Rerun — Trebor Scholz, Platform Cooperative Consortium

livery services to music streaming. Trebor is a professor at the New School, where he helms the Platform Cooperativism Consortium. It’s a fascinating listen about the variety of ways coops can aid local communities, labor unions, and freelancers, empowering communities of workers to govern themselves and more equitably distribute revenue.

Nathan Schneider, Pt. 1 (Platform Coops)

hy don’t users get a say in how platforms operate? Nathan Schneider thinks it might be because we don’t own them. In Part 1 of this week’s interview, Nathan tells us about how online spaces could be cooperatively owned, and what the US government could do to help.

A Reimagining Carol

We celebrate our 50th episode with a holiday special, where Ethan is visited by the Reimagining the Internet producers of past, present, and future to remember some of our favorite interviews from 2021. Tune in for highlights with Omar Wasow, Fred Turner, Heather Ford, Michael Wood Lewis, Lola Hunt and Eliza Sorensen, Damon Krukowski, Elizabeth Hansen-Shapiro, and Tracy Chou.

Rerun — Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Foundation

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales joins us for a thrilling chat about what we can learn from social media and what’s anti-social about a lot of social media today. Jimmy has recently launched the the social network WT.Social, designed to as a non-addictive, thoughtful online space, and has lots of thoughts about the type of communities that we might be able to start cultivating online.

Heather Ford, University of Technology, Sydney (on Wikipedia)

talk about the thousands of volunteers building it together? Heather Ford, an ethnographer of Wikipedia, joins us to talk about the power struggles and community governance that makes the site one of the most trusted information sources on the web.

Fred Turner, Stanford University and “Seeing Silicon Valley”

How did hippies living on communes help create the Internet? Is Mark Zuckerberg today’s PT Barnum? What can we learn from 17th Century Protestantism about inequality in Silicon Valley? Fred Turner, perhaps the definitive historian of the Internet and counterculture, joins us for a thrilling conversation about how we need to shake post-WWII politics to make not just a better Internet, but a better world.

For links to projects mentioned and a full transcript of this episode, please visit https://publicinfrastructure.org/podcast/47-fred-turner

Key takeaways:
1. Communes were insular, and so was the first Internet community created by back-to-land hippies.
2. Silicon Valley’s cult of personality follows from Protestants’ belief that wealth is a sign of godliness.
3. “Seeing Silicon Valley” documents the inequality that fuels tech with portraits of the rich and poor.
4. We need to reckon with issues of class that started during the Vietnam War.
5. Institutions that bring people to come together despite identity and ideology differences are crucial.

Rerun — Amy Zhang, University of Washington

Amy Zhang from the Social Futures Lab at University of Washington joins the podcast to talk about the a next version of the internet where groups of users are empowered to govern themselves and help each other to deal online harassment. Amy tells us how she’s pushing HCI and Social Computing scholarship in exciting new directions, to ask what sorts of new practices might make up a post-mega-platform internet.

Tracy Chou, Block Party

While some big social media companies are working to use AI to combat harassment, Tracy Chou has a simpler solution — put users in control of what and who they see on their feeds. In this week’s episode, Tracy tells us about he app Block Party, a clever and radical set of tools to protect users from trolling and abuse.

Damon Krukowski, Damon & Naomi and UMAW

Did Spotify save the music industry or simply find a way for itself to profit from a power vacuum opened up by piracy? This week, we’re thrilled to welcome drummer and writer Damon Krukowski to talk to us about how Spotify became dominant and how musicians are fighting it to win a music industry that supports their livelihoods.