Category Archives: cyberlibertarianism

Opt-Out Citizenship: End-to-End Encryption and Constitutional Governance

Silk Road

Among the digital elite, one of the more common reactions to the recent shocking disclosures about intelligence surveillance programs has been to suggest that the way to prevent government snooping is to encrypt all of our communications. While I think encryption might be an important part of a solution to the total surveillance problem, it […]

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Completely Different and Exactly the Same

I was flattered to see Nicholas Carr picking up on a blog entry I wrote about the Cartesian dualism underlying most thinking about the Singularity. I was equally pleased to read this comment on Carr’s post from CS Clark, who is otherwise unknown to me: I’m reminded that many tech/law debates depend on the new […]

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Techno-Utopianism: 3 Dissents

prologue and promise

While we are eagerly awaiting the shot-across-the-bow that is Evgeny Morozov‘s forthcoming To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism (Public Affairs, 2013), a few recent pieces of writing have come across the wires that open up some of the same space on which a few of us have been working (personally, I […]

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Article: ‘High-Frequency Trading: Networks of Wealth and the Concentration of Power’

Full paper (author’s pre-press version): High-Frequency Trading: Networks of Wealth and the Concentration of Power. Forthcoming in Social Semiotics. Abstract The development of High-Frequency Trading (HFT)–automated trading of stocks, as well as bonds, options, and other investment instruments–provides a signal example of the political effects of computerization on a discrete social sphere. Despite the widespread […]

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Centralization and the ‘Democratization’ of Higher Education

amazon central

In my previous post, “Computerization, Centralization, and Concentration,” I discussed how the fact that decentralization and distribution are genuine hallmarks of the networked computerization revolution can easily blind us to the fact that centralization and concentration, especially of economic power, are also its hallmarks, in many cases even more strongly than are the former. One […]

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Computerization, Centralization, and Concentration

uranium enrichment centrifuge

One of the most dangerous canards of the digital revolution is the one according to which distribution, decentralization, and democratization are the characteristic hallmarks of contemporary mass computerization. To writers of earlier ages (Huxley, Orwell, Lem, Weizenbaum, Wiener, Mumford, Ellul, Roszak, just to name a few), such sentiments would seem shocking, because what they understood […]

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Talk: ‘Game of Drones’


“Game of Drones,” aka, “Gameful, or Shameful?,” aka “Presto Change-O World Peace, from the Same Team That Brings You Permanent War” Paper delivered at SLSA 2012 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI, September 2012. Full paper: “Game of Drones” Abstract The recent widespread deployment by the US in particular of Unmanned Combat Vehicles (UCVs), especially Unmanned Aerial […]

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‘We Need to Educate Them’: Cyberlibertarianism, Democracy, and Information Freedom

Last Tuesday–not coincidentally, on some accounts, September 11–US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed following an attack on the US Embassy to Libya in Benghazi. The attack, followed by others and by widespread protests against US and other Western diplomatic missions in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, is purported to have been […]

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USA® & Twitter® Solidify Product Placement Relationship #gotohell

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So in yesterday’s news we learned not only of much more hacking by and awareness of hacking on the part of News Corp (I doubt we’ve even scratched the surface–what I want to know is how widely dispersed these techniques are and where knowledge about them comes from, because they all impinge on national security […]

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