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161 CCNT “Never Go Full Cyborg! ” - 10.25.2019

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We apologize for missing our usual Wednesday show date. We had some technical issues that we mention at the top of this special hour long episode of CCR. Well almost an hour. In this episode, we discuss the poop scooping robot beetl, robot judges, creepy Vatican issued rosaries that tracks your prayers, man declares his march into full cyborg, a green light for reanimating brain dead human subjects, and finally, a Nephilim Update reporting on the alleged giant skull found on Google Earth


          

Leslie Smith's plan: Beat Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 233, title shot, face Cat Zingano

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Leslie Smith has it all mapped out: Bellator 233, winner of Cyborg vs. Budd, matchup with Cat Zingano.
          

The Katie Hill Saga, Last Chapter

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Is Maureen Dowd becoming conservative? Has she broken with social constructivist morality to pivot back toward traditional rules?

For some it will be a horrifying turn. For others it will restore their faith in humanity. The notion that you cannot make up your own rules, even if you get all of your friends to sign on to them… seems not to have penetrated the skulls of our millennial generation.

You see, millennials believe that right and wrong are social constructions. If you do something that other people might have seen as wrong, then you can make it right by persuading everyone to think that it was really right. I admit, persuading is a bit bland here. If you want everyone to think that there is nothing wrong or even risky with sending out naked pictures of yourself, then you can solve the problem by blinding everyone—figuratively speaking.

Those unhappy few who resist the brainwashing or who refuse to comply with the new social constructivist morality must be denounced and voted off the island.

As for our moral world, it resembles nothing but the world of Hans Christian Anderson’s story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”  As you know well, the Emperor has been persuaded by a couple of swindlers that anyone who does not agree that he, wearing nothing, is decked out in imperial finery is morally degenerate, and disloyal. Being a good subject means accepting that reality is what the emperor thinks it is.

Evidently, the sham is exposed when a boy shouts out the truth. He is not speaking truth to power as much as he is defying an commonly accepted illusion. He is expressing an opinion that is unacceptable in proper social circles. In the story, the emperor continues on his way. In reality, Rep. Katie Hill was forced to resign from Congress.

In her column today Dowd offers a dialogue between her boomer self and a millennial Times staff member. When faced with the notion that all moral truth is relative, merely a function of what you can get people to believe, Dowd demurs. Despite what the millennial generation has been brainwashed into believing, we have not yet repealed human nature.

Exposing your nakedness to the public, risking having your nakedness exposed to the public, is still shameful. Because shame is a universal emotional sanction against exhibiting your private parts in public. That is why they are called private.

Allow Dowd her say:

I get that young people are digital natives, even cyborgs. But I had to offer a riposte to Shawn that, while society can be reshaped, human nature is immutable. What I learned from studying Shakespeare is that the primary colors of emotions carry through the centuries.

There will always be vengeful exes and envious allies and ruthless opponents and double-crossing friends. Whether the messages are being carried by pigeons or pixels, you have to protect yourself — and your data. Don’t let our shiny new tools blind you to the fact that some horrible truths about humanity never change.

And don’t leave yourself vulnerable by giving people the ammunition — or the nudes — to strip you of your dreams.

OK, millennials?

The highly estimable Whoopi Goldberg made the same point and received gales of derision. But, truth is truth. Anyone who sends such pictures over the internet, or who memorializes his or her romps in photos, is running a risk. The same applies to any woman who takes what has been called the walk of shame. If she walking down the street or across the quad on Sunday morning dressed for a party, her shame does not merely arise from the fact that a lot of people will judge her ill, but from the fact that she knows that she is showing the world that she does not respect herself.

One notes, and one underscores, that we do not care what she was doing the night before. And we do not really care about what Katie Hill was doing with her girlfriend, her boyfriend and her husband. We care when it is flashed in our faces. We care about the indiscretion more than we care about the parties.

As for the Katie Hill saga, here is Dowd’s take. The Shawn in question is Shawn McCreesh:

Shawn OK-Boomered me Friday on the topic of Katie Hill, the 32-year-old freshman California congresswoman who is openly bisexual and ran what Vice dubbed “the most millennial campaign ever.” Her promising career flamed out in a scandal that was both age-old and very millennial, in that it featured revenge porn, a throuple, sexual fluidity and dirty bong water.

Hill was a blast of fresh air on the Hill. And it is amazing that, after two centuries of men treating the political landscape here as a droit du seigneur playground, that the one ensnared in an ethics investigation about the new rules enacted last year on sexual harassment — barring lawmakers from having sexual relationships with staffers — is a woman.

Hill pointed the finger at her “abusive” loser husband, Kenny Heslep, who has been unemployed for the past five years, implying that he leaked the pictures and texts to Hill’s foes. Not since Linda Tripp has there been such a creepy betrayal in politics.

Being as the moral default for the millennial generation is to blame the double standard, it is worth noting the number of men whose Congressional careers have been aborted by sexual improprieties. You can read the list in The Daily Caller.

In the world of eternal socio-sexual verities, we also note that Hill was betrayed by her husband. Apparently, he had no problem engaging in threesomes with Hill and her comely female assistant, but he drew the line against sharing her with a man. We can tamp down our outrage by seeing this in more Darwinian terms. If a throuple contains two women and one man, there is never any doubt about who the father is. If the throuple contains two men and one woman, there is always doubt. As Dowd suggests, the millennial generation has not yet managed to repeal human nature.

As for the other eternal verities, the one that no one seems inclined to notice, Hill’s vengeful husband had been thoroughly emasculated—in the social sense, not in the sexual sense—and had been reduced to a house husband, a man who had no place in the world of work, that is, the world of men, but was told by his wife to stay at home and do the laundry.

One understands that the woke millennial generation has decided that gender roles are merely a social construction. Apparently, Hill’s husband did not think so. Having other men see him as a wuss must have worn him down. He decided that revenge was sweet, and that he would destroy the career that had been used to destroy his own career aspirations.

Of course, millennials do not approve. So what. And they point out that they have all taken and distributed pornographic pictures of themselves. Dowd quotes Shawn:

He pointed to a viral text going around this past month as evidence that most young people have at least one picture on their phones that they don’t want to get out. The first line of the text refers to Instagram and pops up on the recipient’s phone with the most horrifying words known to the millennial mind: “Why is there a nude on your story??” Once the text is opened, it turns out to be a prank. Nonetheless, Shawn said, it caused a lot of spilled coffees and near car crashes among his friends.

He said that iPhones and social media have so reshaped culture that older people would have to accept the new and sometimes naked reality.

The notion that older people must accept these youthful aberrations must have a long history. It is like bluffing when your cards are exposed.

One also notes that Dowd first-names her interlocutor… perhaps because we usually first name women more often than we do men.

Anyway, McCreesh has offered an absurd thought, one that has defined the moral character of the millennial generation. They are like the ostrich who has stuck his head in the sand and who thinks that it makes him invisible. They know that they are making moral errors. They know that their moral errors might very well haunt them forever. And yet, they believe that they can obviate the pain by taking over everyone’s minds, by making it more reprehensible to say that the emperor is naked. 

Why give up an illusion, especially an illusion that will expose you as a shameless dupe when you can just shoot the boy who declares that the emperor is naked. Not literally, of course. But, you must shut him up and shut him down. Dissenting opinions are no longer welcome because they might force millennials to face their moral derelictions. 

Perhaps this tells us why the younger generations are so happy to shut up dissenting opinions and why they believe that mind control will save their honor. They are going to have a very rude awakening.

          

The Democrats' Clown Posse of Candidates

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If you have not had your quota of Andrew Sullivan today—see previous post— I bring you his views of the field of Democratic presidential candidates. Naturally, Sullivan loathes Donald Trump, with every fiber of his being. How could he not. Yet, he still provides some compelling portraits of the rogues’ gallery or clown posse of today’s Democrats.

Without further ado and without commentary, we begin with Joe Biden:

Joe Biden’s strength in the polls remains impressive, but his candidacy is crippled. In the last debate, he was easily the worst performer: confused, addled, over-briefed, and clearly past his expiration date as a pol. Close your eyes and he sounds exactly like Abraham Simpson. His crowds are anemic, his speeches lame, his self-defense as Trump lunged biliously at him and his family a case study in ineffectiveness.

And Bernie Sanders:

Sanders has had a heart attack. He came back swinging in the debate and looks fine. But come on — he’s had a heart attack at the age of 78. What happens if he has another one at any point before the election? Why should a party risk that? He’s also an actual socialist, and he hasn’t entertained — let alone engaged with — a new idea in decades. That’s appealing to millennial Marxists who have no memory of the 1970s, but Jeremy Corbyn was also a superstar with the youngsters a while back.

