Last October, we announced that we'd partnered with Kickstarter to start a new project to succeed Drip, their subscription platform for independent artists. Unfortunately, we’ve decided to cancel the project, and wanted to talk a little about why.
Generous Thinking: Sustainability, Solidarity, and the Common Good from CNI Vimeo Video Channel on Vimeo.
See cni.org/events/membership-meetings/past-meetings/spring-2019/plenary-sessions-s19#opening for more information.
Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)
Spring 2019 Membership Meeting
April 8-9, 2019
St. Louis, MO
Joseph explores the extent to which discourses about community suggest an antidote to or escape from capitalism’s depredations, while distracting us from the supplementary role that community actually serves with respect to capital, filling its gaps and smoothing over its rifts in ways that permit it to function untrammeled. The alternative presented by community allows the specter of socialism, or genuine state support for the needs of the public, to be dismissed. This relationship becomes particularly clear in Joseph’s discussion of the role of non-profit organizations — entities highly likely to participate in and benefit from the idealized discourse of community — which often fill needs left behind by a retreating state, allowing that retreat to go unchallenged.
— Kathleen Fitzpatrick in Community, Privatization, Efficiency
Also cross reference: Strategy and Solidarity
From the video at timecode [22:05]:
…raises the key question of what it is we mean when we talk about community?
As Miranda Joseph argues in Against the Romance of Community, the concept is often invoked as a place holder for something that exists outside the dominant economic and institutional structures of contemporary life. A set of estensibly organic felt relationships that harken back to a mythical pre-modern moment in which people lived and worked in direct connection with one another without the mediating forces of capitalism.
Now community is in this sense, in Benedict Anderson’s sense, an imagined relationship, and even an imaginary one. As its invocation is designed to yoke together bodies whose existence as a group is largely constructed. It’s a concept often used both idealistically and as a form of discipline.
A claim of unity that smoothes over and thus suppresses internal difference and disagreement. And as Joseph points out, the notion of community is often deployed as if the relationships that it describes could provide an antidote to or an escape from the problems created by contemporary political and economic life.
But this suggestion, serves to distract us, she says, from the supplementary role that community, in fact, actually serves with respect to capitalism. Sort of filling its gaps and smoothing over its flaws in ways that permit it to function without real opposition. So we call upon the community to support projects that the dominant institutions of the mainstream economy will not. And this is how we end up with social network-based fundraising campaigns to support people facing major health crises rather than demanding universal health care, and elementary school bake sales rather than full funding for education.
So community becomes, in this sense, an alibi for the creeping privatization of what should be social responsibilities.
Some interesting thought here with respect to economics, community, the commons, and education. While a large piece of the talk is about higher education, there are definitely some things that can be learned and used with respect to social media, and particularly the IndieWeb movement. I’d recommend everyone take a peek at it and think about how we can better deploy and give credit to some of our shared resources.
👓 “I felt like it was a betrayal, and we had raised funds on false pretense”: The Correspondent’s first U.S. employee speaks out | Nieman Lab
"They're really good at the PR thing, and it really feels like gaslighting. They were like, 'Well, we never promised a U.S. newsroom.' I was like: Wait, did I just imagine all this?"
👓 The Correspondent apologizes as Nate Silver, David Simon, and Baratunde Thurston speak out | Nieman Lab
"We screwed up," The Correspondent said in a tweeted statement.
👓 Yep. The Correspondent screwed up in its communications with members. Here’s how. | PressThink
A decision not to have its headquarters in New York or the US, and to base the English-language site in Amsterdam, has drawn criticism from supporters.
👓 The Smear: A career-killing lie almost ruined this rising Minneapolis dance star | City Pages
On the morning of October 21, 2017, the budding New York choreographer Jinah Parker was sitting in bed, her husband lying alongside, when she opened her email and found a deeply unsettling, one-paragraph message about her debut dance production.
The show was called SHE, a Choreoplay, an off-off-Broadway interpretative dance in which four women vividly monologize rape and abuse.
Parker wrote and directed. Her newlywed husband, Kevin Powell, was the producer. In 1992, as a tenacious 26-year-old activist, he appeared on the inaugural season of MTV’s genre-defining reality show, The Real World. In the decades since, he’d become a prolific public speaker, author of 13 books, and a two-time congressional candidate.
Powell also has a history of violence. He assaulted women in college and once shoved a girlfriend into a bathroom door. Now he’s a sophist of male fragility, and an essential component of his activist repertoire is to engage in public reflection—usually with equal parts self-effacement and self-righteousness—upon this personal shame.
It would seem that this couple got just what they had coming to them, though it’s a bit disingenuous that they can go to crowd funding platforms to spread the blame out. I’m hoping that it was only all the people to whom they spread their invective to that ended helping to foot part of their bill.
👓 $20 million raised in GoFundMe for Trump border wall to be refunded | TheHill
GoFundMe said Friday that it would refund $20 million raised by more than 300,000 donors for President Trump's border wall after an account aiming to raise $1 billion for the wall changed part of its campaign.
👓 The Correspondent | Unbreaking news
👓 GoFundMe raises thousands to place billboard of Trump’s anti-Cruz tweet in Texas | The Hill
Activists in Texas have raised thousands of dollars to place an anti-Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) billboard in the state.
Reply to The Patreon Fiasco: Jack Conte tells creators “We ****ed up.”
The premise is that many creators already have their own websites/platforms for promoting or featuring their work. In some sense Patreon is only bringing a payment gateway (and apparently not a great one) as their sole feature. The conversation within the session was geared toward attempting to make it easier and simpler for creators to not only host their own work, but to accept payments and recurring payments directly. Some of the discussion was geared at making the payments systems seamless so that one could move them from one platform to another without losing hard won supporters and needing to start over again.
While we’re still in the very early days for improving the technology for this, hopefully some of the demos coming out of the camp later today will move the ball forward. Those should be posted on the IndieWeb YouTube channel later today as well.
For those looking for alternates (and particularly when they’ve already got their own websites), I suspect it’ll definitely be worth a look. Alternate platforms and methods were certainly discussed. The means of control for creators to inexpensively keep all of their workflow in-house is very near.