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Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-Lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today! Paperback – May 1, 2008
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Urban gardeners reclaim otherwise decaying urban cities, where drugs and crime plague neighborhoods, and try to get food from the land. The gardens take back private property, long abandoned by slum lords, and turn it into public land or a commons for the neighbors and by the neighbors, growing and sharing food. More often than not, women lead in rebuilding a sense of community by everyone with an interest in the gardens putting caring for them. Green Philadelphia, a network promoting urban gardens in Philadelphia areas taken over by drugs, empowered residents to be in charge of their neighborhoods.Read more ›
Carlsson begins his book on a discussion of how we define work. Is it just the paid work we do? Or is it the ways in which people come together to make their goals happen? Carlsson understands that the ordinary worker (and if we draw a paycheck, we are, after all workers) cannot completely separate themselves from the logic of the capitalist economic system. We need to be able to pay the rent and provide for the other necessities/niceties of life. During the time we work, we are at the mercy of the system. It is how workers organize the free time that becomes meaningful in his analysis.
The late capitalist system in which we live has become quite adept at colonizing the free time of the workers in the system, especially those workers who identify themselves as the middle/professional class. The extra hours, the working vacations, the work done at home are all part of a system that expects more from people while giving them less of what workers have traditionally worked for- security, money, and free time.
Nowtopia focuses on how some segments of our society are trying to reclaim their "free time" and rebuild communities. The gardeners, bikers, and programmers that Carlsson features in the book have these two things in common.Read more ›