Elizabeth Warren:

Warren is surging, but she is, I fear — yes, I’ll say it — unelectable. I may be wrong, but by pledging to rip everyone off their current private health insurance, it certainly seems like she has thrown away the core advantage of her side — health security. By floating the notion in the CNN forum that her future Secretary of Education would have to be approved by a transgender 9-year-old boy, she’s placing herself firmly inside a cultural revolution most Americans are deeply uncomfortable with.

 She’s a supercilious, smug, know-it-all Massachusetts liberal who reveals contempt for the deplorables the way Clinton did last time. The “first woman of color” to get hired as a professor at Harvard Law School is the stuff that GOP dreams are made on. That any suspicion of the viability of her candidacy will be ascribed entirely to misogyny will only help Trump, the way it did in 2016.

Cory Booker:

Booker lacks a connection with anyone, and still seems to be campaigning for a Rhodes Scholarship. On paper, he’s perfect. In reality, he comes off as an earnest cyborg from outer space.

Kamala Harris:

Harris has revealed herself as a feckless, authoritarian, lying opportunist who treats the Constitution as cavalierly as Trump, but without his excuse of total ignorance. Tulsi is despised by too many Dems to have a hope (I can’t quite figure out the reason for their hatred, but it’s a fact).

Amy Klobuchar:

Klobuchar is a ball of nerves and insecurity who seems to shrink upon exposure.

Pete Buttigieg:

Buttigieg is easily the best debater, and most appealing to independents and a few wavering Republicans, but the big question still hangs over his candidacy: Will more culturally conservative minority voters — not to mention white working-class ones — show up for a gay man in the numbers that Democrats need? The cause for concern is real.

Beto O’Rourke:

O’Rourke is a woke, moronic bigot, who believes we live in a white-supremacist country, and would happily remove tax exemptions from most traditional churches, synagogues, and mosques, because they still believe in the literal teachings of the Bible or the Koran. Of all the candidates, he’s the only one I actively loathe.

Julian Castro:

Castro is an open-borders globalist panderer dedicated to the vital cause of free abortions for transgender male illegal immigrants. All of them have staked out “left Twitter” positions on immigration, race, and “social justice” that make Obama seem like Steve Bannon in comparison.

And, Sullivan’s favorite, Andrew Yang:

The only true bright spot is Andrew Yang — fresh, real, future-oriented, sane, offering actual analyses of automation, trade, and technology that distinguish him from the crowd.… He’s a fascinating character to me. When he’s asked a question, his nearly expressionless, wrinkle-free face, which seems to spring directly from his chest, seems about to offer some canned pabulum, and then almost always responds with a flawless, thoughtful, and entirely relevant, even insightful answer. I’m rooting for him (and Pete), but I’m not delusional.

Now that he has found nearly all of them seriously lacking, Sullivan says that he finds all of them better than the orange man currently occupying the White House. As for his prediction for the outcome. Elizabeth Warren will win the nomination and be beaten badly in the general election:

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll vote for anyone, including Warren or Sanders or even the vacuous “Beto” to defeat Trump. We proud human scum will not be distracted from the central task at hand. But let’s be honest: This is a field that has largely wilted upon inspection. For what it’s worth, I suspect Warren will win the nomination and dutifully lose the election just like Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, and the second Clinton. She has that quintessential perfume of smug, well-meaning, mediocre doom that Democrats simply cannot resist.

 On that I confess that I agree with him.

          

Friday, November 1 - Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

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Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) - Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from th...
          

Feminist autonomous infrastructures

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Authored by: 

Organization: 

Media@McGill and Tactical Tech Collective
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Feminist autonomous infrastructures

Introduction

Women, feminists, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer and intersex (GLBTQI) individuals share common experiences online: they can easily become targets of online harassment, discrimination or censorship, be it by government, private actors or corporations. When trying to understand the relationship between gender, violence and technology, one should keep in mind that online violence is intrinsically linked with real-life situations. When bigotry, sexism and homophobic attitudes exist in societies, they will almost inevitably be amplified in the online world.

”Real” name policies, data mining, tracking and surveillance technologies have become so intertwined that the days when no one knew if you were a dog or a cyborg on the internet are largely over. In fact, the creation of an industry around the profiling of users, coupled with the centralisation and contraction of the internet, have led to a situation where it is not a safe space (if it ever was). In 1996 the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace announced the creation of “a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.” 1 But nowadays it is too common to see the work and voices of women, feminists and GLBTQI being deleted, censored and/or prevented from being seen, heard or read. Much of this gender-based online violence happens on corporate social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and the blogosphere, in addition to other non-profit online spaces such as Wikipedia. All of them involve large communities, which are led by a set of practices and policies. Despite the existence of certain rules that govern these spaces and because of certain practices, silencing, intimidation and/or discrimination continues. So far, responses from GLBTQI to violence have involved organised public shaming, doxxing of harassers, 2 feminist counter-speech, active research and documentation, awareness raising around privacy and security, advocacy for amendments to corporate terms of service, and lobbying of institutions contributing to the governance of the internet, among others. While these tactics are paramount to the embodiment of everyday forms of online resistance,3 there is also a need to think about adopting strategies that are not only reactive, but also project us into the future we want. In other words, it is about dreaming and pre-figuring our technologies actively. Proactive practices involve understanding what it means to take back the command and control of technologies by using, creating and maintaining our own ones and shaping our communication and technological infrastructures. Using corporate services such as Facebook or Twitter may be very convenient, and at times strategic because they are generally provided for free and because this is where the so-called critical masses are. But using them also means accepting their terms of service, which are primarily shaped by profit, and in which human rights and gender social justice still remain of negligible importance. When using these online services, we and our networks are at their mercy, which means we can not fully control our data, social networks and historical memories (or traces) on the internet. While the future of the internet often looks bleak, it is paramount to not only continue to investigate into the processes and governance structure of the internet, but to continue to build a communication and technological ecology that puts human well-being front and centre, rather than profit. What will happen when big data has its proper algorithms? What will be the combined relationships between these algorithms and the Facebook project internet.org or the “Internet of Things”, to name only two of the upcoming situations that will again redefine people's rights to privacy and free expression? When our data remains under corporate control, they can be sold or given to third parties to exploit, or they can be deleted or shut down. Ultimately, they become our digital shadows, 4 enabling others to track, profile and control our voices, opinions and expressions. Part of the answer lies in developing, supporting and using not-for-profit, independent, privacy-aware and secure alternatives to corporate online services. Collectives such as Riseup, Nadir and Autistici/Inventati have been powered by hacktivist collectives for almost two decades now.5 They have provided – through volunteer work and community contributions – valuable and basic online services such as email, mailing list servers, wikis, pads,6 blogs and virtual private networks (VPN)7 to activists all around the world. But where are the feminist tech collectives that design and maintain feminist autonomous infrastructures for feminists, queer and trans* people and activists at large? We also need to ask ourselves, why are those feminist tech collectives still so embryonic? And what does this tell us about the discrimination and violence happening when women and feminists do not control, own and manage the technological infrastructure they need to express themselves and act online?

Shaping autonomy within our technologies

One of the main constitutive elements of feminist autonomous infrastructures lies in the concept of self-organisation already practised by many social movements that understand the question of autonomy as a desire for freedom, self-valorisation and mutual aid. In addition, we understand the term technological infrastructure in an expansive way, encompassing hardware, software and applications, but also participatory design, safe spaces and social solidarities. Concrete examples of feminist autonomous infrastructures include the Geek Feminism Wiki, 8 developing specific technologies that tackle gender-based online violence, such as bots against trolls, and building feminist online libraries and feminist servers, but also enabling offline safe spaces such as feminist hackerspaces which allow feminist, queer and trans* hackers, makers and geeks to gather and learn with others.

When talking about these examples of feminist autonomous infrastructures, we recognise that none of them can be fully autonomous, but rather relative in their autonomy, as they still depend, for instance, on already existing communication networks and technologies designed by mainstream companies (such as computers, servers and access devices). Having said that, their autonomy is based on different governance models, the values they embrace and the principles they promote. If feminist autonomous infrastructures are diverse in scope and in shape, they do share in common a desire to proactively create the conditions for their autonomy while following an ethic of care9 which is embedded into the active practice of social solidarities. Caring and recognising the importance of such infrastructures are two aspects that are central to attempt to address the cycle of technology that is rife with inequality from the production of technology, to its access, uptake, development and governance, until its end cycle. This intersectional and integrated approach to technology goes hand in hand with a feminist posture that does not shy away from addressing all forms of violence, whether it be online violence or the violence that is intrinsic in resource extraction or the factory and assembly line work that is gendered and raced. 10

Recently, momentum has gathered around the building of feminist autonomous infrastructures. These initiatives are still in their embryonic stage, mainly representing a set of scattered and fragmented initiatives. Below we highlight two different examples – one addressing the need for physical safe spaces enabling women and feminists to gather and uplift their skills, and another addressing the slow-politics around the creation of feminist servers.

