Free Machine: a new framework for anarchic thinking?

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
AlphaGo delivered a Sputnik moment
Can we organize a public alternative to Big Tech?

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.

Published by Kim Broadie

Since I published the Janus article, I had almost given up thinking that we can change the direction of our country, as the Supreme Court decided that collective bargaining infringes on Mark Janus’ right to babble. Still, I am fascinated by how the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War have transformed the United States in ways unimaginable at the beginning of the 20th Century. Now, as the 21st century unfolds, these transformations have morphed into a new form of capitalism, surveillance capitalism. As AI takes over the production process, and CO2 keeps rising, we are in a race to find an equitable solution for guaranteeing a humane and flourishing world that will remain green and hospitable for human habitation. Philosophy, weak as it is, may yet show us the way back. Questions that go won’t away. Questions that will plague our dreams. Yes, Master Po, what is the Way?

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