BOOK CLUB: What are you reading this Summer?

Prompted by a thread in the OpenTEAM slack channel, I’m interested in what the community is reading at the moment (outside of or adjacent to work).

tell me yours! also podcasts, movies, albums, or cool birds you’ve communed with welcome.


Yes, Parable of the Sower is very inspiring!

I’m also reading Hyperion (just regular old sci fi)… but I feel that in our age where AI is beginning to be reality (and maybe soon after AGI), it’s always interesting to read Sci Fi that has thoughtful and concrete takes on where it ends up. Hyperion does that, so does Ian M Bank’s Culture series.


OMG, I’m there for this! Leaning toward Team Malm, but was chatting w/ @laurieWayne the other day about the invisible effects of climate grief on the collective unconscious and was firmly in the latter camp at that moment.

I’m in the middle of too many books right now, but highlights include Caliban and the Witch by Sylvia Federici, The Accursed Share by Georges Bataille, the above metioned Code of Capital, and this rad lil’ palm sized reader:

But maybe I still have bandwidth to add Andreas Malm to the mix???


I just finished The Ministry for the Future


Thanks everyone for this inspiring list to explore during a mid day crisis of meaning : ) Just listened to the conversation between Ladha, Murphy and Bolier - ordering their book now!

Not really reading - more photos than writing - but thumbing my way through regularly: Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism.

Slowly making my way through Graeber and Wengrew’s Dawn of Everything. Just finished Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You. I recommend anything by Pema, including random youtube talks.

Listening incessantly to Fred Again… and Brian Eno’s latest offering when I am not listening to Fred Again’s last album :slight_smile: Which should answer whether I am on team pipeline or team how to die in the Anthropocene.


One from Dorn today when chatting about resources for tomorrow’s FAIR Tech Registry Collabathon

The Intention Economy by Doc Searls


I feel like I’m 20+ years late to the party on this one, but are other folks familiar with Vandana Shiva’s Biopiracy: the plunder of nature and knowledge? It’s from 1997, though I think some material even predates that, but golly! It seems way far ahead of its time, particularly the level of nuance and intersectionality she brings to the issues of IP rights and globalization.

I finally came across it while drafting an article that discusses one of our sessions from GOAT 2022, and I intend to reference it. Also gonna use this chance to quietly solicit feedback on that article, if anyone cares to volunteer. It’s taken me waaaaay to long to write and not sure how I feel about it. :grimacing:


I was asked to review Chris Smaje’s Saying NO to a Farm Free Future
and to do that I had to check out Goerge Monbiot’s Regenisis and too many articles/social media battles debating the virtues and horrors of Ecomodernism. Here is a my short review (forthcoming in Maine’s Og farming magazine MOF&G) for anyone interested.


I went to a reading group yesterday that was discussing Tiziana Terranova’s After the Internet: Digital Networks between Capital and the Common. It was quite thought-provoking, to say the least!


oh man, i’m making a new course so my reading list has been blowing up again…

The whale and the reactor
The practitioners guide to graph data
Ways of being
Speculative Everything
The wealth of networks

are the ones that are currently on my desk lol…


Great list @sudokita! Whale and the Reactor is an absolute classic that I love. I would be wonderful to plan an ‘assessing technology workshop’ at this years GOAT. I started Ways of Being. Did not get far but I did listen to an interview with James Bridle which was excellent.

Jamie we should start a GOAT reading group, no?

I’ve been wanting to read Ruha Benjamin’s Imagination: A Manifesto.

Also, to the theme you are on, Jamie, there is David Bolier’s recent compendium of all things commons: The Commoners Catalogue for Changemaking.


Lovely review, John! Spot on. Thanks for continuing to share your writing.

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Oh! @Sarah recommended this to me back in '22!

Haha, I think we’ve been dancing around it long enough we’re obligated to. Maybe just with one or two articles, research papers or chapters from a book might be the best way to keep it low barrier to entry, with readings made available/shareable easily for anyone who wants to participate. That’s actually how the reading group I mentioned above does it and it seems quite successful. People can join any week the reading selection happens to interest them, and it gives a little more flexibility with deciding as a group what to read from week to week.

