I do not have many words to add to the multiple that are already out there. What I do have to say is that about a year ago I was protesting SOPA with the rest of you. It was one of those things those of us who care so deeply about freedom and the Internet did in hopes that it would actually bring about change.
Internet and Information freedom are near and dear to my heart. My entire Masters research was on FOSS / Fedora. I’ve posted on this blog about many of the things that are threats to this freedom including cyber bullying, censorship, and net neutrality.
Though I have a few papers floating around on the Internet, you will not find any of them in a journal much to the dismay of many of you who have contacted me for copies and citations. Why? Because I refuse to have my research (especially that which I do of my own free will and with no outside funding) published in a journal that cannot be accessed by the public, even if this hurts me academically.
I am not the only one that has a problem with the journal system and there are a few journals out there that have risen up against the status quo. There are also a few people who have taken a stand against the privatization of publicly funded information. Aaron Swartz was one such person. While he should be remembered for the many awesome things he did for Internet and Information Freedom, it is the ending of his life over the weekend that is being talked about today.
All I can say is the world, especially those of us who feel the same way he did, lost a great mind and advocate. He has been an inspiration to many of us, and he will only continue to do so. It will be interesting now to see how he has changed the world through the ending of his own. I am just an academic and a wanna-be hacker, but I will always do what I can to fight many of the same fights he did.
In the words of famed anthropologist Margaret Mead:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
How are you changing the world today?
P.S. If you are reading this through an RSS feed – thank Aaron…
I think gamers would make great politicians. In game we have to be able to communicate, manage our time and resources, understand technology and how to use it, and work well with others. We also do all of this on top of our daily lives as parents, employees, students, and more. And, last but not least – we do it all for FUN!
So congratulations on your new state senate seat, Colleen Lachicz – Orc Rogue. From me, Diana Harrelson – Anthropologist, PhD Student, User Experience Designer, and proud to be a level 86 (working my way up to 90!) Night Elf Druid.
I recently read remarks you made about my discipline, anthropology. There you proclaimed that your state, Florida, didn’t need any more anthropologists.
“Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so.”
It saddens me that you are ignorant of the fact that your state is the home of one of the best anthropology programs out there. That said, I think you should really do that thing we anthropologists call “research” before you make statements that you’re not prepared to defend.
Lastly, I would like to state for the record that I am an anthropologist. I not only have a job, but a very good paying job. Additionally, I do research in everything from Open Source Software development to User Experience Design. I have conducted research for companies such as Microsoft, Motorola, General Motors, Red Hat, and am currently working on research for yet another tech company. Last I checked these all represent aspects of technology, one of those subjects that seems to be tremendously valued by you. Please learn more about my discipline before saying it’s useless.
Sorry to keep it short, but I have to get back to work.
Today’s post brought to you by international privacy and the digital divide:
Fast Company reports: Google Execs are found guilty by an Italian court for privacy violations.
FCC Reports: 93 Million Americans Disconnected From Broadband Opportunities. (PDF found here) Here is an additional press release on broadband.gov.
Blogging hiatus is now over and what better way to get back in the saddle again than to start with a Webtwitch Wednesday post!
Big news today:
Good question posed by FastCompany:
And there’s also the issue that Google’s pull-out of China might make the overall human rights situation slightly worse. Because whether or not you approve of Google, while it was operating in China it was pushing for relaxations of censorship–using its size as a global giant to try to lever open some cracks in the censorship wall. And if it leaves the country, then what’s to stop the Chinese government running roughshod over any other players in the Internet tech game–likely far smaller ones than mighty Google–and forcing them to comply?
Rockstar San Diego Wive’s do as the EA Spouse did and post a letter to the Internet calling for better working conditions.
The WSJ reports that the US Court of Appeals reinstated an antitrust lawsuit against the major record labels over alleged price-fixing of Internet music downloads.
Ars Technica reports that Comcast wants clarity from the FCC even if it means Net Neutrality.
Keep up with Twitter’s election feed here.
Facebook’s ticker is here.
MySpace election page is here.
YouTube’s election page is here.
See Google’s elections maps here.
CNN’s political ticker is here.
MSN’s election page is here.
NYT’s election page is here.
The Guardian’s election page is here. (if you want a British perspective)
Have one to add? Leave a comment!
I apologize at the lateness of this post as I was abroad and without Internet access when I first learned of it.
Barack Obama has made history again, this time as the first presidential candidate ever to advertise in video games. If you are in one of the following swing states, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin, and you play games such as Madden NFL 09 or Burnout Paradise then you will have the opportunity to see this for yourself.
I’d be interested to see what the opinions of gamers who witnessed these in their games before all the media hoopla thought of them. Personally I think it’s rather ingenious, I only wonder if they are truly hitting the demographic they are after with them and if there is any way to see if they made an impact or not.
The New York Time’s has an article describing how people currently involved in the Russia/Georgian conflict are posting to the very popular blogging site Livejournal about their experiences.
Now that Livejournal is owned by SUP, a company based in Russia, there are a few rumblings as to how the company will handle possible and rumored pressure to stifle the voices speaking to either side of the conflict. The Russian public has had issue with the current owners since before they took over as to what their true intentions for Livejournal’s future were.
I’m very interested to see how this turns out.