Sometime in high school, I awoke in my bed from unsettling dreams. Catching hold of a label on the back of my shirt, I pulled, exposing a portal to a Guatemalan factory where women and children worked long hours for low pay. Shaken, I realized my suburban world was not at all what it seemed: vigorous action was required of me, but I was not yet clear what sort.
In 2003, at the height of the Iraq War, my partner and I spent six months in prison for nonviolent civil disobedience while working to close the School of the Americas. I had hoped, by my action, to tear a theater-sized rift in in the present through which could be glimpsed a memory of dirty wars that got dirtier and dirtier the longer they were fought. But it turned out that the peoples of Indiana were not yet ready to peer through, awaken from the slumber of capitalism’s mythology, and step into their anarcho-syndicalist future—despite my youthful enthusiasm.
My participation in the Occupy encampment in Washington DC caused me to leave tech to start a nonprofit program organizing churches, community centers, mosques, and synagogues to provide low-cost boxes of farm-fresh vegetables, priced on a sliding scale.
My completed sci-fi dystopia novel—in search of a publisher—is about a young man in an unequal society controlled by a vast artificial intelligence that harnesses the human dreamspace for consciousness. Conceived of in the dark Bush years, it is a work that explores the power of reading to combat totalitarianism, and the necessity of abandoning privilege to awaken the true self.