4chan

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pages: 226 words: 71,540

Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web by Cole Stryker

4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, wage slave, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Many have speculated that if Christopher Poole had played his cards right, he could have made bank with a community as big and as dynamic as 4chan. I’m skeptical. The moment one tries to monetize something like 4chan is the moment it stops being 4chan. Poole would have had to place content restrictions in place in order to draw advertisers and sponsors. And without restrictions, no company in its right mind (aside from the lowest level of pornographers) would want to advertise on 4chan as is. Furthermore, turning 4chan into a profitable business would likely agitate the userbase to the point where it would revolt against 4chan. 4chan users have turned against the site in the past, and I’m sure that any attempt to make much more revenue than what’s required to pay server bills would result in not just a mass exodus, but raids and trolls of epic proportions. Poole recognized that. He rode the 4chan wave, gradually building a personal brand in order to generate interest from investors so he could finance Canvas.

“I’m not ready to say that 4chan’s over,” says Know Your Meme’s Kenyatta Cheese. “If anything, 4chan will just go back to being the place it was a few years ago.” I’m with Cheese. As those twin themes of 4chan become increasingly embedded in the mainstream, 4chan will go back to what it was before it started getting write-ups in The New York Times: a place for bored teens to shoot the breeze. When I asked danah boyd if she thought 4chan had jumped the shark, she pointed out that a lot of 4chan users who were there from the beginning have become literal oldfags. If you were 15 when 4chan started, you’re now 23, and most likely looking for something very different in your browsing experience. When I first discovered 4chan, I was captivated, but it’s certainly not part of my daily routine. I have to imagine that the turnover rate for /b/tards, at least (the enthusiast boards probably hold onto people’s attention for much longer) is very high, in the same way that hanging out down by the railroad tracks is only interesting for a summer or two.

Contents INTRODUCTION Chapter 1: Memes: Shared Nuggets of Cultural Currency Chapter 2: Discovering 4chan Chapter 3: 4chan in a Day Chapter 4: Tracing 4chan Ancestry Chapter 5: The Rise of 4chan Chapter 6: The Meme Industry Chapter 7: The Meme Life Cycle Chapter 8: Merry Pranksters, Freedom Fighters, or Sadistic Bullies? Chapter 9: The Anti-Social Network EPILOGUE Acknowledgments Bibliography Introduction THIS IS THE story of the most interesting place on the Internet: an imageboard called 4chan, where you’re as likely to find a hundred photos of adorable kittens as a gallery of gruesome autopsy photos. It’s a seedy, unpredictable place, where people have complete freedom to experiment; to try on new ideas, alternate identities. 4chan allows its users to say and do almost whatever they can think of without fear of shame or retribution.


pages: 478 words: 149,810

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, pirate software, side project, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

So he decided to clone 2chan by copying its publicly available HTML code, translating it to English, and building from there. He put the whole thing together on his bedroom computer and called it 4chan. When an online friend asked Poole, who went by the nickname moot, what the difference between 4chan and 2chan would be, he replied with some chutzpah, “It’s TWO TIMES THE CHAN MOTHERFUCK.” On September 29, 2003, Poole registered the domain 4chan.net and announced it on Something Awful, a Web forum where he was already a regular. He entitled the thread: “4chan.net—English 2chan.net!” 4chan had almost the exact same layout as 2chan: the simple peach background, the dark red text, the shaded boxes for discussion threads. Both 4chan and 2chan have barely changed their designs to this day, apart from adding a few color schemes. After opening 4chan to the public, an English-speaking anime hub called Raspberry Heaven started linking to it, as did Something Awful.

Chapter 2: William and the Roots of Anonymous Details about how Christopher Poole created 4chan come from an interview that Poole gave to the New York Times Bits blog. The article, entitled “One on One: Christopher Poole, Founder of 4chan,” was published on March 19, 2010. I sourced the information on Japan’s 2chan from the 2004 New York Times article “Japanese Find a Forum to Vent Most-Secret Feelings” and Wired’s May 2008 story “Meet Hiroyuki Nishimura, the Bad Boy of the Japanese Internet.” Further details about the development of 4chan, such as its “TWO TIMES THE CHAN” announcement on Something Awful, come from an article on 4chan history by Web developer Jonathan Drain, on jonnydigital.com. Moot’s referral to /b/ as a “retard bin” comes from an announcement on the 4chan “news” page, 4chan.org/news?all, on October 2, 2003. Though the story of Shii’s enforcement of anonymity on 4chan is relatively well known among image board users, the details come from testimony provided on Shii’s website, shii.org.

One of the more common threads people started posting on /b/ (besides pr0nz) was titled “bawww.” Here users appealed to the sympathetic side of 4chan, with titles such as “gf just dumped me, bawww thread please?” posted with the photo of a sad face. This was the rare instance where /b/ users would offer sincere advice, comfort, or funny pictures to cheer up the OP. There was no way to tell for sure, but the types of people who were hanging out on 4chan appeared to be tech-savvy, bored, and often emotionally awkward. By the time Anonymous started grabbing the world’s attention in 2008, most people who supported Anonymous had spent some time on 4chan, and it is said that around 30 percent of 4chan users were regularly visiting /b/. When William first came across 4chan, he had already seen much worse at sites like myg0t, Rotten, and the YNC. But he lingered on /b/ because it was so unpredictable, so dynamic.


pages: 122 words: 38,022

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right by Angela Nagle

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, citizen journalism, crony capitalism, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, feminist movement, game design, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, mass immigration, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, open borders, post-industrial society, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, The Wisdom of Crowds, WikiLeaks

In each case there are countless conflicting accounts about the nature of threats and attacks, but even taking the uncontroversial ones alone, it is fair to say they did receive a level of abuse that in the pre-Internet days were reserved for few other than child murderers. This got so out of hand that even the founder of 4chan and champion of the anonymous Internet, moot, banned gamergate talk from 4chan, eventually causing him to leave the site, and the gamergaters moved to the more lawless 8chan. Quinn found and recorded some of the conversations that took place on a 4chan IRC called ‘burgersandfries’, in which users conspired to destroy her career using the most extreme misogynist language and motivations. In this chat, they express their hatred and disgust towards her, and their glee at the thought of ruining her career. They also expressed fantasies about her being raped and killed. They hoped all the harassment would drive her to suicide and only the thought of 4chan getting bad publicity in response convinced some of them that this isn’t something they should hope for.

Her situation was, unsurprisingly, not improved by her father posting a video in defence of his upset daughter, in which he threatened to call the ‘cyberpolice’ – in their emotionally underdeveloped way, lack of Internet-culture knowledge is always license on 4chan for any level of cruelty. They also acted collectively on less sinister pranks like Operation Birthday Boy, when an elderly man posted an online ad saying: ‘people wanted for birthday party’. Touched by the lonely old man’s appeal, they found his name, address and phone number, and sent him hundreds of birthday cards, orders of cake and strippers. In the New York Times, Mattathias Schwartz described 4chan/b/like this: The anonymous denizens of 4chan’s other boards — devoted to travel, fitness and several genres of pornography — refer to the /b/-dwellers as “/b/tards.” Measured in terms of depravity, insularity and traffic-driven turnover, the culture of /b/ has little precedent.

Is it really possible that these ideals of collectivity and group identification, forged as they were in the hellish, terrifying fires of trolling, could transcend such an originary condition? Did the cesspool of 4chan really crystallize into one of the most politically active, morally fascinating, and subversively salient activist groups operating today? Somewhat surprisingly, yes. Years before the whole 4chan troll culture became a central force behind the entire aesthetics and humor of the alt-right, it was teeming with racism, misogyny, dehumanization, disturbing pornography and nihilism. Even taking into account the complex and shifting nature of chan culture, it is certainly hard to imagine even a hint of approval being tolerated in academia if the subjects at hand were ordinary blue-collar normies of the far right like Tommy Robinson, despite his far milder views than what has characterized 4chan and trolls like weev for many years. It was the utterly empty and fraudulent ideas of countercultural transgression that created the void into which anything can now flow as long as it is contemptuous of mainstream values and tastes.


pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, do-ocracy, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, George Santayana, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, low cost airline, mandatory minimum, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

In particularly novel cases, an extreme piece of content can even circulation beyond the board—to distant lands like the message board t community, reddit, bodybuilding.com, and, eventually, mass cultural awareness. Remember, Lolcats got their start on 4chan. Trolls, in particular, focus on the collective pursuit of epic wins—just one form of content among many. (To be clear, 4chan houses many trolls, but many participants steer clear of trolling activity. Still others avoid activity altogether—they are there as spectators or lurkers.) Whatever unfolds on the board—a joke, a long conversation, or a three-day trolling campaign—anonymity is essential to 4chan; one might call anonymity both its ground rule and its dominant cultural aspect—a core principle inherited by Anonymous, even in its pseudonymous, material extension as hordes of Guy-Fawkes-mask wearers. It is almost impossible to pinpoint a day or event when trolling under the name Anonymous on 4chan was born. But by 2006, the name Anonymous was being used by participants to engage in trolling raids.

Slaughter, described by /b/tards as a “lulzcow … whore” is now memorialized on Urban Dictionary as “The epitome of an eleven year old slut/poser/internet reject/scenecore wannabe.” On the one hand, outlandish trolling raids and denigrating statements like “lulzcow … whore” (or “due to fail and AIDS” from the Habbo Hotel raids) function for 4chan users like a pesticide, a repellent meant to keep naive users far away from their Internet playground. On the other, when compared to most other arenas where trolls are bred—like weev’s GNAA—4chan is a mecca of populist trolling. By populist, I simply mean that 4chan membership is available to anyone willing to cross these boundaries, put in the time to learn the argot, and (of course) stomach the gore. The etiquette and techniques that 4chan users employ are only superficially elitist. A former student of mine offered me the following insight. Exceptionally smart, he was also a troll—or a “goon” to be more precise, since that’s what they call themselves on Something Awful, his imageboard of choice at the time: Something Awful is like the exclusive country club of the Internet, with a one-time $10 fee, a laundry list of rules very particular to SA, moderators who ban and probate, and community enforcement of “Good Posts” through ridicule. 4chan on the other hand is an organic free-for-all that doesn’t enforce so much as engages an amorphous membership in a mega-death battle for the top humor spot.

Exceptionally smart, he was also a troll—or a “goon” to be more precise, since that’s what they call themselves on Something Awful, his imageboard of choice at the time: Something Awful is like the exclusive country club of the Internet, with a one-time $10 fee, a laundry list of rules very particular to SA, moderators who ban and probate, and community enforcement of “Good Posts” through ridicule. 4chan on the other hand is an organic free-for-all that doesn’t enforce so much as engages an amorphous membership in a mega-death battle for the top humor spot. Anyone can participate in 4chan, and Internet fame isn’t possible in the same way it is on SA because everyone is literally anonymous. On 4chan, there is an interplay between the function of anonymity (enabling pure competition without the interference of reputation or social capital) and the effects of anonymity (the memes, hacks, and acts of trolling that emerge and have real impact on the world). In contrast to weev’s egoistic acts of trolling, 4chan’s Anonymous “Internet Hate Machine” collective action absolves individuals of responsibility in the conventional sense, but not in a collective sense.20 That is, Anonymous is open to anyone willing to subsume him- or herself into a collective capable of gaining fame through events like the Habbo Hotel raids.


pages: 239 words: 80,319

Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, Chris Wanstrath, citation needed, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, feminist movement, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, l'esprit de l'escalier, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, packet switching, PageRank, pre–internet, profit motive, QAnon, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing complete, We are the 99%, web application, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

Conference stipends only go so far, and meanwhile he was responsible for a website that made advertisers wary—4chan was just about impossible to monetize. Given his spotlight, compounded with decisions as a leader to comply with DMCA requests and turn over IP addresses to authorities, Poole lost the confidence of the 4chan community. Users were further incensed when he banned Gamergate content. Finally, in 2015, Poole gave up on the project and sold 4chan to the founder of 2channel, the Japanese site that it was based on. By 2016, he was working for Google. Anonymity was a smoke screen. Hostility to sincerity was 4chan’s through line. This proved to be a natural stance for bigots, which is how it became an alt-right breeding ground. Many 4chan users had already cut their teeth on the goon humor of Something Awful forums or shock sites like the Stile Project.

The 4chan response to Interior Semiotics revealed the collective 4chan mind-set: they believed in one identity online, like the flip side to Mark Zuckerberg’s famous musing that “having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.” The video posted to the internet was not theirs; it wasn’t created for their consumption, but to 4chan users, as content on the internet, it was on their turf. The 4chan community reacted to Interior Semiotics as a gentrification of the internet they perceived as theirs and theirs alone. While the world has changed in ten years, the 4chan ideology is resilient in its regressiveness. Whether “alt-right” or 4chan shitposter, these bigoted persons and collectives are—ironically—triggered by the rest of us internet users, as they were by the art student in Chicago. They are sad that the internet is not their own private island; it is not their “safe space,” if you will. “The internet is not reality,” tweeted the neo-Nazi online playpen Gab, in its official statement after the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack, because fascism is, among its dangers and evils, also profoundly corny.

David Kushner wrote the Rolling Stone profile of moot (“4chan’s Overlord Christopher Poole Reveals Why He Walked Away,” March 13, 2015). For more on the sale of 4chan, see Klint Finley, “4chan Just Sold to the Founder of the Original ‘Chan,’” Wired, September 21, 2015). Poole’s blog post dated March 7, 2016, “My next chapter,” on his personal blog, Chris Hates Writing, discusses his move to Google. An interview with Natacha Stolz appeared in Rhizome (Anonymous, “Blogrolls, Trolls, and Interior Scrolls: A Conversation with Natacha Stolz,” November 24, 2010). Later, I interviewed Cole Stryker for Rhizome (“Cole Stryker, Author of ‘Epic Win for Anonymous,’ on Interior Semiotics, Context Collapse, and ‘You Rage You Lose,’” September 12, 2011). In that interview, he summarized 4chan’s indignation by saying that the “internet used to be full of geeks like us, but now it’s being overrun by normals trying to be cool, just like the real world we rejected in favor of the internet.


pages: 229 words: 67,869

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

4chan, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, Clive Stafford Smith, cognitive dissonance, Desert Island Discs, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, Menlo Park, PageRank, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, urban planning, WikiLeaks

Her motives were kinder than that. She was also someone whose shaming frenzy was motivated by the desire to do good. She told me about the time 4chan tracked down a boy who had been posting videos of himself on YouTube physically abusing his cat ‘and daring people to stop him’. 4chan users found him ‘and let the entire town know he was a sociopath. Ha ha! And the cat was taken away from him and adopted.’ (Of course the boy might have been a sociopath. But Mercedes and the other 4chan people had no evidence of that - no idea what might or might not have been happening in his home life to turn him that way.) I asked Mercedes what sorts of people gathered on 4chan. ‘A lot of them are bored, under-stimulated, over-persecuted powerless kids,’ she replied. ‘They know they can’t be anything they want. So they went to the Internet.

‘Death threats and rape threats only feed her cause,’ someone eventually wrote on 4chan/b/. ‘I don’t mean stop doing things. Just think first. Do something productive.’ Soon after that, the website belonging to Adria’s employers, SendGrid, vanished offline. Someone had set a malicious program onto it. It’s known as a DDoS attack. It’s the automated version of a person sitting at a computer manually pressing Refresh relentlessly until the targeted website becomes overpowered and collapses. Hours later, Adria was fired from her job. * A few days before I flew to San Francisco to meet Adria, I posted a message on 4chan/b/ asking for anyone personally involved in her destruction to contact me. The message was deleted in less than a minute. I posted another request. That one vanished after a few seconds. Somebody inside 4chan was silently erasing me whenever I tried to make contact.

But my messages happened to coincide with arrests of some hardcore 4chan trolls and DDoSers and activists, and so suddenly there were real names out there. Which was how I came to meet a twenty-one-year-old 4chan denizen, Mercedes Haefer. In her Facebook photograph Mercedes wears a comedy moustache and bunny ears. Now we sat opposite each other in a vast, opulent loft apartment above an old grocery store in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It belongs to her lawyer, Stanley Cohen. He’s spent his career representing anarchists and communists and squatter groups and Hamas, and now he was representing Mercedes. The crime she was accused of (and would later plead guilty to: she is awaiting sentencing as I write this) is that in November 2010 she and thirteen other 4chan users DDoSed PayPal as revenge for them refusing to accept donations to WikiLeaks.


pages: 309 words: 79,414

Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists by Julia Ebner

23andMe, 4chan, Airbnb, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, feminist movement, game design, glass ceiling, Google Earth, job satisfaction, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, off grid, pattern recognition, pre–internet, QAnon, RAND corporation, ransomware, rising living standards, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Transnistria, WikiLeaks, zero day

While this seemed like a ridiculous idea back then, memetic warfare has in the meantime become a common tool to influence attitudes and behaviours and to win the competition over narrative and social control in online battlefields – for state and non-state actors.27 In the 2016 US election campaigns Trump supporters weaponised internet culture for political propaganda to sway the election.28 They launched several meme campaigns against political opponents with the goal of influencing public perceptions of truth and power. 4chan called this ‘The Great Meme War’.29 The legendary #MAGA (Make America Great Again) hashtag sprang from the same communities. The Stanford graduate Jeff Giesea who got ‘bored being nice to people all the time’ and saw ‘Trumpism as the only practical and moral path to save Western civilization from itself’ organised MAGA meet-ups and effectively helped to create an army of pro-Trump meme trolls.30 A 2018 analysis of 160 million archived visuals showed that far-right trolls on the internet were highly effective in spreading racist and anti-Semitic memes from fringe forums like 4chan’s /pol/ board and the subreddit /The_Donald to more mainstream platforms.31 Socio-demographic research showed that men were 1.76 times more likely than women to produce and spread hateful content online.32 Another study concluded that men have a higher tendency to engage in antisocial Facebook activities like trolling due to elevated levels of narcissism.33 Women, on the other hand, are more likely to become victims of online hate.

Is ZOG/MARX both going down? Some anons also get annoyed by hived-off conspiracy theories:31 Just to shut the Flat Earthers up, Q. Is the earth flat? No. Q. Is JFK Jr alive? No. Q. The success of QAnon is baffling. QAnon mutated from conspiracy theory on the fringes of 4chan and 8chan into a mass movement that has conquered mainstream social media channels as well as pro-Trump rallies. In 2018 alone, ISD’s social media monitors identified close to 30 million uses of the word ‘QAnon’ across Twitter, YouTube and other blogs and forums such as Reddit and 4chan. On YouTube, QAnon videos often attract hundreds of thousands of views, and self-described bakers are in the tens of thousands, with offshoots in almost every part of America and Europe. QAnon followers have a significant overlap with the Reddit board r/The_Donald, one of the alt-right’s favourite mingling hotspots, according to data analysis from the influential twenty-first-century news website Vox.

reload=9&v=nP5xZQaYgas&feature=youtu.be 24The manual is available at https://www.hogesatzbau.de/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/HANDBUCH-FÜR-MEDIENGUERILLAS.pdf. 25The original ‘redpilling’ manual was available at http://d-gen.de/2017/10/art-of-redpilling/; all contents were saved by Hogesatzbau and can be accessed at https://www.hogesatzbau.de/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/HANDBUCH-FÜR-MEDIENGUERILLAS.pdf. 26Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right. 27Jeff Giesea, ‘It’s time to embrace memetic warfare’, Defense Strategic Communications Journal, NATO Stratcom COE, 2017. Available at https://www.stratcomcoe.org/jeff-giesea-its-time-embrace-memetic-warfare. 28Benite Heiskanen, ‘Meme-ing Electorial Participation’, European Journal of American Studies 12 (2), Summer 2017. Available at https://journals.openedition.org/ejas/12158. 29Jack Phillips, ‘“Great Meme War” Could Hit the Media’, Epoch Times, 11 November 2016. Available at https://www.theepochtimes.com/4chan-reddits-the_donald-may-take-great-meme-war-to-the-media_2184823.html. 30Joseph Bernstein, ‘This Man Helped to Build the Trump Meme Army – Now He Wants to Reform It’, BuzzFeed, 18 January 2017.


pages: 267 words: 82,580

The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

3D printing, 4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Chrome, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, life extension, litecoin, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, moral hazard, moral panic, Occupy movement, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, slashdot, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, The Coming Technological Singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

A lengthy history could be written about penises alone, beginning perhaps with the 28,000-year-old image of a phallus in the Hohle Fels cave in Germany. But the instantaneous connect-ivity of life online has certainly enabled us to do so more easily, and to a wider audience. The website 4chan’s socialising board /soc/ is a space specifically for cam-models, meet-up groups and extremely popular ‘rate-me’ threads. It’s a sort of ground zero of exhibitionism. A rate-me thread is exactly what it sounds like. Every few minutes on one of the hundreds of threads on 4chan, someone posts a photo (often naked), accompanied by a message inviting feedback. Viewers respond – sometimes positively, sometimes not, and almost always with a score out of ten. Penis rate-me threads are especially popular on 4chan, and have several subgenres: small penis threads, large penis threads, skinny penis threads. ‘Rate my dick please,’ wrote a user in one thread, next to a picture of his member, ‘and feel free to share yours.’

Chapter 1 Unmasking the Trolls ‘At the top of the tree of life there isn’t love: there is lulz.’ Anonymous A Life Ruin ‘HI /B/!’ READ the small placard that Sarah held to her semi-naked body. ‘7 August 2013, 9.35 p.m.’ It was an announcement to the hundreds – thousands, perhaps – of anonymous users logged on to the infamous ‘/b/’ board on the image-sharing website 4chan that she was ready to ‘cam’. Appreciative viewers began posting various sexually explicit requests, which Sarah performed, photographed and uploaded. On 4chan, there are boards dedicated to a variety of subjects, including manga, DIY, cooking, politics and literature. But the majority of the twenty million people who visit the site each month head for /b/, otherwise known as the ‘random’ board. Sarah’s photographs were only part of one of many bizarre, offensive or sexually graphic image ‘threads’ constantly running on /b/.

Encyclopedia Dramatica – an offensive Wikipedia for trolling culture – lists camgirls as ‘camwhores’, and describes a camwhore as ‘a variety of attention whore, typically a young and very stupid woman who will do anything on a webcam for attention, money, items from online wish lists, or just to be generally slutty’. On 4chan and elsewhere there are several infamous camgirls. Professional camgirls are discussed in chapter 6. It’s impossible to be sure how many people are ever on 4chan because the number of people viewing a page is not recorded. p.15 ‘The hacktivist group Anonymous? . . .’ Users of /b/ also act responsibly, and have, in the past, worked to identify users who they believe pose a genuine threat. In 2006 one user posted on /b/: ‘Hello, /b/. On September 11, 2007, at 9:11 am Central time, two pipe bombs will be remote-detonated at Pflugerville High School.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Other noteworthy 4chan accomplishments include lodging a swastika on Google’s list of breaking trends and spreading a “rumor that Steve Jobs had a heart attack,” causing Apple shares to plummet.43 In 2008, as 4chan.org was approaching its fifth birthday, it began to develop something of a political consciousness. An internal Scientology video featuring Tom Cruise was leaked, and when the Church of Scientology took legal action against many online communities to suppress the video, the 4chan.org community fought back. What started as an effort to foil Scientology’s efforts mushroomed into a much larger effort, including a massive attack on the Scientology Web site. Administrators of 4chan.org started policing their forums more tightly, so a group of 4chan-ers broke off and created a splinter group called Anonymous to continue the crusade against Scientology. Anonymous takes its name from a crucial part of the 4chan.org culture: Everything is temporary and anonymous.

Understanding Anonymous is an important part of understanding where we’re heading in the End of Big. Anonymous grew out of an online community called 4chan, a Web site founded in 2003 by a fifteen-year-old named Christopher Poole interested in anime and (not surprisingly for a fifteen-year-old boy) porn. At first, 4chan was a place to post pictures, but it has evolved into a place where anyone can come and talk about or share anything. At any given moment, hundreds of thousands of people will be on 4chan.org at once. It’s an online home to millions of people and the birthing ground for many an Internet meme, including Lolcats, “probably the Internet’s top meme—the hundreds of thousands of pictures of cats that float around every corner of the Net, with cat-speak captions: ‘om nom nom goes the hungry cat.’” Other noteworthy 4chan accomplishments include lodging a swastika on Google’s list of breaking trends and spreading a “rumor that Steve Jobs had a heart attack,” causing Apple shares to plummet.43 In 2008, as 4chan.org was approaching its fifth birthday, it began to develop something of a political consciousness.

