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Editors’ Note, Vol. 58: Liquid

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This is the editorial note to TNI Vol. 58: Liquid. View the full table of contents here.

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MORE flexible than solids but less unwieldy than gas: Of all the states of matter, liquids appear most vulnerable to human manipulation. But who gets to do the manipulating has little to do with physics and everything to do with power. You can figure out who runs a society by noting who directs its liquid resources, and you can gauge people’s socioeconomic status by observing the ways they fit into its flows. Water in drought-stricken California was strictly rationed for many, but not for thirsty crops favored by wealthy investors. The consequences of fracking oil and gas reserves, from acidified aquifers to earthquakes, are unequally distributed in the name of “commonsense” economic growth. Even blood is rumored to be staunched in the flesh of the rich; financial institutions chase liquidity, opening up more channels for growing rivers of capital, and, by extension, opportunities for the ruling class to dominate.

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Particular Universals

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Francis Tseng interviews Helen Hester of Laboria Cuboniks, the international feminist collective behind the Xenofeminist Manifesto

 
SILICON Valley’s most powerful monopoly may be how we perceive technology. The prevalence of dystopian fiction, cynicism around disruption and innovation rhetoric, and tech tycoons with a literal dissociation from reality (“we live in a simulation”) mean that the taste of technological progress is an increasingly bitter one. New services and products are seldom designed for those who need them. If anything, they end up expanding the myriad ways in which exploitation can occur.

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Security Culture Is Good

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Take these precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones from the state

 

Five easy things you can do right now, and some basic tips:

Start simple. These are bare-minimum security requirements for anyone using modern communications tools.

• Download HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger for your browser.

• Turn on two-factor authentication for all your social media and email accounts.

• Update all of your software as soon as new versions become available on your phone and computer (including your browser). Turn on automatic updates.

• Fix your passwords! Use a password manager to keep track of them.

• Encrypt your hard drive and your smartphone.

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