Breaking the circle of isolation by learning together

The Gender and Technology Institute11 was organised by the Tactical Technology Collective and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) at the end of 2014. The event brought together almost 80 participants and facilitators, mostly from the global South, to focus on some of the issues faced daily by women and trans* persons on the internet, to share strategies and tools for better protecting our privacy and security online, and to discuss how to spread knowledge and skills in our communities and organisations. Since then, the network has expanded, with different outcomes ranging from the creation of a collaborative online space enabling the documentation of the activities around privacy and digital security delivered by its members on the ground, to the production of a manual specifically addressing gender-related issues which also offers various strategies and tools for taking control of our online identities and learning how to shape safe spaces.

All these outcomes are informed by the stories and creative practices of women and feminist grassroots activists, located in 22 different countries, who are actively and creatively using and making technology to tackle gender-based online violence. Meanwhile they become digital security trainers, and privacy advocates, and they are helping others to understand how they can adopt safer and more joyful practices when engaging online and offline.

Eight months after its realisation, the Gender and Technology Institute has become an international informal network of support, a friendly resource space based on social solidarities that helps to break the circle of isolation.12 This contributes to strengthening the technological autonomy of its participants and, by extension, women, feminists and GLBTQI individuals and organisations, in order to face the challenges and threats derivative of their use of the internet.

Feminist servers

A server can be defined as a computer connected to a network that provides services such as hosting files, websites and online services. Because all online resources are hosted on servers, they constitute a base for the internet as we know it. All servers are ruled by different terms of service, governance models and national legislation in relation to privacy and access to data by third actor parties (or "trackers") and are dependent on a variety of business models. This somewhat technical definition can obscure the possibilities for understanding the political aspect behind the setting up and management of a server. In that sense, what would be the purposes13 and principles 14 of a feminist server? Can feminist servers support women, feminists and GLBTQI in their fight for having their rights such as freedom of expression and opinion respected? Can we create trust among us to develop cooperative approaches to the management of those spaces of resistance and transformation? These were more or less the questions that a group of people interested in gender asked themselves during the first Feminist Server Summit 15 in December 2013 and at the first TransHackFeminist (THF!) Convergence 16 held in August 2014. The discussions that emerged out of those meetings recognised that we do not yet have feminist tech collectives that design feminist autonomous infrastructures for the feminist, queer and trans* movement(s) and that this should become a priority. 17

For example, two feminist servers that were dormant re-emerged during the THF! Convergence:

  • The Systerserver project, which was originally launched in early 2000 by the Genderchangers 18 and the Eclectic Tech Carnival (/etc), and focuses on hosting online services such as etherpads and a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) application.

  • The Anarcha server,19 started by the TransHackFeminists from Calafou, an eco-industrial post-capitalist colony located in Catalonia. It hosts a mediawiki, a WordPress farm and a media publishing platform.

These feminist servers are composed by a loose coalition of women, queer and trans* from around the world, with some explicitly interested in hacking heteronormativity and patriarchy. They are also about demonstrating that it is possible to create safe spaces where the harassment of women, feminists and GLBTQI is not allowed and where all can learn about technology in a non-hierarchal and non-meritocratic way. However, even if these server initiatives are inspiring to many, they still remain at the embryonic stage. Moreover, they do not consider themselves service providers; neither have they clearly decided to become stable and sustainable tech collectives providing hosting and online services to women, feminists and GLBTQI groups. In any case, they show that feminist servers are possible and that they should become a political aim for any organisations working in the field of gender social justice and GLBTQI rights – which should be concerned about achieving autonomy in communication and technological infrastructures, in addition to securing their data, social networks and historical memories on the web.

Conclusion

The targeting, silencing and censorship of women, feminists and GLBTQI people online has been and is being challenged in multiple ways. Women, feminists and GLBTQI people have been particularly creative in their everyday forms of resistance and their solidarities and care towards one another. While the initiatives outlined above are exciting, they do remain at an embryonic stage where only a few are able to participate. The reasons why so few initiatives exist ought to be at the core of a feminist analysis to understand how gendered technology actually is. Who is encouraged at a young age to tinker with technology? What kind of division of labour exists when it comes to technology? Why is the level of attrition so high for women in the tech industry?

While seriously considering the above, it remains that if we want to see the Feminist Principles of the Internet as formulated by APC become a reality, we need our own feminist autonomous infrastructures. To do so, we need to have feminist tech collectives that focus on providing these services. We need to be active in developing our expertise and that of the younger generation. But for that to happen we need the feminist and GLBTQI movement(s) to pay more attention to these issues, create more safe spaces to learn collectively, stop fearing technologies and decide collectively that we need to change gears to reshape our own communication and technological infrastructure. After all, freedom of expression is part of the feminist struggle and women, feminists and GLBTQI people can contribute by providing collectively the knowledge and means to ensure that their right to speak up remains accessible online, offline, and wherever and in any format where expression emerges.

References:

1 Barlow, J. P. (1996). A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. https://projects.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html

2 Doxxing of harassers means searching for and publishing private information about a harasser on the internet with the aim of shaming the individual.

3 An example of the embodiment of everyday forms of resistance is that of feminist social media practices that resist rape culture by hijacking Twitter feeds and hashtags that blame victims and perpetuate myths and stereotypes.

4 See “My shadow” by theTactical Technology Collective: https://myshadow.org/

5 For a more extensive list of autonomous servers visit: https://help.riseup.net/en/radical-servers and http://backbone409.calafou.org/participants/index.en.html

6 The following is a great activists etherpads that can be used: https://pad.riseup.net/

7 Riseup.net offers VPN to know more visit: https://help.riseup.net/en/vpn

8 To go to the Geek Feminism Wiki visit: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Geek_Feminism_Wiki

9 Adam, A. (2003). Hacking into Hacking: Gender and the Hacker Phenomenon. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, 33(4).

10 Nakamura, L. (2014). Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronic Manufacture. American Quarterly, 66(4), 919-941.

11 To know more visit: https://tacticaltech.org/gender-tech-institute

12 One example is the International Feminist Hackathon Day (a.k.a. FemHack) held on 23 May 2015. To know more about this initiative see: www.f3mhack.org

13 For a history of where the desire for feminist servers arose read: Alarcon, S. et al. (2015, 30 April). Exquisite Corpse. New Criticals. www.newcriticals.com/exquisite-corpse/page-8

14 Following discussions at the Feminist Server Summit, Femke Snelting came up with a list that defines what a feminist server is, available here: http://esc.mur.at/en/werk/feminist-server

15 vj14.constantvzw.org

16 transhackfeminist.noblogs.org/post/2015/01/25/a-transhackfeminist-thf-convergence-report and anarchaserver.org/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page

17 The theme of the second edition of the TransHackFeminist (THF!) Convergence is aptly titled “Error 404. Dissent Technologies Not Found”: transhackfeminist.noblogs.org

18 A video about the GenderChangers is available at: https://vimeo.com/4090016

19 anarchaserver.org

Themes: 


          

Rifts® World Book 36: Sovietski™

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Rifts® World Book 36: Sovietski™Publisher: Palladium Books

Rifts® World Book 36: Sovietski

The Sovietski faces the ever present dangers of the high-tech but savage and ruthless Warlords of Russia, the expanding Brodkil invasion sponsored by Mindwerks and the Angel of Death, Werewolves in the north, Gargoyles spilling in from the west, and the coming of the Minion War. This book dives deep into the Sovietski nation, its people, their dreams, beliefs, politics, and growing army, plus D-Bees, Dead Zones, Spetsnaz Special Forces, new cyborgs and bionics, and more.

  • 9 Sovietski O.C.C.s, 40+ M.O.S. Skill Packages, and body armor.
  • Spetsnaz Sovietski Special Forces – the new KGB.
  • 11 unique cyborgs, new bionics plus cyborg animals for scouting and combat.
  • Light, Heavy and Superheavy Machines (cyborgs), revisited.
  • The Sovietski war machine – new combat troops, vehicles, tanks, aircraft, body armor, weapons, grenades, tank shells and more.
  • Bunker creation tables and Dead Zone tables.
  • Invasion by the Brodkil Empire, demons and Werewolves.
  • Russian D-Bees like Wolverine People and the elemental Yaganar.
  • Overview of the Sovietski, notable cities, places of interest, notable groups, people, and many adventure ideas.
  • 224 pages written by Brandon Aten, Matthew Orr and Kevin Siembieda.
Price: $14.99
          

Near-Future Space [BUNDLE]

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Near-Future Space [BUNDLE]Publisher: Better Mousetrap Games
This special bundle product contains the following titles.



StarCluster 4 - In The Beginning
Regular price: $10.00
Bundle price:
 $7.50
Format:
 Watermarked PDF
StarCluster 4 - In The Beginning is a near-future SF roleplaying game set in our solar system in the year 2120. The setting can be generated randomly, created by fiat, or created in The Great Game, a separate board game. You can play humans, uplifts, robots, or cyborgs all over the solar system. Create associations as the GM alone or with the players, designed to link the player characters together and support them in what they want to do. ...

