Category Archives: rhetoric of computation

Bitcoinsanity 1: The (Ir)relevance of Finance, or, It’s (Not) Different This Time

silver and gold prices since 1344

One of the many fascinating paradoxes about Bitcoin is that when knowledgeable economists, financial professionals and journalists write about it, because they almost always dispute its transformative power and revolutionary status, their analyses are almost uniformly greeted with shockingly abusive insults. In part this is a demonstration of the anti-democratic anti-expertise tendencies of our digital […]

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On the Idea of a Feminist Programming Language

Arielle Schlesinger, a student in Technology and Social Change (at an unnamed school) who is working on a thesis about Feminist Programming Languages, has written a couple of blog posts about the topic at HASTAC: Feminism and Programming Languages and A Feminist & A Programmer (Brian Lennon has a thoughtful reaction, “A Feminist Programming Language,” […]

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Cyberlibertarianism: The Digital Deletion of the Left

I’m very happy to have a piece appear in Jacobin: A Magazine of Culture and Polemic, titled “Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left” (I’ve given this blog entry my original title, which fits more neatly with the work I’ve been writing recently on cyberlibertarianism. The piece begins by posing a question that I hope most […]

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Bitcoin Will Eat Itself: More Contradictions of (Digital) Libertarianism

bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC), the much in-the-news and up-for-government-discussion cryptocurrency favored by Deep Web drug markets, libertarians, anarchists and would-be assassins everywhere, has been on a tear recently, and as of yesterday has hit an all-time high (albeit briefly) of more than USD $900 mark. It’s not hard to find—in fact it’s difficult to avoid—cyberlibertarians of all […]

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On Allington on Open Access

open access

Daniel Allington has written the best thing I’ve yet read anywhere on open access, called “On Open Access, and Why It’s Not the Answer.” Anyone interested in the question should read it now. It is much more deep and detailed than most of the pro-OA writing out there, and gets at some of the deep […]

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Talk: ‘Cyberlibertarianism: The Extremist Foundations of ‘Digital Freedom”

lib soc fed

Talk delivered at Clemson University, September 5, 2013 Full paper: Cyberlibertarianism: The Extremist Foundations of ‘Digital Freedom’ Abstract Cyberlibertarianism has rapidly become the dominant mode of political thought of our time. Especially in the US, but also around the world, the view that might be summed in the slogan “computerization will set you free” has […]

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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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‘Communication’ and ‘Critical’

The great communications scholar James Hay has assumed editorship of the journal Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies this year, and I am very grateful to have been invited to contribute a short piece on the core concepts around which the journal is organized. My contributions (provided here gratis, libre, and DRM-free) are about the terms “communication” […]

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Postcolonial Studies, Digital Humanities, and the Politics of Language

world oral literature project

Excerpted from a longer essay in progress. Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam recently started an open thread on DHPoco based around an observation by Martha Nell Smith about the politics of race and gender in the digital humanities. I find these topics distinctly connected to questions about language and the relationship of various humanities fields. […]

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Definitions that Matter (Of ‘Digital Humanities’)

closeness over time

In a recent post, “‘Digital Humanities’: Two Definitions,” I tried to point out an ongoing conflict in the deployment of the term “Digital Humanities.” While my goal was in part to show the practical range in definitions of DH, that was not really my main purpose. A lot of the time, definitions aren’t all that […]

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