Technology platforms are also not as monolithic in their approaches as I may have suggested so far. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the 4chan.org founder Christopher Poole contrasted his approach with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg: Mark’s vision of the world is that you should be comfortable sharing as your real self on the Internet. … He thinks that anonymity represents a lack of authenticity, almost a cowardice. Though I like Mark a lot as a person, I disagree with that. … 4chan, a site that’s anonymous and ephemeral, with wacky, Wild West–type stuff, has a lot to offer, and in Mark’s perfect world, it probably wouldn’t exist … He is a very firm believer that his is the right way for society to go.16 Despite a marked difference in worldview, both Facebook and 4chan revolve around individuals and the notion that individuals should have total freedom in anonymity, versus the individual having integrity in identity.


We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, East Village, game design, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, uber lyft, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

The_Donald’s subscriber list grew in fits and lurches—and examining its growth patterns helps explain both its constituency and why it became both an outsized force on Reddit and Trump’s most active and vocal base of support on the entire Internet. Early on, an influx of brigaders came from 4chan’s /pol board, and its Reddit counterpart, r/pol. There was more crossover of /pol users to Reddit after 4chan was abandoned by its creator, Chris Poole, in January 2015, after he’d lost any semblance of ability to control the sprawling, vile communities it harbored. Over the following year, Reddit’s political boards, most prominently r/The_Donald, experienced a substantial influx of traffic from former channers. They brought with them some of what became The_Donald’s signature vernacular, as well as meme-proficiency and lots of keks, which is 4chan slang for laughs and possibly a reference to the frog, sometimes Pepe the Frog, an image that thanks to memetic strategizing on 4chan and 8chan had been infused with anti-Semitic meaning and that the Anti-Defamation League subsequently declared a hate symbol.

Brigading is the invasion of a topic, thread, or entire message board by a group of individuals who have organized themselves online with the purpose of manipulating content or its visibility. This sort of plotting happens in massive private-message threads on Twitter, in Facebook groups, on private chat servers such as Discord, and, very overtly, on 4chan’s /pol, a “politically incorrect” board that had been created by 4chan’s founder in 2011 to siphon off and contain the overtly xenophobic and racist comments and memes from other wings of 4chan. This mostly off-Reddit organizing then plays out on Reddit as vote brigading, or attempting to silence individual voices by downvoting them into oblivion. Other products were meme generation and dissemination, harassment campaigns, and propagation of disinformation, largely aiming to disseminate far-right viewpoints.

Buried deep beyond the front page, forums glorified gore, white supremacy, anarchy, fat shaming, porn, and, most disturbingly—at least in the eyes of the law—content that looked a lot like, and sometimes was, child pornography, including illustrations of sexualized children and photos of barely clothed teenagers. Some of this content was sucked from or mimicked the sort of stuff shared on 4chan, the popular anonymous message-board site. 4chan’s primary differentiation from Reddit was that it stripped away even any modicum of identity; there were no usernames at all and each commenter appeared as “anonymous.” It had been launched in 2003 by a smart, scrawny New York teenager named Chris Poole in his parents’ basement as a way to share Japanese animation images, but by the early 2010s was known as a haven for trolls and niche, sometimes noxious content of all sorts.


pages: 364 words: 119,398

Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists, the Truth About Extreme Misogyny and How It Affects Us All by Laura Bates

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Boris Johnson, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, off grid, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Snapchat, young professional

But the reality, as with all the manosphere groups I have investigated, is that these are massive communities and internet spaces, populated by hundreds of thousands of people. When you visit the 4chan /b/ board, for example, widely acknowledged as one of the most infamous trolling platforms on the internet, posts flood in faster than you are able to read them. When I visit on an average Monday morning at 9.30 a.m., hundreds of pages of new messages, photographs and links are added within the space of hours – a significant number of them showcasing extreme misogyny. In a hint at the sheer size of this community, /b/ is 4chan’s single most popular and visited board, accounting for 30 per cent of the site’s total traffic, according to an interview with its founder.14 The site claims to have almost 28 million unique monthly visitors and around a million new posts every single day.

Like the manosphere, the alt-right represents the coalescence of a number of different groups that were, until recently, considered extreme, fringe movements, but have, to an extent, been combined under the umbrella of the label. Like the manosphere, the movement brings together various communities, many of which originated online. The term ‘alt-right’ was popularised on internet message boards and forums like 4chan, an English-language image-board website on which users post usually anonymous messages, contributing to long, detailed conversations. Like the manosphere, the alt-right revels in masking vitriolic, violent, bigoted ideology with smokescreens of ‘irony’, sarcasm and deliberate provocation. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes how ‘chaotic’ online forums have enabled white-nationalist ideas, ‘most notably the belief that white identity is under attack by multiculturalism and political correctness’, to ‘flourish under dizzying layers of toxic irony’.

On a YouTube video about Rodger’s manifesto, Cruz had commented: ‘Elliot Rodger will not be forgotten.’17 It would later emerge that Cruz had reportedly stalked a young woman at the school.18 He was also said to have repeatedly threatened and harassed an ex-girlfriend after she broke up with him.19 On 23 April 2018, 25-year-old software developer Alek Minassian drove a speeding rental van through the North York City Centre district of Toronto, Canada, deliberately targeting pedestrians. He killed ten people and injured sixteen. A post was uploaded to a Facebook account, later confirmed as Minassian’s, shortly before the attack. It read: ‘Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!’ The majority of Minassian’s victims were female, with eight women and two men killed in the attack. Police later released a video of Minassian’s post-arrest interview in which he focused specifically on being an incel, saying he had been radicalised online and had acted in the name of the ideology as a form of retribution.


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Silk Road by Eileen Ormsby

4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, Edward Snowden, fiat currency, Firefox, Julian Assange, litecoin, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Right to Buy, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, stealth mode startup, Ted Nelson, trade route, Turing test, web application, WikiLeaks

Its beginnings remain hazy; many of its digital footprints have been eradicated from the web, whether by those involved in Silk Road or by the owners of the websites where the messages sat – it’s not always easy to tell. The early evidence pointed to Silk Road testing the waters earlier on 4chan, an anonymous discussion group favoured by hackers and ‘carders’ (people who steal and use credit-card information for personal gain). Based on similar Japanese communities involved in manga and anime, 4chan is home to various subcultures and online activists, with users attracted by its anonymity and lack of censorship on posted content. It has been credited with being the genesis of hacktivist collective Anonymous. ‘I first saw Silk Road . . . on 4chan in December 2010,’ said Silk Road’s first-ever moderator, ‘Nomad Bloodbath’. ‘At that time I just saw it as another scam.’ The earliest hard evidence to be found of the genesis of Silk Road was a posting on Shroomery.

[C]yber criminals will treat bitcoin as another payment option alongside more traditional and established virtual currencies . . . – ‘Bitcoin virtual currency: Unique features present distinct challenges for deterring illicit activity’, FBI report, April 2012 Part Two The Rise So you can download drugs from a server run on onions? You guys are full of shit. – Anonymous 4chan member The New Silk Road During the first half of 2011, as its owner tinkered with the interface and relied on the Bitcointalk forum and word of mouth for advertising, Silk Road was a fraction of the size it would eventually become. The earliest known screenshot of Silk Road showed 145 transactions to date, 60 current listings, mostly of drugs, and 655 registered users. Silkroad, the owner, was a vendor selling magic mushrooms and marijuana.

‘Although I’d really not like to see any kidneys and slaves on silkroad, I don’t see a point in disallowing fake ID’s and passports,’ posted ‘Modoki’. ‘Also, I think weapons should be sold (as long as they aren’t weapons of mass destruction and stuff like napalm and agent orange). Things like pistols, knifes and such I’d like to see.’ Rumours of the website where illicit substances could be purchased spread to the online communities that would take a much greater interest in a black market for drugs – Reddit in particular. Like 4chan, Reddit is essentially a bulletin board where people can chat about anything and everything. Dubbing itself as ‘the front page of the internet’, it provides an online meeting place for every conceivable profession and hobby. Users can subscribe to ‘sub-Reddits’ dedicated to cute cat pictures or those discussing politics, cycling, Disney cartoons, lock-picking techniques or problems faced by the transgender community.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

They continue to maintain an online ‘memorial’ to Shepard featuring a crude gif of Shepard’s head being consumed by flames, and a sound file purported to be him screaming ‘from hell’. That their cackling, sadistic, relishing of hellfire was overtly linked to a sexually repressive morality might suggest something about the origins of Duffy’s nastiness towards dead teenage girls. Nor was Duffy’s an isolated case.4 One of the first major exercises in RIP trolling, without any overt moral rationale, occurred in 2006. Trolls from the 4chan message board descended on a MySpace page memorializing the twelve-year-old Mitchell Henderson, who had committed suicide. It emerged that he had lost his iPod days before his death, and trolls posted messages implying that his suicide was a frivolous act driven by consumerist frustration: ‘first-world problems’. One post contained an image of the boy’s gravestone with an iPod resting against it.

As Heather Martin later mournfully admitted, they ‘would get excited’ when they got ‘a lot of views’. Trolling is popular entertainment, even if it sometimes runs afoul of barely legible cultural thresholds. The bafflement and ungovernable rages of the victim are always funny, and there is always sadistic detachment in the humour. When internet users are ‘rickrolled’iii the reactions are often funny. When 4chan trolls called video game stores to enquire about the non-existent sequel to an outdated game, the explosions of exasperated fury were funny. When a hapless internet troll went on Fox News representing the bogus group Forsake the Troops, Sean Hannity’s credulous outrage was funny. Most people, at some time or other, have been trolls. But the widespread popular appeal of trolling begs one to ask, what is so funny about it?

An early guide to flaming (the practice of saying things to make other users upset) on the Arpanet ‘Bulletin Board System’ contended that it was the only way that ‘people will read your opinions’, since a net-wide flame war is impossible to ignore.17 Yet, over the years, especially once the internet was commercialized, trolls became attention-shy. They form a community of sadists, but only on the condition that it consists of people with no identifying characteristics: from ‘anons’ to sock puppets. Trolling anonymity has its roots in the way the 4chan message board, on which the trolling subculture germinated, was set up. Founder Christopher Poole ensured that each user would have a default identity of ‘anon’ because, as he told Rolling Stone, it ‘enables people to share things they wouldn’t otherwise do’.18 And it was on the site’s ‘/b/’ message board that the trolls, calling themselves ‘/b/tards’, gathered. The site deleted child porn and criminal material, including photographs of a murder victim posted by the killer.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

As the blogger Steve Alexander of Reaxxion, “a gaming site for men,” admitted, “Before GamerGate, I didn’t know what the red pill was.” This twisted episode revealed its full horror when a young woman’s bitter ex-boyfriend egged on a campaign of stalking and harassment perpetrated by denizens of the website 4chan, the troll-riddled message board where “normies” fear to tread. This young woman, Zoe Quinn, happened to be an independent video game developer whose recent work was favorably received by critics but—being an introspective departure from the usual shoot-’em-up style of game—was abhorred by the misogynistic gamers of 4chan. The self-described Gamergaters spun a grand conspiratorial narrative concerning “ethics in video games journalism,” claiming that Quinn had “bribed the media into liking her shitty non-game with her vagina.” Using personal identifying details provided by Quinn’s obsessive ex, the Gamergaters proceeded to stalk, slander, and threaten Quinn, as well as her friends and defenders—the social justice warriors.

Soon more would witness and shudder before the thing I had only just glimpsed: the emergence of determined fascist movement builders, taking their online organizing into the real world. Theirs was a vast but slapdash network of alienated, underemployed man-children; tortured, gynophobic gamers; and upwardly mobile, right-curious tech dudes. Emboldened, they crawled from underground online haunts like Stormfront and the 4chan forums into the light of day and, after Trump’s election, to the city square—in Berkeley, Portland, New York, Charlottesville. They waved war flags adorned with strange idols like Pepe the Frog and chanted paeans to Kek, an ancient Egyptian god adopted by internet racists. They fought with students, activists, and anyone else who opposed their white nationalist vision. They threatened to kill me and my wife in our home.

Even as tech company managers espoused a commitment to liberal principles, and employees evinced a burgeoning curiosity regarding social democratic reforms—like most people of their generation, young techies had student loans—anecdotally, racism, misogyny, and protofascist talking points were more pervasive inside tech companies than elsewhere in corporate America. Google certainly had no qualms about hiring 4chan founder Chris Poole, even though the website he created became the central organizing platform for the alt-right. A year later, another Google employee, James Damore, was fired after news reports revealed that an essay he’d written and shared internally attacking the company’s diversity policies had attracted many aggrieved white male cosigners. Regardless of the exact fascist headcount at any one Silicon Valley corporation, the noxious ideas they harbored were, thanks to the magic of the internet, suddenly everywhere and impossible to ignore.


pages: 302 words: 85,877

Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Chrome, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Peter Thiel, pirate software, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, ransomware, Richard Stallman, Robert Mercer, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

The story of Anonymous, told more fully in books by anthropologist Gabriella Coleman and journalist Parmy Olson, is fascinating and complex. It also owes a little of its culture to cDc. One of cDc’s good friends and onetime web hoster, Tom Dell, had written software for Patrick Kroupa’s MindVox and then run Rotten.com, an early shock site that was a forerunner of 4chan. 4chan was mostly teenage boys chatting about pictures, and posts were labeled “Anonymous” by default. But it had flashes of political action when core internet values, such as freedom of speech, were threatened. When the Church of Scientology tried to suppress publication of its secrets, 4chan users coordinated online and real-world protests, and the participants spun off as Anonymous. Subsequent targets included copyright enforcers such as the Motion Picture Association of America. From the beginning, corralling massive crowds in Internet Relay Chat into something productive was extremely difficult.

Rob Beck, cDc’s friend from Microsoft and @stake, had been in charge of NSF for a while, and then others took it on. Membership got looser, group founder Sam Anthony said, and “one branch became this awful Gamergate, neo-Nazi and Russian intelligence nexus that is ruining the world.” Organized on 4chan and other sites, Gamergate’s organized trolls went after female gaming journalists with mob attacks on social media before eventually coalescing behind Trump. By 2012, the NSF mostly lived on as a Facebook group. Members posted links to security advisories, breaches in the news, and whatever else they found interesting. Some of the members, though, were 4chan veterans who wanted to provoke, and they resorted to posting racist cartoons and jokes. Several considered it harmless trolling and denied being racist. But many core cDc members were deeply offended. “All these people were influenced by cDc.

The compromise was keeping cDc elite but expanding through the NSF. So Sam cribbed from a sneaker design, wrote a satiric origin story, and made T-shirts. Early members were people the group liked and respected, including Chris Wysopal, Window Snyder, pioneer maker Limor Fried, and early Apple and Netscape engineer Tom Dell, who had written software for Mindvox and quietly ran Rotten.com, forerunner of the shock website 4chan. That year’s Def Con had drawn a then-record three hundred people, and at three hundred pounds, Luke was hard to miss. Oakland hacker Josh Buchbinder, who knew him only online, first spotted him in the flesh on the casino floor, holding a teenager upside down by his ankles and shaking him until the coins fell out of his pocket. The kid was so excited that after Luke let him down, he ran away squealing.


Speaking Code: Coding as Aesthetic and Political Expression by Geoff Cox, Alex McLean

4chan, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, bash_history, bitcoin, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Jacques de Vaucanson, Larry Wall, late capitalism, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Slavoj Žižek, social software, social web, software studies, speech recognition, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, Turing machine, Turing test, Vilfredo Pareto, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

Examples of groups opposing cuts to public services include Uncut, a grassroots antiausterity action network, particularly in the UK and US (see http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/ and http://usuncut.org/). 6. See Cassell Bryan-Low and Siobhan Gorman, “Inside the Anonymous Army of ‘Hacktivist’ Attackers,” Wall Street Journal, 23 June 2011; available at http://online.wsj.com/article/ SB10001424052702304887904576399871831156018.html#ixzz1QJzHz74Y. 7. Formed in 2003, 4chan is a simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images (see http://www.4chan.org/). 8. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_%28group%29. The documentary Generation OS13: The New Culture of Resistance (2011) charts the attack on civil liberties occurring in western democracies. Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v =vY4VZr8Ox94#! 9. Occupy Wall Street was also inspired by the wave of other insurrectionary activities across the world, not least the Spanish Indignado movement.

It is interesting to note that at the time of writing now (summer and autumn of 2011), the enduring power of social movements and public action has been proved again, as witnessed by the various “pro-democracy” campaigns in North Africa and the Near East (so-called “Arab Spring”), movements opposing state budget cuts to the public sector, protests against the marketization of education, and the political agenda around Internet freedom and the controversies surrounding WikiLeaks.5 An example of the latter is the recent “denial of service” attacks by the loosely organized group of “hacktivists” called Anonymous.6 Emerging from the online message forum 4chan,7 the group coordinated various distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks using forums and social media websites, where instructions were disseminated on how to download attack software to bombard websites with data to try to throw them offline, and target sites were publicized such as the organizations that had cut ties with WikiLeaks (such as MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal, through “operation payback”).

Purification Responding to paradoxes of this kind, the Museum of Ordure is a “self-institution” that has a special interest in the management of human waste and its impact on the concept of the public sphere and civil society.23 Its early policies on preservation included running a server-based script that accelerated the process of decay of its digital objects, resulting in unpredictable and often sudden glitches appearing in the images and captions that constituted its public collection.24 Since the identification of “ordure” (such as rubbish, waste, anything unclean, or shit)25 indicates value judgment, issues related to the social web have further inspired the development of the museum’s website, in taking the detritus of communications and cataloguing it as empty speech acts. A dynamic collection of images and captions is currently produced with feeds from sites like 4chan, mixing diverse contents (from popular trivia such as images of cats to news reports on contemporary protest movements); its Twitter feed @museumofordure, although since suspended, used the hashtag #ordure and retweeted various others (like #revolution and #insurrection).26 Using techniques similar to other cultural institutions’ addressing the issue of public engagement, the museum’s aim is to reveal the excess of capitalist production.27 Its core purpose is further explained, in the About section of the website.28 Inspiration also derives from Dominique Laporte’s History of Shit (first published in French in 1978), which verified modern power to be founded on the aesthetics of the public sphere and in the agency of its citizen-subjects, but that these are conditions of the management of human waste.


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The Internet of Garbage by Sarah Jeong

4chan, Brian Krebs, crowdsourcing, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Network effects, Silicon Valley

Of course, different kinds of platforms have different kinds of obligations to their users. In 2008, Heather Champ, the director of community at Flickr, was quoted as “defending the ‘Flickrness of Flickr,’” while saying, “We don’t need to be the photo-sharing site for all people. We don’t need to take all comers. It’s important to me that Flickr was built on certain principles.” Flickr is not Facebook, Facebook is not Twitter, Twitter is not Reddit, Reddit is not 4chan, 4chan is not a forum to discuss chronic illness and that forum is not a private mailing list. For small and intimate communities, the question of balancing speech and user safety is relatively null. But large-scale platforms are different. Although they are technically private property and not subject to First Amendment speech protections even when their users and servers are based in the U.S., they are beginning to resemble public squares of discussion and debate, the main staging grounds of the kind of speech that connects people to other people and forms the foundation of democracy.

In heavily moderated communities, posts that are deemed to be merely off-topic may be deleted. Posts that might be neither frightening nor offensive nor off-topic can also be deemed to be garbage. On the SomethingAwful forums, postings that are judged to have little value to the community are referred to by the evocative name, “shitpost.” Even in the most anarchic of spaces, there will be content classified as garbage. On 4chan, a site with a reputation for permitting “anything,” “doxing” (posting addresses or other personal information without permission) and “forum raids” (orchestrating a campaign of vandalism or harassment on another site) are forbidden. On the Silk Road, once a Tor-hidden service that allowed people to buy and sell drugs, listings for guns were forbidden. On both sites, child pornography is and was forbidden.


pages: 254 words: 79,052

Evil by Design: Interaction Design to Lead Us Into Temptation by Chris Nodder

4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, game design, haute couture, jimmy wales, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, late fees, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Netflix Prize, Nick Leeson, Occupy movement, pets.com, price anchoring, recommendation engine, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, Stanford prison experiment, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile

As a result of the threats she subsequently received, Bale was given a police guard for her own protection. Mary Bale and Lola (youtube.com video) The “outing” was performed by a group who thrives on anonymity—members of the /b/ (random) board of the 4chan community. 4chan is closely linked with Anonymous, the group that is behind many high-visibility online retribution attacks. Although much of the content on /b/ will “melt your brain” according to Gawker.com’s Nick Douglas, /b/ members seem to have a soft spot for cats. They are responsible for the Lolcat meme and had previously interceded to ensure the welfare of Dusty, another cat who was seen being abused in a YouTube video. 4chan and Anonymous found a way to channel the anger of individuals within the community into coordinated action. Mary Bale commented after the event, “I did it as a joke because I thought it would be funny.

Mary Bale commented after the event, “I did it as a joke because I thought it would be funny. I think everyone is overreacting a bit.” It is unlikely that she ever expected to be identified. Her expectation of anonymity may indeed have contributed to her actions. It’s probable too that the somewhat inevitable angry backlash against her, both her identification by 4chan members and the subsequent Internet wide condemnation, which included several death threats, was amplified somewhat by the commenters’ ability to remain anonymous. As Bale demonstrated, when the burden of taking responsibility for their actions is removed, people often do things that they otherwise wouldn’t. That can be beneficial, such as when an anonymous donor steps in to provide finances for a struggling charity, or potentially harmful, such as when anonymous commenters bully people online.

Embracing anger An example of the coverage of Mary Bale’s cat trashing from two UK tabloid newspapers: Andrew Parker. “It’s a fur cop.” The Sun (thesun.co.uk). January 12, 2011. Retrieved January 2013; and Claire Ellicott. “What’s all the fuss? It’s just a cat, says woman seen on CCTV shoving tabby in wheelie bin.” The Mail Online (dailymail.co.uk). August 25 2010. Retrieved January 2013. 4-chan description: Nick Douglas. “What The Hell Are 4chan, ED, Something Awful, And /b/?” (Gawker.com). January 18, 2008. Retrieved January 2013. Use anonymity to encourage repressed behaviors Stanford prison experiment: A good introduction is available on the Stanford Prison Experiment site at prisonexp.org. Deindividuation: Philip Zimbardo. “The human choice: Individuation, reason and order vs. deindividuation, impulse and chaos.” In W. J Arnold and D Levine (Eds.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 17 (1969): 237–307.


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Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, big-box store, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Norman Mailer, obamacare, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, rent control, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, wage slave, white picket fence

The obvious hole in the argument is the fact that what Nagle identifies as the center of this liberal conformity—college activist movements, obscure Tumblr accounts about mental health and arcane sexualities—are frequently derided by liberals, and have never been nearly as powerful as those who detest them would like to think. The Gamergaters’ worldview was not actually endangered; they just had to believe it was—or to pretend it was, and wait for a purportedly leftist writer to affirm them—in order to lash out and remind everyone what they could do. Many Gamergaters cut their expressive teeth on 4chan, a message board that adopted as one of its mottos the phrase “There are no girls on the internet.” “This rule does not mean what you think it means,” wrote one 4chan poster, who went, as most of them did, by the username Anonymous. “In real life, people like you for being a girl. They want to fuck you, so they pay attention to you and they pretend what you have to say is interesting, or that you are smart or clever. On the Internet, we don’t have the chance to fuck you. This means the advantage of being a ‘girl’ does not exist.

Through identifying the effects of women’s systemic objectification as some sort of vagina-supremacist witchcraft, the men that congregated on 4chan gained an identity, and a useful common enemy. Many of these men had, likely, experienced consequences related to the “liberal intellectual conformity” that is popular feminism: as the sexual marketplace began to equalize, they suddenly found themselves unable to obtain sex by default. Rather than work toward other forms of self-actualization—or attempt to make themselves genuinely desirable, in the same way that women have been socialized to do at great expense and with great sincerity for all time—they established a group identity that centered on anti-woman virulence, on telling women who happened to stumble across 4chan that “the only interesting thing about you is your naked body. tl;dr: tits or GET THE FUCK OUT.”

