I met Alexa last May at OuiShare Fest, where she was presenting some of her research and ideas from her forthcoming book, The Misfit Economy. 60% of the world’s economy, she says, is on the fringe, informal, and “not strictly legal.” To that end she’s been taking notes from street gangs, hackers, drug dealers, hippies, patent robbers, and hermits.
Recently she also wrote a great piece about alter-egos, and what they can enable us to accomplish that we might not otherwise think to do, or be brave enough to do. I was reminded of the novelist Colson Whitehead, whose tweets were long written by a pouting (fictitious) assistant named Jarvis, who has since declared himself an independent voice on Twitter, and Colson’s nemesis. Alexa herself has created an alter-ego called the Amish Futurist (pictured speaking at re:publica 2014), whose critical perspective on today’s technology is a breath of fresh country air.