FOSCIS Week 13
2015 05 03
Oh jeeze, another week with four things. One of which is a video. Goodness. Yet somehow, next week doesn't have anything assigned? How strange. Maybe someone deleted it from the wiki I ported this from? Who knows?!
- The TED talk was filmed July 2011
- August 17, 2014
- December 2014
- November 18, 2014
- The Gist
- "How algorithms shape our world" covers the rapid spread of algorithms into every aspect of life, even so far as to inspire terraforming to speed up those algorithms.
- "Is the US Stock Market rigged?" covers the spread of algorithms into the magical world of the stock market, and it's "rigging" of the system.
- "The Truth About Anonymous’s Activism" and "Naming Nameless" are both essentially book reviews of "Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous".
- The Good
- The TED talk was engaging and humorous.
- This is entirely unrelated to pretty much anything, but I really like the idea of a "BATS Exchange". I'm sure it stands for something, but the idea of a stock exchange purely for bats and bat-related products is pretty funny.
- From "Naming Nameless": "Perhaps the best way to confront Anonymous is not as a subject in a controlled study but as an environment to be understood."
- The Bad
- From "Is the US Stock Market rigged?": "robot computers". Let that sink in. Not just robots, not just computers, but ROBOT COMPUTERS!
- It's perhaps against the spirit of those whole exercise, but can I just put the entirety of "The Truth About Anonymous’s Activism" as a bad point? This first paragraph is something else. Oh, it gets even better: "Lulz, a corruption of "LOL". It's like they haven't even seen that Fox News video! Everything about this article seems ill-advised. Goodness. Also, the possessive form of "Anonymous" would be "Anonymous'".
- From "Naming Nameless": "That asshole that showed up to your prison-abolition march in a Guy Fawkes mask and started shouting about the Fed? That was probably Anonymous too." I mean, in so much that "Anonymous" doesn't formally exist, sure. You could also argue that everyone else is also "probably Anonymous," just a different part.
- The Questions
- Why is the algorithm-aziation of the world a net positive, or a net negative?
- Why do people seem so intent on making sweeping generalizations about an organization as large (and as loose) as Anonymous? Sure, they are quite an interesting group (or group of groups, depending on how you look at it), but what do we gain out of it?
- Is "doxxing" spelled with one x or two?
"How algorithms shape our world"
- I don't really understand why this talk was presented. Yes, there are algorithms on the backend of virtually every system in the world today. So, what next then? Do we blow up all the computers? Do we go deeper down the rabbit hole? Do we make vaguely-interesting speeches?
3/5 <review increments>
"Is the US Stock Market rigged?"
- The financial industry is broken? Weird.
2/5 <review increments>
"The Truth About Anonymous’s Activism" + "Naming Nameless"
- I lumped these two articles together because they feel like the same thing, written by different people. I think the main problem I have with both writing about Anonymous and writing about those who write about Anonymous (which in itself is a little silly) is that Anonymous by its very nature is impossible to define. As such, how the hell does one right about it? Ms. Coleman apparently found enough to fill a book (which I have not read, so perhaps all these arguments are invalidated somehow), but what is to be gained from it?
- I also feel like there is some sort of defensive aspect to this. I really like the internet, warts and all. It sounds stupid, but it feels less exciting and magical when we have anthropologists and other social science people coming in and trying to categorize and lump everyone into different camps. Why can't you just let the internet do its thing and be weird? Where everyone belongs dozens to hundreds of groups, without worrying about "fitting in"? I understand that the internet is becoming more and more "normal" every day, but the fact that someone can get deep into rabbit holes about almost any topic on the planet is still pretty fantastic. It's hard to articulate, but I think trying to "study" the internet and internet communities does a disservice to everyone involved.
1/5 <review increments>