Pluralistic: 14 Sep 2022 The Chokepoint Capitalism tour!

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A photo of me giving a talk at a bookstore.

The Chokepoint Capitalism tour (permalink)

I'm writing this from a hotel room in Ottawa, the day before the first event in the tour Chokepoint Capitalism, the book Rebecca Giblin and I are about to publish with Beacon Press; this tour is a little different from the usual so I thought I'd do a post explaining how it'll all work.

This is my first tour since the pandemic hit; I had four (!) book releases during the first year of the lockdown and did a slew of online events. In some ways, these were amazing: I could do a UK event in the morning and a US event in the evening. But I don't think anyone – not the booksellers, nor the readers, nor the special guests who helped me out – would say they were as good as an in-person event.

A lot has changed since 2019, and not all of it is pandemic related! For one thing, Chokepoint Capitalism is a book about the problems with monopolies in the arts world, and of course we published it with an independent press. Beacon is a part of the Unitarian Universalist Association, a venerable (168 year old) (!) progressive publisher that Howard Zinn and Albert Einstein (!!) praised as essential:

Independent presses are amazing but they don't have the deep pockets for publicity tours that the Big Five can tap into, so this "tour" is really a series of events added onto my own working travel – largely trips I'm taking on behalf of EFF or in support of my activist work. That means the cities involved are a bit of a grab-bag, there are some long delays between dates, and the publicity for these events is a bit fragmented.

But the events themselves promise to be great. We've lined up fantastic booksellers and interlocutors, and Rebecca is coming over from Australia for part of it – it's pretty hard to catch both of us on the same continent – let alone on the same stage! – so this is shaping up to be a fantastic couple of months.

The point of Chokepoint Capitalism is to break the deadlock that traps creative workers into thinking that they have to choose between rooting for entertainment companies or tech companies in hopes that their champion will reward their loyalty. Instead of praying for the largesse of rapacious monopolists, we set out a slew of detailed, shovel-ready proposals that will immediately and profoundly benefit creators, primarily by getting them paid.

We want these events to be a forum where creators and audiences can discuss how they can help put these plans into action, producing real, tangible outcomes that shift money away from giant companies and into the pockets of the creative workers whose works drive their profits. Please help us get the word out to the creators in your life about these tour stops!

A graphic advertising the CIRA event

The first of these events is tomorrow, in Ottawa, Canada. Amber Mac and I will be onstage for a keynote at "Canadians Connected," CIRA's annual conference:

A graphic advertising the Toronto event at Type Books.

Next is Toronto, this Friday, Sept 16, at 7PM at Type Books in the Junction, one of my favourite neighbourhoods in my hometown, and the place where my grandfather and his 9 siblings were raised. Note that I idiotically previously gave the wrong date for this.

On Sept 19, Rebecca and I will both be at McNally Jackson in NYC, discussing the book with Kate Judge, author of the stupendous new book "DIRECT: The Rise of the Middleman Economy and the Power of Going to the Source":

A graphic advertising my appearances at Unfinished Live

From Sept 21-23 I'm appearing at Unfinished Live at The Shed NYC, with panels and solo presentations on competition, interoperability and digital human rights:

A graphic advertising our book event with Nilay Patel

On the evening of Sept 23, Rebecca and I will be joined by Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge, at an event hosted by the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU School of Law – it's at 7PM at the Tishman Auditorium at 40 Washington Square S:

A graphic advertising the SPFL event.

We're in San Francisco next, for a Sunday afternoon event on Sept 25 at the San Francisco Public Library's Koret auditorium in the main branch (100 Larkin St); we're still confirming our special guest, but they're pretty special!

A graphic advertising the Book Soup event with David A Goodman.

Then we head back to LA, where Book Soup is sponsoring an event with David A. Goodman, who led the incredibly triumphant Hollywood writers' strike against the private-equity backed talent agency cartel; it's 7PM on Sept 27 at the Beverly Hills Public Library Auditorium (444 N Rexford):

That's all the stuff that's confirmed and online, but it's not the whole tour! Rebecca and/or I and/or both of us will be doing events later this year in Boston, Ottawa (again!), Montreal, Washington DC, Miami, London, and beyond. We'll post details once they're live.

A graphic promoting the Chokepoint Capitalism Kickstarter campaign, including an endorsement by David Sirota.

In the meantime, you've got less than two days to get in on our Kickstarter for the indie, non-Audible, DRM-free audiobook edition (you can also pre-order ebooks and print editions, as well as donating copies to libraries):

Attentive readers will have noticed that the events for this event are happening before the official publication date for the book (Sept 27); that's because supply chain disruptions pushed the on-sale date back. But have no fear, our publisher has assured us there will be ample supplies of the book at our events.

(Image: Alex Schoenfeldt Photography, CC BY 2.0)

Hey look at this (permalink)

This day in history (permalink)

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#5yrsago EVE Online doublecross is biggest in game history, blowing up $20K+ worth of game assets

#5yrsago Justin Trudeau promised reconciliation with indigenous peoples of Canada, but has not delivered

#5yrsago Newark customs officers “hazed” new hires on a “rape table” in a locked room

#5yrsago Equifax has terrible information security practices, and that resulted in multiple breaches

#5yrsago Chelsea Manning: we’re spied on all the time, and the state still can’t figure out who we are

#5yrsago Trump’s ethics office reverses policy, will allow anonymous donors to fund White House employees’ legal defense

#5yrsago Snowden: Public money shouldn’t fund software the public isn’t allowed to fix

#5yrsago Chinese economists say Big Data can replace markets in planned economies

#5yrsago Canada’s Mounties use a 6-year-old “interim policy” to justify warrantless mass surveillance

#5yrsago The financial crisis created a precariat army of RV-nomad seniors who serve as Amazon’s seasonal workers

Colophon (permalink)

Today's top sources:

Currently writing:

  • The Bezzle, a Martin Hench noir thriller novel about the prison-tech industry. Yesterday's progress: 513 words (38898 words total)

  • The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation, a nonfiction book about interoperability for Verso. Yesterday's progress: 533 words (35345 words total)

  • Picks and Shovels, a Martin Hench noir thriller about the heroic era of the PC. (92849 words total) – ON PAUSE

  • A Little Brother short story about DIY insulin PLANNING

  • Vigilant, Little Brother short story about remote invigilation. FIRST DRAFT COMPLETE, WAITING FOR EXPERT REVIEW

  • Moral Hazard, a short story for MIT Tech Review's 12 Tomorrows. FIRST DRAFT COMPLETE, ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION

  • Spill, a Little Brother short story about pipeline protests. FINAL DRAFT COMPLETE

  • A post-GND utopian novel, "The Lost Cause." FINISHED

  • A cyberpunk noir thriller novel, "Red Team Blues." FINISHED

Currently reading: Analogia by George Dyson.

Latest podcast: Sound Money

Upcoming appearances:

Recent appearances:

Latest book:

Upcoming books:

  • Chokepoint Capitalism: How to Beat Big Tech, Tame Big Content, and Get Artists Paid, with Rebecca Giblin, nonfiction/business/politics, Beacon Press, September 2022

  • Red Team Blues: "A grabby, compulsive thriller that will leave you knowing more about how the world works than you did before." Tor Books, April 2023

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