The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ or the Zone), also known as Free Capitol Hill, is a self-declared intentional community and commune of around 200 residents, covering about six city blocks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The zone was established on June 8, 2020 after the East Precinct was abandoned by the Seattle Police Department.
David Rolfe Graeber (; February 12, 1961 – September 2, 2020) was an American anthropologist, anarchist activist, and author known for his books Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011), The Utopia of Rules (2015) and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory (2018). He was a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics.
As an assistant professor and associate professor of anthropology at Yale from 1998 to 2007, Graeber specialized in theories of value and social theory. Yale's decision not to rehire him when he would otherwise have become eligible for tenure sparked an academic controversy. He went on to become, from 2007 to 2013, reader in social anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London.
His activism includes protests against the 3rd Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001, and at the 2002 World Economic Forum in New York City. Graeber was a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is sometimes credited with having coined the slogan "we are the 99%". He accepted credit for the description "the 99%" but said that others had expanded it into the slogan.
- "David Graeber has passed away" | 2020-09-03 | 11 Upvotes 1 Comments
Crypto-anarchism (or crypto-anarchy) is a political ideology focusing on protection of privacy, political freedom and economic freedom, the adherents of which use cryptographic software for confidentiality and security while sending and receiving information over computer networks.
By using cryptographic software, the association between the identity of a certain user or organization and the pseudonym they use is made difficult to find, unless the user reveals the association. It is difficult to say which country's laws will be ignored, as even the location of a certain participant is unknown. However, participants may in theory voluntarily create new laws using smart contracts or, if the user is pseudonymous, depend on online reputation.
- "Crypto-Anarchism" | 2021-02-27 | 74 Upvotes 46 Comments
B. Traven (German: [ˈbeː ˈtʁaːvn̩]; Bruno Traven in some accounts) was the pen name of a presumably German novelist, whose real name, nationality, date and place of birth and details of biography are all subject to dispute. One of the few certainties about Traven's life is that he lived for years in Mexico, where the majority of his fiction is also set—including The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1927). The film adaptation of the same name won three Academy Awards in 1948.
Virtually every detail of Traven's life has been disputed and hotly debated. There were many hypotheses on the true identity of B. Traven, some of them wildly fantastic. The person most commonly identified as Traven is Ret Marut, a German stage actor and anarchist who supposedly left Europe for Mexico around 1924 and who had edited an anarchist newspaper in Germany called Der Ziegelbrenner (The Brick Burner). Marut is thought to have operated under the "B. Traven" pseudonym, although no details are known about Marut's life before 1912, and many hold that "Ret Marut" was in fact also a pseudonym.
Some researchers further argue that Marut/Traven's original name was Otto Feige and that he was born in Schwiebus in Brandenburg, modern-day Świebodzin in Poland. This theory is not universally accepted. B. Traven in Mexico is also connected with the names of Berick Traven Torsvan and Hal Croves, both of whom appeared and acted in different periods of the writer's life. Both, however, denied being Traven and claimed that they were his literary agents only, representing him in contacts with his publishers.
B. Traven is the author of twelve novels, one book of reportage and several short stories, in which the sensational and adventure subjects combine with a critical attitude towards capitalism. B. Traven's best known works include the novels The Death Ship from 1926, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre from 1927 (filmed in 1948 by John Huston), and the so-called "Jungle Novels", also known as the Caoba cyclus (from the Spanish word caoba, meaning mahogany). The Jungle Novels are a group of six novels (including The Carreta and Government), published in the years 1930–1939 and set among Mexican Indians just before and during the Mexican Revolution in the early 20th century. B. Traven's novels and short stories became very popular as early as the interwar period and retained this popularity after the Second World War; they were also translated into many languages. Most of B. Traven's books were published in German first, with their English editions appearing later; nevertheless, the author always claimed that the English versions were the original ones and that the German versions were only their translations. This claim is mostly treated by Traven scholars as a diversion or a joke, although there are those who accept it.
- "B. Traven" | 2021-04-17 | 107 Upvotes 36 Comments
The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia is a book-length anthropological and historical study of the Zomia highlands of Southeast Asia written by James C. Scott published in 2009. Zomia, as defined by Scott, includes all the lands at elevations above 300 meters stretching from the Central Highlands of Vietnam to Northeastern India. That encompasses parts of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar, as well as four provinces of China. Zomia's 100 million residents are minority peoples "of truly bewildering ethnic and linguistic variety", he writes. Among them are the Akha, Hmong, Karen, Lahu, Mien, and Wa peoples.
- "The art of not being governed" | 2021-11-12 | 10 Upvotes 2 Comments
Bullshit Jobs: A Theory is a 2018 book by anthropologist David Graeber that argues the existence and societal harm of meaningless jobs. He contends that over half of societal work is pointless, which becomes psychologically destructive when paired with a work ethic that associates work with self-worth. Graeber describes five types of meaningless jobs, in which workers pretend their role is not as pointless or harmful as they know it to be: flunkies, goons, duct tapers, box tickers, and taskmasters. He argues that the association of labor with virtuous suffering is recent in human history, and proposes universal basic income as a potential solution.
The book is an extension of a popular essay Graeber published in 2013, which was later translated into 12 languages and whose underlying premise became the subject of a YouGov poll. Graeber subsequently solicited hundreds of testimonials of meaningless jobs and revised his case into a book that was published by Simon & Schuster in May 2018.