Technology’s invisibility is often mirrored in the illegibility of planning and zoning laws. A particularly cold-hearted moment came in October 2011, when the Occupy London protesters targeted Paternoster Square, just to the north of St Paul’s Cathedral. Once home to the free presses of London’s publishing industry, following its redevelopment in the early noughties, Paternoster Square is “public space” – but not actually public. Visitors – occupiers or otherwise –were greeted with signs stating that “Any licence to the public to enter or cross this land is revoked forthwith”, and at one point the entire space was not only blocked off, but actually filled in, with metal barriers.
It’s at such moments that the real structures of city life become visible: a matrix of permissions and observations, many of them unreadable most of the time. But while technology, as in the case of the spy bins, is often used to occlude these practices, it also has the potential to unlock and reveal them.
“One of the consequences of just how difficult and time consuming participating in the movement became is that key players stopped showing up. Well not exactly; they still showed up, but mostly for side conversations, informal gatherings, and the meetings that planned what would happen at the public meetings. Using social media … they formed an invisible guiding hand that simultaneously got shit done, avoided accountability, and engaged in factional battles with each other … you know what’s worse than regular same-old elites? An [sic] barely visible elite that denies it is an elite and can’t ever be called to account.”—http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112189/social-media-doesnt-always-help-social-movements
“Speaking through Ed, Gelernter writes, “It’s not that I distrust the software guys who design and build them… . They’ll take good care of us. And that’s just the problem. Serfdom means, above all, not slavery— slavery is slavery; serfdom is merely utter dependency— I don’t understand these things but I rely on them, not just for convenience but in order to carry out my thinking””—
“When sensors are used without our knowledge or against our will, they become instruments of surveillance. Most of the sensors to create a seamless snooping system are already in place, but the data— credit-card transactions, passport scans at borders, e-mails, and phone calls— are held by a scattered array of organizations. Linking it all together, sifting through it and assembling dossiers is, for government intelligence agencies and law enforcement, a killer app for smart cities.”—
“"Science" is a lofty term. The word suggests a process of uncommon rationality, inspired observation, and near-saintly tolerance for failure. More often than not, that’s what we get from science. The term "science" also entails people aiming high. Science has traditionally accepted the smartest students, the most committed and self-sacrificing researchers, and the cleanest money-that is, money with the fewest political strings attached. In both theory and practice, science in this century has been perceived as a noble endeavor.”—http://edge.org/conversation/the-third-kelly?utm_content=bufferc36d2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
“My bewilderment quickly yields to a growing sense of dread. How is it that even in the heart of Silicon Valley it’s completely acceptable for smart technology to be buggy, erratic, or totally dysfunctional?”—
“The same urge that drives communities to differentiate themselves through physical design, regulation, and social norms will shape the way smart technologies are used to retrofit them. It’s a mistake to assume that everything could or should be copied from city to city, however commercially attractive that may be. There are economies of scale, but there are also big benefits to doing it your own way. At the scale of big cities, these tradeoffs tend to be in balance.”—
“Google Search is no longer the clean, high-performance tool we once relied on and admired — now it’s a fetid stew of Google+-littered, screwed up mystery-mechanics, running under the misguided assumption that anyone and everyone only wants more of their own location, their connections, Google’s clumsily guessed interests, and Google+ favoritism in the results served back to them.”—http://www.zdnet.com/thanks-for-nothing-jerkface-7000030306/
“It was my exasperated acknowledgement that looking for good software to count on has been a losing battle. Written by people with either no time or no money, most software gets shipped the moment it works well enough to let someone go home and see their family. What we get is mostly terrible.”—https://medium.com/message/everything-is-broken-81e5f33a24e1
“Government officials apparently found the container design, so revolutionary for the MIT engineers, a symbol of poverty. Dominicans wouldn’t be caught dead walking into one. “[T]he Lincos container was the brainchild of a group of Western and Western-trained technocrats,” concluded researchers Paul Brand and Anke Schwittay in 2006, “They did not include indigenous designs, materials or needs into their broader design methodology, and the product of this methodology was ultimately rejected by the constituents the designers were supposed to serve.””—Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utopia
“And recently he said this to me: You lecture about the values
implicit in our constitutional tradition; you argue we should carry
these to cyberspace; what about the values implicit in the Internet’s tradition; what about the values that are implicit in how it is governed. Why shouldn’t we identify those, and carry those to real space?”—https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/works/lessig/Kent.pdf
“Or more specifically still: I’ve been arguing that we should look
to the structure of our constitutional tradition, and extract from it
the values that are constituted by it, and carry these values into the world of the Internet’s governance — whether the governance is through code, or the governance is through people.”—https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/works/lessig/Kent.pdf
“It’s not clear that Fermat had a proof at all. Indeed, in all his mathematical papers, there was but one formal proof. But whether a genius mathematician or not, Fermat was clearly a genius self-promoter, for it is this puzzle that has made Fermat famous. For close to 400 hundred years, the very best mathematicians in the world have tried to pen the proof that Fermat forgot.”—https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/works/lessig/Kent.pdf
There is no doubt that we live on an ever-changing planet. Earth Observation provides a great tool to monitor and track these changes, ranging from climate transformations to others caused by human impact. Among the different organizations monitoring the earth, NASA is one of the most prominent….
“Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”—Google
“There is a more general lesson in this story about how SMTP delivery came to fetchmail. It is not only debugging that is parallelizable; development and (to a perhaps surprising extent) exploration of design space is, too. When your development mode is rapidly iterative, development and enhancement may become special cases of debugging-fixing `bugs of omission’ in the original capabilities or concept of the software.”—
“I grew my beta list by adding to it everyone who contacted me about fetchmail. I sent chatty announcements to the beta list whenever I released, encouraging people to participate. And I listened to my beta-testers, polling them about design decisions and stroking them whenever they sent in patches and feedback. The payoff from these simple measures was immediate. From the beginning of the project, I got bug reports of a quality most developers would kill for, often with good fixes attached. I got thoughtful criticism, I got fan mail, I got intelligent feature suggestions.”—
“Sociologists years ago discovered that the averaged opinion of a mass of equally expert (or equally ignorant) observers is quite a bit more reliable a predictor than the opinion of a single randomly-chosen one of the observers. They called this the Delphi effect. It appears that what Linus has shown is that this applies even to debugging an operating system-that the Delphi effect can tame development complexity even at the complexity level of an OS kernel.”—
“8. Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone. Or, less formally, “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” I dub this: “Linus’s Law”. My original formulation was that every problem “will be transparent to somebody”. Linus demurred that the person who understands and fixes the problem is not necessarily or even usually the person who first characterizes it. “Somebody finds the problem,” he says, “and somebody else understands it. And I’ll go on record as saying that finding it is the bigger challenge.” That correction is important; we’ll see how in the next section, when we examine the practice of debugging in more detail. But the key point is that both parts of the process (finding and fixing) tend to happen rapidly.”—
“Linus was keeping his hacker/users constantly stimulated and rewarded-stimulated by the prospect of having an ego-satisfying piece of the action, rewarded by the sight of constant (even daily) improvement in their work.”—
“Or, to put it another way, you often don’t really understand the problem until after the first time you implement a solution. The second time, maybe you know enough to do it right. So if you want to get it right, be ready to start over at least once.”—
“While I don’t claim to be a great programmer, I try to imitate one. An important trait of the great ones is constructive laziness. They know that you get an A not for effort but for results, and that it’s almost always easier to start from a good partial solution than from nothing at all.”—
“This whole case has become his greatest troll yet, his greatest wordplay. The reprobate has looked at America and asked if our words of law still contain justice, or mere infinite violence.”—https://medium.com/quinn-norton/d3ed1ce63615
“Weev lives like half of an equation, half in the concentrated brown eyes and beard in front of you, and half in what you’re about to say to him, after he’s done trying to offend. What you say next will shape him, like the other half of an equation. For those that don’t engage his strange opinions, he has a moment of disappointment that is also calming. He is perhaps slightly less himself, not more, but his self can disengage and relax. The rest of the time he is like dancing with your own fears, your horrible secret beliefs about how the world is, your hateful longings. He is a witch for this century, a perfect reprobate bearer of our sins and our ignorance.”—https://medium.com/quinn-norton/d3ed1ce63615
“Twitter had become a key source of political information for the engaged citizenry long before the Gezi protests, and had become the agora for the rest of ordinary people eager for political informatino during Gezi.”—https://medium.com/technology-and-society/cb596ce5f27
This would imply that economics is a science.
