Hi, I’m Cayden.
I’m an organizer, technologist, and all-purpose nerd living on unceded Ohlone land (Oakland, California). I like to say I was raised by the internet, and some of its pro-social sensibilities are central to the way that I think about its latent potential. I’m very interested in the shifting boundaries of community and group identity online, and the ways that the design of technology impacts how we understand ourselves and one another.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the surveillance economy, but also the ways in which the surveillance economy is an economy of affect. I’m working on a manuscript to help organizers better understand the affect economy and how affect shapes power on the internet. I think that these dynamics are inextricably linked to the way that power works offline, as well, and in our political moment it is crucial to understand them to combat the rising tide of fascism around the world.
My most recent day job was as Executive Director of 18 Million Rising, the digital-first anchor of national progressive Asian American organizing. My previous roles at 18MR included Chief Technology Officer, New Media Director, and Social Media Organizer. I’m proud to say that I’m responsible for introducing lightweight, modular tech stacks into digital-first organizing and for VoterVOX, an experiment in how tech designed by communities can transform workflows that already exist in those communities into important tools for change.
Previous day jobs include: teaching media theory and game design to undergraduates; bartending at a vegetarian restaurant; organizing university workers for a labor union; driving a delivery route; designing websites for local businesses; and various forms of retail.
Work that I’ve done that I don’t get paid for includes organizing with the Save E. 12th Coalition, which brought neighbors together to design and propose a plan for a parcel of public land in my current neighborhood in Oakland, California; cofounding Youngist, a youth media collective that we closed in 2016 that published fearless reporting and commentary from youth movements around the world; working with the movement tech community on issues of equity and gender-based violence in our work and organizing spaces; helping organize the Allied Media Conference; and writing about all the ideas you will find on this website.
You can subscribe to assemblages, my very erratic and occasional TinyLetter, here.
Learn more about my work on my C.V.
Interested in bringing me to your campus or community to speak about my work and ideas? Find out more here.
About This Site
The theme is Moon by Taylan Tatli. The background image is graffiti from the May ‘68 uprising in Paris. The graffiti reads “sous les paves, la plage!” or “beneath the paving stones, the beach!” The words are both literal (the paving stones of Paris were laid upon sand, which the rebels discovered when they pulled them up to use during the uprising), but can also be read as a rallying cry to dismantle the subjugating logic of capitalism to discover joy, play, and freedom beneath.
In the spirit of the internet, you are invited to share these ideas far and wide. However, do understand that the work and ideas I write about here are, in some meaningful way, my life’s work. I hope you will respect it as such.
My original work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Learn more about what that means here.
Any information you share with me or transmit via this website will be held in confidence, with the exception of the text of questions asked. I will never ever sell your information to a third party, nor share it without your explicit written consent. Information collected will primarily be used to get in touch with you.
Regarding tracking, I collect a small amount of information about visitors via Google Analytics for my own self-aggrandizing reasons.
Don’t be a jerk.