Tag Archives: cultural logic of computation

Tor, Technocracy, Democracy

freedom is slavery

As important as the technical issues regarding Tor are, at least as important—probably more important—is the political worldview that Tor promotes (as do other projects like it). While it is useful and relevant to talk about formations that capture large parts of the Tor community, like “geek culture” and “cypherpunks” and libertarianism and anarchism, one […]

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Tor Is Not a “Fundamental Law of the Universe”

Tor for freedom

In what I consider a very welcome act of journalistic open-mindedness, Pando Daily recently published a piece by Quinn Norton that responded both to Yasha Levine’s excellent and necessary piece on the US Government’s funding of the Tor Project, and perhaps even more so his even more necessary piece on the amazing attacks his piece […]

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Interview: On Hacking, Decentralization, Power, Digital Democracy

A few excerpts from an interview at Dichtung Digital: Journal für Kunst und Kultur digitaler Medien, with questions asked by Roberto Simanowski. My least favorite digital neologism is “hacker.” The word has so many meanings, and yet it is routinely used as if its meaning was unambiguous. Wikipedia has dozens of pages devoted to the […]

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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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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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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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Taking Care of SR/OOO and the Generations

srooo illustration

In my quiet moments, I find I have a great deal to say about Speculative Realism/Object-Oriented Ontology (SR/OOO), although much of it would take me far beyond the generally computational focus of this blog. Suffice to say: not much of it would be complimentary. At the risk of going too far afield as it is, […]

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Google, Culture, Computationalism

This sort of story captures what i see as one of–perhaps the–most paradigmatic manifestations of computationalism. I have noticed how much more streamlined, clean, and professional Google’s designs have been recently. It never occurred to me to think about how their design team works, although i spent lots of time working at this interface. It […]

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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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