The Great Game
Regular price: $10.00
Bundle price:
 $7.50
Format:
 ZIP File
The Great Game is a Print-It-Yourself Board Game. All components are printable png files, and the instructions are a printable pdf file. In The Great Game, the players shape the peopling of the Solar System, from 2020 to 2120, with each decade being a turn. Players draw random agendas, and completing tasks on these agendas gains points. Play uses a standard card deck for resolution, and the results are interpreted by the players, which means anything is on the table. In the game, there are 5 Great Powers and 5 Lesser Powers who can colonize space. Powers may change during play due to player action. Each turn, new areas may open up for colonization, and colonies may become independent. The Great Game is excellent for generating near-future SF settings. With so many variables, replay valu...

Total value: $20.00
Special bundle price: $15.00
Savings of: $5.00 (25%)
Price: $20.00
          

StarCluster 4 - In The Beginning

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StarCluster 4 - In The BeginningPublisher: Better Mousetrap Games

StarCluster 4 - In The Beginning is a near-future SF roleplaying game set in our solar system in the year 2120. The setting can be generated randomly, created by fiat, or created in The Great Game, a separate board game. You can play humans, uplifts, robots, or cyborgs all over the solar system. Create associations as the GM alone or with the players, designed to link the player characters together and support them in what they want to do. 

Price: $10.00
          

HoodWitch: Poetry Reading

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Event date: November 21, 2019
Event Time: 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Location:
625 E. Hopkins St.
San Marcos, TX 78666
Description:
Join us for a poetry reading with author Faylita Hicks, who will read from her debut collection HoodWitch: Poems. In this collection about resilience, Hicks speaks about giving her child up for adoption, mourning the death of her fiancé, and embracing the nonbinary femme body—persevering in the face of medical malpractice, domestic abuse, and police violence. The poems find people transformed, “remade out of smoke & iron” into cyborgs and wolves, machines and witches—beings capable of seeking justice in a world that refuses them the option
          

How To Reprogram Your Mind for Positive Thinking

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“What are you, a cyborg?” That kind of weird things happen when you don’t have a script and just reply to your audiences’ comments! Hope you enjoy!

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Justice League

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Justice LeagueFueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes -- Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash -- it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
          

Terminator.Dark.Fate.2019.720p.HDCAM-GETB8

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Terminator: Dark Fate

Amazon - iMDB - NFO - Sample 1 , 2, 3 , 4 - Video Sample


Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future.

The post Terminator.Dark.Fate.2019.720p.HDCAM-GETB8 appeared first on DDLValley.


          

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

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Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, S. Epatha Merkerson, Leslie Hamilton Gearren, Xander Berkeley, Danny Cooksey Director: James Cameron | Length: 132 Minutes Genre: Action, Sci-Fi IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103064/ Release/Country: 1991/USA Description: A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her teenage son, John Connor, from a more […]
          

Charla y desayuno: “Cyborgs por naturaleza: inteligencia artificial y condición humana” con Javier Blanco

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Charla y desayuno con Javier Blanco "Cyborgs por naturaleza: inteligencia artificial y condición humana"
          

HEH: Schwarzenegger meets real life cyborg sent back in time to kill off humanity….

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HEH: Schwarzenegger meets real life cyborg sent back in time to kill off humanity.
          

Comment on Someone Bought This: The NWO will destroy WCW with a Cyborg! by aag44

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They all worked for Worldwide Pro Wrestling (WPW), an indy league in Florida related to Future of Wrestling. Back in 1998, WCW was HUGE in Peru (I lived there at the time), and one day, the channel that used to air Nitro announced that they were bringing WCW wrestlers to Peru for a few live shows. The tickets sold out and everyone was looking forward to it... until the "WCW" wrestlers (including Cyborg) showed up and NONE of them were recognizable. And I guess that in order to make it seem like there was at least SOME connection to WCW, they made Cyborg, Montana, and fake Hogan dress in NWO clothes. To this day, Peruvian wrestling fans still talk about that ripoff lol. Fun fact: My mom ran into Cyborg one day at a market in Lima, and she got an autographed picture of him for me. I don't even think I brought it to the US with me when we moved, but I didn't have the heart to tell her the truth until many, many years later.
          

Cyborg Evo Joystick

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Cyborg Evo Joystick
          

The End Of The Beginning

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Video: The End Of The Beginning
Watch This Video!
Studio: Fever Dreams/Media Blasters
In the near future, the world is divided into opposing Western and Eastern blocs. J-Country is a border war zone for the ongoing conflict between the two superpowers. Mylene is 009, a beautiful cyborg spy working for the Western bloc's ‘00'division. Her latest assignment is to expose a human trafficking operation and rescue a missing scientist who creates the Faust Project – a cover advanced cyborg technology. Can the one-woman demolition squad accomplish her deadly mission and rescue the human memory of her former self?

Stars: Mayuko Iwasa, Minehiro Kinomoto

          

Intelligenza artificiale. La valle inquietante (Seconda parte) – Roberto Pecchioli

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Scienza e morale hanno una relazione biunivoca che la prima tende a scavalcare se non a sopprimere. Gli apparati artificiali intelligenti pensano e penseranno più di noi; un giorno proveranno sensazioni analoghe a quelle umane; eppure, non si tratta che di meccanismi. E’ urgente restituire respiro morale al campo tecno scientifico, istituire una disciplina futuribile che potremmo chiamare “macchinetica”. Il tema dell’intelligenza artificiale, più che richiedere risposte, impone di formulare interrogativi che nessuno aveva mai immaginato prima. Ebbe ragione Alan Turing a sottolineare la necessità del discernimento, la capacità di distanziarsi spiritualmente dalla macchina. In caso contrario, la relazione uomo-apparato artificiale sarà distorta.

L’essere umano ama dare affetto e riceverlo. L’ostacolo, il macigno etico con cui ci confronteremo è che se l’apparato antropomorfo, l’androide, ci tratterà con quello che, in termini umani, chiamiamo affetto, svilupperemo una nuova dipendenza, utilizzata come strumento di potere da chi controlla la macchina. L’innovazione che sconvolgerà la nostra idea del mondo, prevista entro dieci, quindici anni sarà la generazione artificiale di emozioni. La macchina ci supera in forza, calcolo, adesso anche in intelligenza e capacità decisionale. Il salto della percezione di emozioni ci trova impreparati come specie, come comunità e come individui. Le implicazioni etiche, politiche, antropologiche sono enormi. Ciò che non siamo in grado di padroneggiare si allarga, diventa una condizione esistenziale in cui l’uomo perde ogni punto di riferimento.

Un po’ di scienza (quella che usiamo e crediamo di comprendere) allontana da Dio. Molta scienza avvicina a Lui, sosteneva Pasteur. Temiamo che per l’uomo comune, immerso in una quotidianità utilitarista, non sia più così. Conservare la dignità umana, mantenerne la nobiltà morale passa per l’educazione, lo studio, la cultura. Precisamente il contrario di quello che ha scelto per noi il potere, che ci vuole scimmie desideranti. In fondo, per l’immensa maggioranza, la scienza avanzata è indistinguibile dalla magia. Viviamo immersi in una realtà che ci oltrepassa: occorre riannodare i fili di un umanesimo intransigente che sappia sviluppare una relazione non subalterna con le macchine intelligenti.

La nostra supremazia intellettuale è posta per la prima volta nella storia in discussione, anche se la macchina e l’intelligenza artificiale sono creazioni umane. E’ in pericolo la nostra essenza, l’autopercezione e l’autostima della nostra specie. L’A.I. prenderà decisioni al nostro posto, ci governerà. La valle inquietante non può essere elusa allontanandone il pensiero o lasciandosi agire. E’ la scelta più semplice, ma ci fa uscire dalla profondità dell’intelletto, ci toglie responsabilità, poiché affrontare un problema per superarlo è la sfida più esaltante. L’uomo è mutato in profondità nell’ultimo secolo. Siamo fisicamente più deboli, ma di maggiore statura e con un’aspettativa di vita più lunga. La nostra genetica sta cambiando, si abbassa il livello di aggressività in quanto meno decisivo in termini di sopravvivenza. Si tratta di fatti per riconoscere i quali non è necessario condividere le teorie neo illuministe di uno Steven Pinker.

Ciò che turba è il passaggio che si avvicina: se una macchina prende decisioni che riguardano la nostra vita, siamo ancora liberi? Si modificherà la parte del cervello deputata alle scelte? La risposta degli scienziati è semplicistica. Scopriremo tutto e risolveremo tecnicamente ogni problema; la buona politica va sempre a braccetto con la scienza. Il secolo corrente non si caratterizza in senso politico, l’agenda è scandita dagli avanzamenti scientifici. Il vero atto politico è amministrare il progresso tecnologico con gli strumenti dell’etica, nel rispetto della centralità dell’uomo e della preservazione del creato. Non possiamo accettare ad occhi chiusi, o con gridolini di meraviglia ogni tecnologia. Tutto ha conseguenze, le grandi innovazioni hanno grandi conseguenze. Se dal punto scientifico l’Ottocento fu il secolo della chimica, la prima metà del XX conobbe il grande momento della fisica e la seconda della biologia, il primo scorcio del Duemila è l’era dell’informazione. Bisogna fare in modo che il futuro prossimo sia la rivincita dell’etica.

