Geert Lovink, Nathaniel Tkacz, Patricia de Vries (eds.): MoneyLab Reader: An Intervention in Digital Economy (2015)

19 May 2015, dusan

“MoneyLab is part of a global movement that demands the democratization of the design of our financial futures. Audacity is essential in times of crisis. And so we must engage constructively with hackers, entrepreneurs, and other creators who take up the call for economic alternatives. One first step is a map of the present: What works and what doesn’t? What is worth pursuing and what must be left aside? Which histories bear on the present moment? And what are the limits of our economic imagination?

The MoneyLab Reader brings developments in crowdfunding, currency design, technologies of payment, and other economic experiments into dialogue. The authors of this volume discuss the implications of the current architecture of global finance, its impact on ever-growing income disparity, and question money and finance as such. It is not always clear, for instance, whether genuine alternatives are unfolding or if we are simply witnessing the creative extension of neoliberalism.”

Contributors: Irwan Abdalloh, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Robert van Boeschoten, Finn Brunton, Paolo Cirio, Jim Costanzo, Primavera De Filippi, Eduard de Jong, Irina Enache, Andrea Fumagalli, David Golumbia, Max Haiven, Keith Hart, Samer Hassan, Ralph Heidenreich, Stefan Heidenreich, Geert Lovink, Bill Maurer, Rachel O’Dwyer, Pekka Piironen, Lena Rethel, Renée Ridgway, Andrew Ross, Stephanie Rothenberg, Douglas Rushkoff, Saskia Sassen, Inge Ejbye Sørensen, Lana Swartz, Erin B. Taylor, Tiziana Terranova, Nathaniel Tkacz, Pablo Velasco González, Akseli Virtanen and Beat Weber.

Foreword by Saskia Sassen
Publisher Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, 2015
INC Reader series, 10
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 Unported License
ISBN 9789082234558
308 pages

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Naomi Klein: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014)

16 September 2014, dusan

In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.

Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now.

Publisher Simon & Schuster, 2014
ISBN 1451697384, 9781451697384
576 pages

Review (David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times)
Review (Sandra Steingraber, EcoWatch)

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Urs Stäheli: Spectacular Speculation: Thrills, the Economy, and Popular Discourse (2007/2013)

29 March 2013, dusan

Spectacular Speculation is a history and sociological analysis of the semantics of speculation from 1870 to 1930, when speculation began to assume enormous importance in popular culture. Informed by the work of Luhmann, Foucault, Simmel and Deleuze, it looks at how speculation was translated into popular knowledge and charts the discursive struggles of making speculation a legitimate economic practice. Noting that the vocabulary available to discuss the concept was not properly economic, the book reveals the underside of putting it into words. Speculation’s success depended upon non-economic language and morally questionable thrills: a proximity to the wasteful practice of gambling or other “degenerate” behaviors, the experience of financial markets as seductive, or out of control. American discourses of speculation take center stage, and the book covers an unusual range of material, including stock exchange guidebooks, ticker tape, moral treatises, plays, advertisements, and newspapers.

Originally published in German as Spektakuläre Spekulation: Das Populäre der Ökonomie, Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2007
Translated by Eric Savoth
Publisher Stanford University Press, 2013
ISBN 0804788251, 9780804788250
312 pages

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