And, because there is no room or requirement in a tweet to add a disclaimer about individual experience, and because hashtags subtly equate disconnected statements in a way that can’t be controlled by those speaking, it has been even easier for #MeToo critics to claim that women must themselves think that going on a bad date is the same as being violently raped. What’s amazing is that things like hashtag design—these essentially ad hoc experiments in digital architecture—have shaped so much of our political discourse. Our world would be different if Anonymous hadn’t been the default username on 4chan, or if every social media platform didn’t center on the personal profile, or if YouTube algorithms didn’t show viewers increasingly extreme content to retain their attention, or if hashtags and retweets simply didn’t exist. It’s because of the hashtag, the retweet, and the profile that solidarity on the internet gets inextricably tangled up with visibility, identity, and self-promotion. It’s telling that the most mainstream gestures of solidarity are pure representation, like viral reposts or avatar photos with cause-related filters, and meanwhile the actual mechanisms through which political solidarity is enacted, like strikes and boycotts, still exist on the fringe.


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Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Looking at something didn’t automatically declare my interest in it, or allow a corporation to classify me accordingly and promise to serve me up similar content and ads. I went where my curiosity took me. “We went from a Web that was interest-driven, and then we transitioned into a Web where the connections were in-person, real-life friendship relationships,” said Christopher Poole, the creator of 4chan, the raucous, at times repulsive, but immensely popular online message board, where anonymity is treasured as an absolute right. “Individuals are multifaceted,” Poole continued. “Identity is prismatic, and communities like 4chan exist as a holdover from the interest-driven Web.” I would go a step further than Poole. The social web treats everything, every personal encounter or article you read or thing you buy, as if it were a transaction between friends. Everything is perceived to reflect a deliberate intent—when you’re shopping for new shoes, posting on someone’s wall, or, whether for research or on a lark, you decide to read Dabiq, the Islamic State’s English-language magazine.

At the same time, the overlap here of promising security while also encouraging disclosure of one’s phone number to friends in the interest of openness or authenticity is revealing of Facebook’s motives: the more personal data they can get, the better.* NAME AND SHAME In certain quarters, digital anonymity has become a precious commodity—for dissidents, activists, journalists, and as a cultural value in and of itself. On the social news platform Reddit; in the madcap, all-anonymous message board 4chan; in the hacker collective Anonymous (whose roots trace to 4chan)—in these and other online communities, anonymity is something to be treasured and protected. Chalk it up to scarcity, perhaps. Here an assault on one’s anonymity is considered a grave act. The act of unmasking an anonymous Internet user is often called doxing. Doxing isn’t always done on purpose or with the intention of harming someone. Doxing can be accidental or out of the belief that someone deserves to be publicly recognized.

Vayner responded later that night, telling his friend to go to hell. The next day, Vayner apparently took an overdose of pills, suffered a heart attack, and was pronounced dead at a hospital. He was twenty-nine. Vayner was a serial fabricator and exaggerator, although he was accomplished in many of the disciplines portrayed in his video. Ironically, many Internet communities, even those such as 4chan, a raucous, often crude message board whose defining value is that every user must remain anonymous, have become intolerant of any sense of fakery, identity play, or possible deceit and obfuscation. In a digital culture in which everyone is increasingly pressed—by both social forces and the fiat of Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn—to present themselves as themselves, the appearance of dishonesty has become a capital offense.


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Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini, David Segal, Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Laurie, Ron Paul, Mike Masnick, Kim Dotcom, Tiffiniy Cheng, Alexis Ohanian, Nicole Powers, Josh Levy

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, hive mind, immigration reform, informal economy, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prisoner's dilemma, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Skype, technoutopianism, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

We followed their advice and posted the idea of Wikipedia blacking out on the Village Pump section of Wikipedia, where active users congregate to discuss meta-concerns about the site. We crossed our fingers. Elizabeth Stark reached out to sites like Tumblr and 4chan. Aaron Swartz and David Segal spearheaded outreach to progressive “Netroots” groups like Avaaz, Credo, and MoveOn. Twitter was chirping about the following day’s protest. In the evening, when 4chan’s founder tweeted that he wished he could support American Censorship Day, we responded immediately and were buoyed by the potential for small ideas to grow. We still did not know if the site itself would participate. On November 16, huge sites like reddit, Mozilla, Boing Boing and 4chan either linked to our “Write Congress” pages, or included our widget on their site. In the early morning, we got a call from Tumblr who wanted to make sure we could handle the volume of traffic.

My offering was simple: we’d present the threat to the reddit community and give them our rationale behind the opposition. I didn’t know how our millions of users would react to the imminent threat, but I knew the best ideas for action wouldn’t come from me or even this room of “experts.” Elizabeth Stark We decided on a strategy. On November 16, sites such as Mozilla, Tumblr, reddit, and even 4chan would blackout their logos in protest of SOPA. Fight for the Future set up a central site called American Censorship Day, where all the sites involved were listed. And there was a call for the Internet community to get involved. This was a watershed moment in the politics of the Internet: sites like Mozilla and Tumblr took a public stance for the first time ever on a political issue. 6. The Markup Patrick Ruffini Our path to victory was dangerously narrow.

It would be utterly impractical and economically unviable to police the providence of all the links and content posted by our models and members on their blogs and in the countless forums and comments threads prior to publishing. And being forced to do so would seriously stifle the freedom of speech that our community currently enjoys. Under the restrictive and open-ended terms of SOPA, it would be virtually impossible for a site such as ours to function, which is why we—along with other social media sites such as reddit, Tumblr, Flickr, Fark, and 4chan—participated in the January 18th day of action. Unlike the more editorially-driven sites we love such as Wired, Boing Boing, and Rawstory, as a subscriber-funded online community offering a service to our members, blacking out entirely wasn’t an option on #J18. We therefore had to find other creative ways to protest SOPA, and show solidarity with the sites that were able to go dark. Dave Dayen You could have watched the nightly news every day during these few months, and wouldn’t have known that any of this happened.


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The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris

4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, Carrington event, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, moral panic, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test

In fact, researchers found that cyberbullying produced slightly more suicidal thoughts: 22 percent of students who were physically bullied reported suicidal thoughts, and that number rose to 28 percent in the case of students who were bullied online. Todd was hardly alone in all this. The stories of a heartless online world keep coming. I recently read about a University of Guelph student who decided to broadcast his suicide live online—using the notorious 4chan message board to attract an audience willing to watch him burn to death in his dorm room. (The twenty-year-old man was stopped midattempt and taken to the hospital with serious injuries.) His message to his viewers: “I thought I would finally give back to the community in the best way possible: I am willing to an hero [commit suicide]6 on cam for you all.” Another 4chan user set up a video chat room for him. Two hundred watched (the chat room’s limit) as he downed pills and vodka before setting his room on fire and crawling under a blanket. As the fire began to consume him, the young man appears to have typed to his viewers from beneath the covers: “#omgimonfire.”

., 75 ELIZA, 57–59, 61, 108, 188 Elon University, 40 e-mail, 17, 19, 54, 106, 113–15, 118, 127–28, 156, 169 Harris’s Analog August and, 190–92, 196–97 emotion, 51, 54–56, 60–62, 66, 113, 186 empathy, 30, 38, 67 in computers, 61, 62, 67 Encyclopædia Britannica, 74–75 Enlightenment, 12, 83 EstablishedMen, 175 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 155–56 Evans, James, 86 evolution, 37, 41–43 of technology, 43 Facebook, 9, 19, 24, 31, 64n, 69, 71, 82, 149, 156, 168, 175 activity feed on, 91 moderation of, 63–64 selfies on, 68 surveillance and, 66n Todd and, 50 facts, 141, 145 Fadiman, Clifton, 75 fame, 69–70 Fast Company, 97, 191 Feldman, Erica, 73–74, 79 Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, 147 Fernyhough, Charles, 154 filter bubbles, 91 Financial Times, 185 Forbes, 90 Forster, E. M., 106–7, 109 4chan, 53–54 Foursquare, 150–51 Frankenstein (Shelley), 56 Frankfurt, Harry G., 92 Franklin, Benjamin, 192 friends, 30–31 Frind, Markus, 182–83 Furbies, 29–30 Füssel, Stephan, 103 Gaddam, Sai, 173 Gallup, 123 genes, 41–43 Gentile, Douglas, 118–21 German Ideology, The (Marx), 12n Gleick, James, 137 Globe and Mail, 81–82, 89 glossary, 211–16 Google, 3, 8, 18–19, 24, 33, 43, 49, 82, 96, 142, 185 memory and, 143–47 search results on, 85–86, 91 Google AdSense, 85 Google Books, 102–3 Google Glass, 99–100 Google Maps, 91 Google Plus, 31 Gopnik, Alison, 33–34 Gould, Glenn, 200–201, 204 GPS, 35, 59, 68, 171 Greenfield, Susan, 20, 25 Grindr, 165, 167, 171, 173–74, 176 Guardian, 66n Gutenberg, Johannes, 11–13, 14, 16, 21, 34, 98 Gutenberg Bible, 83, 103 Gutenberg Galaxy, The (McLuhan), 179, 201 Gutenberg Revolution, The (Man), 12n, 103 GuySpy, 171, 172, 173 Hangul, 12n Harari, Haim, 141 Harry Potter series, 66n Hazlehurst, Ronnie, 74 Heilman, James, 75–79 Henry, William A., III, 84–85 “He Poos Clouds” (Pallett), 164 History of Reading, A (Manguel), 16, 117, 159 Hollinghurst, Alan, 115 Holmes, Sherlock, 147–48 House at Pooh Corner, The (Milne), 93 Hugo, Victor, 20–21 “Idea of North, The” (Gould), 200–201 In Defense of Elitism (Henry), 84–85 Information, The (Gleick), 137 information retrieval, 141–42 Innis, Harold, 202 In Search of Lost Time (Proust), 160 Instagram, 19, 104, 149 Internet, 19, 20, 21, 23, 26–27, 55, 69, 125, 126, 129, 141, 143, 145, 146, 187, 199, 205 brain and, 37–38, 40, 142, 185 going without, 185, 186, 189–97, 200, 208–9 remembering life before, 7–8, 15–16, 21–22, 48, 55, 203 Internship, The, 89 iPad, 21, 31 children and, 26–27, 45 iPhone, see phones iPotty, 26 iTunes, 89 Jobs, Steve, 134 Jones, Patrick, 152n Justification of Johann Gutenberg, The (Morrison), 12 Kaiser Foundation, 27, 28n Kandel, Eric, 154 Kaufman, Charlie, 155 Keen, Andrew, 88 Kelly, Kevin, 43 Kierkegaard, Søren, 49 Kinsey, Alfred, 173 knowledge, 11–12, 75, 80, 82, 83, 86, 92, 94, 98, 141, 145–46 Google Books and, 102–3 Wikipedia and, 63, 78 Koller, Daphne, 95 Kranzberg, Melvin, 7 Kundera, Milan, 184 Lanier, Jaron, 85, 106–7, 189 latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), 64–65 Leonardo da Vinci, 56 Lewis, R.

The Kaiser Foundation’s latest numbers tell us that print consumption, outside of reading for school, takes up an average of thirty-eight minutes in every youth’s day (a small but telling drop from forty-three minutes five years earlier). 5. This is, yes, a hyped-up Hollywood version of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” 6. To “an hero” is a synonym for committing suicide that is used by 4chan communities. 7. The gold medal has not been won yet. Smaller prizes are given each year for the “most human computer” in the bunch. 8. Such content will almost definitely be managed more tightly in the future than it is now—perhaps by the government. To paraphrase Microsoft researcher danah boyd: Facebook is a utility; utilities get regulated. 9. Governments and corporations may use such programs to keep tabs on the whereabouts of “unfriendly” persons.


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Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang

23andMe, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, Airbnb, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, California gold rush, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, gender pay gap, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, high net worth, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, post-work, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, women in the workforce

Though Gjoni never called for any kind of campaign against Quinn, a certain subset of gamers took his nine-thousand-word, she-done-me-wrong post and turned it into a rallying point from which to defend their sacred, mostly male gaming territory. They derided Quinn’s game development as basic, simplistic girl work and claimed she used sexual favors to get good reviews. Gjoni’s post was put up on 4chan (not by him, he would later attest in a note on his original post), an online community founded in 2003 by a then teenager named Christopher Poole. Today 4chan claims some twenty million monthly visitors, including a large population that seems to delight in wreaking havoc online. They were particularly vicious when attacking Quinn and other women in the gaming industry. With the 4chan members engaged in the fight, accounts sprang up across Twitter and Reddit to attack Quinn and spread the #Gamergate hashtag. The trolling expanded to target other female game developers on the premise that there was a conspiracy of women trying to ruin the industry by promoting more gender equality in the games themselves and in the studios where the products are produced.

Threw a brick right through it,” Wu told me in April 2017, when I reached her by phone at a number she instructed me never to share. At the time we spoke, the window was still shattered. The online attacks, like the one perpetrated on Wu, began and gathered force on sites like 4chan, Twitter, and Reddit, the largely unmonitored town halls of the web. All of these sites allow or encourage anonymity and pseudonymity, as well as a laissez-faire approach to free speech, in keeping with the long-standing libertarian ethos of the internet. All of them have tolerated years of online harassment of women. It should be of little surprise at this point that the sites that harbor the most vicious trolls—4chan, Twitter, and Reddit included—were all started and led by white men, who aren’t usually the targets of the most vicious online harassment. Would these sites be as hostile to women today if they had been built and run by women, or at least included a meaningful number of women leaders early on?


pages: 382 words: 105,819

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee

4chan, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boycotts of Israel, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, computer age, cross-subsidies, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, game design, income inequality, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, laissez-faire capitalism, Lean Startup, light touch regulation, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

What they do instead is ban hate speech and harassment in their terms of service, covering their legal liability, and then apologize when innocent users suffer harm. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all have a bully problem, each reflecting the unique architecture and culture of the platform. The interplay of platforms also favors bad actors. They can incubate pranks, conspiracy theories, and disinformation in fringe sites like 4chan, 8chan, and Reddit, which are home to some of the most extreme voices on the internet, jump to Twitter to engage the press, and then, if successful, migrate to Facebook for maximum impact. The slavish tracking of Twitter by journalists, in combination with their willingness to report on things that trend there, has made news organizations complicit in the degradation of civil discourse. * * * — IN AN ESSAY in the MIT Technology Review, UNC professor Zeynep Tufekci explained why the impact of internet platforms on public discourse is so damaging and hard to fix.

Representative Schiff asked Renée and me to meet with the committee staff, which we did in a secure facility near the Capitol. The conversation turned to our hypotheses and what they implied for future elections. Renée characterized techniques the Russians may have used to spread disinformation on social media. The Russians’ job was made easier by the thriving communities of libertarians and contrarians on the internet. They almost certainly focused on sites that promoted anonymous free speech, sites like Reddit, 4chan, and 8chan. These sites are populated by a range of people, but especially those who hold views that may not be welcome in traditional media. Some of these users are disaffected, looking for outlets for their rage. Others are looking to expose what they see as the hypocrisy of society. Still others have agendas or confrontational personalities looking for an outlet. And some just want to play pranks on the world, preying on the gullibility of internet users, just to see how far they can push something outrageous or ridiculous.

And some just want to play pranks on the world, preying on the gullibility of internet users, just to see how far they can push something outrageous or ridiculous. These and other sites would have been fertile ground for the Russian messages on immigration, guns, and white nationalism. They were also ideal incubators for disinformation. Renée explained that the typical path for disinformation or a conspiracy theory is to be incubated on sites like Reddit, 4chan, or 8chan. There are many such stories in play at any time, a handful of which attract enough support to go viral. For the Russians, any time a piece of disinformation gained traction, they would seed one or more websites with a document that appeared to be a legitimate news story about the topic. Then they would turn to Twitter, which has replaced the Associated Press as the news feed of record for journalists.


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Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

23andMe, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alexander Shulgin, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, haute couture, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, performance metric, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pre–internet, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social intelligence, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

It was a crucial component: Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg, “Inside the Trump Bunker, with Days to Go,” Bloomberg, October 27, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-27/inside-the-trump-bunker-with-12-days-to-go. The Electoral College experts: David Plouffe: “What I Got Wrong about the Election,” New York Times, November 11, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/opinion/what-i-got-wrong-about-the-election.html. The forum boards of 4chan: Joseph Bernstein, “Inside 4chan’s Election Day Mayhem and Misinformation Playbook,” BuzzFeed, November 7, 2016, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephbernstein/inside-4chans-election-day-mayhem-and-misinformation-playboo#.rjDBA5vKZk. “Forget the press: Kurt Andersen, “How America Lost Its Mind,” Atlantic, September 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/how-america-lost-its-mind/534231/. CHAPTER TEN: BUZZFEED III Despite an injection: Steven Perlberg and Amol Sharma, “Comcast’s NBCUniversal Invests Another $200 Million in BuzzFeed,” Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/comcasts-nbcuniversal-invests-another-200-million-in-buzzfeed-1477005136.

While the new-media pioneers at BuzzFeed and Upworthy produced LOLs and cultivated trumped-up umbrage over the killing of poor Cecil, a second guard of new-media publishers set out to capture the loyalty of another psychographic swath of America whose disaffection far surpassed mere boredom. The new wave would employ the methods BuzzFeed had pioneered, but used partisan anger as their way of hot-wiring readers’ emotional responses. Stories could go viral by embracing the conspiracy theory of the day. Mike Cernovich and the crowd on 4chan were pandering to these constituencies and becoming massively popular in the process. Most of all, Breitbart News seemed to benefit from the boom of “stigmatized knowledge.” Its Facebook following was growing exponentially, and by the middle of 2016 it was getting more reader engagement than the Times. By May and June 2016 Breitbart had eclipsed all other political outlets in reader engagement via Facebook and Twitter, with a sizable lead over the second place, left-leaning Huffington Post.

While Trump’s strategists developed alternate realities and ushered voters along the narrative that best suited their personal preferences, the sector Silverman watched over continued to inject plot twists pulled as if from thin air. With the election 10 days out, Silverman, one of the few press watchdogs on the story, hectically dashed from pillar to post to thwart new lies as they popped up and engulfed the reading public. The forum boards of 4chan and 8chan, out-of-the-way sites where the alt-right in-crowd gathered to concoct pro-Trump influence campaigns throughout the election season, were abuzz with ideas for last-minute attacks. They were not official political strategists as much as volunteer guerrillas, and as such the voter suppression campaigns they hatched did not need to hew to the facts, as the “super-predator” ad had. BuzzFeed had another good reporter, Joseph Bernstein, who was well-sourced on the alt-right and revealed hacktivists who had created fake ads that were meant to look like they’d been designed by the Clinton campaign so as to mislead the Democrat’s supporters into disavowing her candidacy.


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Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency by Joshua Green

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bernie Sanders, business climate, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, coherent worldview, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate raider, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, Fractional reserve banking, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, liberation theology, low skilled workers, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, urban planning

Although Yiannopoulos was most interested in cultivating his own celebrity—Bannon thought he looked like “a gay hooker”—he was more than willing to do his part and make the political connection explicit. “How Donald Trump Can Win: With Guns, Cars, Tech Visas, Ethanol . . . And 4Chan” read the headline of an October 2015 article he wrote. Trump himself would help cement this alt-right alliance by retweeting images of Pepe the Frog and occasional missives—always inadvertently, his staff insisted—from white nationalist Twitter accounts. Before long, denizens of sites such as 4chan and reddit were coordinating support for Trump’s campaign. One aspect of this “support” was flooding the Twitter feeds of prominent journalists, particularly Jewish journalists, with vile anti-Semitic imagery. A study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League found that 2.6 million anti-Semitic tweets, many of them directed at journalists, were sent in the year leading up to the election and that the “aggressors are disproportionately likely to self-identify as Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, or part of the ‘alt-right.’”

But Bannon held on to a network of three large MMO gaming sites that the company had acquired (Wowhead, Allakhazam, and Thottbot) that were the hubs where these gamers congregated by the millions. If you trace a line backward from Trump’s election, it doesn’t take long before you encounter online networks of motivated gamers and message-board denizens such as the ones who populate Trump-crazed boards like 4chan, 8chan, and reddit. During the campaign, users of these message boards were eager purveyors of racist, alt-right invective, such as the anti-Semitic Pepe the Frog images that the Anti-Defamation League declared a hate symbol. Trace the line back a little further and it leads to Breitbart News and Bannon, whose hiring of the anti-feminist internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos as Breitbart’s tech editor in 2015 greatly exacerbated these forces.

Instead, the gamers ended up wrecking IGE’s business model by organizing themselves on the message boards and forcing the companies behind World of Warcraft and other MMO games to curb the disruptive practice of gold farming. IGE’s investors lost millions of dollars. But Bannon gained a perverse appreciation for the gamers who’d done him in. “These guys, these rootless white males, had monster power,” he said. “It was the pre-reddit. It’s the same guys on Thottbot who were [later] on reddit” and 4chan—the message boards that became the birthplace of the alt-right. When Bannon took over Breitbart, he wanted to capture this audience. Andrew Breitbart had drawn a portion of it enchanted by his aggressive provocations on issues such as race and political correctness. Bannon took it further. He envisioned a great fusion between the masses of alienated gamers, so powerful in the online world, and the right-wing outsiders drawn to Breitbart by its radical politics and fuck-you attitude.


pages: 188 words: 9,226

Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv

4chan, AGPL, Benjamin Mako Hill, British Empire, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative economy, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late capitalism, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, Network effects, optical character recognition, packet switching, postnationalism / post nation state, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, stealth mode startup, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, WikiLeaks

When others have done this in the past it has brought down the wrath of this shadowy group of anonymous individuals, causing public humiliation, hacked servers, and other florid forms of chaos. 2 Anonymous is a collection of individuals that post anonymously on /b/ <img.4chan.org/b/>, a section of the image board 4chan.org. When you post content on a typical message board, you are o en required to enter your name. If you don’t, your entry is a ributed to “anonymous”. On /b/ everyone posts as “anonymous”. The collective actions of users identified with the name anonymous aggregates into the collective identity Anonymous. The majority of Anonymous’ activity is visible only to Anonymous. The members trade images and jokes between one another on 4chan and other sites. They traffic in pornography, shock imagery, and inane jokes. They collect and distribute the oddities of the web. However, Anonymous is also responsible for occasional external, organized actions—ranging from pranks done “for the lulz”, to large scale activist projects.


pages: 444 words: 130,646

Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, index card, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, invention of writing, loose coupling, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

Tricia Wang, “Talking to Strangers: Chinese Youth and Social Media” (Ph.D. diss., University of California, San Diego, 2013). 6. danah boyd, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2014). 7. This topic is covered in depth in chapter 9. 8. Brendan O’Connor, “YouBeMom: The Anarchic Troll Hub That’s Basically 4chan for Mothers,” Daily Dot, August 8, 2014, http://www.dailydot.com/unclick/youbemom-4chan-for-moms/. 9. The site is not truly anonymous because the site administrators can trace each participant (unless the person uses privacy-preserving options like TOR or VPNs), but they are anonymous to one another and cannot trace posting history. 10. Emily Nussbaum, “Mothers Anonymous,” New York Magazine, July 24, 2006, http://nymag.com/news/features/17668/. 11.

It is difficult to ascertain what percentage of users choose which path. Reddit, on the other hand, is mostly populated by people who do not link their user name to their offline name. These different combinations of affordances, rules, and cultures create different dynamics for the communities that use them. There are also sites that make it very difficult to have a persistent identity over time, ranging from 4Chan, a controversial youth-oriented forum, to the seamy side of YouBeMom, a parenting forum where people discuss children and relationships. On these sites, there is no practical way for a person to indicate to others who he or she is (although the site itself can track identities). Each variation across these dimensions of identity and reputation affects the formation of communities and the building of social movements.

In these types of spaces, however, people are sometimes able to identify themselves to one another through “special masks” which may be recognized across time, for example, online nicknames or avatars. In anonymous places without reputation accrual, it is as if each person donned a new mask at every step. (See table 1 for a simplified classification.) Table 1. Affordances of Identity and Reputation Reputation building No reputation Anonymous to pseudonymous Reddit, Twitter 4chan, YouBeMom Real name or offline identity embedded Facebook, WhatsApp Not truly possible Most internet users have gotten used to such types of interaction and tend to overlook that this situation is somewhat bizarre and perplexing, as well as fairly recent in human history. Although the absence of identifiable “real names” does not make social interaction meaningless, it does alter its context and consequences.


pages: 246 words: 70,404

Come and Take It: The Gun Printer's Guide to Thinking Free by Cody Wilson

3D printing, 4chan, active measures, Airbnb, airport security, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, assortative mating, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, disintermediation, fiat currency, Google Glasses, gun show loophole, jimmy wales, lifelogging, Mason jar, means of production, Menlo Park, Minecraft, national security letter, New Urbanism, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Skype, thinkpad, WikiLeaks, working poor

That’s bad fund-raising. For twenty-two days I wrote pitch emails and letters. I watched the Indiegogo progress bar eke past one thousand dollars. At night I reread the crowdfunding site’s terms of service. “How much money have you got today?” my father would ask. “Almost two thousand now.” He laughed with a shrug of disbelief. Daniel Bizzell and I hosted late-night fund-raising threads on 4chan in the cigar room at the Peabody. The waitress indulged us as we torrented gun manuals and engineering texts. As I pursued my at-home ballistics degree, I watched the project’s YouTube video views tick upward every hour. The interest didn’t translate to much Indiegogo money, however. And we were a long way from twenty thousand dollars. But I’d lately found ways to make my court at the old hotel more courtly.

