva

It is very per­ti­nent to talk asso­ci­at­ing this with the Zapatistas. Twenty years ago in January 1st, 1994, we had the begin­ning of the Zapatista upris­ing. And to under­stand it we need to see what was hap­pen­ing with these peo­ple before the upris­ing, how they came to that ter­ri­ble deci­sion of start­ing an armed upris­ing.

Disposable Life: Griselda Pollock

presented by Griselda Pollock

At the inter­sec­tion of the pol­i­tics of art or lit­er­a­ture or film and polit­i­cal the­o­ry, I’ve been think­ing about dis­pos­able life through a num­ber of lens­es, par­tic­u­lar­ly through work on the Holocaust and work that I’ve been doing with Max Silverman on a slight­ly dif­fer­ent ele­ment of it called con­cen­tra­tion­ary mem­o­ry.”

Disposable Life: Gil Anidjar

presented by Gil Anidjar

In usages of dis­pose, dis­po­si­tion, dis­pos­ing, there is always a ques­tion of putting in order, and putting things in their place. Which also means of course hav­ing the pow­er to do so.

Disposable Life: Étienne Balibar

presented by Étienne Balibar

It’s not the case of course that any con­tem­po­rary philoso­pher or pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy has been par­tic­u­lar­ly deal­ing with ques­tions of polit­i­cal the­o­ry. I nev­er thought about vio­lence. But I want to recall the moment in which I specif­i­cal­ly start­ed to sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly work on that.

Disposable Life: David Theo Goldberg

presented by David Theo Goldberg

I’m not here going to think aloud about these var­i­ous con­tes­ta­to­ry forms of evidence‐giving, although much might be said about that in rela­tion to think­ing about vio­lence. But rather to think about the Michael Brown shoot­ing in Ferguson, Missouri and the kinds of police response to it in rela­tion to the his­to­ry of vio­lence and the way in which race shapes said his­to­ry of vio­lence in a coun­try like the United States…

Disposable Life: Cynthia Enloe

presented by Cynthia Enloe

When I think about dis­pos­abil­i­ty, I think about name­less­ness. I think about whose pic­tures are tak­en in refugee camps. Or whose stones with­out names you look at at a mass grave, or just a ditch for that mat­ter. To be dis­pos­able is to be name­less in somebody’s eyes.

Disposable Life: Carol Gluck

presented by Carol Gluck

I’ve been think­ing about dis­pos­able life and the mean­ing that might have in soci­eties today. And I decid­ed that the kind of dis­pos­able life that most con­cerns me is the kind that we either res­olute­ly don’t see, ignore, or neglect. Or the kind that we do see but can’t seem to deal with.

Disposable Life: Ananya Roy

presented by Ananya Roy

I think what is par­tic­u­lar­ly strik­ing about the ques­tion of dis­pos­able lives in the 21st cen­tu­ry is what seems to be a new glob­al com­mon sense about pover­ty, the ways in which pover­ty and par­tic­u­lar­ly poor oth­ers have become vis­i­ble. And how that in turn, par­tic­u­lar­ly for mil­len­ni­als in the Global North—college stu­dents, young pro­fes­sion­als, so‐called ordi­nary glob­al cit­i­zens of the world—how this has mobi­lized them to action.

Knutepunkt 2017 Keynote: Present, by Eleanor Saitta

presented by Eleanor Saitta

I think of larp in a cou­ple dif­fer­ent ways. And one of the ways that I think of it is as sto­ry­telling for the net­work age. This is sto­ry­telling in the first‐person present tense plur­al, and it is not very often that human­i­ty comes up with a new tense in which to tell sto­ries. That’s actu­al­ly kind of a big deal.

Analyzing the Limits of Rational Choice in Political and Cultural Conflict

presented by Scott Atran

With our team of pol­i­cy­mak­ers, aca­d­e­mics, for­mer mil­i­tary, of play­wrights, we explore why peo­ple refuse polit­i­cal com­pro­mise, go to war, attempt rev­o­lu­tion, or resort to ter­ror­ism, focus­ing on what Darwin called those virtues highly‐esteemed and even sacred,” that give immense advan­tage to any group with devot­ed actors inspired to sac­ri­fice for them.

The Conversation #66 — Lisa Gray‐Garcia

presented by Aengus Anderson, Lisa Gray-Garcia, Neil Prendergast

As a per­son who’s been crim­i­nal­ized and arrest­ed for the sole act of being poor in the US, it’s prob­a­bly some­thing I’m always walk­ing with, speak­ing on, and try­ing to effec­tive­ly change just by…in some ways not so much rais­ing aware­ness, which seems very pas­sive to be, but more about spark­ing people’s under­stand­ing and change.

The Conversation #65 — Rebecca Solnit

presented by Aengus Anderson, Neil Prendergast, Rebecca Solnit

There’s a lot of beau­ti­ful things. And I think if there’s one thing I’m most deeply dis­qui­et about it’s…power. Why are we doing almost noth­ing about cli­mate change? It’s because despite the fact that most peo­ple on earth and many gov­ern­ment on Earth do, the oil cor­po­ra­tions and the gov­ern­ments most close­ly allied to the oil cor­po­ra­tions, notably ours, don’t want to do any­thing.

The Conversation #64 — Peter Gleick

presented by Aengus Anderson, Micah Saul, Neil Prendergast, Peter Gleick

We have even in the United States seri­ous and grow­ing water scarci­ty chal­lenges. We have con­t­a­m­i­na­tion prob­lems with chem­i­cals that we have not ade­quate­ly reg­u­lat­ed here in the United States. We have con­flicts between states in the United States about who gets to use what water to do what. We have evi­dence that cli­mate change is already influ­enc­ing water demand, affect­ing water avail­abil­i­ty, chang­ing extreme events. There are a whole suite of water‐related prob­lems, here, unre­lat­ed to these basic human need chal­lenges that’re press­ing in oth­er parts of the world.

The Conversation #63 — Kim Stanley Robinson

presented by Aengus Anderson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Micah Saul, Neil Prendergast

I vacillate…between think­ing that we’re doomed because we have giv­en our­selves over to a stu­pid sys­tem that’s now backed up by guns. And then a much more utopi­an view that we’ve always lived in stu­pid sys­tems and that we’re always mak­ing them bet­ter.

We Need A New Image of Africa

presented by Wanuri Kahiu

To have the hunter tell it, Africa is full of meek sto­ries about des­per­a­tion and despair. So when artists like myself offer an alter­nate vision, often we’re asked to defend our imag­i­na­tion. Why do we feel we have the lux­u­ry to cre­ate? Shouldn’t we be deal­ing with more impor­tant issues like cor­rup­tion, or war, or AIDS, or pover­ty?

The Conversation #62 – Rebecca Costa

presented by Aengus Anderson, Neil Prendergast, Rebecca Costa

If you were to ask me what the cri­sis in the present is, as an evo­lu­tion­ary biol­o­gist I have to go back mil­lions of years and try to con­nect all the dots, going back to man as a single‐celled organ­ism to present time, and say­ing what is it that is caus­ing mod­ern con­ster­na­tion? More impor­tant­ly, is there a pat­tern? Has this hap­pened before? Were there some ordi­nary peo­ple like you and I, shop­keep­ers in Rome, who were stand­ing around and say­ing, You know, our lead­ers don’t seem to be on top of our prob­lems. They seem to be get­ting worse one gen­er­a­tion after anoth­er.”

The Conversation #61 – Rainey Reitman

presented by Aengus Anderson, Neil Prendergast, Rainey Reitman

As we’ve moved into increas­ing­ly dig­i­tal spaces, so online worlds, we’re mov­ing away from your tra­di­tion­al phys­i­cal spaces where you have pub­lic streets; where you have pub­lic squares; where peo­ple can go to protest, and into areas, if you would call them that, that are entire­ly con­trolled by cor­po­ra­tions.

The Conversation #60 – George Lakoff

presented by Aengus Anderson, George Lakoff, Neil Prendergast

Consciousness is lin­ear; goes, you know, one step after anoth­er. And the brain doesn’t work that way. The brain is par­al­lel and has lots and lots of par­al­lel tracks going on at once in thought and in char­ac­ter­iz­ing the sub­strate of what it is you under­stand and express. There’s no way you could pos­si­bly be con­scious of most of or even a small part of what you’re think­ing.

The Oppenheimer Moment

presented by Alan Cooper

Where did this evil stuff come from? Are we evil? I’m per­fect­ly will­ing to stip­u­late you are not evil. Neither is your boss evil. Nor is Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. And yet the results of our work, our best most altru­is­tic work, often turns evil when it’s deployed in the larg­er world. We go to work every day, gen­uine­ly expect­ing to make the world a bet­ter place with our pow­er­ful tech­nol­o­gy. But some­how, evil is sneak­ing in despite our good inten­tions.

