Content tagged Lessig

Counting Down
posted on 2009-01-13 00:45:25
It's been a pretty eventful holiday season. I wrecked my Maxima on Dad's birthday (the 23rd), in particular. I didn't want to mention something until I had a concrete opinion to express and now I do. It was for the best. Seriously. I had spent considerable amounts of money trying to keep the car in good repair this year, it wasn't paid off yet and my parents and I had long since agreed it was a lemon but had no way to get rid of it.

Luckily, the insurance has paid off the car, I'm fine and this enables me to cancel my insurance and have a bit more financial leeway for the coming school year. I had to figure out a method of public transit from Brookhaven to Marietta but that didn't turn out to be too tricky. It ultimately just means I'll spend about 3 hours twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) on CCT and Marta. Today I went for the first time as a test run. The ride was enjoyable and afforded me a bit of time to get some sampling done. I took care of a few on-campus errands, bumped into several disparate acquaintances such as John Valentine and some Fayeteville folks and scoped out food options.

In short, I'm ready for school to start even though they're going to make me learn C#. I hope I can use Mono most of the way.

I keep reading about the economy, earmarks and entitlements. Is no one else thinking that the real issue here is sustainability, limited resources and population control? Minsky gave a talk on this but he's not the first person to raise the issue. When are we going to admit the planet can't indefinitely support 6 billion people or at least do the math/research to prove that it can? That's the question I'd really like us to be thinking about. If we want to be honest and accountable, the big picture is the only place to talk. The futurists and sustainability freaks seem to be pretty much the only people doing that. I'll rant about that more later but I wanted to at least note that it's been occupying increasing amounts of headspace for the past 6 months.

Speaking of mindspace, I still really love ogling the stack languages. I played with Forth a little bit but didn't get too far. It was just a fun diversion from Lisp at the time. I still really want to check out Factor.  Frankly, after seeing how fast the factor guys grow the ecosystem and libraries around the language I believe their productivity gain claims. Go Planet Factor, Go Slava. I'm sure I'll get around to playing with it sooner or later. I have a nightly installed and FUEL setup...which actually popped up on Reddit today ironically enough.

The only consumer-y thing I can think of that I'm excited about for the foreseeable future is the upcoming release of a PS3 game called Skate 2. Skate 2 is really just a patched-up and glorified Skate 1 to me. I'm still excited and I don't mean to speak ill of EA Blackbox but I could care less about much of the new stuff. I just wanted custom soundtracks, a tripod camera and good PS3 framerates. It comes out on January 21st and I'll disappear for a week in all likelihood exploring all it's corners.

I still marvel at and love my new X200 and btdubs, btrfs is in for 2.6.29. For the record, I've had a newsgroups subscription with Astraweb for about a week now. I've poked around for a few Oscar screeners but haven't observed anything I couldn't find on isohunt or thepiratebay. Sure, the download speed is a boon but I'm looking for content that isn't readily available on other networks. I've checked out nzbmatrix and alt.binaries.nl. What am I missing?

The RIAA has said they're giving up lawsuits and trying something else. I'll be keeping an eye out and looking for service that don't discriminate to Static IP users with their own blogs or pander to RIAA/MPAA/etc. In IP related news, Lawrence Lessig appeared on the Colbert Report. He has much more interesting things to say beyond what was covered so I'd recommend picking up some of his books, reading them free online or at least reading the Wikipedia articles on his first book and Free Content.

I've also been catching up on my music obsession over the cold season and particularly enjoyed White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes and Grounds for Divorce by Elbow the last few days. Also, I love Battles at least a little bit for writing Tonto, Atlas and Leyendecker. I'm also enjoying Amon Tobin all over again because he's a damn genius.

I haven't been keeping up tremendously well with my New Years Blogging resolution, as you may have noticed, but I think that will change now that I'm busier. I've been doing much better with the music sampling and skateboarding. On to the coding and schooling.
Latest Learnings: Lessig and Lisp
posted on 2008-01-16 04:34:47
So, I've been meaning to post about the things I taught myself in Montana and my course of study and a course schedule through May/syllabus but I had to recover some partitions on my desktop. My laptop also was caught between Ubuntu Hardy Alpha 2 and Alpha 3. I'm not getting into it. It's a long story. Anyway, now that all my systems are running flawlessly I'll speak a little on the aforementioned subject matter.

I have a long term plan for a course of study but no hard schedule yet. I have to divide up readings and problem sets and link them with lectures and such. I plan to have such a syllabus done and up for viewing by the end of the week. As for the long term plan of study there are 6 Programming Texts and 3 Math Texts that I'd really like to get through. If I get through the first 3 Programming Texts (or even the first 2) and 1 or 2 of the Math Texts I'd consider it a successful year. They're all fairly rigorous and I'd like to cover them in depth. Of late, I've been debating the order in which to approach the programming texts. Either SICP, CTM, HTDP or HTDP, CTM, SICP. Some of the stuff in SICP is a bit difficult and some of the stuff in HTDP is a bit easy so far. This is another thing I'm hoping to have worked out by the end of the week so that I can get going.

