jrtom: (social scientist)
http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-computer-conspiracy-%E2%80%9Cto-destroy-this-invisible-government%E2%80%9D/#

I haven't entirely decided what I think about what Wikileaks has been doing, but this is an interesting look into, and analysis of, what Assange has been trying to accomplish via these leaks.

Of minor professional interest to me: apparently either Assange is not familiar with the terminology of social networks, or he thinks that his audience isn't (possibly fair). Apparently his strategy is an interesting complement to (or inversion of) the US counterterrorism social-network-based strategy, i.e., attempting to disrupt networks by identifying and removing key actors. Instead, Assange is apparently trying to disrupt the network by making the network itself--that is, the connections that make it something other than a collection of individuals--suspect, or at least less efficient.

EDIT: I do look forward to seeing what David Brin (_The Transparent Society_) has to say about this; I'll be watching http://davidbrin.blogspot.com to see when he posts something.
jrtom: (Default)
No, I mean seriously. http://savemyass.com/home actually exists.

Properly, it ought to be savemyassbysendingmysoflowersonasemirandombasis.com, but I suppose that was already taken.

I don't have any real problems with this sort of service, although it does seem to me to be moving in the direction of a hazy ethical area. The first thing it reminded me of, though, was the apparently now-defunct CoincidenceDesign.com, which I remember my friends and I going nuts over (and not in a good way) when we first encountered it in early 2002. (Fortunately, it turns out, that turned out to be more or less a hoax.)
jrtom: (Default)
Halfway down this editorial by Molly Ivins--look for "CROW EATEN HERE"--is one of the more impressive and pointed retractions that I've seen in major-market journalism in quite some time. She made an assertion, she realized (or was informed) that it was flat wrong, and she spends the last half of this column exploring just how wrong it was, in detail. Go Molly!

This is what ethical journalism looks like. Novak, Coulter, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, are you paying attention? Of course not. (Or, if you are, it's so that you can poke fun at Molly Ivins--who had the guts to do what you never do--without recognizing the irony.)

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May 2011

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