Un grave problema è il basso livello di consapevolezza dei giganti che fanno ricerca e possiedeno la tecnologia, i cui codici etici sono deludenti o inesistenti. Risulta traumatico ascoltare banditori dell’A.I. affermare che si farà politica attraverso l’intelligenza artificiale, anzi che questa è in grado di agire meglio dei politici. La motivazione è tecnicamente ineccepibile, ma va rigettata come anti umana, un esempio di resa alla ragione strumentale. Essenziale, dicono, è gestire la complessità, ossia selezionare dati “obiettivi” (?), sottoporli all’A.I. e applicare il verdetto “tecnico”. Non più politica, orientamento al bene comune, principi e interessi, ma soluzione tecnica.

Anche l’amministrazione giudiziaria sarà investita dall’onda lunga dell’A.I. Perché, affermano gli adepti della tecnocrazia “macchinista”, una sentenza, una decisione sul carcere preventivo, deve essere affidata al temperamento di un giudice? Stupisce leggere in Etica per macchine “a me non farebbe paura essere giudicato da una macchina, poiché non ci sarà pregiudizio né distorsione. Noi umani abbiamo preconcetti e non siamo tanto superiori quanto pensiamo “. Con idee di questo tipo, si penetra senza bussola nel territorio del post umano, poiché l’intelligenza artificiale presuppone la capacità della macchina di fare da sé, non di elaborare informazioni. In più, avrà emozioni, dunque anch’essa potrebbe decidere in base a un proprio sistema di valori, se ha senso il termine.

Ancora più rilevante è un’altra domanda: se la macchina è intelligente, potrà considerarsi un organismo vivente? La risposta dei tecnoscienziati è raggelante. Per loro, il dato biologico non è centrale: che importa se l’A.I. è o no vita? Ciò che conta è la relazione con un altro “ente”. Senza scomodare il vecchio Parmenide, siamo convinti che l’uomo sia un “essere”, non un “ente”. In più, si revoca in dubbio l’intelligenza umana come tale, insieme a un certo disprezzo. Che evidenza ho, chiede Latorre, che un mio amico sia intelligente? Meglio la risposta di una voce elettronica per la riserva di posti: più efficiente, a prova di errore. Presto saprà fingere dubbi e mormorare un “mmmh” indistinguibile dalla voce umana. Un’intelligenza artificiale avanzata parla correttamente, imposta la voce, sa gestire il silenzio. Sì, Adamo ed Eva sono inadeguati. Meglio sostituirli, o almeno integrarli nella macchina. Questa è la missione del transumanesimo: creare il cyberuomo. Come il Minotauro, metà uomo, metà toro, il Cyborg sarà un innesto uomo-macchina.

L’intelligenza emozionale è ancora in fase di studio, prevede soluzioni molto sottili, è per dopodomani. Per adesso, creano facce umane e voci che non esistono. Trasmettere emozioni è l’orizzonte a medio termine. Si espelle la morale dal campo che è il suo. Come distingueremo, sotto l’aspetto etico, una decisione umana da una dell’A.I.? Per i tecnoentusiasti è semplicissimo: basta programmare “il bene”. Tutti vogliono difendere i poveri, creare una Santa Teresa artificiale sarà un gioco da ragazzi. Il difficile sarà imitare l’imperfezione umana; più facile costruire un amico virtuale, è sufficiente che sia “come tu mi vuoi”. Lo scoglio, superato, è il riconoscimento vocale. Inquieta la superficialità con cui scienziati intelligenti trattano materie tanto complesse. La dittatura delle macchine è il seguito dell’egemonia degli esperti.

Un tema centrale è quello del lavoro. Se le prime due rivoluzioni industriali hanno distrutto mestieri e posti di lavoro per crearne altri, più qualificati e meno faticosi, il futuro prossimo è più deludente. Lavorare meno per lavorare tutti si è rivelato uno slogan elettorale. Che fare? Al di là delle misure di politica economica, si aprirà un arduo dibattito sulla personalità giuridica delle macchine artificiali. Dovranno, in qualche modo, pagare le tasse attraverso gli utilizzatori e corrispondere contributi previdenziali a beneficio delle generazioni umane future? Emerge una controindicazione: se riconosciamo alla macchina delle responsabilità, le togliamo a chi le ha fabbricate e assegnamo diritti agli oggetti.

Non si possono immaginare scenari esclusivamente distopici, un equilibrio si troverà, ma non è dato sapere a quale costo per l’uomo, la sua dignità, il suo ruolo nel mondo. Secondo gli evoluzionisti, non siamo che macchine biologiche progredite verso l’intelligenza. Se tendiamo al bene, il che è tutt’altro che certo, poiché l’uomo privato di cultura, morale, chiuso al trascendente, è un predatore instancabile, non vi sarebbe ragione che le macchine ci maltrattino. Tutt’al più, ci ignoreranno, ma sembra difficile, tenuto conto che l’A.I. ha lo scopo di compiere meglio di noi e al nostro posto azioni e prendere decisioni che ci riguardano. L’inquietudine non si dissipa e dilagherà quando i robot ci assomiglieranno troppo. Lo sconcerto aumenterà quando le macchine inizieranno a comunicare tra loro con il proprio linguaggio. Stranieri agli apparati artificiali, insoddisfatti delle risposte tecniche, poniamo domande, sperando di suscitare riflessioni diverse dalla riduzione macchinistica.

Se l’intelligenza artificiale ci supera, pur essendo una nostra creazione, che cosa significherà essere umano? Che ne è della coscienza, o è solo una manifestazione della complessità neuronale? Ed ancora, chi deciderà circa l’“etica” che, affermano, introdurranno nelle macchine ? A che cosa penserà un’intelligenza superiore, a risolvere enigmi matematici, tipo la celebre congettura di Riemann, riposerà, si volgerà al dominio, alla violenza o magari all’empatia? Il cyberuomo transumano dotato di A.I. proverà passioni, avversioni, sarà coscienti di se stesso? La macchina intelligente sa di sapere, ha una sorta di coscienza o è solo un immenso magazzino? Esisterà un’intelligenza artificiale universale, frutto di interazioni e collegamenti, o ce ne saranno varie? Ognuno può aggiungere il suo personale quesito. La domanda cruciale ci sembra la seguente: possiamo considerare un’intelligenza artificiale avanzata come un agente morale, ovvero un ente autonomo capace di prendere decisioni soggette a regole etiche e quali criteri la sosterranno?

Non dimentichiamo che ogni scoperta tecnologica è stata utilizzata contro la nostra specie; gli esempi della polvere da sparo, delle armi chimiche e della bomba atomica sono solo i più recenti. Magari, una volta raggiunti determinati livelli di intelligenza le macchine si faranno beffe di noi, della nostra inadeguatezza di sempliciotti. Di sicuro divoreremo energia in quantità immense, ascolteremo musica artificiale e vedremo quadri disegnati da macchine. Un giorno, ci parranno banali tutte le realizzazioni umane, ma saremo ancora in grado di governare le macchine, o almeno controllarle, se qualche scienziato pronostica con intima soddisfazione che, a lungo termine, società, città e nazioni saranno in mano all’A.I.?

L’utopia scientista, affermano trionfanti, promette di sradicare la corruzione e programmare la giustizia. Come? Non è chiaro. Sarebbe, quanto meno, il caso di promulgare leggi sugli algoritmi che prendono decisioni, nonché, per autotutela, definire da subito le norme morali a cui sottomettere i programmi. I codici devono essere pubblici e sottoposti a autorità politiche. Il sapere della macchina, inoltre, dovrebbe essere un fine in sé, al modo di Aristotele, allontanandolo dall’utilitarismo.

Desta perplessità un’altra asserzione: “Un’intelligenza artificiale non ha orizzonte di morte, non scompare; il tempo è per essa infinito”. Non le colpirebbe la morte termica, o l’eventuale collasso dell’universo, il Big Crunch? Concretamente, se per lei il tempo non esistesse, avrebbe senso qualsiasi etica? I dilemmi sono molteplici: la macchina saprà mentire? Se lo farà, quale sarà la ragione teleologica, se un qualunque finalismo diverso dalla funzionalità può essere ascritto a un apparato? La supermacchina assomiglierà allo Spirito Assoluto di Hegel, ci incorporerà in una totalità che porrà fine all’umano? L’umano, peraltro, risiede nell’elaborazione del nostro cervello imperfetto e finito, non nel messaggio, né nel mezzo che lo genera, immagazzina e trasmette. E’ una somma che eccede e trascende le parti.