This is the highest speed limit in the United States.” “Hmm,” I grunted, too busy with an email from Amir Taaki, who had invited me out to Bratislava, Slovakia. I had told him I’d be out of money with DD soon and would be coming to Europe to meet my only significant donor. Amir said I should make a few weeks of it and see his network as well. I put the video of the magazine work with John online. “Download today,” it read; 4chan went nuts. You remember that commercial against pirated films you used to see on DVDs and in the theaters? You wouldn’t download a car. No, you obviously would. The Infowars headline was a classic: BREAKING: PRINTABLE AR 30-ROUND MAGAZINES NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD, SERIOUSLY Soon I found out that the chairman of the DCCC had added magazines to his proposed Wiki Weapon ban. Andy Greenberg called to ask what I thought of this while I was walking the uneven concrete panels that clad the tree roots near the car wash on Thirty-Second.

He invited me to his house downtown, off East Street, and I found him behind a construction site across from an elementary school. He met me at his screen door and asked me in while he fetched the rest of his arsenal. Over the glass top of his wooden desk he laid out modified AKMs and Saiga magazines. He had extended Glock mags and spare stocks and I told him it all felt serendipitous. We’d just begun work on printed AK magazines. “I had one last month drawn up by a kid from 4chan,” I told him. “Garbage, but I guess that’s what I should have expected. I started over with a guy in Louisiana, and the first new one is getting printed tomorrow. Do you want to bring your rifle and help me test it this weekend?” I walked back to my car with Robert’s rifle pieces and mags in a cardboard box. That evening I had them on FedEx trucks to volunteers from across the country. DD’s glory boys.


pages: 236 words: 77,098

I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bilton

3D printing, 4chan, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Cass Sunstein, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, Internet of things, Joan Didion, John Gruber, John Markoff, Marshall McLuhan, Nicholas Carr, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand

While holding people accountable for genuine wrongdoing, they also need to have some room for anonymity and for forgetting so that young people—and even some older ones—have room to grow and change. That perspective is shared by Christopher Poole, founder of the message board 4chan, where people can anonymously post responses to just about anything, often using the entire range of four-letter words and pornographic images as well. Though he acknowledges that some posters say vile and disgusting things, he believes the people who come to his site have a right to do so anonymously without sharing any personal information. They have a right to make mistakes. Poole doesn’t keep any personal information about his users, and after a certain period, all the posts on 4chan disappear like products on a conveyor belt. When I talked to Poole for a profile interview, he told me about a recent technology conference he attended at which someone else defended anonymity, saying, “Part of the magic of youth is that people are able to forgive and forget.”

Today’s young people will have a harder time dismissing their misbehavior as President Bush did, saying, “When I was young and reckless, I was young and reckless.” But our future will be much harsher without some understanding that what happens in the online world shouldn’t always stay there forever. You can be sure that Mann, Bell, and today’s cyborgs offer a glimpse of the future for a distant generation. Our mobile phones and digital cameras already record millions of photos each day. Just as it’s important that websites such as 4chan exist, even though most of society won’t agree with their content, it’s going to be equally important that certain aspects of the future allow us to forget pieces of the past. What the Future Will Look Like: More Personalized, More Possibilities If we don’t all self-destruct, what will be next for us on the technological front? Well, everything, actually. The “Me!” concept isn’t just about your news being personalized.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

4chan, airport security, AltaVista, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, twin studies, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

The only people who are not on line fairly regularly with a diverse network of contacts are too poor, too old, too young, or (and I'm speculating here) young men who are so socially isolated as to present a "lone wolf" threat. Digital political activism has never been more aggressive, confident, and successful as it confronts abusive cults, authoritarian governments, and dictators, and spreads its philosophical anarchist vision of the future. Anonymous, the faceless un-organization that grew from image-sharing forums like 4chan.org, is arguably one of the most powerful organizations on earth. What Drives Digital Society? Technology is not inevitable. Powerful drivers must exist in order for people to keep pushing the envelope and continue demanding more and more from a particular field of knowledge. In my view, digital society is driven by several factors. Cheaper Communications The first and most important driver is our demand for ever cheaper and easier communications.

We'll see various forms of attack on anonymous communities, covering the gamut of negative media reports, planting illicit material, claims of infiltration by security agents, and so on. We'll see various attacks on advanced cryptography, possibly through patents, or through laws that mandate the use of algorithms sanctioned by the NSA. If you want to do business with the Federal government, you will use such and such algorithms. This won't stop experts, though it would slow down mass adoption of secure systems. If Reddit or 4chan or any other major community starts to organize fully private forums using modern cryptography, they will be sold to better owners who will stop it, citing technical difficulties, child porn, or other reasons. An escalation of the fight between free political speech and censorship seems inevitable, and I think the outcome will mirror the older fight against file sharing. That is, we'll move away from centralized services accessed over commercial broadband -- both easy targets for the authorities -- and towards distributed services accessed by local networks, wrapped in unbreakable encryption.

However, while the previous fight took place in the courtroom where Scientology's money could work effectively, this new fight took place on the Internet, where, curiously, all of Scientology's money was worthless. This raises a side question, which I'll return to somewhat later, of exactly what currencies operate in this strange world. Wikipedia tells the story thus, "Project Chanology was formulated by users of the English-speaking imageboards 711chan.org and 4chan, the associated partyvan.info wiki, and several Internet Relay Chat channels, all part of a group collectively known as Anonymous, on January 16, 2008 after the Church of Scientology issued a copyright violation claim against YouTube for hosting material from the Cruise video." Before this, Anonymous was best known for ordering lots of pizzas for people they didn't like. Chanology was their first real fight, and out of that conflict emerged something surprising in its scale, and breathtaking in ambition.


pages: 416 words: 100,130

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms

"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks

To take a very different example, in 2016 Donald Trump’s connected connectors were an overlapping cadre of online activists and meme creators associated with the so-called alt-right, plus the vestiges of the Tea Party and gun rights diehards. This committed base was the catalyst for his crowdbuilding when he ran for president. They shared a broad set of passionate beliefs and were highly connected on message boards and platforms like Reddit and 4chan. They proved extremely effective at spreading messages and memes digitally, disseminating buzz about Trump and often false rumors or negative information about Hillary Clinton. Etsy, too, owes its early growth to a core of connected users. The online crafting marketplace now has tens of millions of members and generates hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Yet it only got off the ground thanks to small groups of digitally savvy feminist crafters.

Trump caught fire in no small part because of his intuitive grasp of how to build a movement in a new power world. As we touched on in the introduction, Twitter turned him into the leader of a vast, decentralized social media army that took its cues from him—and in turn fed Trump new narratives, conspiracy theories, and lines of attack. It would become a deeply symbiotic relationship. On the night of Trump’s election victory, the bulletin boards of 4chan, a Reddit-like social network that attracts mainly young men and which prides itself on extreme views and provocations, lit up. The white supremacists who had championed Trump’s candidacy couldn’t believe their luck. As Abby Ohlheiser recounted in the Washington Post: “ ‘I’m f——trembling out of excitement brahs,’ one 4channer wrote Tuesday night, adding a very excited Pepe the Frog drawing. ‘We actually elected a meme as president.’ ” Pepe the Frog is the green, human-like frog developed by Matt Furie for his comic book series more than a decade ago.

The related quotes that follow also come from this source. “Wow. Whoa. That is some”: “Here’s Donald Trump’s Presidential Announcement Speech,” Time, June 16, 2015. He reportedly hired: Aaron Crouch and Emmett McDermott, “Donald Trump Campaign Offered Actors $50 to Cheer for Him at Presidential Announcement,” Hollywood Reporter, June 17, 2015. “ ‘I’m f——trembling’ ”: Abby Ohlheiser, “ ‘We Actually Elected a Meme as President’: How 4chan Celebrated Trump’s Victory,” Washington Post, November 9, 2016. The 4channers appropriated: Olivia Nuzzi, “How Pepe the Frog Became a Nazi Trump Supporter and Alt-Right Symbol,” Daily Beast, May 26, 2016. In one instance, he retweeted: Taylor Wafford, “Donald Trump Retweets Racist Propaganda,” Newsweek, November 23, 2015. “If you see somebody getting ready”: Philip Bump, “Donald Trump Reverses Course on Paying Legal Fees for Man Who Attacked Protester.


pages: 324 words: 96,491

Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News by Clint Watts

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Manning, Climatic Research Unit, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Julian Assange, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

The best example of this approach is the story of Seth Rich, a DNC staffer murdered on July 10, 2016, who became a tragic conspiracy scapegoat among Russia meddling investigations. D.C. police believe that Rich’s murder was the result of a robbery gone wrong. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, however, issued a reward for details regarding the murder, suggesting that he may have been the source of the DNC email leak. Alt-right websites and conspiracy theorists on 4chan and Reddit posited the same explanation: Rich knew of DNC corruption, they said, and was a closet Bernie Sanders supporter seeking to air the truth.24 RT and Sputnik continued stirring up these allegations through public news stories, amplifying WikiLeaks’ conspiracies,25 and Russian diplomats joined in this counternarrative as well. On May 19, 2017, the Russian embassy in London tweeted, “#WikiLeaks informer Seth Rich murdered in US but MSM [mainstream media] was so busy accusing Russian hackers to take notice.”26 The Russian troll army amplified this conspiracy even further, retweeting claims of a U.S. government cover-up.

Russian state-sponsored news outlets, particularly RT, have successfully hosted and shared YouTube content that reaches audiences they could never engage with traditional television. With each click and share of their propaganda, they gain cookies, internet traffic data, and even distribution-list sign-ups for further targeting of specific audiences. Forgeries maligning Americans and their interests can be placed in an anonymous site like 4chan or Reddit and then shared across the entire information spectrum. Twitter—for Russia or any other influence effort—provides the single best way to propagate a message around the world. Finally, the Kremlin saturates American audiences with freedom-loving American personas on Facebook, Instagram, or even Pinterest, inundating, on a person-to-person level, key accounts, mobilizing mavens among like-minded audiences.

Each social media platform serves a purpose for active measures, and, through preference, Russia can help usher social media nations to information sources they’ve co-opted, repurposed, or even in some cases created to entice a useful audience. They use Twitter to infiltrate the preference bubble and reinforce useful narratives or spread new Kremlin ones. Facebook groups offer a circle of confirmation and implicit bias for saturating sympathetic audiences. Anonymous posting platforms like 4chan and Reddit offer the perfect platform for releasing kompromat, seeding ill-informed conspiracies suiting preference-bubble vulnerabilities, or rewriting history in support of false and alternative realities. LinkedIn is ideal for reconnaissance of foreign governments, defense contractors, and academia. Wikipedia is perfect for character assassination. Through precise social media assaults and smear campaigns, Russian active measures assist in the death of expertise that might challenge their advances.


Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie

4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, chief data officer, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, computer vision, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Etonian, first-past-the-post, Google Earth, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

This economic deprivation was coupled with increasingly unattainable body image standards for men in conventional and social media (without the same public recognition of male body issues or gendered pressures as for women) and the growing importance placed on physical looks in a dating scene increasingly defined by swiping left or right on a split-second glance at a photo. And as women had become more economically independent, they could afford to be more selective about their partners. Deprived of good looks and a respectable paycheck, “average men” faced a hard reality of constant romantic rejection. Some of these men began congregating on forums like 4chan, which grew into a repository of memes, weird fantasy fandoms, niche porn, pop culture, and the countercultural reactions of frustrated youth in an increasingly atomized society. In the early 2010s, nihilistic discussions began among young men who were resigned to lives of loneliness. A new vocabulary emerged to describe their circumstances, including “betas” (inferior men), “alphas” (superior men), “vocels” (voluntary celibates), MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way, walking away from women), “incels” (involuntary celibates), and “robots” (incels with Asperger’s).

Instead of trading them, or selling them through the game’s interface, which was allowed, IGE would sell the digital assets to Western players for a profit. This activity was largely seen by other players as cheating, and a civil suit and backlash online against the firm ensued. It’s possible this was Bannon’s early exposure to the rage of online communities; some of the commentary was reportedly “anti-Chinese vitriol.” Bannon became a regular reader of Reddit and 4chan and began to see the hidden anger that comes out when people are anonymous online. To him, they were revealing their true selves, unfiltered by a “political correctness” that was preventing them from speaking these “truths” in public. It was through the process of reading these forums that Bannon realized he could harness them and their anonymous swarms of resentment and harassment. This was especially true after Gamergate, in the late summer of 2014, right before Bannon was introduced to SCL.

Do some people use political correctness to make others feel dumb or to get ahead?” People reacted strongly to the notion that “liberals” were seeking new ways to mock and shame them, along with the idea that political correctness was a method of persecution. An effective Cambridge Analytica technique was to show subjects blogs that made fun of white people like them, such as People of Walmart. Bannon had been observing online communities on places like 4chan and Reddit for years, and he knew how often subgroups of angry young white men would share content of “liberal elites” mocking “regular” Americans. There had always been publications that parodied the “hicks” of flyover country, but social media represented an extraordinary opportunity to rub “regular” Americans’ noses in the snobbery of coastal elites. Cambridge Analytica began to use this content to touch on an implied belief about racial competition for attention and resources—that race relations were a zero-sum game.


pages: 366 words: 76,476

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) by Christian Rudder

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Howard Zinn, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, p-value, pre–internet, race to the bottom, selection bias, Snapchat, social graph, Solar eclipse in 1919, Steve Jobs, the scientific method

People used it to complain about anything they didn’t like (had a beef with), ignoring the brand: Remi Mitchison @RemiBee #HeresTheBeef when a chick see another chick doin better and has more than she does … so she wanna stunt and #GetThatAssBeatUp Jeremy Baumhower @jeremytheproduc #HeresTheBeef The drugs companies have already cured HIV and cancer, however it is far more profitable to keep people barely alive on drugs More recently, Mountain Dew ran a “Dub the Dew” contest, trying to ride the “crowdsourcing” wave to a cool new soda name and thinking maybe, if everything went just right and the metrics showed enough traction to get buy-in from the right influencers, they’d earn some brand ambassadors in the blogosphere. Reddit and 4chan got ahold of it, and “Hitler did nothing wrong” led the voting for a while, until at the last minute “Diabeetus” swooped in and the people’s voice was heard: Dub yourself, motherfucker. The Internet can be a deranged place, but it’s that potential for the unexpected, even the insane, that so often redeems it. I can’t imagine anything worse for You! The Brand! than upvoting Hitler. Plus, what a waste of time, because obviously Mountain Dew isn’t going to print a single unflattering word in the style of its precious and distinctive marks.

The sensor is primarily designed for exercise games, allowing players to monitor heart changes during physical activity, but, in principle, the same type of system could monitor and pass on details of physiological responses to TV advertisements, horror movies or even … political broadcasts.” 2 From Acxiom’s website: “[We give] our clients the power to successfully manage audiences, personalize customer experiences and create profitable customer relationships.” An interesting paradox: whenever you see the word “personalize,” you know things have gotten very impersonal. 3 After Boston, Reddit and 4chan tried vigorously (meaning there was lots of typing) to track down the bombers and eventually “pinned” it on an innocent man. For all the lip service the cloud and crowd get, hardware solved the crime. Coda Designing the charts and tables in this book, I relied on the work of the statistician and artist Edward R. Tufte. More than relied on, I tried to copy it. His books occupy that smallest of intersections: coffee-table beautiful and textbook clear, and inside he lays out principles of information design drawn from the all-time famous examples of data as storytelling.


pages: 428 words: 136,945

The Happiness Effect: How Social Media Is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost by Donna Freitas

4chan, fear of failure, Joan Didion, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Skype, Snapchat, Year of Magical Thinking

Everybody knows that whatever you post is subject to public scrutiny, but sometimes that scrutiny shows up in unexpected ways. And usually this happens on an anonymous forum such as Yik Yak or Reddit. Like many of her peers, Maria believes that the level of cruelty one might experience “depends on the degree of anonymity associated with the social platform,” as on Reddit and another platform called 4chan. She warns me to not even visit 4chan. “It’s very scary,” she says. “It’s an evil place because there’s so much anonymity … .whereas on Facebook, your name is associated with what you say, so you are what you say, and what you post is somewhat representative of you, supposedly. But on these other websites, it doesn’t matter what you say so you can say whatever you want.” Maria goes onto explain that sites like Reddit have a ranking system that allows people to see what is most popular at the moment.

See also bullying/cyberbullying; comparison trap, and likes/retweets cathartic forums on, 12 as CNN of envy, 39 comparison to Instagram, 109, 131, 178 comparison to LiveJournal, 127 comparison to Snapchat, 132–4 deactivation vs. deletion of accounts, 179 message update feature, 280–1 100 likes benchmark, 34 ranking of photos/posts, 36 reaction buttons, 306n5 selfies on, 86 social media résumés on, 49–51, 131 30 likes benchmark, 34–5 Timeline feature, 35–6 Facebook, professionalization of, 43–62 Cleanups, 46, 48–9, 51–3, 61, 180 economic background and, 53–8 forced positivity, 44–6 knowledge as power, 58–62 lack of privacy, 47–8 political/social posts, 44, 46, 49–51, 58–62 potential employers and, 46–51, 54, 55–7, 308n2, 311n11 as reformed behavior, 53–8 as virtual panopticism, 47 Facebook Cleanups, 46, 48–9, 51–3, 61, 180, 188–9, 259–60 Facebook official status, 172–91 authenticity/inauthenticity, 189–91, 324n3 Cleanups of prior relationships, 188–9 coming out as gay and, 180–4 hiding of breakups, 175 number of likes due to, 173, 174 Orthodox Jewish matchmaking (shadchanim) and, 184–7 regrets about creating status after breakups, 177 reluctance to do, 175 self-esteem and, 173 shifting status back to single, 175, 177–9 FaceTime, 204 face-to-face interaction, 189–91 Fitbit, 277 flash-fame, 308n1 FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), 39–40, 306n7. See also comparison trap, and likes/retweets forced positivity. See also authenticity/inauthenticity; branding of self; Facebook, professionalization of; headings at happiness effect as defense against cyberbullying, 168–9 defined, 13–5 Facebook official status and, 176–9 as inauthentic, 243–5, 252 as survival mechanism, 255 Foucault, Michel, 47 4chan, 169 Freitas, Donna, experience with social media, 252–4, 297–9 friendships, initiated in-person, 189–91 front-facing cameras, 204 Gardner, Howard, 49 GDI (God Damn Independent), 5 gender differences being liked and, 31–2, 37 bullying/cyberbullying and, 146, 322n3 religious expression and, 121 smartphones and, 121 gender of survey respondents, 95f gender of survey respondents, 95–6 gender stereotypes Instagram and, 94, 98–9 selfie generation and, 83, 92–102, 95f Twitter and, 94 Generation Me (Twenge), 82 Gilligan, Carol, 93 Golden Rule, of social media, 148, 265–7 good troll, defined, 161 GPS, and social media, 135, 195, 197 Grindr, 195 happiness effect, overview, 1–15.


pages: 562 words: 153,825

Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the Surveillance State by Barton Gellman

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, active measures, Anton Chekhov, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, financial independence, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Hangouts, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, job automation, Julian Assange, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, planetary scale, private military company, ransomware, Robert Gordon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, standardized shipping container, Steven Levy, telepresence, undersea cable, web of trust, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

The joke would have been plain to the intended audience, a nod to common membership in a meme-savvy group. The seas of incoming data, like the depths of the feline heart, were uncharted. Viewers were meant to laugh at Emo Cat’s despair. Cat pictures with sardonic slogans, Soltani explained to me, had their origins on the fringes of the World Wide Web. They had migrated from Internet Relay Chat rooms and avowedly misanthropic forums such as 4chan to Reddit and then to mass-market social media. Facebook kittens were cute and fluffy. Their antecedents had a mean streak, by and large. “Emo” connoted, in this case, mock-worthy pathos. “So what?” I said. I had noticed the kitten in passing and paid it no mind. “You don’t understand,” Soltani replied. The memes we turned up were like cave paintings, he said: simple yet revealing markers of culture.

Kirk, having none of that, hacks into the simulator and adds a winning scenario. The metaphor stands for more than it may intend: not only creative circumvention, an NSA specialty, but a hacker spirit that gamifies its work. The fun and games are sometimes dispiriting to read. In the NSA’s Hawaii operations center, civilian and enlisted personnel used their work machines to circulate dozens of photo memes that originated on Reddit, 4chan, and somethingawful.com. One photo showed a four-foot plastic Donald Duck with hips positioned suggestively between the legs of a pigtailed little girl. Another depicted a small boy tugging at a playmate’s skirt with the caption, “I would tear that ass up!” An image of blue balls accompanied a warning to a girl in her early teens against “teasing” her boyfriend without submitting to sex. Beneath a photo of smiling middle school children, one of them in a wheelchair, another caption read, “Who doesn’t belong?

., 377 Forbes, 75 Foreign Denial and Deception Committee, 274, 278 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (1978), 282, 338 and legal standard of relevance, 143–44 restrictions on NSA of, 122 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, 111–12, 122, 123, 126, 263–64, 283 in annual review of PRISM program, 125 business records access authorized by, 143, 171 five-year limit on retention imposed by, 173, 179 mass surveillance authorized by, 111–12 NSA call data collection authorized by, 157, 165 NSA overseas collection as avoiding restrictions of, 317 relevance standard and, 143–44 STELLARWIND concealed from, 170 foreign surveillance, see surveillance, foreign 4chan, 192 Fourth Amendment, of the U.S. Constitution, 65, 86, 125, 347 border searches and, 6 France Telecom, 197 Freedom of Information Act, BG and, 276–78 Freedom of the Press Foundation, 234 Friedersdorf, Conor, 344 Gansa, Alex, 303–5, 308 GCHQ, 79, 175 in penetration of Google cloud, 299, 301 Gellman, Barton (BG): Alexander’s proposed raid on, 245–46, 249 Aspen Institute plenary session moderated by, 155–66, 181–82 in attempts to authenticate leaked documents, 3, 17–18 attempt to learn ES’s identity rejected by, 17 black budget story of, 227–28 and catch-22 in consultation about classified materials, 270–71 Century Foundation fellowship of, 93 compromised Google accounts of, 232 cyber security tradecraft acquired by, xvi–xvii, 2–4, 6 digital trail of, xvi ES and, see Snowden.


pages: 317 words: 98,745

Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace by Ronald J. Deibert

4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brian Krebs, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, failed state, Firefox, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, invention of writing, Iridium satellite, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, South China Sea, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, Turing test, undersea cable, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day

As The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” played over and over again on defaced websites containing links to circumvent Internet censorship, an Anonymous screed warned the Chinese government that it is “not infallible, today websites are hacked, tomorrow it will be your vile regime that will fall.” At that very moment, several Chinese companies experienced data breaches, the stolen data posted to file-sharing sites. A taste of China’s own medicine? • • • By most accounts Anonymous’s origins stem from the 4chan message board, one of the many dark alleys of the Internet, like a Lower East Side of cyberspace where every delinquent, off beat, perverted taunt is not only tolerated but applauded. Anonymous spilled out of 4chan as a social movement in 2008, sparked when a decision taken by the Church of Scientology was viewed as a step too far across the breach of Internet morality. The Church sought to quash embarrassing online videos circulating across the Internet in typical meme-like fashion of a giddy Tom Cruise proclaiming his adherence to Scientology.


Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", 4chan, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, Columbine, corporate raider, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, QAnon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, white flight, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

Kathy Sierra, “Trouble at the Kool-Aid Point,” Serious Pony (blog), October 7, 2014, http://seriouspony.com/trouble-at-the-koolaid-point. 15.   Noreen Malone, “Zoe and the Trolls,” New York, July 24, 2017, http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/07/zoe-quinn-surviving-gamergate.html. 16.   Ryan Broderick, “Activists Are Outing Hundreds of Twitter Users Believed to Be 4chan Trolls Posing As Feminists,” BuzzFeed News, June 17, 2014, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/your-slip-is-showing-4chan-trolls-operation-lollipop. 17.   Sarah Kendzior, “Russia’s Social Media Propaganda Was Hiding in Plain Sight,” NBC News, November 2, 2017, https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/russia-s-social-media-propaganda-was-hiding-plain-sight-ncna816886. 18.   Gold, “Wylie to House Dems.” 19.   Sarah Kendzior, “The Minimum Wage Worker Strikes Back,” Medium, April 14, 2014, https://medium.com/@sarahkendzior/the-minimum-wage-worker-strikes-back-fa4c36eb306b. 20.   


pages: 98 words: 25,753

Ethics of Big Data: Balancing Risk and Innovation by Kord Davis, Doug Patterson

4chan, business process, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Occupy movement, performance metric, Robert Bork, side project, smart grid, urban planning

Businesses are innovating every day, and the pace of big-data growth is practically immeasurable. To provide a framework for dissecting the often nuanced and interrelated aspects of big data ethics, the following key components can help untangle the situation. Four Elements of Big-Data Ethics: Identity, Privacy, Ownership, and Reputation Identity Inquiries about identity are related in similar ways. Christopher Poole, creator of 4chan, gave a compelling talk at Web 2.0 in 2011, introducing the idea that identity is “prismatic” (http://www.wired.com/business/2011/10/you-are-not-your-name-and-photo-a-call-to-re-imagine-identity/). He emphasized that who we are—our identity—is multifaceted and is hardly ever summarized or aggregated in whole for consumption by a single person or organization. The implication is that if our identity is multifaceted, then it’s likely that our values and ethical relationship to identity are also multifaceted.


pages: 349 words: 102,827

The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-Hackers Is Building the Next Internet With Ethereum by Camila Russo

4chan, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, always be closing, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asian financial crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Donald Trump, East Village, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hacker house, Internet of things, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, mobile money, new economy, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X

Then, five days later, on June 22, a multimillion-dollar sell ordered triggered so-called stop-loss orders, or instructions to automatically sell when the price falls below a certain point, and that cascaded into even more stop losses. The domino effect caused a flash crash that pulled ether from $320 to 10 cents in seconds. The price recovered just as quickly but started plunging again two days later as the market remained jittery and rumors surfaced online that Vitalik had been involved in a deadly accident. “Vitalik Buterin confirmed dead. Insiders unloading ETH. Fatal car crash,” someone posted on 4chan, an anonymous online forum known for enabling harassment and pranks. And now we have our answer. He was the glue. It will be difficult for ETH to recover and the entire crypto sphere is in big trouble. The price dropped 22 percent to as low as $253 on June 25, from a high of $325 the day before the post. But Vitalik was just holed up in some far-flung part of the world working on Ethereum scaling.

The tweet read, “Another day, another blockchain use case.” The price dropped to as low as $204 in the next two days and rebounded from there. But the prank (or attempted market manipulation, more likely) made it painfully clear just how much Ethereum, for all its ambitions of decentralization, still relied on one man, its twenty-three-year-old creator. The crypto space was soon dealt a new blow. This time it was no rumor in 4chan, but a statement by the SEC. Almost one year after The DAO debacle, regulators had investigated the sale and concluded that DAO tokens were securities. That meant that The DAO, Slock.it, Slock.it’s cofounders, and intermediaries in the sale “may have violated the federal securities laws,” the commission said in a July 25 statement.5 After years of speculation, the US securities regulator finally had an answer for crypto enthusiasts, and it wasn’t the one they were hoping for: yes, digital tokens could be considered investment contracts.


pages: 397 words: 102,910

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

4chan, activist lawyer, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Bayesian statistics, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Lean Startup, moral panic, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Today, Congress holds a hearing on a bill that would create America’s first system for internet censorship.”65 Both images then linked to a form through which Web users could contact Congress and ask their representatives to “reject the Internet Blacklist Bills.” Swartz built the contact-Congress tool for Fight for the Future and helped spread the word about Internet Censorship Day. The tool launched on November 16, with hundreds of websites—including popular sites such as Reddit, 4chan, and Tumblr—blacking themselves out and encouraging stymied Web users to contact Congress and complain. According to Fight for the Future’s own estimates, the form that Swartz built generated approximately 1 million e-mails to Congress on November 16. Legislators’ telephones rang constantly that day. Yet, in the end, only a few legislators changed their positions on SOPA and PIPA. “INTERNET, YOU ARE AMAZING,” Cheng and Wilson wrote on the Internet Censorship Day website.

., 249 fact vs. artifact, 88–89 FBI, 191–92, 223 Federalists, 32–33 Felter, Wes, 9, 128, 131 Fight for the Future, 240, 241–42 file lockers, 226 file sharing: Congress suspicions of, 132 online, 4, 152–54 peer-to-peer, 133–34, 152–54 as pull marketing approach, 133 as theft, 4, 133, 137, 152–54, 179, 235–36 Finkelstein, Herman, 84 Finkelstein, Seth, 253 First Amendment, 242 Flaming Sword of Justice, The (podcast), 241, 243 Ford, Paul, 162 Forster, John, 49 4chan, 240 free culture movement, 3–4, 98, 140–41, 152–55, 167, 179, 204, 223 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 188, 223 freedom of speech, 20, 231, 242 Freedom to Connect conference, 244 Free Software Foundation, 104, 107, 190, 230, 266 Frost, Robert, 118, 121 Furman, Charlie, 257 Furniss, George W., 72–73 Gagarin, Yuri, 78 Gates, Bill, 106 Gay, Joshua, 230 Gilbert, Jon, 131 Gilder, Richard Watson, 60, 61–62, 64 Ginsburg, Ruth Bader, 139 Ginsparg, Paul, 176 Giustiniani, Paolo, 169–70, 174 GiveWell, 234, 249 Gladwell, Malcolm, 251 Glorious Revolution (1688), 19 GNU Project, 104, 107, 114, 154, 190 Gnutella, 133 Godey’s Lady’s Book, 52 Golway, Terry, Machine Made, 57 Good, Andrew, 229, 255 Google, 131, 185, 239 in Bubble City (fiction), 164, 165 and PIPA, 230, 241 Google Books, 173 Google Print for Libraries, 163 Gore, Al, 183 Gorton, Nathaniel M., 256–57 government: menace and intimidation by, 254, 262, 264 open, 172, 173 public data from, 183–85 research funded by, 82–83, 101, 174, 208–9, 211 Graham, Paul, 145–48, 149, 219 Graham’s, 52 Grammatical Institute of the English Language, A [“blue-backed speller”] (Webster), 23, 25, 27, 30, 33, 34, 36 Green, James N., 25 Greenspan, Alan, 138 Greenspun, Philip, 124 Guédon, Jean-Claude, 261 Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, 6–7, 178–81, 189–90, 201, 228–30, 247 Guernica (online magazine), 5 Guest, Edgar A., 109 Guimaraes, Reynaldo, 262 Gutenberg, Johannes, 18, 98–99 hacker ethic, 103–4, 112, 125, 135, 206, 212, 266–67 Hackers (Levy), 102–3, 138 Hafner, Katie, and Matthew Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late, 101 Hannay, David, 42 Harnad, Stevan, 176 Harper, J.


pages: 413 words: 106,479

Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch

4chan, book scanning, British Empire, citation needed, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Flynn Effect, Google Hangouts, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, moral panic, multicultural london english, natural language processing, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Using macros to make it easier to post images had an insider/outsider dynamic from the very beginning: according to a history of the forum, its moderator had created the image macro feature to prove a point about how annoying repetitive images were. Instead, people loved them. A further macro came with an even more popular meme: lolcats. People started sharing pictures of blissed-out cats with overlaid text on the anonymous forum 4chan starting in 2005, in a Saturday celebration of cats known as “Caturday,” and the lolcat phenomenon eventually occasioned articles everywhere from academic journals to Time magazine. Like the earlier memes, the first lolcats had their text added manually, using graphics programs like Photoshop and Microsoft Paint. As lolcats became popular, so did a second kind of timesaving macro, which would place the text automatically on the base image—much faster than downloading it to a separate program.

These meme generator sites promoted a consistent meme aesthetic: the all-caps, black-bordered white Impact font (a brilliant innovation in automatic caption generation because it stands out easily no matter what colors or patterns are behind it). Making lolcat generation easier became controversial. Putting text on top of an image had formerly required a certain amount of technical knowledge of photo-editing software. Now, it was easy. Too easy, according to some “insiders.” Technologist Kate Miltner documented this split among two kinds of lolcat fans in the late 2000s. Self-described MemeGeeks had liked the early kind of lolcats on 4chan but had moved on to other memes, like Advice Animals, as lolcats became more popular and easier to create. Self-described Cheezfriends, on the other hand, tended to reside on the site I Can Has Cheezburger and demonstrated their community membership through fluency in the stylized lolspeak itself, rather than technical prowess creating the memes. At peak lolcat, posters on the lolcat forums at I Can Has Cheezburger would type entire messages to each other in lolspeak, and it was easy for them to linguistically tell apart the newbs from the true Cheezfriends, even without any cat images to help.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buy and hold, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, QR code, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

Bitcoin and Tor are revolutionary and sites like Silk Road are just the beginning,” he wrote on the forum. In his own diary, Ross was more frank: “I am creating a year of prosperity and power beyond what I have ever experienced before.” CHAPTER 7 March 16, 2011 The response to Silk Road on the Bitcoin forums was initially somewhat tepid—only a few people chimed in. But it got much more attention on the most widely used message board for hackers—4chan—and new Silk Road members were soon pouring in, along with orders. By mid-March, the site had over 150 members. That was, in fact, more than Ross was equipped to handle. He had to return again and again to the friend who had been helping him with the code, to figure out how to deal with all the traffic. When the site went down on March 15, he chatted his friend Richard Bates in a panic. “i’m so stressed!

Federal Reserve Financial Crimes Enforcement Unit [FinCen] (Treasury Department), 138, 196–197, 201, 234–235, 266, 325 Financial Times, 262, 317 Finney, Fran, 3 Finney, Hal defense of Bitcoin system, 24–27 introduction to Bitcoin, 3–8 Lou Gehrig’s disease diagnosis, 27 return to Bitcoin community, 59–60 role in PGP, 10, 13 Finney, Jason, 27 FirstMark Capital, 144, 147–149, 176 Forbes, 80, 96 Fortress Investment Group, 180, 217–219, 252, 272–273. See also Briger, Pete Founders Fund, 187, 211 4chan (hacker message board), 75 Freeman, Ian, 75–76 Free State Project, 107–110 Free Talk Live (radio program), 75–78, 108 Freis, James, 325 FriendlyChemist (screen name), 225–226 Gandalf (computer chip), 329 Garzik, Jeff, 83–84, 92, 99, 190, 196, 348 Gates, Bill, 353–355, 385n Gawker (website), 83–84 George, Jacob (aka DigitalInk), 121 George Mason University, 80 Georgia, Republic of, 330 GitHub, 141 Goldman Sachs, 324–326 gold standard, x, 15–16, 31–32, 45, 109, 157–158 Gonzague, 312–315 Goodman, Leah McGrath, 319–324 Google, 101–103, 187, 248–249, 283, 304–305, 314–315, 334 Google Wallet, 101 government regulation/investigation arrest of Roger Ver, 77–78 arrest of Ross Ulbricht, 170–171 BitInstant, 222–224 BTC China, 273–275 Erik Voorhees, 224–225 PGP and Zimmerman, 10 virtual currencies, 66–67, 196–198, 235 Graeber, David, 157 Great Depression, 31 Great Recession, banking crisis of 2008, 32, 111 Green, Curtis (aka chronicpain), 116, 170–171, 225, 249, 332 Greenspan, Alan, 17 hackers/hacking Bitcoin vulnerability, xiv, 24, 154, 201, 215 BitInstant penetration, 150 message boards, 75 Mt.


pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, superconnector, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

Many alternate spaces already thrive. Indeed, some of the most interesting conversations I encounter online happen in smaller-scale, less-populated discussion forums devoted to hobbies. Because small forums cost almost nothing to run, hobbyists don’t need to succumb to the privacy-eroding logic of monetization. And in smaller, more intimate groups, participants worry less about context collapse. Other forums—like the infamous 4chan or the mothers’ board YouBeMom—offer radical anonymity as a way to encourage people to speak freely, and the conversations there are more freewheeling, for good and ill, than just about anywhere online. The culture of being always on—available to respond to any social ping, and feeling compelled to do so—may also fade. The anthropologist Genevieve Bell thinks our early infatuation with incessant online contact is already easing.

See also social networks abusive comments, preventing, 80 and advertising, 237, 272 and ambient awareness, 210–44 anonymous pages, delisting of, 272 audience effect, 76 personality construction from pages, 216 social codes, need for, 42 white walling account, 240 words-per-day volume, 47 writing on, daily volume, 47 Fair Housing Act (1968), 251 Fair Labor Association, 276–77 fan fiction, 47–48, 51, 153–55 Pinboard upgrades, collaborative document on, 154–55 slash fiction, 153–54 FAQ (frequently asked questions), 75–76 fear of missing out (FOMO), 231 Ferrucci, David, 280–81 Feynman, Richard, 6, 99 Fifty Shades of Grey (James), 154 filters, photographic, 109–10 Findings, 243 Fischer, Bobby, 18 Five Pillars, of Wikipedia, 163 Fleming, Alexander, 61, 63–64 Florey, Howard, 64 Florilegia, 12 focus. See attention/focus Fold.it, 167–68 forgetting. See also memory and ability to refind information, 127–28 artificial forgetting, 241–42 benefits of, 40–41 details versus meaning, 129, 133–34 Ebbinghaus curve, 25, 144–45 process of, 23–24 4chan, 241 Foursquare, 37–38 FoursquareAnd7YearsAgo, 38 Freedom app, 136 Friedel, Frederic, 17 Frye, Northrop, 132 Fuchsian functions, 132 Fujifilm Velvia film, 110 “Funes, the Memorius” (Borges), 39–40 Galaga (video game), 148 Galaxy Zoo, 169 Galileo, 59 Galton, Francis, 155–56 Gardner, Sue, 161 Gee, James Paul, 198 generation effect, 57, 75, 184 geography, learning through video games, 199–202 geolocation.


pages: 138 words: 43,748

Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle by Jeff Flake

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global supply chain, immigration reform, impulse control, invisible hand, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Potemkin village, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, uranium enrichment, zero-sum game

And in a more recent example of outrageous alternate reality, by the election of 2016 the right-wing Internet was ablaze with stories of how the former secretary of state and Democratic nominee for president was the supposed leader of a massive international child-enslavement ring run out of a pizza parlor in Washington, D.C., and of how her campaign chairman, John Podesta, also said to be part of this ring, engaged in satanic rituals as well. The origin of this story seems to have been a white supremacist Twitter account, from which it was then amplified, as are so many of these deranged fantasies, in the comments sections of 4chan and Reddit before virally making its way to more mainstream outlets and becoming a story of truly global proportions. Never mind that there were more than enough serious and legitimate reasons to oppose and defeat Hillary Clinton. So many people on my side were too eager to reach for and spread conspiracy theories, too eager to believe in premises that were demonstrably false—among them senior aides to our presidential candidate.


pages: 151 words: 39,757

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

4chan, basic income, cloud computing, corporate governance, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, gig economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Milgram experiment, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, theory of mind, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

I’ll explain that observation more in the argument about economics. Which companies are BUMMER? This can be debated! A good way to tell is that first-rank BUMMER companies are the ones that attract efforts or spending from bad actors like Russian state intelligence warfare units. This test reveals that there are pseudo-BUMMER services that contain only subsets of the components, like Reddit and 4chan, but still play significant roles in the BUMMER ecosystem. Next-order services that might become BUMMER but haven’t achieved scale are operated by the other tech giants, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple, as well as by smaller companies like Snap. But this second argument is not about corporations, it’s about you. Because we can draw a line around the BUMMER machine, we can draw a line around what to avoid.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

In either case, the point is that there could never be enough police to enforce a standard of behavior that most people reject. It saddens me that even idealistic digital activists often assume that enforcement is the key question. We’ve become used to a double standard online, where there’s either an often mean-spirited, hostile anarchy or one submits to institutional control. Anarchy reigns on sites like 4chan or in uncensored comments on videos or articles. Meanwhile most content and expression flows through institutional channels like app stores or social networks in which censorious policies are enforced. Neither situation supports real freedom. (Many of the most supposedly open and free online designs are often actually choked by a controlling elite.)1 Real freedom has to be based on most people choosing to give each other latitude most of the time.

