Technology is a tool: it is a process by which political and human desires are instantiated in the world. What is significant about that instantiation is that it must take a visible form. It may be a written, readable code, or a physical infrastructure in the landscape: servers in data centres, cameras on poles by the roadside, rusting signs on forecourt walls declaring the owner’s intentions.
When there is pressure to obscure that infrastructure—camouflaging cameras, closing down networks, or blocking freedom of information requests—a corresponding pressure is exerted on the very democracy it purports to uphold.
This is the subtext to the plight of every refugee: Whatever hardship he endures, he endures because it beats the hardship he escaped. Every story of exile implies the sadder story of a homeland.
If you’re leading a team, your job is your people.
The NSA: An Inside View. Interesting essay from a former NSA employee.
The future open web must be easier to use than the current social web, and knowing what to do with your own data cannot be a prerequisite. We will have passive users of the web, and the web needs them. If we exclude them, we risk creating a walled garden that lacks the perspectives and experiences of different types of people.
Care. You can’t fake good leadership. Ideas and anecdotes about caring leadership.
Daemon, and its sequel Freedom, by Daniel Suarez are two of the best fiction books I have read in a long time. Props to Daniel for the recommendation.
I want an Instapaper-style app that connects to my blog and then tells me what percentage of articles I end up linking to.
With academics doing much of the work and the Internet reducing distribution costs, you might expect the cost of academic publishing to fall as the Internet makes communication more efficient. Instead, the opposite has happened. Subscription rates for top academic journals have skyrocketed in recent decades – with one study reporting per journal subscription costs rose 215 percent between 1986 and 2003, despite the consumer price index only increasing 68 percent in that same time period.
At some point academic research will be free and public by default. Some day.
The only valid measure of technology’s worth is what’s best in context. The only real consideration is suitability, and it varies from moment to moment.