Mille e mille interrogativi, per un futuro in cui anche i doveri umani termineranno dove iniziano le prestazioni “etiche” delle macchine artificiali, dove la conoscenza corre il rischio di sparire e l’individualità personale oltrepasserà i limiti del tessuto nervoso, negando se stessa. La conclusione ottimista, evoluzionista, materialista, è sconfortante: prima saremo divertiti, ammaliati dalla macchine, poi svilupperemo assuefazione, dipendenza a essere controllati. Stiamo rinunciando al pensiero, al libero arbitrio, a distinguere il bene e il male, nella scienza e fuori di essa.Non sappiamo ancora se il destino delle generazioni future sarà quello di convivere alla pari con macchine tanto superiori a noi, se ne saranno vittime o servitori.

Certo temiamo che non sia credibile, nella possibile Matrix, il commovente, umanissimo replicante Roy Batty che vendica la sua compagna e salva un essere umano a costo di sé. Il suo monologo estremo resta nella storia del cinema e nella memoria di milioni di spettatori. “Io ne ho viste di cose che voii umani non potreste immaginarvi. Navi da combattimento in fiamme al largo dei bastioni di Orione. E ho visto i raggi B balenare nel buio vicino alle paorte di Tannhauser. E tutti quei momenti andranno perduti nel tempo come lacrime nella pioggia. È tempo di morire.” Umano, troppo umano. Intelligenza artificiale?


          

Metal Gear Rising Reveange

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Metal gear Rising Reveange
Esce il prossimo 21 febbraio il nuovo capitolo di Metal Gear Rising.Nato dalla collaborazione fra Kojima Productions e Platinum Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance si presenta come uno spin-off action per la serie Metal Gear Solid, caratterizzato da meccaniche tipiche dei picchiaduro progressivi.
  Protagonista del gioco è Raiden, un soldato trasformato in cyborg che brandisce una potentissima katana ad alta frequenza, capace di tagliare qualsiasi cosa. Le vicende di Revengeance si svolgono in un futuro dominato da soldati potenziati meccanicamente, in cui le organizzazioni che mantenevano segretamente la pace nel mondo si sono sciolte e hanno lasciato la società nel caos. Raiden si trova dunque a fronteggiare potenti organizzazioni criminali che seminano il panico nell’intento di controllare il mondo con la violenza, servendosi di qualsiasi mezzo o arma a disposizione. Membro della Maverick Security, Raiden dovrà riuscire a salvare il maggior numero di vite possibile, nel tentativo di ristabilire l’ordine.

          

‘Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans:’ Movie Review

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‘Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans:’ Movie Review

This movie is completely ridiculous—and I loved every minute of it. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Not that I was expecting to dislike it, but I figured it would be the type of movie I’d watch and then largely forget about. I can’t stop thinking about it, though. It’s tons of fun, and the kind of movie I can see myself watching regularly.

As its name implies, Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans is a crossover between the 2003 show, Teen Titans, and the 2013 show, Teen Titans Go! I’m familiar with the basic premise of Teen Titans, but I’d never seen either show before. Fortunately, it’s not necessary. The film is entirely self-contained, and any important backstory or self-reference is entirely evident from context.

After doing battle with the Gentleman Ghost (Weird Al Yankovic), Raven (Tara Strong) finds that the gem that keeps her inner demon at bay is cracking. Continuing to use her powers could destroy the gem completely, setting an unbridled demon upon the world. Unfortunately, a new villain may force her to do just that. The Master of Games (Rhys Darby) kidnaps the Teen Titans and forces them to compete in a tournament against their most dangerous opponents yet: themselves from another universe.

These alternate Teen Titans are much more serious than the silly, cartoonish team from Teen Titans Go! They’re also more skilled, better trained, and, most importantly, a lot taller. Which team will prevail? And can they put aside their differences to fight the real enemy? Who IS the real enemy?

The original cast of both shows return to lend their voices to this film. Of course, those familiar with the two shows may note that they both had the same voice cast, which means many of the actors have to do double duty as the Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! versions of their characters. Fortunately, the characterizations are different enough that it doesn’t get confusing.

Movies like this tend to be hit or miss for me. The particular brand of crazy, nonsensical, over-the-top humor that Teen Titans Go! hinges on can come off as pandering and juvenile, if it’s not done right. This movie definitely does it right. Writers Jeremy Adams and Marly Halpern-Graser deliver a script that’s brimming with insanity but never feels forced. The worlds of the two different shows are brought together seamlessly—along with glimpses at several other universes and the Teen Titans that inhabit them. There’s also just the right amount of self-referential humor, without going overboard.

I’m honestly not sure how this movie is able to work as well as it does. For example: In the middle of the movie, they stop everything so that Starfire and Starfire (Hynden Walch) can lead the teams in a '90s hip hop number about the importance of teamwork. Then, just a few minutes later, they stop to do another '90s pop number for no reason at all. It should be overkill, right? But it’s not. Somehow, it works in this crazy, ridiculous movie, and both songs are glorious.

As I said, you don’t need any prior knowledge of either show to enjoy this movie, but now I kind of want to check out more of Teen Titans and particularly Teen Titans Go! Fortunately, there are several episodes of both series included on the Blu-ray as a special feature (along with, among other things, sing-along versions of both of the aforementioned songs).

All in all, this is a great movie that both kids and adults alike will love. Don’t worry about it making sense. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.


Creative Team: Jeff Mednikow (director), Jeremy Adams and Marly Halpern-Graser (writers), Greg Cipes (Beast Boy), Scott Menville (Robin), Khary Payton (Cyborg), Tara Strong (Raven), Hynden Walch (Starfire), Kevin Michael Richardson (Trigon), and Weird Al Yankovic (Gentleman Ghost)
Released By: Warner Brothers/DC
Click here to purchase.




          

Las 10 mujeres más fuertes del anime

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La frase "chicas anime" evoca imágenes de cuerpos con poca ropa, mujeres lindas pero despistadas, completo con un festín de escotes y tiros de panty. Muchas series cuentan con personajes femeninos con un enfoque sexual para complacer al público masculino. A la luz de esto, sería sorprendente encontrar que todavía hay algunas féminas que son fuertes. Hay tantas que de hecho, seleccionar sólo diez para este artículo fue un desafío. Puedo decir con certeza que aquí les hice una lista de los diez personajes femeninos más fuertes en el anime.

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10. Akane Tsunemori de Psycho-Pass

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[Information episodes=" 22 " aired="octubre 2012 a marzo 2013" language="es"]

Akane entra en la Oficina de Seguridad Pública como una recién graduada y la mejor en su clase. Aunque preparada intelectualmente, ella no tiene experiencia. Tiene ojos saltones, es compasiva y pequeña en estatura, ella parece una candidata poco probable para estar en esta lista. A pesar de todo esto resulta que ella es capaz de resistir tragedia y adversidad contra viento y marea. Mientras que ella conserva su fuerte inclinación moral inicial como una faceta de su carácter, se adapta y se hace más fuerte volviéndose un valioso miembro de su equipo. A pesar de los desafíos que enfrenta ella utiliza estas experiencias para crecer. Akane está hecha de un material más duro que el resto de su elenco y se mantiene en donde otros pueden fallar, por eso recibe un lugar en esta lista.

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9. Riza Hawkeye de Fullmetal Alchemist

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[Information episodes=" 51 " aired="octubre 2003 a octubre 2004" language="es"]

La teniente Riza Hawkeye es una soldada muy respetada y una especialista de armas de fuego. Ella es una mujer de éxito en un escenario dominado por los hombres. Aunque su rango es el primer teniente, a menudo es la voz de la razón de sus superiores. Aunque es respetuosa no tolera ningún tipo de tonterías, incluso de aquellos con rangos más altos. Ella es apasionada y enfocada - después de todo, se requiere de mucha disciplina para aprender a disparar de la forma en que lo hace, y su reputación de precisión mortal es inigualable. Ella es callada, aunque no se queda callada si tiene una opinión importante. Ella trata a sus palabras como sus balas - dispara sólo cuando sea necesario y con precisión. Ella se hace notar, impone respeto, y se gana un lugar en esta lista.

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8. Re-L Mayer de Ergo Proxy

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[Information episodes=" 23 " aired="febrero 2006 a agosto 2006" language="es"]

Re-L Mayer trabaja para la Oficina de Inteligencia como investigadora, y es muy capaz. Ella tiene una personalidad muy seria, lo que probablemente puede atribuirse a su amplia formación en el gobierno. A pesar de que normalmente presenta un exterior frío ella es muy inteligente y curiosa, a menudo empujando los límites sociales. En una ciudad donde la mayoría de la gente está sin un pensar compatible, ella no tiene miedo a ser la oveja negra. Ella se atreve a desafiar al mundo a su alrededor, hacer preguntas y buscar respuestas. Cuando ella se compromete a algo cumple con su palabra y tiene una determinación de acero. Su tenacidad y curiosidad innata es lo que la pone en esta lista.

