Bourbon 'n BrownTown

Ep. 76 - Surveillance Capitalism & Abolitionist Tech, Pt. 2 ft. Alyxandra Goodwin

Episode Summary

BrownTown spills even more the tea on in part two of the surveillance capitalism and abolitionist tech conversation with Chicago writer, organizer, and activist Alyx Goodwin. The team finishes their discussion by breaking down myths of tech neutrality, offering anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian critiques of dystopian tech action movies, and lean into what their abolitionist tech future actually looks like. Originally recorded October 7, 2021.

Episode Notes

BrownTown spills even more the tea on in part two of the surveillance capitalism and abolitionist tech conversation with Alyx Goodwin, currently a Deputy Campaign Director on Policing and Incarceration at the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), organizes with BYP100 Chicago, and is a co-founder and writer with LEFT OUT Magazine.

Alyx and BrownTown pick up where they left off centering a couple reminders and updates before the dig in. The gang discusses the observations and broader lessons from the October 4th Chicago Police Department budget hearing, then-updates of the #StopShotSpotter campaign (1, 2), and the global ramifications of Facebook going down for several hours before unpacking policing as a logic, disaster capitalism, and the bias of tech. Alyx and Caullen discuss how prison tech came home during COVID-19 lockdowns and the advantages of public tech. David re-introduces the role of popular culture in both reinforcing copaganda and problematic systems while also offering heightened critiques of such "fictional" future worlds with tech and spectacle at the forefront. Caullen offers his abolitionist and anti-capitalist critiques of RoboCop (1987) and its early 90's sequels, RoboCop (2014), The Running Man (1987), Demolition Man (1993), and Minority Report (2002) while David and Alyx build out the real world implications, deducing the highly reflexive relationship between art and culture. Once again, they close out encouraging us to interrogate not only the uses of new technologies, but the technologies themselves as well as the unaltered violent systems that they often embolden. If surveillance capitalism and the prison-industrial complex is the puppet master of technology, who is the show for? Here's their take. Originally recorded October 7, 2021. Listen to Part One!

NOTE: Content warning for gunshot sounds and spoiler alert for aforementioned films


Corrections and information on films mentioned:

Mentioned in episode and extra information:


Follow Alyxandra on Instagram and Twitter! Read her and others' work at and follow LEFT OUT on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Sign the #StopShotSpotter petition and take action with the toolkit! Watch SoapBox's Stop ShotSpotter PSA here!

Follow ACRE on their site, Facebook, Instagram, and Medium; and BYP100 on their site, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


CREDITS: Intro soundbite from SoapBox's Stop ShotSpotter PSA edited by James Edward Murray and outro song Police State by Dead Prez. Audio engineered by Genta Tamashiro and Kiera Battles. Episode graphic from the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Three Interactive Tools for Understanding Police Surveillance article.


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