Ankita mentioned Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks, which is maybe a great place to start since it’s one of the canonical works in open tech and knowledge commons at this point. I did a very cursory pass of it a few months ago but wouldn’t mind a deeper dive. Chapter 3, “Peer Production and Sharing,” is where he lays out the core ideas of his commons-based peer production. I’m especially interested in teasing out some of a limits of the liberal theory of the commons and understanding how Benkler handles this. Chapter 9, “Justice and Development” is where I think he addresses that most directly.

Would that make a good first selection? I’m also down for Whale and the Reactor and would strongly advocate for Biopiracy at a later date, but I think to get a feel for how this all will work, Benkler is a good place to start.


If a goat reading group gets started I would definitely be down! This isnt something I read much about, it would be interesting to see what books and papers people have :slight_smile:


Blah! I meant to bring this up yesterday but there was a lot of pressing stuff on the agenda. Who would be interested in making something happen in April?

  • me!
  • not me!
  • probably someone?
0 voters
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Reading “The Telling” by Ursula LeGuinn. Generally I’m reading all her books and shorts in the Hainish universe. What I appreciate about her Hainish universe is that she doesn’t ‘hockey stick’ anything the way many other authors do. There are cycles, and human nature itself are the sticky bits, even over a million years.

While I love the Three Body Problem series in which life forms essentially end the universe, LeGuinn puts us in a more realistic place that feels a lot more right to me. Asimov and so many others repeat concept, so her work is refreshing.

Also inspiring to see her play with so many options, good bad and somewhere in between, with regards to how humans can live and learn.

The Whale and the Reactor sounds great - I want to talk about it more than read it - when can we do that?


Greg, have you talked sci-fi w/ David from OFN-CA? He is a proper nerd for it. And speaking of sci-fi, I only ever read a couple chapters b/c it wasn’t my jam, but I have such a love for the cover of this old trade edition of Robert Heinlein’s Farmer in the Sky (tagline: “They shipped Bill to Ganymede… to be a”):

A long time ago I really wanted to do a survey of all the different ways that agriculture is addressed in sci-fi.

Yea, I’m down. I think if there are chapters or sections of particular interest that wouldn’t take too long to read, it could be a good way to get ppl on the same page (:drum:), but I’d also be interested just to hear a first-hand review from anyone in GOAT who has read the whole thing. Maybe we can nominate @sudokita for that? And/or I could reach out to Sarah Hackfort, who first recommended it to me (been wanting to catch up anyways).

Is there a day/time that would work in the week following the next GOAT community call, or that weekend? That’d be Sat 4/20 thru Fri 4/26. I’d be particularly inclined to Sun, Mon or Wed afternoon, but have lots of flexibility. And if we shoot for that week, we can make the announcement during the call so others can join.

cc: @DressOrc @vicsf @samuejao


So I put together a provisional reading list for a bi-weekly or some other periodic schedule that works for the most people interested. Aiming for 30 (+/- 15) min worth of reading per session for all the items, but with not expectation that everyone reads every item each session. That’s one of the nicest thing about doing this as a group, imo, collective knowledge!

It’s all still a work in progress. I’m adding links to the reading materials. I should be able to make them all available to any and all interested. And I can put it up as a fresh new topic once we have some degree of consensus.

The GOAT Book Club, Reading List (vol. 1)

Session 1: Networks, Peers & the Virtual Class

Session 2: The Commons

  • Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons (Ch. 1 and/or 6)
  • David Bollier, sections from The Commoner’s Catalog
  • Silvia Federici, “Commons against and beyond capitalism” (2014), also published in Re-enchanting the World

Session 3: Technology, Society & Nature

Session 4: AgTech & Colonialism

Session 5: Food Wars

Session 6: Post-Open Source


I’m down!


Also down!

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