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The Spiritual Case for Socialism | The New Republic
by Martin Hägglund
 Pantheon, 464 pp., $29.95"
book  review  faith  religion  politics  socialism  freedom 
february 2019 by tsuomela
Emerging Threats | Knight First Amendment Institute
"The Knight First Amendment Institute’s Emerging Threats series invites leading thinkers to identify and grapple with newly arising or intensifying structural threats to the system of free expression. Fake news, hostile audiences, powerful private platforms, government secret-keeping, and other phenomena have the potential to destabilize political systems and undermine economic and social reform. The papers in the series explore ways to address these threats and preserve the foundations of democracy essential to healthy open societies, including the United States. "
first-amendment  freedom  american  technology 
september 2018 by tsuomela
How bosses are (literally) like dictators - Vox
"Elizabeth Anderson is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women's studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk About It (Princeton University Press, 2017)."
book  excerpt  business  government  power  labor  work  freedom  free-markets  markets-uber-alles  ideology  capitalism 
july 2017 by tsuomela
Anderson, E.: Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It). (Hardcover)
"One in four American workers says their workplace is a "dictatorship." Yet that number probably would be even higher if we recognized most employers for what they are—private governments with sweeping authoritarian power over our lives, on duty and off. We normally think of government as something only the state does, yet many of us are governed far more—and far more obtrusively—by the private government of the workplace. In this provocative and compelling book, Elizabeth Anderson argues that the failure to see this stems from long-standing confusions. These confusions explain why, despite all evidence to the contrary, we still talk as if free markets make workers free—and why so many employers advocate less government even while they act as dictators in their businesses. In many workplaces, employers minutely regulate workers' speech, clothing, and manners, leaving them with little privacy and few other rights. And employers often extend their authority to workers' off-duty lives. Workers can be fired for their political speech, recreational activities, diet, and almost anything else employers care to govern. Yet we continue to talk as if early advocates of market society—from John Locke and Adam Smith to Thomas Paine and Abraham Lincoln—were right when they argued that it would free workers from oppressive authorities. That dream was shattered by the Industrial Revolution, but the myth endures. Private Government offers a better way to talk about the workplace, opening up space for discovering how workers can enjoy real freedom."
book  publisher  labor  work  free  free-markets  freedom 
march 2017 by tsuomela
The paradox of procedurally generated video games.
"Algorithmically designed video game worlds are more personal because they lack personality."
games  game-studies  algorithms  design  freedom  exploration 
october 2016 by tsuomela
All Scientists Should Be Militant Atheists - The New Yorker
The headline is misleading. Argument is that nothing should be unquestionable, neither religion nor science.
science  religion  freedom  law  atheism 
september 2015 by tsuomela
Jaron Lanier Discusses Power Laws, Centralized Publishing, and the Social Perils of Free Information | The Scholarly Kitchen
"Overall, it’s a fascinating interview that touches on a number of topics in the wind currently. I plan to read the book, and do some thinking about these issues. “Free” is a price that has consequences. As we see what happens when information remains or becomes free, those consequences become clearer and require more serious thought. Ultimately, “free” could make us less free."
interview  value  online  intellectual-property  copyright  internet  economics  technology-effects  information  freedom  ideology 
august 2013 by tsuomela
The Ecuadorian Library — Geek Empire — Medium
"You can tell that Manning, Assange and Snowden are all the same kind of irritant, because, somehow, amazingly, the planet’s response is to physically squish them. They’re all online big-time, and their digital shadow is huge, so the response is just to squeeze their mortal human bodies, literally, legally, extra-legally, by whatever means becomes available. It’s a wrestling match of virtuality and actuality, an irruption of the physical into the digital. It’s all about Bradley shivering naked in his solitary cage, and Julian diligently typing in his book-lined closet at the embassy, and Ed bagging out behind the plastic seating of some airport, in a jetlag fit of black globalization that went on for a solid month."
online  security  freedom  speech  surveillance 
august 2013 by tsuomela
James B. Rule for Democracy Journal: The Whole World Is Watching
"In an increasingly monitored world, how can consumers and citizens reclaim ownership of their private lives?"
surveillance  freedom  privacy  consumer  economics  big-data  democracy 
october 2012 by tsuomela
Big data is our generation’s civil rights issue, and we don’t know it - O'Reilly Radar
"Data doesn’t invade people’s lives. Lack of control over how it’s used does.