., 49, 74–75 entertainment industry, 7, 66, 109, 120, 135, 136, 185–86, 258, 260 see also mass media entrepreneurship, 14, 57, 79, 82, 100–106, 116, 117–20, 122, 128, 148–49, 166, 167, 183, 200, 234, 241–43, 248, 274, 326, 359 entropy, 55–56, 143, 183–84 environmental issues, 32 equilibrium, 148–51 Erlich, Paul, 132 est, 214 Ethernet, 229 Etsy, 343 Europe, 45, 54, 77, 199 evolution, 131, 137–38, 144, 146–47 exclusion principle, 181, 202 Expedia, 65 experiments, scientific, 112 experts, 88, 94–95, 124, 133–34, 178, 325–31, 341, 342 externalization, 59n Facebook, 2, 8, 14, 20, 56–57, 93, 109, 154, 169, 171, 174, 180, 181, 188, 190–91, 200n, 204, 206, 207, 209, 210, 214, 215, 217, 227, 242–43, 246, 248, 249, 251, 270, 280, 286, 306, 309, 310, 313, 314, 317, 318, 322, 326, 329, 341, 343, 344, 346, 347–48, 366 facial recognition, 305n, 309–10 factories, 43, 85–86, 88, 135 famine, 17, 132 Fannie Mae, 69 fascism, 159–60 fashion, 89, 260 feedback, 112, 162, 169, 203, 298, 301–3, 363–64, 365 fees, service, 81, 82 feudalism, 79 Feynman, Richard, 94 file sharing, 50–52, 61, 74, 78, 88, 100, 223–30, 239–40, 253–64, 277, 317–24, 335, 349 “filter bubbles,” 225, 357 filters, 119–20, 200, 225, 356–57 financial crisis (2008), 76–77, 115, 148n financial services, 7n, 29–31, 35, 38, 45, 49, 50, 52, 54, 56–67, 69–70, 74–80, 82, 115, 116–20, 148n, 153–54, 155, 179–85, 200, 208, 218, 254, 257, 258, 277–78, 298, 299–300, 301, 336–37, 344–45, 348, 350 firewalls, 305 first-class economic citizens, 246, 247, 248–51, 273, 286–87, 323, 349, 355–56 Flightfox, 64 fluctuations, 76–78 flu outbreaks, 110, 120 fMRI, 111–12 food supplies, 17, 123, 131 “Fool on the Hill, The,” 213 Ford, Henry, 43 Ford, Martin, 56n Forster, E. M., 129–30, 261, 328 “Forum,” 214 Foucault, Michel, 308n 4chan, 335 4′33″ (Cage), 212 fractional reserve system, 33 Franco, Francisco, 159–60 freedom, 13–15, 32–33, 90–92, 277–78, 336 freelancing, 253–54 Free Print Shop, 228 “free rise,” 182–89, 355 free speech, 223, 225 free will, 166–68 “friction,” 179, 225, 230, 235, 354 Friendster, 180, 181 Fukuyama, Francis, 165, 189 fundamentalism, 131, 193–94 future: chaos in, 165–66, 273n, 331 economic analysis of, 1–3, 15, 22, 37, 38, 40–41, 42, 67, 122, 143, 148–52, 153, 155–56, 204, 208, 209, 236, 259, 274, 288, 298–99, 311, 362n, 363 humanistic economy for, 194, 209, 233–351 361–367 “humors” of, 124–40, 230 modern conception of, 123–40, 193–94, 255 natural basis of, 125, 127, 128–29 optimism about, 32–35, 45, 130, 138–40, 218, 230n, 295 politics of, 13–18, 22–25, 85, 122, 124–26, 128, 134–37, 199–234, 295–96, 342 technological trends in, 7–18, 21, 53–54, 60–61, 66–67, 85–86, 87, 97–98, 129–38, 157–58, 182, 188–90, 193–96, 217 utopian conception of, 13–18, 21, 30, 31, 37–38, 45–46, 96, 128, 130, 167, 205, 207, 265, 267, 270, 283, 290, 291, 308–9, 316 future-oriented money, 32–34, 35 Gadget, 186 Gallant, Jack, 111–12 games, 362, 363 Gates, Bill, 93 Gattaca, 130 Gawker, 118n Gelernter, David, 313 “general” machines, 158 General Motors, 56–57 general relativity theory, 167n Generation X, 346 genetic engineering, 130 genetics, 109–10, 130, 131, 146–47, 329, 366 genomics, 109–10, 146–47, 366 Germany, 45 Ghostery, 109 ghost suburbs, 296 Gibson, William, 137, 309 Gizmodo, 117–18 Global Business Network (GBN), 214–15 global climate change, 17, 32, 53, 132, 133, 134, 203, 266, 295, 296–97, 301–2, 331 global economy, 33n, 153–56, 173, 201, 214–15, 280 global village, 201 God, 29, 30–31, 139 Golden Goblet, 121, 121, 175, 328 golden rule, 335–36 gold standard, 34 Google, 14, 15, 19, 69, 74, 75–76, 90, 94, 106, 110, 120, 128, 153, 154, 170, 171, 174, 176, 180, 181–82, 188, 191, 192, 193, 199–200, 201, 209, 210, 217, 225, 227, 246, 249, 265, 267, 272, 278, 280, 286, 305n, 307, 309–10, 322, 325, 330, 344, 348, 352 Google Goggles, 309–10 Googleplex, 199–200 goops, 85–89, 99 Gore, Al, 80n Graeber, David, 30n granularity, 277 graph-shaped networks, 241, 242–43 Great Britain, 200 Great Depression, 69–70, 75, 135, 299 Great Recession, 31, 54, 60, 76–77, 204, 311, 336–37 Greece, 22–25, 45, 125 Grigorov, Mario, 267 guitars, 154 guns, 310–11 Gurdjieff, George, 215, 216 gurus, 211–13 hackers, 14, 82, 265, 306–7, 345–46 Hardin, Garrett, 66n Hartmann, Thom, 33n Hayek, Friedrich, 204 health care, 66–67, 95, 98–99, 100, 132–33, 153–54, 249, 253, 258, 337, 346 health insurance, 66–67, 95, 98–99, 100, 153–54 Hearts and Minds, 353n heart surgery, 11–13, 17, 18, 157–58 heat, 56 hedge funds, 69, 106, 137 Hephaestus, 22, 23 high-dimensional problems, 145 high-frequency trading, 56, 76–78, 154 highways, 79–80, 345 Hinduism, 214 Hippocrates, 124n Hiroshima bombing (1945), 127 Hollywood, 204, 206, 242 holographic radiation, 11 Homebrew Club, 228 homelessness, 151 homeopathy, 131–32 Homer, 23, 55 Honan, Mat, 82 housing market, 33, 46, 49–52, 61, 78, 95–96, 99, 193, 224, 227, 239, 245, 255, 274n, 289n, 296, 298, 300, 301 HTML, 227, 230 Huffington Post, 176, 180, 189 human agency, 8–21, 50–52, 85, 88, 91, 124–40, 144, 165–66, 175–78, 191–92, 193, 217, 253–64, 274–75, 283–85, 305–6, 328, 341–51, 358–60, 361, 362, 365–67 humanistic information economy, 194, 209, 233–351 361–367 human reproduction, 131 humors (tropes), 124–40, 157, 170, 230 hunter-gatherer societies, 131, 261–62 hyperefficient markets, 39, 42–43 hypermedia, 224–30, 245 hyper-unemployment, 7–8 hypotheses, 113, 128, 151 IBM, 191 identity, 14–15, 82, 124, 173–74, 175, 248–51, 283–90, 305, 306, 307, 315–16, 319–21 identity theft, 82, 315–16 illusions, 55, 110n, 120–21, 135, 154–56, 195, 257 immigration, 91, 97, 346 immortality, 193, 218, 253, 263–64, 325–31, 367 imports, 70 income levels, 10, 46–47, 50–54, 152, 178, 270–71, 287–88, 291–94, 338–39, 365 incrementalism, 239–40 indentured servitude, 33n, 158 India, 54, 211–13 industrialization, 49, 83, 85–89, 123, 132, 154, 343 infant mortality rates, 17, 134 infinity, 55–56 inflation, 32, 33–34 information: age of, 15–17, 42, 166, 241 ambiguity of, 41, 53–54, 155–56 asymmetry of, 54–55, 61–66, 118, 188, 203, 246–48, 285–88, 291–92, 310 behavior influenced by, 32, 121, 131, 173–74, 286–87 collection of, 61–62, 108–9 context of, 143–44, 178, 188–89, 223–24, 225, 245–46, 247, 248–51, 338, 356–57, 360 correlations in, 75–76, 114–15, 192, 274–75 for decision-making, 63–64, 184, 266, 269–75, 284n digital networks for, see digital networks duplication of, 50–52, 61, 74, 78, 88, 223–30, 239–40, 253–64, 277, 317–24, 335, 349 economic impact of, 1–3, 8–9, 15–17, 18, 19–20, 21, 35, 60–61, 92–97, 118, 185, 188, 201, 207, 209, 241–43, 245–46, 246–48, 256–58, 263, 283–87, 291–303, 331, 361–67 in education, 92–97 encrypted, 14–15, 175, 239–40, 305–8, 345 false, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 filters for, 119–20, 200, 225, 356–57 free, 7–9, 15–16, 50–52, 61, 74, 78, 88, 214, 223–30, 239–40, 246, 253–64, 277, 317–24, 335, 349 history of, 29–31 human agency in, 22–25, 69–70, 120–21, 122, 190–91 interpretation of, 29n, 114–15, 116, 120–21, 129–32, 154, 158, 178, 183, 184, 188–89 investment, 59–60, 179–85 life cycle of, 175–76 patterns in, 178, 183, 184, 188–89 privacy of, see privacy provenance of, 245–46, 247, 338 sampling of, 71–72, 191, 221, 224–26, 259 shared, 50–52, 61, 74, 78, 88, 100, 223–30, 239–40, 253–64, 277, 317–24, 335, 349 signals in, 76–78, 148, 293–94 storage of, 29, 167n, 184–85; see also cloud processors and storage; servers superior, 61–66, 114, 128, 143, 171, 246–48 technology of, 7, 32–35, 49, 66n, 71–72, 109, 110, 116, 120, 125n, 126, 135, 136, 254, 312–16, 317 transparency of, 63–66, 74–78, 118, 190–91, 306–7 two-way links in, 1–2, 227, 245, 289 value of, 1–3, 15–16, 20, 210, 235–43, 257–58, 259, 261–63, 271–75, 321–24, 358–60 see also big data; data infrastructure, 79–80, 87, 179, 201, 290, 345 initial public offerings (IPOs), 103 ink, 87, 331 Inner Directeds, 215 Instagram, 2, 53 instant prices, 272, 275, 288, 320 insurance industry, 44, 56, 60, 66–67, 95, 98–99, 100, 153–54, 203, 306 intellectual property, 44, 47, 49, 60, 61, 96, 102, 183, 204, 205–10, 223, 224–26, 236, 239–40, 246, 253–64 intelligence agencies, 56, 61, 199–200, 291, 346 intelligence tests, 39, 40 interest rates, 81 Internet: advertising on, 14, 20, 24, 42, 66, 81, 107, 109, 114, 129, 154, 169–74, 177, 182, 207, 227, 242, 266–67, 275, 286, 291, 322–24, 347–48, 354, 355 anonymity of, 172, 248–51, 283–90 culture of, 13–15, 25 development of, 69, 74, 79–80, 89, 129–30, 159, 162, 190–96, 223, 228 economic impact of, 1–2, 18, 19–20, 24, 31, 43, 60–66, 79–82, 117, 136–37, 169–74, 181, 186 employment and, 2, 7–8, 56–57, 60, 71–74, 79, 117, 123, 135, 149, 178, 201, 257–58 file sharing on, 50–52, 61, 74, 78, 88, 100, 223–30, 239–40, 253–64, 277, 317–24, 335, 349 free products and services of, 7n, 10, 60–61, 73, 81, 82, 90, 94–96, 97, 128, 154, 176, 183, 187, 201, 205–10, 234, 246–48, 253–64, 283–88, 289, 308–9, 317–24, 337–38, 348–50, 366 human contributions to, 19–21, 128, 129–30, 191–92, 253–64 identity in, 14–15, 82, 173–74, 175, 283–90, 315–16 investment in, 117–20, 181 legal issues in, 63, 79–82, 204, 206, 318–19 licensing agreements for, 79–82 as network, 2–3, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19–21, 31, 49, 50–51, 53, 54–55, 56, 57, 75, 92, 129–30, 143–48, 228–29, 259, 286–87, 308–9 political aspect of, 13–15, 205–10 search engines for, 51, 60, 70, 81, 120, 191, 267, 289, 293; see also Google security of, 14–15, 175, 239–40, 305–8, 345 surveillance of, 1–2, 11, 14, 50–51, 64, 71–72, 99, 108–9, 114–15, 120–21, 152, 177n, 199–200, 201, 206–7, 234–35, 246, 272, 291, 305, 309–11, 315, 316, 317, 319–24 transparency of, 63–66, 176, 205–6, 278, 291, 308–9, 316, 336 websites on, 80, 170, 200, 201, 343 Internet2, 69 Internet service providers (ISPs), 171–72 Interstate Highway System, 79–80, 345 “In-valid,” 130 inventors, 117–20 investment, financial, 45, 50, 59–67, 74–80, 115, 116–20, 155, 179–85, 208, 218, 257, 258, 277–78, 298, 301, 348, 350 Invisible Hand humor, 126, 128 IP addresses, 248 iPads, 267 Iran, 199, 200 irony, 130 Islam, 184 Italy, 133 Jacquard programmable looms, 23n “jailbreaking,” 103–4 Japan, 85, 97, 98, 133 Jeopardy, 191 Jeremijenko, Natalie, 302 jingles, 267 jobs, see employment Jobs, Steve, 93, 166n, 192, 358 JOBS Act (2012), 117n journalism, 92, 94 Kapital, Das (Marx), 136 Keynesianism, 38, 151–52, 204, 209, 274, 288 Khan Academy, 94 Kickstarter, 117–20, 186–87, 343 Kindle, 352 Kinect, 89n, 265 “Kirk’s Wager,” 139 Klout, 365 Kodak, 2, 53 Kottke, Dan, 211 KPFA, 136 Kurzweil, Ray, 127, 325, 327 Kushner, Tony, 165, 189 LaBerge, Stephen, 162 labor, human, 85, 86, 87, 88, 99–100, 257–58, 292 labor unions, 44, 47–48, 49, 96, 239, 240 Laffer curve, 149–51, 150, 152 Las Vegas, Nev., 296, 298 lawyers, 98–99, 100, 136, 184, 318–19 leadership, 341–51 legacy prices, 272–75, 288 legal issues, 49, 63, 74–82, 98–99, 100, 104–5, 108, 136, 184, 204, 206, 318–19 Lehman Brothers, 188 lemonade stands, 79–82 “lemons,” 118–19 Lennon, John, 211, 213 levees, economic, 43–45, 46, 47, 48, 49–50, 52, 92, 94, 96, 98, 108, 171, 176n, 224–25, 239–43, 253–54, 263, 345 leveraged mortgages, 49–50, 61, 227, 245, 289n, 296 liberal arts, 97 liberalism, 135–36, 148, 152, 202, 204, 208, 235, 236, 251, 253, 256, 265, 293, 350 libertarianism, 14, 34, 80, 202, 208, 210, 262, 321 liberty, 13–15, 32–33, 90–92, 277–78, 336 licensing agreements, 79–82 “Lifestreams” (Gelernter), 313 Lights in the Tunnel, The (Ford), 56n Linux, 206, 253, 291, 344 litigation, 98–99, 100, 104–5, 108, 184 loans, 32–33, 42, 43, 74, 151–52, 306 local advantages, 64, 94–95, 143–44, 153–56, 173, 203, 280 Local/Global Flip, 153–56, 173, 280 locked-in software, 172–73, 182, 273–74 logical copies, 223 Long-Term Capital Management, 49, 74–75 looms, 22, 23n, 24 loopholes, tax, 77 lotteries, 338–39 lucid dreaming, 162 Luddites, 135, 136 lyres, 22, 23n, 24 machines, 19–20, 86, 92, 123, 129–30, 158, 261, 309–11, 328 see also computers “Machine Stops, The” (Forster), 129–30, 261, 328 machine translations, 19–20 machine vision, 309–11 McMillen, Keith, 117 magic, 110, 115, 151, 178, 216, 338 Malthus, Thomas, 132, 134 Malthusian humor, 125, 127, 132–33 management, 49 manufacturing sector, 49, 85–89, 99, 123, 154, 343 market economies, see economies, market marketing, 211–13, 266–67, 306, 346 “Markets for Lemons” problem, 118–19 Markoff, John, 213 marriage, 167–68, 274–75, 286 Marxism, 15, 22, 37–38, 48, 136–37, 262 as humor, 126 mash-ups, 191, 221, 224–26, 259 Maslow, Abraham, 260, 315 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 75, 93, 94, 96–97, 157–58, 184 mass media, 7, 66, 86, 109, 120, 135, 136, 185–86, 191, 216, 267 material extinction, 125 materialism, 125n, 195 mathematics, 11, 20, 40–41, 70, 71–72, 75–78, 116, 148, 155, 161, 189n, 273n see also statistics Matrix, The, 130, 137, 155 Maxwell, James Clerk, 55 Maxwell’s Demon, 55–56 mechanicals, 49, 51n Mechanical Turk, 177–78, 185, 187, 349 Medicaid, 99 medicine, 11–13, 17, 18, 54, 66–67, 97–106, 131, 132–33, 134, 150, 157–58, 325, 346, 363, 366–67 Meetings with Remarkable Men (Gurdjieff), 215 mega-dossiers, 60 memes, 124 Memex, 221n memories, 131, 312–13, 314 meta-analysis, 112 metaphysics, 12, 127, 139, 193–95 Metcalf’s Law, 169n, 350 Mexico City, 159–62 microfilm, 221n microorganisms, 162 micropayments, 20, 226, 274–75, 286–87, 317, 337–38, 365 Microsoft, 19, 89, 265 Middle Ages, 190 middle class, 2, 3, 9, 11, 16–17, 37–38, 40, 42–45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 60, 74, 79, 91, 92, 95, 98, 171, 205, 208, 210, 224–25, 239–43, 246, 253–54, 259, 262, 263, 280, 291–94, 331, 341n, 344, 345, 347, 354 milling machines, 86 mind reading, 111 Minority Report, 130, 310 Minsky, Marvin, 94, 157–58, 217, 326, 330–31 mission statements, 154–55 Mixed (Augmented) Reality, 312–13, 314, 315 mobile phones, 34n, 39, 85, 87, 162, 172, 182n, 192, 229, 269n, 273, 314, 315, 331 models, economic, 40–41, 148–52, 153, 155–56 modernity, 123–40, 193–94, 255 molds, 86 monetization, 172, 176n, 185, 186, 207, 210, 241–43, 255–56, 258, 260–61, 263, 298, 331, 338, 344–45 money, 3, 21, 29–35, 86, 108, 124, 148, 152, 154, 155, 158, 172, 185, 241–43, 278–79, 284–85, 289, 364 monocultures, 94 monopolies, 60, 65–66, 169–74, 181–82, 187–88, 190, 202, 326, 350 Moondust, 362n Moore’s Law, 9–18, 20, 153, 274–75, 288 morality, 29–34, 35, 42, 50–52, 54, 71–74, 188, 194–95, 252–64, 335–36 Morlocks, 137 morning-after pill, 104 morphing, 162 mortality, 193, 218, 253, 263–64, 325–31, 367 mortgages, 33, 46, 49–52, 61, 78, 95–96, 99, 224, 227, 239, 245, 255, 274n, 289n, 296, 300 motivation, 7–18, 85–86, 97–98, 216 motivational speakers, 216 movies, 111–12, 130, 137, 165, 192, 193, 204, 206, 256, 261–62, 277–78, 310 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 23n MRI, 111n music industry, 11, 18, 22, 23–24, 42, 47–51, 54, 61, 66, 74, 78, 86, 88, 89, 92, 94, 95–96, 97, 129, 132, 134–35, 154, 157, 159–62, 186–87, 192, 206–7, 224, 227, 239, 253, 266–67, 281, 318, 347, 353, 354, 355, 357 Myspace, 180 Nancarrow, Conlon, 159–62 Nancarrow, Yoko, 161 nanopayments, 20, 226, 274–75, 286–87, 317, 337–38, 365 nanorobots, 11, 12, 17 nanotechnology, 11, 12, 17, 87, 162 Napster, 92 narcissism, 153–56, 188, 201 narratives, 165–66, 199 National Security Agency (NSA), 199–200 natural medicine, 131 Nelson, Ted, 128, 221, 228, 245, 349–50 Nelsonian systems, 221–30, 335 Nelson’s humor, 128 Netflix, 192, 223 “net neutrality,” 172 networked cameras, 309–11, 319 networks, see digital networks neutrinos, 110n New Age, 211–17 Newmark, Craig, 177n New Mexico, 159, 203 newspapers, 109, 135, 177n, 225, 284, 285n New York, N.Y., 75, 91, 266–67 New York Times, 109 Nobel Prize, 40, 118, 143n nodes, network, 156, 227, 230, 241–43, 350 “no free lunch” principle, 55–56, 59–60 nondeterministic music, 23n nonlinear solutions, 149–50 nonprofit share sites, 59n, 94–95 nostalgia, 129–32 NRO, 199–200 nuclear power, 133 nuclear weapons, 127, 296 nursing, 97–100, 123, 296n nursing homes, 97–100, 269 Obama, Barack, 79, 100 “Obamacare,” 100n obsolescence, 89, 95 oil resources, 43, 133 online stores, 171 Ono, Yoko, 212 ontologies, 124n, 196 open-source applications, 206, 207, 272, 310–11 optical illusions, 121 optimism, 32–35, 45, 130, 138–40, 218, 230n, 295 optimization, 144–47, 148, 153, 154–55, 167, 202, 203 Oracle, 265 Orbitz, 63, 64, 65 organ donors, 190, 191 ouroboros, 154 outcomes, economic, 40–41, 144–45 outsourcing, 177–78, 185 Owens, Buck, 256 packet switching, 228–29 Palmer, Amanda, 186–87 Pandora, 192 panopticons, 308 papacy, 190 paper money, 34n parallel computers, 147–48, 149, 151 paranoia, 309 Parrish, Maxfield, 214 particle interactions, 196 party machines, 202 Pascal, Blaise, 132, 139 Pascal’s Wager, 139 passwords, 307, 309 “past-oriented money,” 29–31, 35, 284–85 patterns, information, 178, 183, 184, 188–89 Paul, Ron, 33n Pauli exclusion principle, 181, 202 PayPal, 60, 93, 326 peasants, 565 pensions, 95, 99 Perestroika (Kushner), 165 “perfect investments,” 59–67, 77–78 performances, musical, 47–48, 51, 186–87, 253 perpetual motion, 55 Persian Gulf, 86 personal computers (PCs), 158, 182n, 214, 223, 229 personal information systems, 110, 312–16, 317 Pfizer, 265 pharmaceuticals industry, 66–67, 100–106, 123, 136, 203 philanthropy, 117 photography, 53, 89n, 92, 94, 309–11, 318, 319, 321 photo-sharing services, 53 physical trades, 292 physicians, 66–67 physics, 88, 153n, 167n Picasso, Pablo, 108 Pinterest, 180–81, 183 Pirate Party, 49, 199, 206, 226, 253, 284, 318 placebos, 112 placement fees, 184 player pianos, 160–61 plutocracy, 48, 291–94, 355 police, 246, 310, 311, 319–21, 335 politics, 13–18, 21, 22–25, 47–48, 85, 122, 124–26, 128, 134–37, 149–51, 155, 167, 199–234, 295–96, 342 see also conservatism; liberalism; libertarianism Ponzi schemes, 48 Popper, Karl, 189n popular culture, 111–12, 130, 137–38, 139, 159 “populating the stack,” 273 population, 17, 34n, 86, 97–100, 123, 125, 132, 133, 269, 296n, 325–26, 346 poverty, 37–38, 42, 44, 53–54, 93–94, 137, 148, 167, 190, 194, 253, 256, 263, 290, 291–92 power, personal, 13–15, 53, 60, 62–63, 86, 114, 116, 120, 122, 158, 166, 172–73, 175, 190, 199, 204, 207, 208, 278–79, 290, 291, 302–3, 308–9, 314, 319, 326, 344, 360 Presley, Elvis, 211 Priceline, 65 pricing strategies, 1–2, 43, 60–66, 72–74, 145, 147–48, 158, 169–74, 226, 261, 272–75, 289, 317–24, 331, 337–38 printers, 90, 99, 154, 162, 212, 269, 310–11, 316, 331, 347, 348, 349 privacy, 1–2, 11, 13–15, 25, 50–51, 64, 99, 108–9, 114–15, 120–21, 152, 177n, 199–200, 201, 204, 206–7, 234–35, 246, 272, 291, 305, 309–13, 314, 315–16, 317, 319–24 privacy rights, 13–15, 25, 204, 305, 312–13, 314, 315–16, 321–22 product design and development, 85–89, 117–20, 128, 136–37, 145, 154, 236 productivity, 7, 56–57, 134–35 profit margins, 59n, 71–72, 76–78, 94–95, 116, 177n, 178, 179, 207, 258, 274–75, 321–22 progress, 9–18, 20, 21, 37, 43, 48, 57, 88, 98, 123, 124–40, 130–37, 256–57, 267, 325–31, 341–42 promotions, 62 property values, 52 proprietary hardware, 172 provenance, 245–46, 247, 338 pseudo-asceticism, 211–12 public libraries, 293 public roads, 79–80 publishers, 62n, 92, 182, 277–78, 281, 347, 352–60 punishing vs. rewarding network effects, 169–74, 182, 183 quants, 75–76 quantum field theory, 167n, 195 QuNeo, 117, 118, 119 Rabois, Keith, 185 “race to the bottom,” 178 radiant risk, 61–63, 118–19, 120, 156, 183–84 Ragnarok, 30 railroads, 43, 172 Rand, Ayn, 167, 204 randomness, 143 rationality, 144 Reagan, Ronald, 149 real estate, 33, 46, 49–52, 61, 78, 95–96, 99, 193, 224, 227, 239, 245, 255, 274n, 289n, 296, 298, 300, 301 reality, 55–56, 59–60, 124n, 127–28, 154–56, 161, 165–68, 194–95, 203–4, 216–17, 295–303, 364–65 see also Virtual Reality (VR) reason, 195–96 recessions, economic, 31, 54, 60, 76–77, 79, 151–52, 167, 204, 311, 336–37 record labels, 347 recycling, 88, 89 Reddit, 118n, 186, 254 reductionism, 184 regulation, economic, 37–38, 44, 45–46, 49–50, 54, 56, 69–70, 77–78, 266n, 274, 299–300, 311, 321–22, 350–51 relativity theory, 167n religion, 124–25, 126, 131, 139, 190, 193–95, 211–17, 293, 300n, 326 remote computers, 11–12 rents, 144 Republican Party, 79, 202 research and development, 40–45, 85–89, 117–20, 128, 136–37, 145, 154, 215, 229–30, 236 retail sector, 69, 70–74, 95–96, 169–74, 272, 349–51, 355–56 retirement, 49, 150 revenue growth plans, 173n revenues, 149, 149, 150, 151, 173n, 225, 234–35, 242, 347–48 reversible computers, 143n revolutions, 199, 291, 331 rhythm, 159–62 Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Kiyosaki), 46 risk, 54, 55, 57, 59–63, 71–72, 85, 117, 118–19, 120, 156, 170–71, 179, 183–84, 188, 242, 277–81, 284, 337, 350 externalization of, 59n, 117, 277–81 risk aversion, 188 risk pools, 277–81, 284 risk radiation, 61–63, 118–19, 120, 156, 183–84 robo call centers, 177n robotic cars, 90–92 robotics, robots, 11, 12, 17, 23, 42, 55, 85–86, 90–92, 97–100, 111, 129, 135–36, 155, 157, 162, 260, 261, 269, 296n, 342, 359–60 Roman Empire, 24–25 root nodes, 241 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 129 Rousseau humor, 126, 129, 130–31 routers, 171–72 royalties, 47, 240, 254, 263–64, 323, 338 Rubin, Edgar, 121 rupture, 66–67 salaries, 10, 46–47, 50–54, 152, 178, 270–71, 287–88, 291–94, 338–39, 365 sampling, 71–72, 191, 221, 224–26, 259 San Francisco, University of, 190 satellites, 110 savings, 49, 72–74 scalable solutions, 47 scams, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 scanned books, 192, 193 SceneTap, 108n Schmidt, Eric, 305n, 352 Schwartz, Peter, 214 science fiction, 18, 126–27, 136, 137–38, 139, 193, 230n, 309, 356n search engines, 51, 60, 70, 81, 120, 191, 267, 289, 293 Second Life, 270, 343 Secret, The (Byrne), 216 securitization, 76–78, 99, 289n security, 14–15, 175, 239–40, 305–8, 345 self-actualization, 211–17 self-driving vehicles, 90–92, 98, 311, 343, 367 servants, 22 servers, 12n, 15, 31, 53–57, 71–72, 95–96, 143–44, 171, 180, 183, 206, 245, 358 see also Siren Servers “Sexy Sadie,” 213 Shakur, Tupac, 329 Shelley, Mary, 327 Short History of Progress, A (Wright), 132 “shrinking markets,” 66–67 shuttles, 22, 23n, 24 signal-processing algorithms, 76–78, 148 silicon chips, 10, 86–87 Silicon Valley, 12, 13, 14, 21, 34n, 56, 59, 60, 66–67, 70, 71, 75–76, 80, 93, 96–97, 100, 102, 108n, 125n, 132, 136, 154, 157, 162, 170, 179–89, 192, 193, 200, 207, 210, 211–18, 228, 230, 233, 258, 275n, 294, 299–300, 325–31, 345, 349, 352, 354–58 singularity, 22–25, 125, 215, 217, 327–28, 366, 367 Singularity University, 193, 325, 327–28 Sirenic Age, 66n, 354 Siren Servers, 53–57, 59, 61–64, 65, 66n, 69–78, 82, 91–99, 114–19, 143–48, 154–56, 166–89, 191, 200, 201, 203, 210n, 216, 235, 246–50, 258, 259, 269, 271, 272, 280, 285, 289, 293–94, 298, 301, 302–3, 307–10, 314–23, 326, 336–51, 354, 365, 366 Siri, 95 skilled labor, 99–100 Skout, 280n Skype, 95, 129 slavery, 22, 23, 33n Sleeper, 130 small businesses, 173 smartphones, 34n, 39, 162, 172, 192, 269n, 273 Smith, Adam, 121, 126 Smolin, Lee, 148n social contract, 20, 49, 247, 284, 288, 335, 336 social engineering, 112–13, 190–91 socialism, 14, 128, 254, 257, 341n social mobility, 66, 97, 292–94 social networks, 18, 51, 56, 60, 70, 81, 89, 107–9, 113, 114, 129, 167–68, 172–73, 179, 180, 190, 199, 200–201, 202, 204, 227, 241, 242–43, 259, 267, 269n, 274–75, 280n, 286, 307–8, 317, 336, 337, 343, 349, 358, 365–66 see also Facebook social safety nets, 10, 44, 54, 202, 251, 293 Social Security, 251, 345 software, 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, 68, 86, 99, 100–101, 128, 129, 147, 154, 155, 165, 172–73, 177–78, 182, 192, 234, 236, 241–42, 258, 262, 273–74, 283, 331, 347, 357 software-mediated technology, 7, 11, 14, 86, 100–101, 165, 234, 236, 258, 347 South Korea, 133 Soviet Union, 70 “space elevator pitch,” 233, 342, 361 space travel, 233, 266 Spain, 159–60 spam, 178, 275n spending levels, 287–88 spirituality, 126, 211–17, 325–31, 364 spreadsheet programs, 230 “spy data tax,” 234–35 Square, 185 Stalin, Joseph, 125n Stanford Research Institute (SRI), 215 Stanford University, 60, 75, 90, 95, 97, 101, 102, 103, 162, 325 Starr, Ringo, 256 Star Trek, 138, 139, 230n startup companies, 39, 60, 69, 93–94, 108n, 124n, 136, 179–89, 265, 274n, 279–80, 309–10, 326, 341, 343–45, 348, 352, 355 starvation, 123 Star Wars, 137 star (winner-take-all) system, 38–43, 50, 54–55, 204, 243, 256–57, 263, 329–30 statistics, 11, 20, 71–72, 75–78, 90–91, 93, 110n, 114–15, 186, 192 “stickiness,” 170, 171 stimulus, economic, 151–52 stoplights, 90 Strangelove humor, 127 student debt, 92, 95 “Study 27,” 160 “Study 36,” 160 Sumer, 29 supergoop, 85–89 supernatural phenomena, 55, 124–25, 127, 132, 192, 194–95, 300 supply chain, 70–72, 174, 187 Supreme Court, U.S., 104–5 surgery, 11–13, 17, 18, 98, 157–58, 363 surveillance, 1–2, 11, 14, 50–51, 64, 71–72, 99, 108–9, 114–15, 120–21, 152, 177n, 199–200, 201, 206–7, 234–35, 246, 272, 291, 305, 309–11, 315, 316, 317, 319–24 Surviving Progress, 132 sustainable economies, 235–37, 285–87 Sutherland, Ivan, 221 swarms, 99, 109 synthesizers, 160 synthetic biology, 162 tablets, 85, 86, 87, 88, 113, 162, 229 Tahrir Square, 95 Tamagotchis, 98 target ads, 170 taxation, 44, 45, 49, 52, 60, 74–75, 77, 82, 149, 149, 150, 151, 202, 210, 234–35, 263, 273, 289–90 taxis, 44, 91–92, 239, 240, 266–67, 269, 273, 311 Teamsters, 91 TechCrunch, 189 tech fixes, 295–96 technical schools, 96–97 technologists (“techies”), 9–10, 15–16, 45, 47–48, 66–67, 88, 122, 124, 131–32, 134, 139–40, 157–62, 165–66, 178, 193–94, 295–98, 307, 309, 325–31, 341, 342, 356n technology: author’s experience in, 47–48, 62n, 69–72, 93–94, 114, 130, 131–32, 153, 158–62, 178, 206–7, 228, 265, 266–67, 309–10, 325, 328, 343, 352–53, 362n, 364, 365n, 366 bio-, 11–13, 17, 18, 109–10, 162, 330–31 chaos and, 165–66, 273n, 331 collusion in, 65–66, 72, 169–74, 255, 350–51 complexity of, 53–54 costs of, 8, 18, 72–74, 87n, 136–37, 170–71, 176–77, 184–85 creepiness of, 305–24 cultural impact of, 8–9, 21, 23–25, 53, 130, 135–40 development and emergence of, 7–18, 21, 53–54, 60–61, 66–67, 85–86, 87, 97–98, 129–38, 157–58, 182, 188–90, 193–96, 217 digital, 2–3, 7–8, 15–16, 18, 31, 40, 43, 50–51, 132, 208 economic impact of, 1–3, 15–18, 29–30, 37, 40, 53–54, 60–66, 71–74, 79–110, 124, 134–37, 161, 162, 169–77, 181–82, 183, 184–85, 218, 254, 277–78, 298, 335–39, 341–51, 357–58 educational, 92–97 efficiency of, 90, 118, 191 employment in, 56–57, 60, 71–74, 79, 123, 135, 178 engineering for, 113–14, 123–24, 192, 194, 217, 218, 326 essential vs. worthless, 11–12 failure of, 188–89 fear of (technophobia), 129–32, 134–38 freedom as issue in, 32–33, 90–92, 277–78, 336 government influence in, 158, 199, 205–6, 234–35, 240, 246, 248–51, 307, 317, 341, 345–46, 350–51 human agency and, 8–21, 50–52, 85, 88, 91, 124–40, 144, 165–66, 175–78, 191–92, 193, 217, 253–64, 274–75, 283–85, 305–6, 328, 341–51, 358–60, 361, 362, 365–67 ideas for, 123, 124, 158, 188–89, 225, 245–46, 286–87, 299, 358–60 industrial, 49, 83, 85–89, 123, 132, 154, 343 information, 7, 32–35, 49, 66n, 71–72, 109, 110, 116, 120, 125n, 126, 135, 136, 254, 312–16, 317 investment in, 66, 181, 183, 184, 218, 277–78, 298, 348 limitations of, 157–62, 196, 222 monopolies for, 60, 65–66, 169–74, 181–82, 187–88, 190, 202, 326, 350 morality and, 50–51, 72, 73–74, 188, 194–95, 262, 335–36 motivation and, 7–18, 85–86, 97–98, 216 nano-, 11, 12, 17, 162 new vs. old, 20–21 obsolescence of, 89, 97 political impact of, 13–18, 22–25, 85, 122, 124–26, 128, 134–37, 199–234, 295–96, 342 progress in, 9–18, 20, 21, 37, 43, 48, 57, 88, 98, 123, 124–40, 130–37, 256–57, 267, 325–31, 341–42 resources for, 55–56, 157–58 rupture as concept in, 66–67 scams in, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 singularity of, 22–25, 125, 215, 217, 327–28, 366, 367 social impact of, 9–21, 124–40, 167n, 187, 280–81, 310–11 software-mediated, 7, 11, 14, 86, 100–101, 165, 234, 236, 258, 347 startup companies in, 39, 60, 69, 93–94, 108n, 124n, 136, 179–89, 265, 274n, 279–80, 309–10, 326, 341, 343–45, 348, 352, 355 utopian, 13–18, 21, 31, 37–38, 45–46, 96, 128, 130, 167, 205, 207, 265, 267, 270, 283, 290, 291, 308–9, 316 see also specific technologies technophobia, 129–32, 134–38 television, 86, 185–86, 191, 216, 267 temperature, 56, 145 Ten Commandments, 300n Terminator, The, 137 terrorism, 133, 200 Tesla, Nikola, 327 Texas, 203 text, 162, 352–60 textile industry, 22, 23n, 24, 135 theocracy, 194–95 Theocracy humor, 124–25 thermodynamics, 88, 143n Thiel, Peter, 60, 93, 326 thought experiments, 55, 139 thought schemas, 13 3D printers, 7, 85–89, 90, 99, 154, 162, 212, 269, 310–11, 316, 331, 347, 348, 349 Thrun, Sebastian, 94 Tibet, 214 Time Machine, The (Wells), 127, 137, 261, 331 topology, network, 241–43, 246 touchscreens, 86 tourism, 79 Toyota Prius, 302 tracking services, 109, 120–21, 122 trade, 29 traffic, 90–92, 314 “tragedy of the commons,” 66n Transformers, 98 translation services, 19–20, 182, 191, 195, 261, 262, 284, 338 transparency, 63–66, 74–78, 118, 176, 190–91, 205–6, 278, 291, 306–9, 316, 336 transportation, 79–80, 87, 90–92, 123, 258 travel agents, 64 Travelocity, 65 travel sites, 63, 64, 65, 181, 279–80 tree-shaped networks, 241–42, 243, 246 tribal dramas, 126 trickle-down effect, 148–49, 204 triumphalism, 128, 157–62 tropes (humors), 124–40, 157, 170, 230 trust, 32–34, 35, 42, 51–52 Turing, Alan, 127–28, 134 Turing’s humor, 127–28, 191–94 Turing Test, 330 Twitter, 128, 173n, 180, 182, 188, 199, 200n, 201, 204, 245, 258, 259, 349, 365n 2001: A Space Odyssey, 137 two-way links, 1–2, 227, 245, 289 underemployment, 257–58 unemployment, 7–8, 22, 79, 85–106, 117, 151–52, 234, 257–58, 321–22, 331, 343 “unintentional manipulation,” 144 United States, 25, 45, 54, 79–80, 86, 138, 199–204 universities, 92–97 upper class, 45, 48 used car market, 118–19 user interface, 362–63, 364 utopianism, 13–18, 21, 30, 31, 37–38, 45–46, 96, 128, 130, 167, 205, 207, 265, 267, 270, 283, 290, 291, 308–9, 316 value, economic, 21, 33–35, 52, 61, 64–67, 73n, 108, 283–90, 299–300, 321–22, 364 value, information, 1–3, 15–16, 20, 210, 235–43, 257–58, 259, 261–63, 271–75, 321–24, 358–60 Values, Attitudes, and Lifestyles (VALS), 215 variables, 149–50 vendors, 71–74 venture capital, 66, 181, 218, 277–78, 298, 348 videos, 60, 100, 162, 185–86, 204, 223, 225, 226, 239, 240, 242, 245, 277, 287, 329, 335–36, 349, 354, 356 Vietnam War, 353n vinyl records, 89 viral videos, 185–86 Virtual Reality (VR), 12, 47–48, 127, 129, 132, 158, 162, 214, 283–85, 312–13, 314, 315, 325, 343, 356, 362n viruses, 132–33 visibility, 184, 185–86, 234, 355 visual cognition, 111–12 VitaBop, 100–106, 284n vitamins, 100–106 Voice, The, 185–86 “voodoo economics,” 149 voting, 122, 202–4, 249 Wachowski, Lana, 165 Wall Street, 49, 70, 76–77, 181, 184, 234, 317, 331, 350 Wal-Mart, 69, 70–74, 89, 174, 187, 201 Warhol, Andy, 108 War of the Worlds, The (Wells), 137 water supplies, 17, 18 Watts, Alan, 211–12 Wave, 189 wealth: aggregate or concentration of, 9, 42–43, 53, 60, 61, 74–75, 96, 97, 108, 115, 148, 157–58, 166, 175, 201, 202, 208, 234, 278–79, 298, 305, 335, 355, 360 creation of, 32, 33–34, 46–47, 50–51, 57, 62–63, 79, 92, 96, 120, 148–49, 210, 241–43, 270–75, 291–94, 338–39, 349 inequalities and redistribution of, 20, 37–45, 65–66, 92, 97, 144, 254, 256–57, 274–75, 286–87, 290–94, 298, 299–300 see also income levels weather forecasting, 110, 120, 150 weaving, 22, 23n, 24 webcams, 99, 245 websites, 80, 170, 200, 201, 343 Wells, H.