The Conversation #59 – Charles Hugh Smith

presented by Aengus Anderson, Charles Hugh Smith, Micah Saul

We’re in an era of over­lap­ping crises, and I think that’s what makes it sort of unique. We’re aware of the finan­cial aspect, which is sort of expo­nen­tial increase in debt. We’re also aware that ener­gy, the cost is going up because we’re reach­ing to deep­er and more expen­sive reserves of ener­gy, at least fos­sil fuels. So that’s anoth­er if not cri­sis then um… Well, actu­al­ly it is a cri­sis, because the world we’ve con­struct­ed is based on cheap fos­sil fuels.

The Conversation #58 – Jason Kelly Johnson

presented by Aengus Anderson, Jason Kelly Johnson, Micah Saul

I think our work is much more inter­est­ed in ques­tion­ing the notion that archi­tec­ture is a sta­t­ic enti­ty. Part of our think­ing in terms of archi­tec­ture is how we make a build­ing breathe. How do we give a build­ing a kind of like, almost a ner­vous sys­tem.

The Conversation #57 — Joan Blades

presented by Aengus Anderson, Joan Blades, Micah Saul

What I’ve seen as a founder of MoveOn is that we’ve become increas­ing­ly polar­ized. And in fact we have got­ten to the point where we have separate…realities? when it comes to a whole raft of facts. And so how can we pos­si­bly make good deci­sions togeth­er when we don’t even share basic facts? You first have to have a rela­tion­ship, and you have to have shared val­ues.

Virtual Futures Salon: Beyond Bitcoin, with Vinay Gupta

presented by Luke Robert Mason, Vinay Gupta

Blockchain is in that space where we still have to explain it, because most of the peo­ple have gone from not hav­ing it around to hav­ing it around. But for kind of the folks that are your age or a lit­tle younger it’s kind of always been there, at which point it doesn’t real­ly need to be explained. It does how­ev­er need to be con­tex­tu­al­ized.

Virtual Futures Salon: Fucking Machines

presented by Dan O'Hara, Ian Pearson, Kate Devlin, Luke Robert Mason, Trudy Barber

We are here to talk about fuck­ing machines. In London, on a fog­gy evening, on a Tuesday, for yet anoth­er debate about fuck­ing machines. Another curat­ed dis­cus­sion under­lined by our own human inse­cu­ri­ty about ver­sions of us in sil­i­ca. Fucking anthro­po­mor­phic fuck­ing machines. Machines that fuck us. And let’s face it, machines are already fuck­ing us, or so we seem to be told.

The Conversation #56 — Aengus Anderson and Micah Saul at SXSW
A Sheep in Wolf's Clothes: The Myth of Disruption

presented by Aengus Anderson, Micah Saul

As the show advanced, we real­ized that there are a lot of peo­ple real­ly real­ly wor­ried about the future, and they’re wor­ried about big, big things. We’re talk­ing things like inequal­i­ty. We’re talk­ing things like over­con­sump­tion of resources and envi­ron­men­tal col­lapse. Social col­lapse. Community break­down. General feel­ings of pow­er­less­ness against mas­sive sys­tems. And this seems to be uni­ver­sal.

Virtual Futures Salon: Dawn of the New Everything, with Jaron Lanier

presented by Jaron Lanier, Luke Robert Mason

So here’s what hap­pened. If you tell peo­ple you’re going to have this super‐open, absolute­ly non‐commercial, money‐free thing, but it has to sur­vive in this envi­ron­ment that’s based on mon­ey, where it has to make mon­ey, how does any­body square that cir­cle? How does any­body do any­thing? And so com­pa­nies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a cor­ner. There was exact­ly one busi­ness plan avail­able to them, which was adver­tis­ing.

The Conversation #55 — Ed Finn

presented by Aengus Anderson, Ed Finn, Micah Saul

The Center, one of our core goals, our mis­sion state­ment, is to get peo­ple think­ing more cre­ative­ly and ambi­tious­ly about the future. What I mean when I talk about that is that we need to come up with bet­ter sto­ries about the future. If you want to build a bet­ter world you have to imag­ine that world first.