Outdated math is the least of the profession’s worries when they built their armchair fantasy on absurd assumptions. Such as holding that people are homogenous robots infinitely knowledgeable about the world around them and posses infinite computing power. Analyzing the current system using a banking model that’s outdated by at least half a century also doesn’t help. But they don’t care, they’re too busy trying to prove 19th century theorems about the perfections of free markets in the infinite future. Economists aren’t scientists, they’re theologians at best, they just happen to use crappy maths to look all serious and science like.
And these people are being listened to by politicians. It makes you want to bang your head into a wall. Meanwhile, scientific facts about the climate are being done off as ideological bias.
I don’t consider myself a cynical person, technological and human progress over the past century has been awesome. But when I look at the current sociopolitical status quo all I feel is despair.
“The world of hacking, as is the case with many cultural worlds, is one of reckless blossoming, or in the words of Rilke: “Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.””—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“As I delved deeper into the cultural politics of hacking, though, I began to see serious limitations in making any straightforward connections between the hacker ethic of the past and the free software of the present (much less other hacker practices). Most obviously, to do so is to overlook how ethical precepts take actual form and, more crucially, how they transform over time”—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“The hacker ethic is shorthand for a list of tenets, and it includes a mix of aesthetic and pragmatic imperatives: a commitment to information freedom, a mistrust of authority, a heightened dedication to meritocracy, and the firm belief that computers can be the basis for beauty and a better world”—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“Hackers insistence on never losing access to the fruits of their labor—and indeed actively seeking to share these fruits with others—calls into being Karl Marx’s famous critique of estranged labor: “The external character of labour for the worker appears in the fact that it is not his own, but someone else’s, that it does not belong to him, that in it he belongs, not to himself, but to another””—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“Although hackers are fiercely pragmatic and utilitarian—technology after all must work, and work exceptionally well—they are also fiercely poetic and repeatedly affirm the artistic elements of their work”—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“In its more mild and commonplace form, hacker pleasure could be said to approximate the Aristotelian theory of eudaemonia, defined succinctly by philosopher Martha Nussbaum (2004, 61) as “the unimpeded performance of the activities that constitute happiness.””—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“Despite these frustrations and perhaps because of them, the craft of hacking demands a deep engagement from hackers, or a state of being most commonly referred to in the literature as “flow””—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“In encountering obstacles, adept craftspeople, such as hackers, must also build an abundant “tolerance for frustration” (ibid., 226), a mode of coping that at various points will break down, leading, at best, to feelings of frustration, and at worst, to anguish and even despair and burnout.”—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“Many free software developers do not consider intellectual property instruments as the pivotal stimulus for a marketplace of ideas and knowledge. Instead, they see them as a form of restriction so fundamental (or poorly executed) that they need to be counteracted through alternative legal agreements that treat knowledge, inventions, and other creative expressions not as property but rather as speech to be freely shared, circulated, and modified.”—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“Due to the growing friction between free speech and intellectual property, US courts in the last twenty-five years have openly broached the issue by asserting that any negative consequences of censoring speech are far outweighed by the public benefit of copyright law. In other words, as a matter of public policy, copyright law represents an acceptable restriction on speech because it is the basis for what is designated as “the marketplace of ideas.””—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“For example, copyright, which grants authors significant control over their expression of ideas, was initially limited to fourteen years with one opportunity for renewal. Today, the copyright term in the United States has ballooned to the length of the author’s life plus seventy years, while works for hire get ninety-five years, regardless of the life of the author. The original registration requirement has also been eliminated. Most any expression—a scribble on a piece of paper, a blog post, or a song—automatically qualifies for protection, so long as it represents the author’s creation.”—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
“Legal scholar Ray Patterson (1968, 224) states this dynamic eloquently in terms of a clash over the fundamental values of a democratic society: “A society which has freedom of expression as a basic principle of liberty restricts that freedom to the extent that it vests ideas with legally protected property interests.””—Highlighted by Simeon Nedkov in Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman