Things That Make the Librarian Angry

Every job requires com­pro­mise, or at least this is what I tell myself. My job involves giv­ing things away—which is very much in line with my Free Cul­ture values—and at the same time teach­ing peo­ple a byzan­tine hokey-pokey dance over email to access that “free” mate­r­i­al spread­ing a decep­tive and unnec­es­sary “tech is hard” mes­sage.

Who Killed Wikipedia?

If Wikipedia even­tu­al­ly fades away, the rea­sons will lie in a cul­ture that worked bril­liant­ly until it devolved from dynamism to scle­ro­sis.

Let’s Just Say It: Women Matter More Than Fetuses Do

Pub­lic dis­cus­sion of abor­tion has come to inex­orably priv­i­lege fetal life over female life. The imag­i­nary futures—the “personhoods”—of the unborn have tak­en moral prece­dence over the adult women in whose bod­ies they grow.

Visions of a Techno-Leviathan: The Politics of the Bitcoin Blockchain

Bit­coin some­times appears akin to an ille­gal immi­grant, try­ing to decide whether to seek out a rebel­lious exis­tence in the black-mar­ket econ­o­my, or whether to don the slick clothes of the Sil­i­con Val­ley estab­lish­ment. The lat­ter posi­tion – involv­ing pub­licly accept­ing reg­u­la­tion and tax whilst pri­vate­ly lob­by­ing against it – is obvi­ous­ly more accept­able and famil­iar to author­i­ties.

Funemployed Playborers

[T]he prob­lem is this: unlike a game whose play itself caus­es you to exert your body phys­i­cal­ly, a game that offers exter­nal moti­va­tion for your habits doesn’t real­ly help you cul­ture those habits. Instead it changes them, it reframes them as the mech­a­nism by which reward can be accrued.