Astra Taylor

Astra Taylor is a writer, documentary filmmaker (including Zizek! and Examined Life), and activist. Her new book, The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age (Metropolitan Books), has just been published. She also helped launch the Occupy offshoot Strike Debt and its Rolling Jubilee campaign.

Articles by this author

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Friday, July 22, 2016 - 11:00am
Want Police Reform? Charge Rich People More for Speeding Tickets
Soon after the horrific video of Minneapolis-St Paul resident Philando Castile being killed by a cop during a routine traffic stop was broadcast live over Facebook, evidence of just how “routine” the stop actually was also became public. Castile, it turned out, had been pulled over at least 52...
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Sunday, January 24, 2016 - 11:30am
Why Do We Expose Ourselves?
Among critics of technological surveillance, there are two allusions so commonplace they have crossed into the realm of cliché. One, as you have probably already guessed, is George Orwell’s Big Brother, from 1984 . The other is Michel Foucault’s panopticon — a vision, adapted from Jeremy Bentham,...
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Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 12:00pm
Here’s How to Solve the Student Debt Crisis: Make College Free
Sometime in 2008, I got a phone call informing me I had defaulted on my student loans. I had thought I was in a deferment period, but I had moved several times, and I wasn’t receiving the letters in the mail telling me my payments were past due. Seriously past due. As a consequence of the default,...
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 9:45am
Cancel All Corinthian Colleges Student Debt
In February, 15 students who had attended Corinthian Colleges Inc. launched the nation's first student debt strike. The students declared that they would no longer repay their loans on the grounds that Corinthian — a network of for-profit schools including Everest, Heald and WyoTech — had used...
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 4:45pm
You Are Not A Loan: It's Time to Bring Student Debt Down to Zero
The American higher education system is broken: between predatory student lenders, rapacious for-profit colleges, skyrocketing tuition rates and the number of people taking on a lifetime’s worth of debt before they can legally drink, the current system is not sustainable. Instead of providing a...
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Monday, September 22, 2014 - 6:30am
Education With a Debt Sentence
Imagine corporations that intentionally target low-income single mothers as ideal customers. Imagine that these same companies claim to sell tickets to the American dream -- gainful employment, the chance for a middle class life. Imagine that the fine print on these tickets, once purchased, reveals...
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Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 2:15pm
How the Internet Is Transforming from a Tool of Liberation to One of Oppression
Remember when the Internet was going to fix the world? According to leading technology pundits, traditional dinosaurs were going to be "disintermediated" and "disrupted," freeing us all from meddling middlemen and allowing competition to flourish. We wouldn't need corrupt professional media makers...
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Occupy Wall Street protesters march from New York City’s Union Square to Wall Street protesting student loan debt reaching $1 trillion, April 25, 2012. (Image: Scott Houston/Corbis) Views
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 12:30pm
How to Get a Whole Generation to Sell Out
No one cares about selling out anymore. It’s an argument I encounter almost weekly, in a trend piece or through an online acquaintance. Times have changed, these commentators insist. Young people—“millennials,” they call adults just younger than me—simply don’t see things the same way their...
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Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 9:15am
Open Systems and Glass Ceilings: The Disappearing Woman and Life on the Internet
The following essay is excerpted and adapted from The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor, published by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC, and appears here with permission. The Web is regularly hailed for its “openness” and...
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