Tag Archives: political control

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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Social Media as Political Control: The Facebook Study, Acxiom, & NSA

NSA Facebook

Although it didn’t break the major media until last week, around June 2 researchers led by Adam Kramer of Facebook published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) entitled “Experimental Evidence of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks.” The publication has triggered an flood of complaints and concerns: is Facebook […]

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Paper: ‘Commercial Trolling: Social Media and the Corporate Deformation of Democracy’

commercial troller

I wrote this essay for a collection that originally said it could handle pieces of this length, but in the end decided not to. It’s a bit long for traditional journals or edited collections, and it’s about some fairly immediate stuff that’s also connected to other work I’ve been writing lately, so I decided simply […]

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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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One Generation Is All They Need (What Are Computers For? #4975)

This nightmare scenario appeared as news in the Toronto Star recently, despite being pretty much just an op-ed. Some of the things he says strike me as not off the mark, and not quite what anyone else has said recently (though look at what the kids are up to in 1984… for some similar concerns, […]

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