What’s really driving so-called big data isn’t the volume of information. It turns out big data doesn’t have to be all that big. Rather, it’s about a reconsideration of the fundamental economics of analyzing data."
big-data  economics  freedom  privacy  data-mining  control 
august 2012 by tsuomela
What I Learned in Law School | hecatedemeter
"I know that letting every nutjob in America load up on automatic weapons is inimical to the “security of a free state.” People can’t be free if they are constantly at the mercy of an armed nut. Ironically, the reaction to the tragedy in Aurora isn’t to limit the ability of crazies to purchase arms. Instead, theaters are going to limit the freedom of patrons to wear costumes. Let’s be clear: costumes. Costumes don’t kill people. Guns kill people. But we apparently can’t limit the ability of nutjobs to buy guns, so we’re going to limit the ability of free people in a “free state” to wear costumes. Some underpaid usher at a movie theatre is going to decide whether or not your pentacle, or your Goth make-up, or maybe just your beard renders you unable to see a movie. Because we can’t tell nutjobs that they can’t buy automatic weapons. And you can now surrender your bodily freedom and allow, again, some underpaid usher at a movie theatre to grope you in order to allow you into the theatre."
gun-control  guns  violence  mass-shooting  law  constitution  freedom 
july 2012 by tsuomela
The Individual in a Networked World: Two Scenarios | World Future Society
"Although present technologies are still far from realizing either scenario in its entirety, each represents a potential evolution from current trajectories. The first scenario assumes a move toward more networked individualism based on continued technological progress and trust in computer and human networks—including the withering of boundaries.

The second scenario assumes more boundaries, more costs, more corporate concentration, and more surveillance. At present, the Western world is trending in the direction of the first scenario, but we would be naïve to think that the second scenario could not happen." Annotated link
future  scenario  online  computers  technology  media  internet  freedom  privacy  corporatism 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Coercion vs. Freedom: BHL vs. BRG (Happy 4th of July!) — Crooked Timber
"But getting into the empirical weeds like this gives the game away. Actually existing libertarianism is not a philosophy of ‘I wonder what will maximize freedom-as-non-coercion. It’s complicated, but whatever it is, I’ll do it.’ Libertarianism isn’t a philosophy that blows different directions in the shifting winds of the labor market – coming out against unions when they get bloated and corrupt and exclusive but turning against management and capital when they are, as they certainly may be, objectively greater threats to freedom than any actually existing labor union. Actually existing libertarianism is the philosophy of treating as axiomatic that maximizing contract/property rights is tantamount to maximizing freedom. But, even if this happens to be contingently correct, in some circumstances – even in many circumstances – treating contingent truths as axioms is very confused."
libertarianism  coercion  business  contracts  economics  freedom  mistakes 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Four Futures
"There are therefore four logical combinations of the two oppositions, resource abundance vs. scarcity and egalitarianism vs. hierarchy. To put things in somewhat vulgar-Marxist terms, the first axis dictates the economic base of the post-capitalist future, while the second pertains to the socio-political superstructure. Two possible futures are socialisms (only one of which I will actually call by that name) while the other two are contrasting flavors of barbarism."
economics  future  capitalism  socialism  freedom  rent  utopia  communism  futurism  post-scarcity 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Noahpinion: The liberty of local bullies
I have often remarked in the past how libertarianism - at least, its modern American manifestation - is not really about increasing liberty or freedom as an average person would define those terms. An ideal libertarian society would leave the vast majority of people feeling profoundly constrained in many ways. This is because the freedom of the individual can be curtailed not only by the government, but by a large variety of intermediate powers like work bosses, neighborhood associations, self-organized ethnic movements, organized religions, tough violent men, or social conventions. In a society such as ours, where the government maintains a nominal monopoly on the use of physical violence, there is plenty of room for people to be oppressed by such intermediate powers, whom I call "local bullies."
libertarianism  libertarian  ideology  power  control  oppression  freedom 
december 2011 by tsuomela
Contrary Brin: Roll over, Frank Miller: or why the Occupy Wall Street Kids are Better than the #$%! Spartans
Well, well. I've been fuming silently at Frank Miller for a years. The time's come, so get ready for steam! Because the screech that you just read - Miller's attack on young citizens, clumsily feeling their way ahead toward saving their country - is only the latest example of Frank's astonishing agenda. One that really needs exposure to light.

I'll do it by dissecting - calmly and devastatingly - his most famous and lucrative piece of modern propaganda. The comic book and movie tale about Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae.
comics  movie  history  greek  ancient  rant  criticism  freedom 
november 2011 by tsuomela
Vocationalism, Academic Freedom and Tenure -
"It goes like this. Tenure, like academic freedom, depends on a certain picture of what goes on in college and university classrooms — high-level discussions tied to cutting edge research into intellectual problems. Tenure protects the freedom of instructors to engage in such research. But in many classrooms, dedicated to vocational or corporate or political goals, that’s not what’s going on, and the instructors who preside over those classrooms need neither academic freedom nor tenure. Only those engaged in the “search for ultimate truths” do."
tenure  academic  freedom  work  labor 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Rebecca MacKinnon
I am currently a Bernard Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC, where I conduct research, writing and advocacy on global Internet policy, free expression, and the impact of digital technologies on human rights. Due to my background and prior experience (see below), I am also considered a leading expert on Chinese Internet censorship. My first book, Consent of the Networked, a treatise on the future of liberty in the Internet age, will be published by Basic Books in January 2012.
people  internet  censorship  freedom 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom — Pro-commerce ∙ Pro-competition ∙ Anti-monopoly
The Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (C4SIF) is dedicated to building public awareness of the manner in which laws and policies impede innovation, creativity, communication, learning, knowledge, emulation, and information sharing. We are for property rights, free markets, competition, commerce, cooperation, and the voluntary sharing of knowledge, and oppose laws that systematically impede or hamper innovation, especially those enforced in the name of defending "intellectual property," such as patent and copyright
intellectual-property  freedom  copyright  property  innovation  law  legal 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Reclaiming the Politics of Freedom | The Nation
"From Emerson and Douglass to Reagan and Goldwater, freedom has been the keyword of American politics. Every successful movement—abolition, feminism, civil rights, the New Deal—has claimed it. A freewheeling mix of elements—the willful assertion and reinvention of the self, the breaking of traditional bonds and constraints, the toppling of old orders and creation of new forms—freedom in the American vein combines what political theorists call negative liberty (the absence of external interference) and positive liberty (the ability to act). Where theorists dwell on these distinctions as incommensurable values, statesmen and activists unite them in a vision of emancipation that identifies freedom with the act of knocking down or hurtling past barriers."
politics  american  rhetoric  freedom  markets  conservatism  liberalism 
april 2011 by tsuomela
U.S. Intellectual History: Liberty and Order: Or, the Perplexities of American Conservatism
"This liberty-order distinction is instructive, but it got me thinking: it’s simply incorrect to imply that American conservatism tilts unequivocally in “live free or die” directions. Here I would call attention to David Sehat’s book, The Myth of American Religious Freedom, about the rise and fall of the American Protestant moral establishment. Sehat points out that, insofar as the Christian Right has mobilized since the 1960s to reassert a moral establishment in the midst of an increasingly secular and individualistic public sphere, it is hardly libertarian. "
tea-party  conservatism  libertarian  history  political-science  freedom  taxes  tax-cuts  ideology 
april 2011 by tsuomela
OUPblog » Blog Archive » Who’s next? Digital media and the inevitable surprise of political unrest
"For some observers, the Arab Spring was an inevitable surprise. The rapid diffusion of digital media has been shown to have mostly positive consequences in many parts of the world, though often for different reasons. Both Egypt and Tunisia have more tech-savvy citizens then one would expect given their level of income. The other countries with an educated population and a small but tech-savvy community of student and civil society groups include many of the countries are still “in play”."