Once I do have a syllabus I'll post it and then post notes on readings and lectures and solutions to exercises as I go along so feel free to follow along and ask questions. You can only help me learn more. So far, I read the first 40 pages of SICP in Montana. That's Chapter 1 (of 5), Section 1.1. I've got notes typed up on the lecture and reading and most of the examples solved. I'll get those posted up by Friday as the first entry whatever my course of study turns out to be. Also, Friday I will be going to that Yeasayer concert. So far Ben Grad and Minor are talking about going too. Any more takers? Have you guys liked Yeasayer as much as I have? Isn't that Red Cave song from yesterday awesome?

Finally, here are some good Lessig quotes my readings in Montana of The Future of Ideas (Pgs. 1 - 99):

"The very idea that nonexclusive rights might be more efficient than exclusive rights rarely enters the debate. The assumption is control, and public policy is dedicated to maximizing control." - Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas, Pg. 86

"Where we have little understanding about how a resource will be used, we have more reason to keep that resource in the commons. And where we have a clear vision of how a resource will be used, we have more reason to shift that resource to a system of control." - Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas, Pg. 88-89

"The point is more than theoretical. In essence, the changes in the environment of the Internet that we are observing now alter the balance between control and freedom on the Net. The tilt of these changes is pronounced: control is increasing. And while one cannot say in the abstract that increased control is a mistake, it is clear that we are expanding this control with no sense of what is lost. The shift is not occurring with the idea of a balance in mind. Instead, the shift proceeds as if control were the only value." - Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas, Pg. 99
Ninth Tuesday Quotables
posted on 2007-07-11 07:25:00
Today's Quotes are on the birth of the internet:

"Most of the great leaps of the computer age have happened despite, rather than because of, intellectual property rights. Before the Internet the proprietary network protocols divided customers, locked them into providers and forced them to exchange much of their data by tape. The power of the network was not unlocked by IPR. It was unlocked by free and open innovation shared amongst all." - Alan Cox

"AT&T's views were once memorably summarized in an exasperated outburst from AT&T's Jack Osterman after a long discussion with Baran. 'First', he said, 'it can't possibly work, and if it did, damned if we are going to allow the creation of a competitor to ourselves." - Lawrence Lessig
Sixth Tuesday Quotables
posted on 2007-06-19 14:18:00
"A time is marked not so much by ideas that are argued about as by ideas that are taken for granted. The character of an era hangs upon what needs no defense. Power runs with ideas that only the crazy would draw into doubt. The "taken for granted" is the test of sanity; "what everyone knows" is the line between us and them. This means that sometimes a society gets stuck. Sometimes these unquestioned ideas interfere, as the cost of questioning becomes too great. In these times, the hardest task for social or political activists is to find a way to get people to wonder again about what we all believe is true. The challenge is to sow doubt." - Lawrence Lessig

"The argument [of this book] is that always and everywhere, free resources have been crucial to innovation and creativity; that without them, creativity is crippled. Thus, and especially in the digital age, the central question becomes not whether the government or the market should control a resource, but whether a resource should be controlled at all. Just because control is possible, it doesn't follow that it is justified. Instead, in a free society, the burden of justification should fall on him who would defend systems of control." - Lawrence Lessig
Social Web One-Liners
posted on 2007-05-05 07:50:00
Okay, so I had this realization at about 7am this morning and I don't have much more to add to it. It was pretty obvious once I realized it but I think I'll state it here for the hell of it.

I wrote some time back about Lessig and how the net has different levels of data collecting. I was characterizing web sites that collected information about you as bad and wondering about getting rankings for that sort of that thing so you could know what sites you were really anonymous on in some sense. Essentially though the web originally collected no data about who was on it and this anonymity was seen as good. As the web has taken on increasing functionality it has increased the data collected about users and the idea of anonymity of users has been subsumed by that of virtual identity. It allows the web to be more productive. I'll probably clean all that up later but the crux of it is the more we've moved forward in time the more data has been collected and the more the notion of online privacy (at least to the extent of anonymity) has become marginalized. Thusly, the social web has flipped the notion of online anonymity on it's head. In some sense, instead of being about not collecting information about you it's about collecting and disseminating certain information about you.

So, the one-liner: "The social web's (web 2.0/web NOW/uggh) idea seems to be to collect and publicize data about you as a service to you where the traffic or ads you generate through using the service sponsor/monetize it!"

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