Can organizations like freemachine.org help us counter the domination of Big Tech?
On their website, freemachine.org poses the following two question drawn straight from the river of anarchy:
How do we create space to envision a future that is based on democratic values: one that will be equitable, abundant, and sustainable? And how do we encourage individuals and communities to see themselves as having a crucial role in achieving this future?freemachine.org
Hardly anyone is offline for very long these days. We are addicted to media and their connected devices. We are subjected to the blur and blend of entertainment and information. We have drowned in a tidal wave of distraction by corporations who have designed these weapons of mass distraction…to sell us stuff. The sheer ubiquity, and our reliance, on the feeds from our phones and tablets and netbooks, has made them, in effect, an Overton window. That is, these media and tech conglomerates plop their images and content into our minds in such a way that they have become authorities determining what is possible and what is acceptable. Since these companies are an integral part of what Chomsky called the state-capital complex, we can’t assume that the goal of amassing wealth will have benign outcomes for the average person.
The directors at Free Machine have devised a game called Tomorrowland that helps us to start thinking about all this as a people, helps us to answer the two questions above. As a group, we imagine ourselves as a city council and thrash out how we move toward an objective, four of which are neatly summarized in the chart below:
One of the reasons I decided to study the history and philosophy of anarchy was to discover ideas and techniques to help us move toward that Eden. The current of anarchy is present whenever illegitimate authority is challenged. The courage of determined people in the face of plutocrats and dictators may help us in our quest to democratize the amazing revolution offered by artificial intelligence.