The Free Information movement as seen through Thomas Pynchon’s ‘Byron the Bulb’ story. In one sense, Byron is a tangent—a rogue sketch that found its way into [Gravity's Rainbow] perhaps because Pynchon liked it. In another sense, Byron is GR condensed to a general thesis. On what? Hell, any number of interpretations could be derived from Byron, but I like to think that it reads as revelation. And the revelation is this: from the moment homo sapiens fashioned the first tool to the moment we are finally and completely extinguished, we are fated to be governed by those who control technology. An essay from Death And Taxes mag.
Christopher Doyon, a.k.a. Commander X, is currently on the run from the U.S. government. In this interview with the National Post he talks about his work with Anonymous and what it means for the future of information: "Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems. The five-star general (and) the Secretary of Defence who sit in the cushy plush offices at the top of the Pentagon don’t run anything anymore. It’s the pimply-faced kid in the basement who controls the whole game, and Bradley Manning proved that. The fact he had the 250,000 cables that were released effectively cut the power of the U.S. State Department in half. The Afghan war diaries and the Iran war diaries effectively cut the political clout of the U.S. Department of Defence in half. All because of one guy who had enough balls to slip a CD in an envelope and mail it to somebody. Now people are leaking to Anonymous and they’re not coming to us with this document or that document or a CD, they’re coming to us with keys to the kingdom, they’re giving us the passwords and usernames to whole secure databases that we now have free reign over. … The world needs to be concerned."(via)
OCLC, owners of WorldCat, are getting greedy. It's now demanding that every library that uses WorldCat give control over all its catalog records to OCLC. It literally is asking libraries to put an OCLC policy notice on every book record in their catalog. It wants to own every library. It's not just Open Library that's at risk here -- LibraryThing, Zotero, even some new Wikipedia features being developed are threatened. Basically anything that uses information about books is going to be a victim of this unprecedented power[ ]grab. It's a scary thought. [more inside]
1000 Angry Monkeys, Blogging About Politics... The partisan political blogosphere has been humming along nicely for the last several years. But where the progressive and conservative ideologies intersect, at technology, they can possibly be best categorized as libertarian, particularly if limited to the development, growth, corporatization, regulation, and taxation of the internet. As such, there's much news worthy of our attention. More inside...