Autonomous U 70:

FROM THE CALIFORNIA IDEOLOGY TO PLATFORM CAPITALISM / Autonomous University (in collaboration with Red May)

4 May 2017-7pm
2 West Roy St.Seattle, WA, 98110

The Autonomous University meets one Sunday a month (usually the last Sunday of the month) at INCA. We are open to anyone of any background or disposition who wants to carry out collaborative, creative, intellectual, &/or political work outside of the university. We will be discussing the texts referenced below.  Read what you can.


Whatever it was called–Cyberspace, the Internet, the Web–it was sold as a new birth of freedom, the second coming of the Frontier: everyone free to roam, to say what they please, to be who they want to be. Critics dub this gospel of tech-will-free-us the California Ideology and trace it back to the Counterculture, and particularly Stewart Brand’s The Whole Earth Catalog. But we live in the age of what Nick Srnicek calls Platform Capitalism, an age of the quasi-monopolies of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and the like, and even though tech CEO’s still peddle the same freedom gospel, it doesn’t mesh with the reality of 24/7 keystroke tracking and profiling. Did we just take a wrong turn? Or is uber-commodification and surveillance built into the DNA of Capitalism? Can we hack our way out of it? What are the prospects for the platform model of capital accumulation? Join Jason E. Smith, Nick Srnicek, and the Autonomous University in an open discussion.




1) Platform Capitalism by Nick Srnicek
2) “Nowhere to go: Automation Then and Now” by Jason E. Smith

Video Supplement

Fred Turner   “From the Counterculture to Cyberculture,delivered at a conference in Germany called “California and the Disappearance of the Outside.