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Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters With Reality and Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier

4chan, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, cosmological constant, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, game design, general-purpose programming language, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, impulse control, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

Everyone seems to be reflecting at least a little more energy on the autism spectrum than in the old days. Another change is political. The Valley is still fairly lefty-progressive, but a libertarian strain has become quite intense.2 At the start of this book, my younger self thought the future sounded like both hell and heaven. There’s certainly plenty of hell to go around lately. Digital hothouses of irritable politics migrated from Usenet’s alt. hierarchy to Reddit, 4chan, and other hubs, and nurtured outbreaks of ill will like Gamergate, and most recently the alt-right. Unfortunately, the story of VR is intertwined with that migration. Read the sorry tale in appendix 3. Despite the long history of inadequacy in cautionary tales about computation—people always seem to want dystopian tech because it looks so cool3—I tried writing in the genre myself, starting right after I left VPL.

ethical filtering eugenics Evergreen College everything dreams of previous, drugs as evolution Exorcist, The (film) experiences, as allegories experimental music experimental programming language eye contact Eyematic EyePhone EyePhone HRX eyes face blindness (prosopagnosia) Facebook facial expression facial recognition facial tracking Fairness Doctrine Fakespace Fantastic magazine FBI “Feelies” Feiner, Steve feminist game designs Fermi Paradox Feynman, Richard field of view figure eight sensorimotor loop financial incentives Finite and Infinite Games (Carse) Fisher, Scott fitness bands flight simulators floating holograms flute flying saucers force feedback Ford Motors forgeries form factor Forster, E.M. FORTH Fortran Foster, Scott 4chan 4-D VR playthings FOV2GO France free information free software free speech free will French intelligence French investors Fresnel optics Freud, Sigmund Freud avatars frontier, end of Fuchs, Henry Fuller, Buckminster Furness, Tom, xviiin futurism Gabriel, Peter Gaga, Lady Gal, Ran gall bladder procedure game hackers gamelan Game of Life Gamergate game theory gaming culture Garcia, Annabelle Garcia, Jerry gatekeeping Gell-Mann, Murray general purpose simulators general relativity Generation X genetics genomics geodesic domes geometry Germany Gernsback, Hugo Ghana Gibson, William Gilliam, Terry Gilmore, John global virtual space glove-based manipulation goats Gödel, Escher, Bach (Hofstader) Goelz, Dave Goffman, Ken (R.


pages: 137 words: 44,363

Design Is a Job by Mike Monteiro

4chan, crowdsourcing, index card, iterative process, John Gruber, Kickstarter, late fees, Steve Jobs

Where one—or good grief, both—of your parents pulls you aside and attempts to talk to you about sex. And being safe. And respecting one another. And protection. And you’re pretty sure they’re more freaked out by giving the talk than you are of getting it. Some of us, including me, have now had to give the talk to our own teenagers. (Any doubt I had about him being my kid vanished when he said, “Yeah, I already know all of this from 4chan.”) Talking to teens about sex is a lot like talking to designers about contracts. “We’re being careful. We’re in love. We trust each other. They have an agile process. He promised there wouldn’t be any backend development.” A contract is like a prophylactic. It won’t keep you from getting fucked, but it may keep you free from additional liabilities down the road. See how I lured you into a chapter about contracts with tawdry sex talk?


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The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America by Charlotte Alter

"side hustle", 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, ending welfare as we know it, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Hangouts, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job-hopping, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, passive income, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We are the 99%, white picket fence, working poor, Works Progress Administration

The online alt-right—made up disproportionately of white millennial men—rose in backlash to the flourishing of identity politics and the successful social justice movements that began online. The young trolls in the antifeminist men’s rights movement and the racist alt-right movement are also creatures of the digital ecosystem. They, too, owe their existence to social media platforms (including Reddit and 4chan as well as Facebook and Twitter), and their sexism and racism constitutes its own kind of online political identity rooted in white male grievance. * * * None of this was abstract: the rapid expansion of information, development of social networks, and explosion of online identities were changing how ordinary millennials thought about themselves and their place in the world. Pete Buttigieg saw the digital transformation firsthand.

Dre, 1 Dreamers, 263 Dreams from My Father (Obama), 81 DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), 214–15, 221, 238 Dumbledore’s Army, 179 DVDs, 57 earned income tax credit, 30 Echo Platoon (Marcinko), 14 education, of millennials, 34–36 behavioral issues and, 37–38 early childhood education, 34–35 of millennials, 34–36, 37–38 parents “optimizing” of, 35 stress and, 36 zero tolerance policies and, 37–38 See also colleges/universities Egleston, Larken, 136 Elmendorf, Doug, 178 El-Sayed, Abdul, 223–24, 237 Emergency Banking Act, 217 Emily’s List, 243 Energy Transfer Partners, 182 Environmental Protection Agency, 195–96 Esposito, Maddie, 87 Excellent Sheep (Deresiewicz), 48 Facebook, xv, 57, 58–59, 60, 61–62, 90, 197, 227 Facebook Live, 183 Favreau, Jon, 111 Feinstein, Dianne, 196 Feldmann, Sarah, 230, 231, 232 Fiat, 105 Filkins, Dexter, 67 Flake, Jeff, 260 Flint, Michigan water problem, 186, 187 Flippable, 208–9 Ford, 103–4 forever war. See War on Terror for-profit colleges, 52 4chan, 61 Fox News, 222, 265, 266, 272, 273 Foy, Jennifer Carroll, 212 Francis, Lotoya, 120 Franklin, Danquirs, 137 Frelinghuysen, Rodney, 206 Frey, Jacob, 135 Fukuyama, Francis, 213 Full House (tv show), 33 Gaetz, Matt, 158, 252, 255 Gallagher, Mike, 67, 158 Garner, Eric, 118 Garza, Alicia, 118, 119–20 Geithner, Tim, 106, 108 Gelman, Andrew, 151–52, 153 Generation Me (Twenge), 34 Generation Opportunity, 149 Generations (Strauss & Howe), xiv Generation X, xviii self-esteem and, 34 student debt of, 46 technological shift and, 55–56 turnout, in 2018 elections, 244 Generation Z, 55, 244, 293–94 gerrymandering, 152–53 Ghitza, Yair, 151–52, 153 GI Bill, 52 Gibson, Chris, 158 Gierzynski, Anthony, 40–41 gig economy, 98–99 Gilded Age, 216–17, 219 Gillespie, Ed, 211 Gillum, Andrew, 171, 172 Ginsburg, Ruth Bader, xiii Glass-Steagall Act, 31 Glezman, Chasten, 146, 282 Global Climate Strike, 190–191, 293–94 globalism, 177 GM, 102–4, 105 Golden, Jared, 270 González, Emma, 247 Good Morning Vietnam (film), 188 Google, 55, 197 Google Docs, 204 Goolsbee, Austan, 104 Gore, Al, 27, 31 Granholm, Jennifer, 84 Gray, Freddie, 121 Great Depression, 217 Greatest Generation, xiv, xviii, 29 Greatest Hoax, The (Inhofe), 159 Great Gatsby, The (Fitzgerald), 93 Great Recession, 50, 92–100 black and Hispanic families, impact on, 97–98 college graduates, impact on, 95–96 gig economy and, 98–99 long-term financial impact on millennials of, 98–99 poverty rates for millennials with high school diploma and, 96–97 renting versus ownership and, 99 risk, attitudes toward, 99 student debt and, 96 underemployment and, 96 unemployment rates during, 96 wealth of millennial households versus boomer households at same age, 97 Greenberg, Leah, 124, 125 Indivisible resistance and, 180, 204–5 Muslim travel ban protests and, 202 2012 presidential election and, 170–71, 172–73, 176, 178–80 Greenfield, Jerry, 115 Green New Deal, 191, 273–75, 278–79 Greimel, Tim, 236, 237 Grubb, W.


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Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

Part of the naivete of social media, argues the academic and former advertising executive Safiya Umoja Noble—author of Algorithms of Oppression—is that they only envisioned the possibility of individuals acting badly. They understood the danger of people trying to push junk messages, like spam. But they failed to imagine how coordinated groups might hijack their services. “So when you get these white nationalist groups or people from 4chan”—an online discussion board that hosts several wildly racist and misogynist threads—“all going on at once, attacking a target from multiple directions at once, they didn’t see how that would play out,” she says. Former Twitter employees agree that the dynamics of Gamergate, and the swarms of harassment bots, caught the firm by surprise. Twitter long had tools to try and detect spambots, but that was designed to locate the signature of spam: an individual account tweeting at tons of other people.

But as we saw in the earlier chapter, machine learning struggles all the time with edge cases—with the subtle and fuzzy dimensions of human behavior. White-supremacist memesters don’t create images that are easy to spot; they’re not always posting swastikas and NAZIS RULE headlines. No, they just take an otherwise-innocuous photo of a public figure, slap a caption on it, and presto: a fresh new sardonic call to white nationalism. Go to the image-board 4chan and there are young men minting dozens of those an hour, all day long, to circulate on social media. “There’s no way for machine learning to catch up with that,” as Safiya Noble argues. “I can’t imagine a single tech invention or a policy intervention that can fix their problem at the root,” as Vaidhyanathan argues, of Facebook. This is all the more true when he looks abroad. Consider, for example, the difficulties of hiring humans to flag abuse in Burma.


How to Be a Liberal by Ian Dunt

4chan, Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, bounce rate, British Empire, Brixton riot, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, invisible hand, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal world order, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Mohammed Bouazizi, Northern Rock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, working poor, zero-sum game

‘It is the left that has been most active in racial consciousness formation,’ the far-right campaigner Richard Spencer wrote on the white supremacist website Radix. ‘On campus, they have created not only African-American Students Association but Asian Students Associations, that is, racial consciousness where little cultural commonality existed. Leftists are engaging in the kind of ideological project that traditionalists should be hard at work on.’ Whole sections of the internet, centred primarily around popular forums like Reddit and 4chan, came to be populated by angry young men claiming to represent their own white male heterosexual identity. A so-called ‘manosphere’ developed which routinely described all women as ‘worthless cunts’ and ‘attention whores.’ A subgenre of YouTube videos emerged attacking feminism, in which the comment section would typically fill up with comments branding women as worthless, stupid, lazy, shallow, and deserving of violent retribution.

