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A New HOPE (2022): "Hacking the Anthropocene: Life, Biological Complexity, Freedom!" (Download)

A New HOPE (2022): "Hacking the Anthropocene: Life, Biological Complexity, Freedom!" (Download)

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Sunday, July 24, 2022: 3:00 pm (Little Theatre): Living systems reuse everything. From metabolic pathways, to DNA and amino acids, to nutrient cycles - modularity, extensibility, and re-use are fundamental to the evolution and sustenance of complex life. Living systems are robust and adaptable precisely because of their ability to reconfigure without needing to "re-invent."

Many social systems are quite the opposite. They are oriented around forms of power (e.g. property, secrecy, inequality) that stifle and prevent the relations that characterize life. If we look at the world through this lens, we might call social/economic/legal/political systems that enable repairability, interoperability, and maintainability (i.e., hackability) systems of life - and those that prohibit hackability systems of death.

This session will explore a hacker ethos that envisions freedom as something more complex and entangled than individual autonomy - i.e., beyond the right to reuse code or repair devices as a matter of individual rights and toward a vision of a hackable world. It will start with a brief exploration of the dynamics of systems of life, and then discuss some examples of hacking as a living process and some conceptual tools for applying this view while focusing on some of the major impediments.

Abi Hassen

Dr. Isaac Overcast