Stop Saying Information Wants to be Free
In Utne Visionary Cory Doctorow’s latest Guardian column, he calls for the death of the “information wants to be free” argument. This is not a new argument for Doctorow, but it is damn well formed this time around:
it’s become the easiest, laziest straw man for Hollywood’s authoritarian bullies to throw up as a justification for the monotonic increase of surveillance, control, and censorship in our networks and tools. I can imagine them saying: “These people only want network freedom because they believe that ‘information wants to be free’. They pretend to be concerned about freedom, but the only ‘free’ they care about is ‘free of charge.'”
But this is just wrong. “Information wants to be free” has the same relationship to the digital rights movement that “kill whitey” has to the racial equality movement: a thoughtless caricature that replaces a nuanced, principled stand with a cartoon character. Calling IWTBF the ideological basis of the movement is like characterising bra burning as the primary preoccupation of feminists (in reality, the number of bras burned by feminists in the history of the struggle for gender equality appears to be zero, or as close to it as makes no difference).
Joe Biden’s Super Joyful Media Funtime!
The age-old question about the kind of relationship we expect journalists to have with the politicians they cover has been brought up all over again…
Null Results, No Headlines
Publication bias within scientific journals typically disregards research that fails to find a link between two things.
It Was Bronly a Matter of Time
Tim White offers his advice to a father whose daughter wants to attend a convention with much older “My Little Pony” friends.