political-science  technology  social-media  democracy  rebellion  sociology  freedom  organizing  collective-action 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Experimental Philosophy and the Problem of Free Will
"Many philosophical problems are rooted in everyday thought, and experimental philosophy uses social scientific techniques to study the psychological underpinnings of such problems. In the case of free will, research suggests that people in a diverse range of cultures reject determinism, but people give conflicting responses on whether determinism would undermine moral responsibility. When presented with abstract questions, people tend to maintain that determinism would undermine responsibility, but when presented with concrete cases of wrongdoing, people tend to say that determinism is consistent with moral responsibility. It remains unclear why people reject determinism and what drives people’s conflicted attitudes about responsibility. Experimental philosophy aims to address these issues and thereby illuminate the philosophical problem of free will. "
philosophy  experimental  free-will  freedom  near-far  construal-level-theory  choice  judgment  morality  ethics  abstraction 
march 2011 by tsuomela
A Bit More on Liberalism and Detention, or: What If Private Manning Confesses? « Rortybomb
"This isn’t the conservative response. I think there’s a sense that conservatives are like liberals here but want a slightly more tilted playing field, one more in favor of prosecutors and against suspects. There’s that element to it, but for conservatives the point of coercive power isn’t to establish fair procedures to hold it in check but instead to maintain order."
liberal  liberalism  conservatism  proceduralism  law  enforcement  freedom  terrorism  police 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Smoke Signals | the human network
When all four of these design principles are embodied in a work, another design principle emerges: resilience. Something that is distributed, transport independent, secure and open is very, very difficult to subvert, shut down, or block. It will survive all sorts of disasters. Including warfare.
design  computer  technology  freedom  open-source  privacy  transparency  social-media  graphs  social-networks  manifesto  internet  future  social  facebook  commerce 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Tears for a Journalist: Change in the Middle East Comes at High Cost - The Washington Note
"If I ever hear a disparaging remark against the quality of Al Jazeera journalism or the "tilts" in their coverage, I will say "shame" on that person or that Fox News commentator. Shame because Al Jazeera has been fighting hard to keep its cameras in the field and to keep its people from being hunted down by ruthless leaders that see the free press as an enemy to their power."
journalism  middle-east  aljazeera  media  freedom  foreign-affairs 
march 2011 by tsuomela
PublicAffairs Books: THE NET DELUSION
In this spirited book, journalist and social commentator Evgeny Morozov shows that by falling for the supposedly democratizing nature of the Internet, Western do-gooders may have missed how it also entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and makes it harder—not easier—to promote democracy. Buzzwords like "21st-century statecraft" sound good in PowerPoint presentations, but the reality is that "digital diplomacy" requires just as much oversight and consideration as any other kind of diplomacy.
internet  freedom  culture  politics  revolution 
november 2010 by tsuomela
David Bromwich: Cordoba House and Religious Freedom
The worst damage of the crowd actions of the summer has come from the faintheartedness of those who knew better, but declined to denounce them. The crowd has been permitted to go on believing it is wrong for Muslims to do something the Constitution gives all Americans a right to do. How did this deformation of public feeling begin? The protests against Cordoba House shifted from a parochial to a national issue on the impetus of two statements. The first came from Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, on July 30. Foxman put the ADL on the record in sympathy with the protest against the planned community center and mosque. His statement conceded the right of the planners, but defended the prejudice, that is, the rooted feelings of the non-Muslims in this case, regardless of reason, right, or law.
america  racism  bigotry  religion  freedom  constitution  first-amendment  islam  politics 
august 2010 by tsuomela
Baffler - Serfing the Net
But a deeper problem arises when the idiom of technology supplants traditional social criticism. The “freedom” promoted by the software community always turns out to be the libertarian version. It’s about freedom of information: the desire to see how something is made, to tinker, and to pass those insights and innovations along. Copyleft, as the advocates of this all-purpose transparency call it, is not “left” in any traditional sense; it has nothing to say about entrenched systems of economic privilege or limits on profitability...

Meanwhile, the most hyped solutions for survival in a free economy always turn out to be anathema to those who care about art...Check out a cool app that embeds advertising in your film or song or book. For artists who have spent years resisting corporate values, it is galling to constantly hear that advertising is to be the only viable source of sustenance in the emerging order of total freedom.
art  crowdsourcing  freedom  culture  online 
august 2010 by tsuomela
Stumbling and Mumbling: Land of the deluded?
This [American levels of incarceration] raises a question: given this, why do so many Americans think they live in the land of the free?* Low taxes don’t get us far towards an explanation. The OECD recently estimated that the tax burden on the average American worker was higher than that in Switzerland, Australia, Japan and Korea and only slightly less than in Canada.
Could it be that cognitive biases are to blame?
1. Bayesian conservatism
2. Social proof
3. Optimism bias/selection
politics  psychology  crime  america  freedom  liberty  cognition  bias 
july 2010 by tsuomela
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