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7. San de Mononoke Hime [Español: La princesa Mononoke]

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[Information episodes="Película" aired="julio 1997" language="es"]

Ningún artículo de chicas fuertes del anime estaría completo sin mencionar al estudio Ghibli. Casi todas las películas que se me ocurren presentan una protagonista femenina fuerte, desde Nausicaä del Valle del Viento hasta El Castillo Ambulante. La más ejemplar y posiblemente más famosa es San de La Princesa Mononoke, la princesa lobo. Los orígenes de San son desconocidos. Ella vive en el bosque, donde fue criada por lobos y se considera a sí misma como una de ellos. Esta crianza hizo que se volviera una fiel guardián de la naturaleza. En muchas ocasiones, ella demuestra su voluntad de proteger el bosque a riesgo de su propia vida. Su dedicación a lo que ella cree y la ferocidad con la que protege a la naturaleza, gana un lugar aquí.

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6. Teresa de Claymore

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[Information episodes=" 26 " aired="abril 2007 a septiembre 2007" language="es"]

Teresa se considera que es la más fuerte de su especie. Como Claymore, posee habilidades de combate excepcionales, así como aptitudes sensoriales únicas. Además de poseer una enorme cantidad de energía, la ejerce con una falta total de conciencia, hasta que comienza a obtener una perspectiva diferente. Posiblemente Teresa es una de las más fuertes féminas de todos los tiempos en términos de habilidades de combate y poder puro y duro. Inicialmente, ella ejerce este poder sin piedad. Sin embargo, el desarrollo de su personaje evoluciona a través de la serie hasta mostrar su potencial de fortaleza moral, que asegura su lugar en esta lista.

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5. Sarasa de the Legend of Basara

[sourceLink asin="B0084IMU1W" asin_jp="" text="" url="" ]
[Information episodes=" 13 " aired="abril 1998 a junio 1998" language="es"]

Sarasa lo pierde todo cuando su pueblo es destruido en un solo día. En esta tragedia, su hermano también pierde la vida. El niño que fue profetizado a ser la última esperanza de la gente ha muerto. Esto sería devastador, si alguien se enterara. En un acto de tremenda valentía, Sarasa se corta el pelo, asume la identidad de su hermano, y nunca mira hacia atrás. Sarasa es un personaje complejo. Ella se ve obligada a vivir como su hermano en lo que comienza como un esfuerzo para proteger a los que ama, pero con el tiempo se convierte en un asalto total contra un régimen de un gobierno corrupto. Al mismo tiempo, ella sigue siendo una adolescente. Ella es fuerte e infinitamente compasiva, es un personaje con quien fácilmente te identificarás; esto la pone en la lista.

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4. Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing de Hellsing Ultimate

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[Information episodes=" 10 " aired="febrero 2006 a diciembre 2012" language="es"]

Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing fácilmente podría estar muerta. Y después de ver lo más inimaginable que un infante pudiese ver, ella podría haberse dado por vencida. En cambio, convirtió la adversidad en ventaja, asumiendo la posición de su difunto padre como jefa de la Organización Hellsing, y transformó su subyugación en justicia. Mientras que ella aceptó su posición en el poder a temprana edad, ella se ha ganado el respeto de los que la rodean. Además de su papel de liderazgo, también pasa a ser la dueña de uno de los vampiros más poderosos en la Tierra. Ella es inteligente, ingeniosa y determinada, fácilmente asegura su lugar en esta lista.

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3. Mikasa Ackerman de Shingeki no Kyojin [Español: Ataque a los titanes]

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[Information episodes=" 25 " aired="abril 2013 a septiembre 2013" language="es"]

Mikasa Ackerman, aunque pacífica y tranquila por naturaleza, fue considerada como la más fuerte, más eficiente en batalla que el resto de su equipo de novatos. Ella es muy leal a sus amigos y familia sustituta. Arriesgaría su vida para protegerlos sin pensarlo dos veces. Esta lealtad extrema es la razón principal por la que se unió a la lucha contra los Titanes. La vida de Mikasa era una tragedia traumante mucho antes de que lidiara con los Titanes. Después de que se le arrebato todo y presenciar una verdadera atrocidad; emerge de las cenizas y agarro armas para proteger a la humanidad. Esta determinación y fuerza de carácter hacen de ella una de las más fuertes féminas en el anime.

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2. Revy de Black Lagoon

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[Information episodes=" 12 " aired="abril 2006 a junio 2006" language="es"]

Revy es una mercenaria de la Compañía Lagoon. Ella no tiene miedo de decir lo que piensa, y esta marca de honestidad a veces la pone en aprietos. Ella tiene mucho respeto por sí misma, tanto que casi rayana en la arrogancia. Ella es un rival muy diligente y dificil de enfrentar si alguna vez fueras el blanco de sus pistolas. Inicialmente, no se sabe mucho sobre el pasado de Revy. Esto se aclara en el transcurso de la serie, que sirve para demostrar su firme determinación. Como su personaje se desarrolla a través de toda la serie, sus defectos son explorados a través de la introspección. Es esta combinación de carisma temeraria, determinación, y la profundidad de carácter la pone en el segundo lugar de esta lista.

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1. Major Motoko Kusanagi de Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

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[Information episodes=" 26 " aired="octubre 2002 a marzo 2003" language="es"]

Mayor Motoko Kusanagi, un cyborg femenino, es el protagonista de la serie Ghost in the Shell. Como resultado de su amplia formación militar y artes marciales junto con sus implantes cyborg, sus capacidades físicas e intelectuales superan a la de un humano común. Poco se sabe acerca de sus antecedentes, ella está envuelta en una gran cantidad de misterio. Ella es una líder fuerte y eficaz, imponiendo respeto para su competencia y tiene un fuerte sentido de independencia. Además de ser un oponente formidable y tener una gran experiencia en combate, sus habilidades como un hacker son épicas. Su fuerza, determinación e intelecto son impresionantes, poniéndola en el primer lugar de esta lista.

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Palabras finales

Contrario a la opinión popular, el anime está lleno de fuertes modelos femeninos. Estos personajes son admirables, superan desafíos y muestran una extraordinaria determinación y fortaleza. Hay muchas series donde los personajes femeninos son representados como objetos y son altamente sexualizadas, creando la lamentable percepción ficticia de cómo se deberían ver las chicas en el anime. Espero que este artículo te haya mostrado la luz y clarificación de este error tan común. Muchos personajes notables no hicieron el corte, así que sientete libre de compartir tus personajes favoritos en los comentarios de abajo.

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Community networks and feminist infrastructure: reclaiming local knowledge and technologies beyond connectivity solutions

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Image description: Illustration depicting mesh network

Image description: Illustration depicting mesh network. Source: excerpt from Our Routes: Women's node - an illustrated journey of women in community networks: by Bruna Zanolli

At least two recent scandals have brought the debate over surveillance and concentration of power over the internet to the front pages of newspapers in many countries. In the 2000s, Edward Snowden make revelations regarding the practices of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United States that highlighted the cooperation between the state surveillance apparatus and large internet companies. More recently, in March 2018, news articles from the New York Times, The Guardian among others, revealed a scheme of misuse of data from millions of users to influence political choices. Cambridge Analytica, which has been involved in controversial campaigns such as the election of Donald Trump in the US, has been investigated in a case that led Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the US Parliament for explanations.

In Brazil, the series of attacks that marked the 2018 election race led to people and groups who were at higher risk, such as communicators, human rights defenders, women, LGBTQI+ and black people searching for information about digital security. The election of the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro as the country’s president also raised questions about data being used for predicting and influencing people's behaviour and political choices[1].

To a certain extent, media scandals help to amplify debates such as - the increasing digitisation of human and non-human activity into gigantic databases; the control of data by a few powerful companies; the lack of transparency in the monetary exchanges involving the data collected; the ability to influence behaviours which in turn leads to new forms of concentration of power, profit and accumulation; big tech companies cooperation with government apparatus and their role in political disputes that seems to be, to some extent, associated with the emergence of authoritarian leadership in several countries. This big picture also brings new perspectives to the tensions around the idea of centralisation and decentralisation that marks internet history.

Other aspects of this phenomenon and how they connect to these debates, however, are usually less visible in scandals, which include the control over infrastructures that are opaque for millions of internet users and the different impacts they will have on contexts, social groups and bodies. Technologies and the role they play are often not in the spotlight, as they are perceived as apolitical or neutral. There is apparently no politics in technologies, but only in the acts of politicians like Trump and Bolsonaro or CEOs from big companies such as Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.

Technologies and the role they play are often not in the spotlight, as they are perceived as apolitical or neutral.

