Reading Group Schedule: Internet for the People

Internet for the People by Ben Tarnoff is our next book! Reading discussions will take place both over this forum and through video meetups. Please sign up for the forum (top right of your screen), in order to participate in asynchronous discussions about the book and other matters!

Where do I get the book?

It's available on libgen for free. You can also buy it from Verso if you wish.

Details


Each meeting will take place from 7pm BST - 8pm BST on the 3rd Thursday of the month (granted, Meeting 1 falls on the 4th Thursday of October). Here’s the tentative (it can change based on popular consent) reading schedule:

Reading Meeting Date Meeting Time Primary Meeting URL Backup Meeting URL (in case the primary one doesn’t work)
Preface and Chapter 1 27/10/2022 7pm BST https://meet.jit.si/BenTarnoffIsFly https://meet.jit.si/OhBlastBackupTime
Chapter 2 24/11/2022 7pm BST https://meet.jit.si/BenTarnoffIsFly https://meet.jit.si/OhBlastBackupTime
Chapter 3 15/12/2022 7pm BST
Chapter 4 19/01/2023 7pm BST
Chapter 5 16/02/2023 7pm BST
Chapter 6 16/03/2023 7pm BST
Chapter 7 20/04/2023 7pm BST
Chapter 8 18/05/2023 7pm BST
Chapter 9 and Conclusion 15/06/2023 7pm BST
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As your humble first-session chair I shall be posting questions on the forum ahead of the session, but please do feel free to suggest any that arise either here, to me, or keep them secret until gotime.

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Looking forward to the first session on this, a much less time-consuming book in comparison to Zuboff. Here are some examples of questions which we can cover on chapter 1, details are up top for where to be and when.

  1. The narrative that public institutions are inherently bad at being innovative is one that most of us likely are already familiar with. Chapter one shows that Tarnoff sees this belief as an obstacle to overcome when it comes to the process of building an Internet For The People; do you think it is realistic that such deeply-ingrained orthodoxies can be thrown out? /do you have any suggestions on how this could be done?

  2. Tarnoff seems to believe in the idea that it is the web as a private space which is an issue and not monopolies, positing that an internet owned and operated by small companies in competition would not produce the kind of space that he believes is needed. Do you agree with this view at this point in the book? Are there any issues that you particularly see as unsolvable through market forces?

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@all next meeting needs a Chair, open to whoever wants to take it :smile: