The Hindsight Institute
The Hindsight Institute is a non-governmental agency exploring biotic-tech futures. Biotic-tech is technology oriented towards sustaining life on our biosphere and exists in frameworks rooted in Indigenous principles of reciprocity; relationality, and accountability. It is very distinct from necrotic tech, which is the majority of technology funded and used today, exists in capitalist and communist frameworks, and is destructive to the biosphere. Extraction technologies and corporations doing mining, fracking, agrochemicals, computer manufacturing, data mining, and the like are all necrotic - whether in China, in Bolivia, or in Silicon Valley.
We offer participatory workshops, experimental lab development, risk analysis, publications, events, and more.
The Hindsight Institute is delighted to announce that after a rigorous evaluation process, Paulina Borsook has been selected to join Dr. Praba Pilar, Anonymous, Influencer, and Anonymous as Co-Director. Borsook has shared her fiction, essays, humor pieces, and journalism through Wired, Newsweek, Mother Jones, The New York Times, Architectural Record, San Francisco, Salon, Suck, and Feed, and is the author of the acutely insightful Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp Through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High Tech (PublicAffairs, 2000). Borsook has been variously described as “The grande dame of digital culture” (UK Independent), “a bohemian intellectual displaced into the world of Silicon Valley high tech” (Worth Magazine), and as someone who has made “a fine career out of challenging, rebutting, baiting and vexing the conspicuously libertarian technology community (Salon Magazine). She brings a wealth of sagacious hindsight to the Institute.
For the last few years, Borsook has been developing My Life As A Ghost, a multi-disciplinary art project on traumatic brain injury. As part of this project, she was Researcher in Residence at Stanford Art Institute in 2013, where she researched ‘the psychoneurological consequences of traumatic brain injuries, drawing from her own experiences and interviews with other individuals living with TBI.’ In 2011 she was awarded first place in the SF Chronicle's Chronicles of the Bay. Borsook has orchestrated street theater and townhalls; produced and performed in works-in-progress events; helped run a concert series; has an undergraduate degree in psycholinguistics with a minor in philosophy from UC Berkeley; and a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University.
CURRENT PARTICIPATORY WORKSHOPS:
Dr. Pilar, your visit has been life changing for me. My rural upbringing has left me with a healthy skepticism about techno fixes and an instinctive affection for the plural possibilities of presence, but the necro of techno has really hit home for me through your work. I knew our techno addition is overworking us to death and producing cascading disinformation. I knew there was waste, but I had no idea just how much, and your whole point about the colonialist values informing tech has really sifted into my imagination…
Capital has instrumentalized technology to evict humans from Earth into the alienated World. How to operate in this present-day simulacrum that bestows the illusion of truth to the lies of Western democracy, freedom, justice, liberty and agency – while dealing cascading blows to agency, resistance, and transgression? The Inversions Workshop helps participants develop strategic inversions to interpret the material impacts of the simulacrum, and act by engaging with planetary life. Not a return to origins in nation/state remnants of the colonial catastrophe, to modes of production and engagement of the past, or to a dichotomous innocence - but an embracing of the ambiguity of partial knowledge and the paradoxical conundrums of the present. This workshop creates pathways to resistance and resurgence in the face of totalizing technological domination and control. For more information, please send us a note via our contact form below.
If you desire to work in community with Biotic Tech methods and tools, this workshop provides data and resources for immediate engagement. Learn about, support and engage with critical youth led movements; student movements; self-determination projects; autonomous technology projects; with groups making dataveillance corporations more transparent and resisting the militarization and use by ICE of Google and Microsoft products; and much more. This workshop is framed through wonder - focused not on hope, but on plugging in to the wondrous initiatives being done right now.
This workshop is held for groups, is pay what you can, and all proceeds are donated to Earth Guardians. Earth Guardians is a growing movement with youth at the forefront empowering them as leaders and amplifying their impact. Earth Guardians and 21 youth plaintiffs are suing the United States federal government for the right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy future.
CURRENT EXPERIMENTAL LABORATORY
Under development and construction
Although the Foresight Institute based in Palo Alto, California, and the Hindsight Institute have a shared focus on world-shaping technologies, do not confuse the two. The Foresight Institute engages futurist scenarios on nanotechnology, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence (with substantial tangents into personal life extension and cryonics), whereas the Hindsight Institute examines how the libertarian, neoliberal politics of Silicon Valley companies based in Palo Alto may be preventing any future, for anyone.
We accept applications for Co-Directors on a rotating basis. There is currently no office, no structure, no taxes, and many benefits. If you have useful economic-politic-social hindsight that would make you an ideal Co-Director, please send us your info using the form below, and we will send you our questionnaire.