We already know, however, that technologies are not neutral. Different literature has already problematised the distinction between science, technology, and politics in society, rejecting conceptions such as technology as the application of science and schemes that separated human (political) action from scientific discoveries, artifacts, and techniques[2]. Among them are many feminist authors and perspectives that discussed the non-neutrality of technologies at many levels, including that their impacts will not affect people and social groups in the same way[3]. Other works also studied the political decisions embedded in technological infrastructures and how these are present but invisible in daily life[4].

Thus, the expectation of autonomy, decentralisation and horizontality that marked the beginning of the debate on the internet from a communication perspective has been confronted by increasing processes of power concentration aiming to primarily promote new forms of monetisation for private accumulation by large companies and surveillance by companies and states. This expectation was also confronted by the denunciation of the inequalities – especially of gender, race and class – that feminist legacies help to foreground the discriminatory patterns and pointing out that the processes of control and concentration will not impact all people in the same way. However, the literature that critically analyses these processes does not seek to construct a narrative of technological determinism or relativism, but rather to understand the emergence of new forms of power and to point out that new analysis and political action for resistance will be necessary.

In this context, based on paradigms of openness of design and collective management to promote shared connection to the internet or to constitute a local digital network, autonomous and community networks have been seen as an alternative of resistance, of social interaction with infrastructures in the territories and of the search for communication and technological autonomy.

Considering that the installation and maintenance of a community network (CN) in the territory allows the design and management of infrastructures to be done locally and in a shared way between members of the community, this field can be understood as an alternative for experimentation to reclaim technologies for multiple realities and needs. Thus, the debate on autonomous and community networks gains new perspectives as it goes beyond the field of connectivity solutions for places and populations without internet access, and becomes more linked to several political agendas, including those with a critical perspective on the internet.

Thus, the debate on autonomous and community networks gains new perspectives as it goes beyond the field of connectivity solutions for places and populations without internet access, and becomes more linked to several political agendas, including those with a critical perspective on the internet.

All of this, however, is not something given by design, but a possibility that can be explored and that will be crossed by many contradictions. Neither should this potential lead us to adopt a perspective of technologies as a ‘magical solution’ for complex and structural inequalities or even an expectation that community network processes will happen in a homogeneous or "pure" way -- recognizing that they will vary greatly and that different relationships will be established.

The destabilization of our universality statement

In order to do my master's research[5] recently, I have been in different events that gather free technology groups to discuss CN and autonomous infrastructures. In one of these events, a woman was talking about feminist infrastructure experiences in Mexico. An Argentinian man raised his hand and said, "This all sounds very interesting as an exercise you're doing there, but I'm more interested in how we are going to bring down Google and Facebook?"

A god complex and a notion that cyberactivism can be the new privileged social theory to deal with all inequities at once – both things crossed my mind at the time. The question, which may be important when it represents a reflection on ways of organising economic and social life, becomes disruptive in this context as it is mobilised to end the debate and shrink the importance of local knowledge. The confrontation of multiple, localised experiences with the imperative of overthrowing the system as a whole can become a comfortable shortcut to not listening and not rethinking our own practices[6].

In the course of the research, this question would often appear in different ways, which would make me reflect: many people find it important to have more women, black, transgender people, and more class diversity in spaces and networks, but many of us do not deepen the reflection on why this really is important. Nor does this destabilise our own expectation of neutrality – the gender debate is still little constructed from the perspective of masculinity, just as the discussion of the need to fight racism is almost nonexistent from the perspective of whiteness. We are often more concerned with challenging the gender bias of local communities than questioning what in our own practices corroborates the naturalisation of inequalities. It is easy to conclude that technologies are colonised and colonising. But it's hard to accept that we, to some extent, are too.

It is easy to conclude that technologies are colonised and colonising. But it's hard to accept that we, to some extent, are too.

Different feminists authors have pointed out the need to question universalisation, which historically operated with the concealment and naturalisation of inequalities, even contributing to the perpetuation of western colonialist practices in the fields of science and technology[7].

So, it is important to keep in mind that the operation of a community network implies relationships between a multiplicity of individuals and social groups with different lived realities and needs, and who are not equally affected by socio-technical systems. In a recent article for GISWatch[8], I and other authors already discussed some universalization in perspective in the CN field. So, in this article, I would like to discuss the creativity that emerges from the CN encounter with feminist infrastructure.

In my master's research, I argued that the encounter with feminist infrastructures brings important destabilisations to reshape relationships from the local perspective and considering distinct needs, interests and bodies when building CNs. My assumption was that self-organisation and autonomy are already practiced in different ways by many social movements in Latin America – and not exclusively by the feminists in focus in my research – and can be activated to bring new contours to technopolitical debates and practices in this field.

In the course of questioning androcentric, capitalist and colonialist legacies, there is a search in feminist infrastructures experiences for other forms of action and experimentation, in which differentiations arise. I organized some choices that seem important in feminist infrastructures practices as there is an active effort to reclaim women narratives around four axes:

  1. the incorporation of multiple conditions when designing technologies and networks, far beyond a quantitative claim for more women in initiatives; 
  2. the collective perspectives of safety and care;
  3. language hacking and the activation of local narratives and memories; and
  4. the aim to build collective autonomy and an effort towards the decolonisation of our imaginary when designing technologies and networks.

We will not be able to discuss each of these aspects in-depth here, but I would like to point out that they allow us to think of infrastructures as materiality that shapes the reproduction of life and action that will be shared by different bodies. So, feminist infrastructures include servers, networks, cables, antennas, software, hardware, and the use of electromagnetic spectrum, protocols, and algorithms. But they also include spaces, temporalities, priorities, relationships between humans and machines, and agreements that can be (but not always) established, verbalised, made visible and renegotiated if necessary. From feminist perspectives, all this must be traversed by a collective care effort and crossed by alliances that recognize differences and brings a commitment to act when they are triggered to reify structural inequalities.

Feminist infrastructures, thus, are not only electronic materiality made by women and non-binary people, but they also carry out a commitment to rethink from other perspectives -- priorities, space and time organisation, agreements, relationships between people and groups, and even between humans and machines. Feminist infrastructures help us to remember that technologies are not, in fact, neutral, but they are also not limited to the uses and interests of those in power – there will always be escapes and hacks. They allow us to think about women's ability to insist on existing and to refuse invisibility beyond resistance to hegemonic processes. This could be a path to open our experiences with CN to what is not foreseen, has not been programmed and calculated or even for what already exists in diverse groups in terms of local knowledge, technical invention and other kinds of networks and ways of living.

 

Footnotes: 

[1] A meeting between one of Bolsonaro’s son and Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist of the polarized and nationalist narrative that elected Donald Trump, increased speculation about the use of a similar tactic in Brazil and raised a discussion about the ethical and legal limits of WhatsApp use in the race and the impact of misinformation on the process.

[2] See FEENBERG, 2010; HARAWAY, 1995; SANTOS, 2003; WINNER, 1986

 

[3] See HARDING, 1998; MAFFÍA, 2005; NATANSOHN, 2013; SARDENBERG, 2002

 

[4] See BOWKER, STAR, 1999; VICENTIN, 2017

[5] Based on references and feminist research methodologies, my master research (named Feminist infrastructures and political action of women in autonomous and community networks) aim to reflect on the formulations and proposals that emerge from the technopolitical articulations of feminist collectives and activists around the debate about network infrastructures that enable the traffic of digital data. Also, on the resistances to hegemonic processes and the alternatives that emerge from these articulations - in particular, the proposal of constitution of autonomous and community networks with feminist infrastructures. The results were systematized in reflections that emerged from the questions that crossed the research route: what are feminist infrastructures?; what are their impacts on the debate on autonomous and community networks?; what changes when a network is thought through the perspective of breaking the colonial, androcentric, and capitalist legacy?; how do feminist infrastructures and autonomous and community networks dialogue with the questioning of power disputes on the internet? More than producing fixed answers to these questions, the intention was to look at destabilizations that has been happening and that may help to update forms of resistance, promote alliances and rethink our technologies and connections considering diverse contexts and with a commitment to social justice. The work was based on two joint research procedures: literature review and a field research conducted in five events in Brazil and Chile, some exclusively for women and trans people and others not, in which I sought to map public debates and presentations around community and autonomous networks and/or feminist infrastructures. The research was realized at Unicamp University and received funding from the Coordination of Superior Level Staff Improvement (Capes) for 18 months.

 

[6] See STENGERS AND PIGNARRE, 2011; HARAWAY, 1995

 

[7] See HARAWAY, 1995; RIBEIRO , 2017

 

[8] See https://www.giswatch.org/en/infrastructure/feminist-infrastructures-and-community-networks

 

References

 

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Bravo, Loreto. Una semilla brota cuando se siembra en tierra fértil (p.113-127). In: Soberanía tecnológica Vol. 2, 2018. Disponível em: https://wp.sindominio.net/blog/soberania-tecnologica-volumen-2/

 

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