Larry Hosken: New: Tag: trust-the-machine

Book Report: The People's Platform

The internet was going to be this great thing that returned the voice to the people. That gave power to the people. I thought that. Like, maybe I thought that the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace was kinda overdone/overwrought/oversomething. But I thought it was within the realm of possibility, right? This book points out the ways that the internet hasn't lived up to that ideal.

We thought the internet would route around censorship; that free speech would pop up faster than censors could quash it. But China showed that with cheap labor, a 50ยข party can keep up with censoring everything well enough.

We thought we were giving everyone a voice. But when everyone's yelling, the bozo who can afford the loudest megaphone has the easiest time being heard. So you might legislate some controls to level the megaphone-playing-field-strained-metaphor. But legislating such things without shutting down some voices is tricky. And maybe there aren't so many legislators interested in boosting the voices of those annoying folks who want to call legislators doo-doo-heads anyhow.

We thought…

We thought that better communication technology would get us better free speech "for free" as a byproduct. This book points out many many aspects in which that hasn't panned out. It's a good wake-up call.

Remember back when my website got zapped for a few weeks? The good news is that it was mostly backed up. The bad news is that my draft blog posts weren't backed up. Maybe I had a wordier book report prepped? Anyhow, now it's months since I read this book and I don't remember so much. Sorry!

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Police-blotter article has, among other things, a neat little instance of police body cams fighting crime: …At approximately 11:36pm, an officer who "observed a vehicle blow[ing] through a s...

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Book Report: The Glass Cage I finished reading this pointless book. It was always in the "neighborhood" of saying something interesting. It's about things that technology gets wrong, a topic I'm interested in. I kept hoping! Bu...

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Rock Breaks Scissors Human brains give us amazing intuition. That is to say, they've evolved some pretty great shortcuts. But those same shortcuts make our brains stumble in some situation. This book points out some of t...

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Books Report: Paranoia T1 Stay Alert; S1 Reality Optional; Y1 Traitor Hangout These are novels based in the world of the Paranoia paper role-playing game. I used to play this paper RGP called Paranoia. It was pretty fun. Most RPGs put emphasis on surviving: making smart tactic...

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Book Report: The Master Switch This book's title is a play on words: "The Master Switch" is a switch you can use to turn everything off. A telephone "switch" is a device at the center of a phone network that directs calls as in "s...

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Book Report: Spin Control This book is a novel. This book is about human evolution. No, wait, this book is about the evolution of society. No, wait, this book is about changes in society post-singularity. No, wait, this boo...

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Book Report: Security Engineering This book is humongous! It's a survey of security computer engineering. It doesn't go into depth on any one topic, but it's got plenty of breadth. In areas where I already knew something, this boo...

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Book Report: Accelerando Tonight, I bought some ramen. It should have been a pretty simple operation. I was in a supermarket. There was ramen. There was my shopping basket. But it was difficult. This ramen was 25 cents...

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Milestone: Nine Million Hits Wow, it's the site's nine-millionth hit: 66.249.70.236 - - [10/Jul/2007:21:58:59 -0400] "GET /departures/monterey/0/3267_diver_tm.jpg HTTP/1.1" 301 376 "-" "Googlebot-Image/1.0" It looks like some G...

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Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, Including the Googleplex I am not a hardcore puzzler. I found out that even if the puzzles are great and fun and elegant, I go stir crazy if I try to sit in a conference room and solve puzzles for 24 hours. Now some folks a...

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Spam Filtering If you send mail to this domain, I might discard it without looking at it. But I probably won't. For the last few weeks, I've been using a spam filter to... filter spam. I've been carefully lookin...

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