Category Archives: personal

Medialab-Prado paper and presentation now available


The texts and videos of the lectures and keynotes presented during the 4th Inclusiva-net Meeting: P2P Networks and Processes (July 6 through 10, 2009) are now available for download!

My paper, Peerless: The Ethics of P2P Network Disassembly, is available here (o si deseas la versión en español esta aqui). The video of the lecture is also available.

Other noteworthy presentations:

And while you are at it, check out the sites of some of the cool people I met there or the amazing organizations I got to learn about:

Post-Racial America? A Debate

I recently participated in a formal debating exercise as part of my school’s ALANA Conference. We were randomly assigned a position to argue, and I was part of the team debating that we have not seen the end of racism just because we have a black president. Since I believe that to be the case, it was easy to debate that position. Below are my notes from the debate. Interestingly, a big part of the debate ended up being about what constitutes ‘institutional’ racism. We know that racism prevails, even at an institutional level. But does the fact that these institutions officially renounce racism and have mechanisms for the redress of grievances mean that racism is no longer institutional? Does it make a difference?

Resolved: We have seen the end of racism in the United States
with the election of the first President of Color

Ulises Mejias: “No, we have not.”

Rebuttal (4 mins):

Racism is a system of group privilege. In the US, this means that white people have constructed a system where they enjoy certain advantages just by virtue of being white, and where they deny these advantages to non-white people.

The election of a black president has not magically dismantled this system of oppression, which has been developed over the course of centuries. In contrast to my opponents’ genuine but misplaced optimism, I would like to offer some plain facts that suggest racism is not on its way out:

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The Death of ‘Why’ is here (literally and figuratively?)

Last year, Andrea Batista Schlesinger interviewed me for a book project (our exchange is posted here). The book is finally available! Check it out:

Here’s the book blurb:

We exercise our power as citizens by asking questions. Inquiry is less valued today, however, as our society demands quick and dirty answers. We see this play out all around us: in the increased ideological segregation that divides us, the outsize role of Google, a news industry that opines rather than investigate, and the decline in value of civics education where young people are taught to question their democracy. In The Death of “Why?” Andrea Batista Schlesinger, a prominent progressive voice, offers a passionate defense of the role of questioning in fulfilling the promise of democracy. And she profiles those individuals and institutions renewing the practice of inquiry–particularly in America’s youth–at a time when our society demands such activity from us all.

More info (including a free chapter):