Freedom of speech in the digital age - "Speech that disseminates ideas is more valuable than speech whose purpose is to intimidate others." [more inside]
From deities to data - "For thousands of years humans believed that authority came from the gods. Then, during the modern era, humanism gradually shifted authority from deities to people... Now, a fresh shift is taking place. Just as divine authority was legitimised by religious mythologies, and human authority was legitimised by humanist ideologies, so high-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimises the authority of algorithms and Big Data." [more inside]
In his follow-up to Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari envisions what a 'useless class' of humans might look like as AI advances and spreads - "I'm aware that these kinds of forecasts have been around for at least 200 years, from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and they never came true so far. It's basically the boy who cried wolf, but in the original story of the boy who cried wolf, in the end, the wolf actually comes, and I think that is true this time." [more inside]
As newsrooms disappear, veteran reporters are being forced from the profession. They dedicated their lives to telling other people’s stories. What happens when no one wants to print their words anymore?
Everyone you know will be able to rate you on the terrifying ‘Yelp for people’ — whether you want them to or not
The Shut-In Economy The dream of on-demand, delivery everything is splitting tech-centered cities into two new classes: shut-ins and servants.
Keith Hampton, an associate professor in Rutgers' School of Communication and Information, filmed people in Bryant Park (among other locations) in an ongoing effort to recreate and update sociologist William H. Whyte's Street Life Project. [more inside]
Rodrigo Davis of the MIT Center for Civic Media is currently researching crowdfunding for civic and community purposes. Some of the issues he covers includes the ethics of crowdfunding (including Kickstarter's seduction guide debacle and Gawker's attempt to crowdfund a video showing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack), a case study of Kansas City's crowdfunding campaign for their bikeshare program, a timeline of online crowdfunding since 2000, and how the Statue of Liberty was made possible via crowdfunding.
The Melancholy of Subculture Society, an essay on the rise of multiple subcultures, the idea of “opting out” of the mainstream culture and the social and psychological benefits of the existence of alternative status hierarchies. [more inside]
How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio actually makes a case against austerity and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
Too much information: Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn't exist. No wonder we are hopeless oversharers. [Via]
On October 18, Wired embedded a reporter with both Anonymous and the #Occupy movement, calling both "a new kind of hybrid entity, one that breaks the boundaries between “real life” and the internet, creatures of the network embodied as citizens in the real world." The first entries in Quinn Norton's ongoing special report: Anonymous 101: Behind the Lulz were posted today. Coverage from Wired's other special report, Occupy: Dispatches from the Occupation are already online. NPR: Members Of Anonymous Share Values, Aesthetics [more inside]
"While we still live in a sexist society, any woman who sticks her head above the parapet will encounter misogynistic abuse."
"You should have your tongue ripped out." Female bloggers speak out about misogynist comments, rape threats and death threats. [more inside]
Assimilate book-ism to webism and the book looks like nothing so much as an unreadably long, out of date, & non-interactive blog post. . . Web 2.0 has been revelatory in lots of ways—user-generated naked photos, for one—but the torrent of writing from ordinary folks has certainly been one of the most transfixing. Over the past five years the great American public has blogged and Tweeted and commented up a storm and fulfilled a great modernist dream: the inclusion, the reproduction, the self-representation of the masses.
Google rolls out Mail Goggles, designed to prevent drunk or otherwise impaired emailing by forcing you to answer basic math questions. And no, it's not April 1st.
Gin, Television, and Social Surplus — Clay Shirky on post-broadcast societal outlets.
People of the Web --very well done short video profiles of interesting people online. Mike Rogers of blogactive is on the front page now. Links to previous profiles are on the right, including Kirk Cameron, Caleb Shikles, Sherman Austin, and Josh Wolf.
Hansdehar - rural life in India.
Big Brother 101 -- Could your social networks brand you an enemy of the state? (Popular Science Mag) And one staffer finds out it might--due to a connection to the Buffalo Six. Think 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, but with tapping and surveillance and worse at the other end.
Jurgen Habermas and the Public Sphere. Habermas' conception of the public sphere has become increasingly interesting to scholars of internet theory. Any thoughts on what role MeFi plays in creating a public? What about issues of accessibility, autonomy, and quality? Could Mefi be the realization of Habermas' public sphere?
Are you "e-fluential"? It's possible you are without even knowing it--you never know who might be listening in. While I don't find all gadget/soft drink/product discussions insidious, it does seem like they pop up pretty regularly. Has anyone here been contacted? Or are these companies (and others like them) just targeting product-oriented boards?
I was reading cryptonomicom last night..and awoke this morning to read this online.. Deja vu, Datahaven! I'm glad they found good use for that antiaircraft deck.
Maybe there's hope for our social lives after all. A new study (complete report here) seems to directly contradict February's study which claimed that the Internet makes people antisocial hermits. This new study is particularly focused on the habits of women who use the web but offers many interesting numbers that apply across gender lines, i.e. "Nearly three-quarters of Internet users (72%) say they visited family or friends "yesterday," while 61% of nonusers report they had visited someone".