What I'm reading 11/02-11/09


Ad Blockers and the Next Chapter of the Internet - Doc Searls

  1. "This is exactly what Shoshana Zuboff's three laws (first issued in the 1980s) predicted: First, that everything that can be automated will be automated. Second, that everything that can be informated will be informated. And most important to us now, the third law: In the absence of countervailing restrictions and sanctions, every digital application that can be used for surveillance and control will be used for surveillance and control, irrespective of its originating intention."

  2. "…because one thing you're not looking for is to be marked and tracked like an animal when you leave the site. But that's what you get when you visit most advertising-supported commercial websites, whether you want it or not."

  3. "Ad blocking at this stage is mostly prophylaxis. But it is also a demonstration of unprecedented individual agency in the online world, and a shift in power dynamics, from the supply side to the demand side."

  4. "If this be a boycott, it's surely the largest in human history."

Lake Street Dive - "Rich Girl" (FUV Live at Clearwater)

  1. You're a rich girl

The Sad and Beautiful World of Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous - Max Blau

  1. "'I was lucky enough to have been told how much my music meant to people,' Linkous said in 2001. 'Maybe something about my music will inspire one person to tell another person how much they mean to them today before it's [too] late.'"


  1. "Angels? Really? You've plucked your self-serving moniker from the parables of a religion that specifically and explicitly had its head honcho throw the money men out of the temple and proclaim a rich man less likely to make it into heaven than a camel through a needle's eye."

  2. "Well, the reason I'm here is to remind you that maybe, just maybe, you too have a nagging, gagging sense that the current atmosphere of disrupt-o-mania isn't the only air a startup can breathe."

  3. "A whole generation of people working with and for the internet enthralled by the prospect of being transformed into a mythical creature."

  4. "Independence isn't missed until its gone. And when it's gone, in the sense of having money masters dictate YOUR INCREDIBLE JOURNEY, it's gone in the vast majority of cases."

Full text of "Guerilla Open Access Manifesto" - Aaron Swartz

  1. "But sharing isn't immoral — it's a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy."

  2. "The world's entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations."

The Decay of Twitter - Robinson Meyer

  1. "Or maybe nothing can be done. No one promises growth forever. Communities and companies of all sizes fall apart. And some institutions that thrive on their tensions for many years can one day find them exhausted, worn out, limp, their continued use driven more by convenience and habit than by vibrancy and vigor."

  2. "…on Twitter, people say things that they think of as ephemeral and chatty. Their utterances are then treated as unequivocal political statements by people outside the conversation."

  3. "'Now, it's just Twitter. It's a space where all contexts are collapsed and all ideas can be mob-amplified or end up pulled for a Buzzfeed article.'"

Avijit Roy's publisher, 2 bloggers hacked in Dhaka

  1. "Saturday's attack comes amid fears about the rise of extremism in Bangladesh. At least four atheist bloggers have been murdered in the country earlier this year."

Executing Software Engineers for Bugs - Harlan Lieberman-Berg

  1. "Do we, as software engineers, have the same kind of moral responsibility as our fellow engineers in other disciplines? Should we refuse to build systems which can be turned against users, even if it means our jobs? How do we, as a profession and as a community, balance our responsibilities to our employers and to the general public?"

Erdogan's Party in Turkey Regains Parliamentary Majority - Tim Arango and Ceylan Yeginsu

  1. "With 99 percent of the votes counted, according to the state broadcaster TRT, the Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P., captured 49.3 percent of the popular vote, giving it a solid majority of 316 seats in Parliament."

Corporations and OSS Do Not Mix - Ian Cordasco

  1. "That said, when there's a bug introduced in the package, those companies email me, ping me relentlessly in IRC, create duplicate issues, and do everything they can to (perhaps unintentionally) overload me. As soon as a bug affects them, they want it fixed immediately. If you don't fix it in 24 hours (because maybe you have a real life or a family or you're sick or any number of other very valid reasons) then the threats start."

Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers - Ian Bogost

  1. "…software development has become institutionally hermetic. And that's the opposite of what 'engineering' ought to mean: a collaboration with the world, rather than a separate domain bent on overtaking it."

  2. "Engineering has always been a well-paid profession, but computing is turning it into a type of speculative finance rather than a calling."

  3. "Computing has become infrastructure, but it doesn't work like infrastructure."

  4. "Engineering claims an explicit responsibility to public safety and reliability, even if it doesn't always deliver."

TDD is dead. Long live testing. - DHH

  1. "It was yoyo cycle of pride, when I was able to adhere to the literal letter of the teachings, and a crash of despair, when I wasn't. It felt like falling off the wagon."

The forgotten history of Tumblr - Fernando Alfonso III

  1. "I tried all of the great tools that were around at the time - WordPress, Blogger - and obviously all the specialized tools - Flickr for photos and YouTube for videos - and I kept falling down."