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Convivial Technologies

This exploration of the relationships we hold with technologies – neither technophilic nor technophobic – proposes unprecedented scenarios in which we can imagine and concretely build different ones, free of the asymmetries of power that characterise them today.

In this radical rethinking of our relationship with technology, which not by chance echoes Ivan Illich's theses, adapting them to the digital world, Milani invites us to establish a different relationship with those 'technical beings' – electrical appliances, computers, industrial robots... – that now live with us, making us seemingly more and more powerful (and in fact ever more subordinate). And he does so by focusing on the oppressive hierarchies – typical of our societies – which are also replicated in the relations between humans and machines, producing a technobureaucracy that intends to command and govern machines just as it commands and governs humans. Yet, Milani tells us, another evolution is still possible. In fact, if the current techno-bureaucratic system rests on daily choices of delegation, submission and conformism, the hacker attitude represents the curious gaze of someone who is looking for a convivial use of machines. An approach capable of reconfiguring our techno-social vision, freeing it from the command/obedience relationship proper to the hierarchical imaginary.

CARLO MILANI is an essayist, translator and research associate at ERTIM in Paris (INALCO). He teaches Genealogy of digital sources in various high schools and universities among which Paris, St. Gallen. Alongside his publishing, teaching and research activities, he works in information technology with alekos.net for the development of appropriate technologies. Under the heteronym Ippolita he has published various essays including Open is not free. Digital communities between hacker ethics and the global market (2005) and The Dark Side of Google (2007). He gives lectures and training courses based on hacker pedagogy with CIRCE (International Research Centre for Electric Convivialities). To warm up he goes into the woods to get wood.
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