Category Archives: information doesn’t want to be free

More Unwise Commentary

Posted in response to a response by Michael Gurstein to his response to a critique by someone from an “open” organization of a very smart post by Gurstein in the first place that responds to his sage and well-observed discussion of the politics of “open source” in an earlier post: Michael, you are fighting the […]

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Just. Say. No.

It’s not just creepy. It’s part of the evil that Google is now chartered to do. See, when they put that thing together, they may have forgotten how evil is almost always done in the US: under cover of saying what’s being done is not evil. We have an entire political party/movement based around it […]

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Real Thoughts on WikiLeaks; or, How Howard Roark Became a Hero of the Left

<rant name=”my real thoughts about wikileaks” sentiment=”please don’t hate me” causeofdelay=”trying not to get into flame war” >In recent interviews (e.g., with Time, Forbes, and The New Yorker), Julian Assange demonstrates repeatedly how little he knows about world politics, about the open-source information already available regarding the topics he claims to be “revealing,” or even […]

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Leaving and Not Leaving China

In the latest skirmish in the Google-China information war–but is really more like a US-China war, it seems to me, in which we have been drafted by a private corporation with what I can’t see as consent–Google has shut off its mainland china servers and redirected traffic to google.hk. It’s another remarkable example of the […]

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Draft for Comment: ‘Playing with Rules’

The Electronic Book Review kindly published an in-depth review of The Cultural Logic of Computation (and of Mark McGurl’s The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing, both Harvard UP 2009) by Brian Lennon titled “Gaming the System.” The editors of the journal ask all reviewed authors to respond; after far too […]

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“Open Science,” “Climate Change,” “Transparency,” “Trust,” and the “Internet Age”

Anyone about to cheer The Wall Street Journal‘s giving Evgeny Morozov a platform to speak will revert to their usual outrage at Rupert Murdoch’s flagship publication in today’s remarkable op-ed by “media and information industry advisor and executive” and former WSJ publisher L. Gordon Crovitz published under the heading: “Climate Change and Open Science: In […]

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Neoliberalism, Info-determinism, Expressive Absolutism

One of the central and most symptomatic of computational slogans is “information wants to be free.” Like most computational ideologies, it’s willfully techno-determinist, almost vitalist, with regard to “what information does,” even if many who recite the slogan may find ways to construe it otherwise. Like many pieces of “wisdom” that circulate in the digital […]

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From “” to “onmousemove=’google&&google.fade&&google.fade()’”

Google became dominant in part because of its simplicity: it does one thing very simply and very well. We all understood this principle, Google especially, and it was reflected primarily in its most public face: its basic search page at google.com. That page, we all know, features (for the most part) just one thing to […]

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Revolutions and the Politics of Networks

First published on Harvard University Press blog, Jun 24 2009. Few words have been heard more often lately than revolution. The word occurs in two ways, but the connection between them is at best fuzzy. First, commentators wonder if Iran is going through a political revolution. Second, they speculate about an “internet revolution”—not merely a […]

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“This Is Not Going to Scale” (Rhetoric of Computation #1)

Preserved for its richness of examples of computational rhetoric and its imbrication with capital. Published in Wired 15:08 (Jul 24, 2007)http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/15-08/ff_sheep?currentPage=all How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life Frank Rose 07.24.07 | 2:00 AM Illustrations by Eddie Guy Embedding Ads Into Games Seemed Like a Good Idea For months, Michael Donnelly […]

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