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The American Wikileaks Hacker | Rolling Stone Culture - 0 views

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    On July 29th, returning from a trip to Europe, Jacob Appelbaum, a lanky, unassuming 27-year-old wearing a black T-shirt with the slogan "Be the trouble you want to see in the world," was detained at customs by a posse of federal agents. In an interrogation room at Newark Liberty airport, he was grilled about his role in Wikileaks, the whistle-blower group that has exposed the government's most closely guarded intelligence reports about the war in Afghanistan. The agents photocopied his receipts, seized three of his cellphones - he owns more than a dozen - and confiscated his computer. They informed him that he was under government surveillance. They questioned him about the trove of 91,000 classified military documents that Wikileaks had released the week before, a leak that Vietnam-era activist Daniel Ellsberg called "the largest unauthorized disclosure since the Pentagon Papers." They demanded to know where Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was hiding. They pressed him on his opinions about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Appelbaum refused to answer. Finally, after three hours, he was released.

    Sex, Drugs, and the Biggest Cybercrime of All Time

    Appelbaum is the only known American member of Wikileaks and the leading evangelist for the software program that helped make the leak possible. In a sense, he's a bizarro version of Mark Zuckerberg: If Facebook's ambition is to "make the world more open and connected," Appelbaum has dedicated his life to fighting for anonymity and privacy. An anarchist street kid raised by a heroin- addict father, he dropped out of high school, taught himself the intricacies of code and developed a healthy paranoia along the way. "I don't want to live in a world where everyone is watched all the time," he says. "I want to be left alone as much as possible. I don't want a data trail to tell a story that isn't true." We have transferred our most intimate and personal information - our bank accounts, e-mails, photographs, ph
Todd Suomela

Test essay 9: Forces acting on scientists to share and not to share : Christina's LIS Rant - 0 views

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    notes on the topic of incentives for/against sharing in science
Todd Suomela

The Technium: The World Without Technology - 0 views

  • Although strictly speaking simple tools are a type of technology made by one person, we tend to think of technology as something much more complicated. But in fact technology is anything designed by a mind. Technology includes not only nuclear reactors and genetically modified crops, but also bows and arrows, hide tanning techniques, fire starters, and domesticated crops. Technology also includes intangible inventions such as calendars, mathematics, software, law, and writing, as these too derive from our heads. But technology also must include birds' nests and beaver dams since these too are the work of brains.

    All technology, both the chimp's termite fishing spear and the human's fishing spear, the beaver's dam and the human's dam, the warbler's hanging basket and the human's hanging basket, the leafcutter ant's garden and the human's garden, are all fundamentally natural. We tend to isolate human-made technology from nature, even to the point of thinking of it as anti-nature, only because it has grown to rival the impact and power of its home. But in its origins and fundamentals a tool is as natural as our life.

  • The gravity of technology holds us where we are. We accept our attachment. But to really appreciate the effects of technology – both its virtues and costs -- we need to examine the world of humans before technology. What were our lives like without inventions? For that we need to peek back into the Paleolithic era when technology was scarce and humans lived primarily surrounded by things they did not make. We can also examine the remaining contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes still living close to nature to measure what, if anything, they gain from the small amount of technology they use.
  • Then about 50,000 years ago something amazing happened. While the bodies of early humans in Africa remained unchanged, their genes and minds shifted noticeably. For the first time hominins were full of ideas and innovation. These newly vitalized modern humans, which we now call Sapiens, charged into new regions beyond their ancestral homes in eastern Africa. They fanned out from the grasslands and in a relatively brief burst exploded from a few tens of thousands in Africa to an estimated 8 million worldwide just before the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago.
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  • It should have been clear to Neanderthal, as it is now clear to us in the 21st century, that something new and big had appeared -- a new biological and geological force. A number of scientists (Richard Klein, Ian Tattersall, William Calvin, among many others) think that the "something" that happened 50,000 years ago was the invention of language. Up until this point, humanoids were smart. They could make crude tools in a hit or miss way and handle fire – perhaps like an exceedingly smart chimp. The African hominin's growing brain size and physical stature had leveled off its increase, but evolution continued inside the brain.  "What happened 50,000 years ago," says Klein, "was a change in the operating system of humans. Perhaps a point mutation effected the way the brain is wired that allowed languages, as we understand language today: rapidly produced, articulate speech."  Instead of acquiring a larger brain, as the Neanderthal and Erectus did, Sapien gained a rewired brain.  Language altered the Neanderthal-type mind, and allowed Sapien minds for the first time to invent with purpose and deliberation. Philosopher Daniel Dennet crows in elegant language: "There is no step more uplifting, more momentous in the history of mind design, than the invention of language. When Homo sapiens became the beneficiary of this invention, the species stepped into a slingshot that has launched it far beyond all other earthly species." The creation of language was the first singularity for humans. It changed everything. Life after language was unimaginable to those on the far side before it.
Todd Suomela

Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 64, 2003 - Table of Contents - 0 views

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    Articles
    Early Modern Information Overload
Todd Suomela

Forbes.com - Magazine Article - 0 views

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    Our new online intimacies create a world in which it makes sense to speak of a new state of the self, itself. "I am on my cell … online … instant messaging … on the Web"--these phrases suggest a new placement of the subject, wired into society t
Todd Suomela

The Back Page - 0 views

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    The Future of Science: Building a Better Collective Memory By Michael A. Nielsen
Todd Suomela

Uncertain Principles: What's the Matter With Biologists? - 0 views

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    And yet, even today, seventeen years after the launch of the arxiv, every attempt to set up a preprint service for biologists has been a dismal failure, as noted by both Ginsparg and Timo Hannay (whose Science21 talk notes are up at Nature Networks. You can also get video and microblogging). Contrary to what a naive outsider's opinion might suggest, biologists appear to be highly resistant to the whole idea of sharing pre-publication results.
Todd Suomela

Ether Wave Propaganda: Galison's Questions, #1: What is Context? - 0 views

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    Galison's first question is "What is Context?" He observes that the escape from externalist-internalist debates has resulted in an appeal to context. But, to phrase it in a Seinfeldian way: what's the deal with context?
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