See European Union (EU) EU referendum campaign and result 1 government response and May 1 Johnson as prime minister 1 Trump and nationalism 1 euro 1 European Central Bank (ECB) 1, 2, 3, 4 European Coal and Steel Community 1 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) 1, 2 European Court of Justice 1, 2, 3 European Economic Community 1 European Parliament 1 European Union (EU) Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 1 EU citizens 1 EU referendum 1 Greece financial crisis 1 Hungary and Orbán 1, 2 institutions 1 migrants and refugees 1 origins 1 post-war cooperation 1, 2 Russia and Ukraine 1 Troika programmes 1, 2 UK leaves 1 eurozone 1, 2, 3 Evergreen State College 1 Exclusion Crisis 1, 2, 3, 4 executive power 1, 2, 3, 4 Exhibit B show 1 experts 1, 2, 3 Facebook 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Fairfax, Thomas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 A Remonstrance from his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax 1 fake news 1 family separation policy 1 Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) 1 Farage, Nigel 1, 2, 3, 4 far right 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 fascism Carlyle 1 emergence of 1 Germany 1, 2 identity and belonging 1 Orwell on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 post-war economics 1, 2, 3 Fawcett, Millicent 1 Federal Housing Administration 1 Federal Reserve 1, 2, 3 female genital mutilation 1 female priests 1 female suffrage 1 feminism 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Ferdinand, Archduke Franz 1 feudalism 1, 2 Fidesz 1, 2, 3, 4 Figes, Orlando 1 financial crisis 1, 2, 3, 4 Financial Services Authority (FSA) 1 financial services deregulation 1 first generation rights 1, 2 First World War 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 fiscal policy 1 Five Star Movement 1 Five Year Plan 1 Flower, Eliza 1 forced marriage 1 Forster, EM 1 Maurice 1 4chan 1 Fox, Liam 1 Fox News 1, 2 France American independence 1, 2 anti-semitism 1 Austria war 1 Dreyfus Affair 1 Estates General 1 Greece financial crisis 1 Napoleon rule 1 National Convention 1 origins of revolution 1 post-war cooperation 1 revolution aftermath 1, 2 Seven Years’ War 1 the Terror 1 Franco, General Francisco 1 freedom American independence 1 Berlin on 1, 2 England history 1 French Revolution aftermath 1, 2 Levellers Agreement 1 liberalism struggle 1 Locke on 1, 2, 3, 4 Mill and Taylor on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Puritans 1, 2 Rousseau on 1, 2 freedom of conscience 1, 2 freedom to publish 1, 2 free market 1, 2, 3 free movement 1, 2, 3 free press 1, 2, 3 free speech 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 free trade 1, 2, 3 French Revolution aftermath 1, 2 anti-semitism 1 Carlyle history 1 development of liberal values 1 events of 1 Rights of Man 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Rousseau and general will 1, 2 Frenkel, Naftaly Aronovich 1 Friedman, Milton 1, 2 FSA (Financial Services Authority) 1 Fukuyama, Francis 1 full employment 1, 2 G20 1, 2 Gaddafi, Colonel Muammar 1 Galbraith, John 1, 2 Galileo 1, 2, 3, 4 gas chambers 1, 2 gatekeepers 1 GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) 1, 2, 3 gay identity 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Geithner, Timothy 1, 2 gender, and sex 1 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1, 2, 3 general will 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Generation Identity 1 generation snowflake 1 German Workers’ Party 1 Germany Austria-Hungary alliance 1 First World War 1 Greece financial crisis 1 interwar economy 1 migrants and refugees 1 Nazi rule 1, 2 post-war cooperation 1 Second World War 1 welfare state 1 Gestapo 1, 2 Gingrich, Newt 1, 2 Ginnie Mae (Government National Mortgage Association) 1 Girondins 1, 2, 3 Glass-Steagall Act 1, 2, 3 gleichschaltung 1 Glorious Revolution 1, 2, 3, 4 Google 1, 2, 3 Gove, Michael 1, 2, 3 government American independence 1 debt and austerity 1 financial crisis measures 1 and institutions 1 legitimate government 1 Locke on 1, 2, 3, 4 post-war Keynesianism 1, 2, 3 Smith on 1, 2 Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) 1 Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act 1 Great Depression 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Greater London Council 1, 2, 3 Great Terror, Russia 1 Greece 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Greenspan, Alan 1, 2 group identity 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Guatemala 1 Guérin, Jules 1 guillotine 1, 2, 3, 4 gulags 1, 2, 3, 4 Gyurcsány, Ferenc 1 haircuts (finance) 1, 2 Haiti earthquake 1 half-truth 1, 2 Hall, Stuart 1 Hamilton, Gene 1 Handsworth riots 1 Hannity, Sean 1, 2 Hardenberg, Charlotte von 1 Hardy, Henry 1 harm principle 1, 2, 3, 4 Hayek, Friedrich Capital Consumption 1 on communism end 1 Constitution of Liberty 1 death of 1 economic thought 1 and Keynes 1 on Mill and Taylor 1, 2 Nobel Prize 1 post-war economics 1, 2, 3 The Road to Serfdom 1 state intervention 1, 2, 3 Hayek, Laurence 1 Heads of Proposals 1, 2, 3 health care 1, 2, 3, 4 health tourism 1 Heart of Texas 1 Hébert, Jacques 1, 2, 3 Hébertists 1, 2 Henry, Major Hubert-Joseph 1, 2 Herder, Johann Gottfried von 1 heresy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 higher and lower pleasures 1, 2 higher self 1 Himmler, Heinrich 1, 2 Hitler, Adolf 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Hobbes, Thomas 1 Leviathan 1 Holdheim, William 1 Hollander, Jacob Harry 1 Holocaust 1, 2 Holodomor 1 home ownership 1 homophobia 1, 2 homosexuality 1, 2 Hostile Environment 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 House of Commons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 House of Lords 1, 2, 3 House of Representatives 1 housing 1, 2, 3 Howard, Michael 1 Huber, Ernst Rudolf 1 human rights 1, 2, 3 Hume, David 1 Hungary 1, 2 hyperinflation 1, 2, 3 hypertext 1 hypotheses 1 identity cultural appropriation 1 cultural identity 1, 2 cultural relativism 1 group identity 1, 2 identity and belonging 1 national identity 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 nationalism 1, 2 Orwell on patriotism 1, 2 identity cards 1 identity politics cultural appropriation 1 culture war 1 difference 1 disagreement 1 group identity 1, 2 intersectionality 1, 2 marginalised groups 1, 2 origins 1 right-wing identity politics 1 social media 1 identity war 1, 2 Ignatieff, Michael 1 IMF (International Monetary Fund) 1, 2 immigration EU referendum 1, 2 France anti-semitism 1 Hungary and Orbán 1 liberalism of the future 1 nationalism 1, 2, 3 right-wing identity politics 1, 2, 3 UK policy 1 US policy 1, 2 imperialism 1, 2, 3 incommensurable goods 1, 2 Independents (English Civil War) 1, 2 individual Berlin on 1, 2 communism and fascism 1, 2, 3, 4 Constant 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Descartes 1, 2, 3, 4 identity 1, 2, 3 invention of teenager 1 Keynesianism 1 Levellers 1 liberalism 1, 2, 3 Locke 1, 2, 3 Marxism 1, 2 Mill 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 nationalism 1 Orwell 1, 2 Overton 1 Puritans 1 and reason 1 Smith 1 individualism 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 individual rights 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 industrial revolution 1, 2 inflation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 information flow 1, 2, 3 Instagram 1, 2, 3 institutions 1 Intellectual Dark Web 1 intellectual property 1 interest rates 1, 2, 3 internal emigration 1 International Brigades 1 international law 1 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 1, 2 international relations 1 internet 1, 2, 3 intersectionality 1 investment banks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 invisible hand 1, 2, 3, 4 Iraq 1, 2, 3 Ireland 1, 2 Ireton, Henry 1, 2, 3, 4 Islam 1 Italy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Jacobins 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 James II 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Japan 1 Javid, Sajid 1, 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses 1 Jews anti-semitism 1, 2, 3 Berlin’s identity 1, 2 Dreyfus Affair 1, 2 Germany 1, 2, 3 group identity 1 Levellers 1 right-wing identity politics 1 Second World War and Holocaust 1 St Louis ship 1 Johannot, Marie-Charlotte 1 Johnson, Boris 1, 2, 3, 4 Johnson, Lyndon 1 journalism 1, 2, 3, 4 Joyce, George 1 JP Morgan 1, 2 judiciary 1, 2 Juncker, Jean-Claude 1 justice 1, 2 Kant, Immanuel 1 Kennedy, John F 1 Keynes, John Maynard The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money 1 and Hayek 1, 2, 3 post-war economics 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 state intervention 1 Time Man of the Year 1 death of 1 Keynesianism 1, 2, 3, 4 Khader, Naser 1 knowledge 1, 2 Kogon, Eugen 1 Komsomol 1 Kosinski, Michal 1 Krugman, Paul 1 Kruks, Sonia 1 Kukathas, Chandran 1 kulaks 1, 2 Kurdi, Alan 1, 2 Kymlicka, Will 1 labour 1, 2, 3 Lagarde, Christine 1, 2 laissez-faire austerity measures 1 communism 1 Constant 1, 2 financial crisis 1 Hayek 1, 2 inflation policy 1 liberalism 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Mill 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 post-war economics 1, 2, 3 right-wing identity politics 1 Soviet Union collapse 1 land 1, 2, 3 language 1, 2, 3 Laski, Harold 1 Latvia 1 Laud, William 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service 1 law of nature 1, 2, 3 Law of Suspects 1 League Party 1 Leave.EU 1, 2.


pages: 236 words: 62,158

Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle by Jamie Woodcock

4chan, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, anti-work, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, butterfly effect, call centre, collective bargaining, Columbine, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, David Graeber, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, John Conway, Kickstarter, Landlord’s Game, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Oculus Rift, pink-collar, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, union organizing, unpaid internship, V2 rocket

print=1. 12Tremblay, “Intro to Gender Criticism for Gamers.” 13Lien, “No Girls Allowed.” 14Torill Elvira Mortensen, “Anger, Fear, and Games: The Long Event of #GamerGate,” Games and Culture 13, no. 8 (2016): 787–806. 15Paulo Ruffino, “Parasites to Gaming: Learning from GamerGate” (paper, Proceedings of 1st International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG, Dundee, UK, 2016). 16Cherie Todd, “Commentary: GamerGate and Resistance to the Diversification of Gaming Culture,” Women’s Studies Journal 29, no. 1 (2015): 64. 17Mortensen, “Anger, Fear, and Games,” 14. 18Jake Swearingen, “Steve Bannon Saw the ‘Monster Power’ of Angry Gamers While Farming Gold in World of Warcraft,” New York, July 18, 2017, http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/07/steve-bannon-world-of-warcraft-gold-farming.html. 19Joshua Green, Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency (New York: Penguin, 2017), 81. 20Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right (Winchester: Zero Books, 2017); Matt Lees, “What Gamergate Should Have Taught Us about the ‘Alt-Right,’” Guardian, December 1, 2016, www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/01/gamergate-alt-right-hate-trump. 21Robert Purchese, “ArenaNet Fires Two Guild Wars 2 Writers over Twitter Exchange with YouTuber,” Eurogamer, July 7, 2018, www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-07-06-arenanet-fires-two-guild-wars-2-writers-over-twitter-exchange-with-youtuber. 22Quoted in Keith Stuart, “Richard Bartle: We Invented Multiplayer Games as a Political Gesture,” Guardian, November 17, 2014, www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/17/richard-bartle-multiplayer-games-political-gesture.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Examples include the source code of the Webkit browser; the syntax of the Python programming language; the content of Wikipedia; the geographical data of Open Street Map; the ratings and comments that make reputation systems work; the book reviews and ratings on Amazon, GoodReads, and LibraryThing; the contributions to the Ravelry knitting and crocheting community; the message threads of forums such as 2+2 (online poker), Reddit, 4chan, Something Awful, and GardenWeb; the questions, answers, and user feedback on Q&A sites like Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and Quora. Labelling culture and computing as commons does not complete their description: when it comes to commons, there is variety in scope of access, in ownership, and in management. Looked at closely, commons reveal rich combinations of practices that resist generalization.21 Here is a short tour around some of that variety.


pages: 302 words: 74,878

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman

4chan, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asperger Syndrome, Bonfire of the Vanities, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Chrome, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Norman Mailer, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple

Mullany: former special agent for the FBI, pioneered FBI’s offender profiling Kary Mullis: biochemist, Nobel laureate in chemistry for his work with DNA Takashi Murakami: artist, painter, sculptor Blake Mycoskie: entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder and chief shoe giver of TOMS shoes Nathan Myhrvold: former chief technology officer at Microsoft Ed Needham: former managing editor of Rolling Stone and editor in chief of Maxim Sara Nelson: cofounder of the public interest law firm Christic Institute Benjamin Netanyahu: prime minister of Israel Jack Newfield: journalist, author, former columnist for the Village Voice Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa: chef and restaurateur Peggy Noonan: speechwriter and special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, author, columnist for the Wall Street Journal Anthony Norvell: expert on metaphysics, author Barack Obama: president of the United States, former U.S. senator from Illinois ODB: musician, music producer, founding member of Wu-Tang Clan Richard Oldenburg: former director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: actresses, fashion designers Olu Dara & Jim Dickinson: musicians, record producers Estevan Oriol: photographer whose work often depicts Los Angeles urban and gang culture Lawrence Osborne: journalist, author of American Normal: The Hidden World of Asperger Syndrome Manny Pacquiao: professional boxer, first eight-division world champion David Pagel: art critic, author, curator, professor of art history at Claremont College specializing in contemporary art Anthony Pellicano: high-profile private investigator in Los Angeles Robert Pelton: conflict-zone journalist, author of The World’s Most Dangerous Places books Andy Pemberton: former editor in chief of Blender magazine David Petraeus: director of the CIA, 2011–2012, retired four-star U.S. Army general Mariana Pfaelzer: United States federal circuit court judge, opposed California’s Proposition 187 Jay Phelan: evolutionary biologist, professor at UCLA Ann Philbin: director of the Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles Mark Plotkin: ethnobotanist, author, expert on rainforest ecosystems Christopher “moot” Poole: Internet entrepreneur, created 4chan and Canvas websites Peggy Post: director of the Emily Post Institute, author and consultant on etiquette Virginia Postrel: political and cultural journalist, author Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state, 2001–2005, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former national security advisor, retired four-star U.S. Army general Ned Preble: former executive, Synectics creative problem-solving methodology Ilya Prigogine: chemist, professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Nobel laureate in chemistry, author of The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature Prince: musician, music producer, actor Wolfgang Puck: chef, restaurateur, entrepreneur Pussy Riot: Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the two members of the Russian feminist punk rock group who served time in prison Steven Quartz: philosopher, professor at California Institute of Technology, specializing in the brain’s value systems and how they interact with culture James Quinlivan: analyst at the RAND Corporation, specializing in introducing change and technology into large organizations William C.


pages: 240 words: 74,182

This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

"side hustle", 4chan, active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, call centre, citizen journalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Etonian, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, illegal immigration, mass immigration, mega-rich, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Skype, South China Sea

Those who seem the most angry, lonely, the neo-Nazis direct towards other chat rooms, where they instruct the new recruits on digital marketing campaigns to promote far-right causes: which videos on YouTube to like or dislike; how to create swarms of automated accounts to boost far-right campaigns on social media. The recruits move from computer games to digital political campaigns that feel like another sort of game, all the while never leaving their bedrooms, slipping from one virtual reality to another. On Reddit and 4chan sites anonymous administrators provide an online ‘crash course in mass persuasion’, which in the Cold War would have been the province of the secret services and ‘civilian psy-ops’. There is advice on how to use the values of your enemy against them. So if you are attacking a leftist politician, you should create a fake liberal persona for yourself online and point out how politicians are part of the financial elite, or how their ‘white privilege’ has allowed them to rise to the top and avoid arrest.


pages: 244 words: 81,334

Picnic Comma Lightning: In Search of a New Reality by Laurence Scott

4chan, Airbnb, airport security, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, clean water, colonial rule, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, housing crisis, Internet of things, Joan Didion, job automation, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, Productivity paradox, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, Y2K

Pictures from the scene and images of the suspects become a form of glorification, an aggrandising of the event. The intentional setting of kittens alongside explosions is a reclaiming of the natural bathos of Internet news. In this age of the camera-operator, we do at times need to diminish rather than magnify the image, and the bathetic quality of memes is emerging as one such lessening device. A similar approach has been adopted by users of 4Chan, who began Photoshopping the heads of rubber ducks over the faces of ISIS fighters, both to mock them and to prevent them from becoming globally notorious – arguably one of their motivations. Purposeful bathos also offers a shrewd way of resisting authoritarian regimes, which propagate their authority through triumphalism and heightened imagery and symbolism. As Pope advises in his mock-guide for bad poets, their eyes ‘should be like unto the wrong end of a perspective glass, by which all the objects of nature are lessened’.


pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

Close by, Glenn Beck, the conservative Fox host, was snapping pictures with his smart phone while he chatted with Arianna Huffington, the liberal blogger. Behind them Jimmy Fallon gave a small laugh at a joke. Then Jack saw him. Ev, seated at table 2, literally the best seat in the house, in front of the stage where Michelle Obama stood. Ev was seated with Joy Behar, cohost of The View, and Moot, who had won the title of World’s Most Influential Person after his Web site, 4Chan, had rigged the Time vote. Jack took a large gulp from his glass of champagne. Even at the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World gala, there is a pecking order. And in 2009, at the top end of that chart there was Evan Williams, the CEO of Twitter. The upper level seemed to house less important guests, like Christine Teigen, John Legend, and Lou Reed. (Oprah was back there too, though only because she had to leave early.)


pages: 305 words: 93,091

The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data by Kevin Mitnick, Mikko Hypponen, Robert Vamosi

4chan, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, connected car, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Internet of things, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, pattern recognition, ransomware, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, speech recognition, Tesla Model S, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

“MaryHadALittleLamb123$” as rendered by http://www.danstools.com/md5-hash-generator/. 8. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3639679.stm. 9. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/04/smart-phone-thefts-rose-to-3-1-million-last-year/index.htm. 10. http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_26793089/warrant-chp-officer-says-stealing-nude-photos-from. 11. http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/08/new-data-uncovers-the-surprising-predictability-of-android-lock-patterns/. 12. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local/official-explains-placing-david-kernell-at-ky-facility-ep-406501153-358133611.html. 13. http://www.wired.com/2008/09/palin-e-mail-ha/. 14. http://fusion.net/story/62076/mothers-maiden-name-security-question/. 15. http://web.archive.org/web/20110514200839/http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/webscout/2008/09/4chans-half-hac.html. 16. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/david-kernell-ut-student-in-palin-email-case-is-released-from-supervision-ep-361319081-326647571.html; http://edition.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/11/12/tennessee.palin.hacking.case/. 17. http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/password-recovery-scam-tricks-users-handing-over-email-account-access. 18. https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/10/how-activist-deray-mckessons-twitter-account-was-hacked/.


pages: 315 words: 93,522

How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy by Stephen Witt

4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cloud computing, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, game design, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, inventory management, iterative process, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, job automation, late fees, mental accounting, moral panic, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, security theater, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, zero day

The site’s early popularity came from its no-apologies approach: its founders believed what they were doing should be legal, but if it wasn’t they were going to do it anyway. If running a torrent tracker violated copyright law, then the Pirate Bay founders were willing to break that law. This dissident viewpoint drew attention, and attracted users from the same disaffected subculture of Internet trolls that would later populate such luminary organizations as Anonymous and 4chan. The Pirate Bay’s founders loved controversy—one of them, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, had previously hosted a site called “America’s Dumbest Soldiers,” which provided casualty reports from the Iraq War and let users vote on the presumed stupidity of the death. They trumpeted their actions as civil disobedience, and publicly flipped the bird to those who didn’t like it. In 2004, lawyers for DreamWorks SKG sent the site a cease-and-desist letter, threatening legal action under the U.S.


pages: 371 words: 93,570

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans

"side hustle", 4chan, Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, British Empire, colonial rule, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Doomsday Book, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, East Village, Edward Charles Pickering, game design, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Haight Ashbury, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, old-boy network, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pets.com, rent control, RFC: Request For Comment, rolodex, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telepresence, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

Our dense net of connective technologies, and the increasing facility by which we are surveilled within them, has led to new forms of violence: doxxing, cyberstalking, trolling, revenge porn. And anonymity, which the cyberfeminists, along with many early cyberculture thinkers, championed as a method for transcending gender and difference, enables violently misogynistic language all over the Web: in YouTube comments, on forums, on Reddit and 4chan, and in the in-boxes and @replies of women with public opinions. The incorporeal newness that so intoxicated the earliest women online has morphed; it has become what the games critic Katherine Cross aptly calls a “Möbius strip of reality and unreality,” in which Internet culture “becomes real when it is convenient and unreal when it is not; real enough to hurt people in, unreal enough to justify doing so.”


pages: 322 words: 99,066

The End of Secrecy: The Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks by The "Guardian", David Leigh, Luke Harding

4chan, banking crisis, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, Downton Abbey, drone strike, eurozone crisis, friendly fire, global village, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, post-work, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

The Anonymous crowd was only a group in the loosest sense, the Guardian’s technology editor Charles Arthur wrote: “It’s more like a stampeding herd, not sure quite what it wants but certain that it’s not going to put up with any obstacles, until it reaches an obstacle which it can’t hurdle, in which case it moves on to something else.” Anonymous – which grew out of the equally chaotic “/b/” messageboard on the discussion site 4chan.org – had in the past tormented the Scientologists, reposting videos and leaking secret documents that the cult hoped to suppress. Anonymous’s broad manifesto is to fight against the suppression of information – but its members were not above childish actions simply to annoy and frustrate web users for their own amusement (known as “doing it for the lulz”). Anonymous supporters turned up at demonstrations from time to time – some of them wearing the same spooky Guy Fawkes mask that adorned the group’s Anony_Ops Twitter page.


pages: 370 words: 94,968

The Most Human Human: What Talking With Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive by Brian Christian

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, carbon footprint, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, job automation, l'esprit de l'escalier, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, starchitect, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (New York: Basic Books, 1979). 17 Noam Chomsky, email correspondence (emphasis mine). 18 John Lucas, “Commentary on Turing’s ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence,’ ” in Epstein et al., Parsing the Turing Test. 2. Authenticating 1 Alix Spiegel, “ ‘Voice Blind’ Man Befuddled by Mysterious Callers,” Morning Edition, National Public Radio, July 12, 2010. 2 David Kernell, posting (under the handle “rubico”) to the message board www.4chan.org, September 17, 2008. 3 Donald Barthelme, “Not-Knowing,” in Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews of Donald Barthelme, edited by Kim Herzinger (New York: Random House, 1997). Regarding “Bless Babel”: Programmers have a concept called “security through diversity,” which is basically the idea that a world with a number of different operating systems, spreadsheet programs, etc., is more secure than one with a software “monoculture.”


pages: 587 words: 117,894

Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business continuity plan, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, do-ocracy, drone strike, Edward Snowden, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fault tolerance, global supply chain, Google Earth, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, packet switching, Peace of Westphalia, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, zero-sum game

The members then use various media such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to distribute “attack posters” to announce the plans, further coordinate steps, and draw new volunteers from around the world into the attacks, building up the ranks of an “Anonymous” army of hactivists. The paradox is that for such a supposedly secretive group, most of Anonymous’s planning and action takes place in the open. There is no exact date linked to the founding of Anonymous, but most accounts credit its formation to the mid-2000s, merging early hacker communities dating back to the 1980s with a new generation of hactivists, who congregated around online bulletin boards like 4chan. For the next few years, the group would rarely pop up outside of the computer security world media. One of the first mentions came in 2007, when Canadian news reported the arrest of a fifty-three-year-old child predator who had been tracked down and turned into the police by a “self-described Internet vigilante group called Anonymous.” This was notable not just because of the revelation of the group, but also because it was the first time a suspected online predator was arrested by the police as a result of “Internet vigilantism.”


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

The Growth of CCTV: A global perspective on the international diffusion of video surveillance in publicly accessible space,” Surveillance & Society, http://www.surveillance-and-society.org/articles2(2)/editorial.pdf, 2(2/3): 110. 60John Villasenor, Recording Everything: Digital Storage as an Enabler of Authoritarian Governments (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 2011), http://www.brookings.edu/%7E/media/Files/rc/papers/2011/1214_digital_storage_villasenor/ 1214_digital_storage_villasenor.pdf, 1. 61Chao and Clark, “Cisco Poised to Help China Keep an Eye on Its Citizens.” 62“Beijing to trial mobile tracking system: report,” Agence France Presse, March 3, 2011. 63David Goldman, “Carrier IQ: ‘We’re as surprised as you,’ ” CNNMoney Tech, blog, last modified December 2, 2011, http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/02/technology/carrier_iq/index.htm. 64Farhad Manjoo, “Fear Your Smartphone,” Slate, December 2, 2011, http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/12/ carrier_iq_it_s_totally_rational_to_worry_that_our_phones_are_tracking_ everything_we_do_.html. 65Kate Notopoulos, “Somebody’s watching: how a simple exploit lets strangers tap into private security cameras,” The Verge, February 3, 2012, http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/3/2767453/trendnet-ip-camera-exploit-4chan. 66Nicholas G. Garaufis, Memorandum & Order 10-MC-897 (NGG), August 22, 2011, http://ia600309.us.archive.org/33/items/gov.uscourts.nyed.312774/ gov.uscourts.nyed.312774.6.0.pdf. 67George Orwell, 1984 (Penguin: New York, 1990), 65. 68Chao and Clark, “Cisco Poised to Help China Keep an Eye on Its Citizens.” 69Siobhan Gorman, “NSA’s Domestic Spying Grows As Agency Sweeps Up Data,” Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2008, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120511973377523845.html. 70John Villasenor, “Recording Everything: Digital Storage as an Enabler of Authoritarian Governments” (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, December 14, 2011), 1. 71Herman Kahn, Thinking About the Unthinkable (New York, Horizon Press, 1962). 72“How U.S.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, Sam Altman, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

For a broader overview of Flack’s work, see Flack, “Life’s Information Hierarchy.” This sporting contest is the marathon: The marathon has an analogue in the world of sorting algorithms. One of the more intriguing (Wikipedia used the word “esoteric” before the article was removed entirely) developments in beyond-comparison sorting theory arose from one of the most unlikely places: the notorious Internet message board 4chan. In early 2011, an anonymous post there proclaimed: “Man, am I a genius. Check out this sorting algorithm I just invented.” The poster’s “sorting algorithm”—Sleep Sort—creates a processing thread for each unsorted item, telling each thread to “sleep” the number of seconds of its value, and then “wake up” and output itself. The final output should, indeed, be sorted. Leaving aside the implementation details that reveal the cracks in Sleep Sort’s logic and just taking Sleep Sort on face value, it does seem to promise something rather intoxicating: a sort whose runtime doesn’t depend on the number of elements at all, but rather on their size.


Active Measures by Thomas Rid

1960s counterculture, 4chan, active measures, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, continuation of politics by other means, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, guest worker program, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, peer-to-peer, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

This new technique would make the compromising material public, and amplify it, before it would be picked up by traditional middlemen, such as Russian TV stations, outlets in third countries, and ultimately American and European news agencies. This strategy of leaking via the internet would soon redefine how surfacing and amplification worked. 26. Anonymous Guy Fawkes–masked internet activism began to coalesce in 2007, partly on 4chan, a raucous anonymous image board. The movement peaked in size and volume in early 2012.1 By then an entire news network of collaborative anonymous sources and accounts had emerged online, on various open platforms and custom-built websites. Leaking information online, called “doxing” in internet jargon, had become a common occurrence. Between October 2013 and the summer of 2016, Anonymous Ukraine or some of its self-identified offshoots published around one hundred posts on CyberGuerrilla.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The story about the “FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide”—also totally fake but shared half a million times—was the work of a Southern California man who started in 2013 to prove how easily disinformation spread, but ended up creating a twenty-five-employee business to churn out the stuff. Facebook users were not the only ones spreading these stories. Many of them circulated by email and on Twitter, on YouTube, on reddit, and on 4chan. Google surfaced them in Google Suggest, the drop-down recommendations that appear for every user as they begin to type a query. But it was Facebook that became the focus of the discussion, perhaps because at first Mark Zuckerberg denied the problem, saying in an onstage interview at the Techonomy conference a few days after the election that it was “a pretty crazy idea” that the stories had influenced the outcome.


pages: 561 words: 163,916

The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality by Blake J. Harris

4chan, airport security, Anne Wojcicki, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, computer vision, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, financial independence, game design, Grace Hopper, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Peter Thiel, QR code, sensor fusion, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, white picket fence

On that note—and over the course of several Pei Wei meetups throughout July—the guys got to talking about VR. “So I checked out your Oculus website, and I loved what you wrote about Oculus being ‘your tilt’ to bring VR to the ‘average person.’ And that stuff about gamers and dreamers? That was gold! But I want to dig even deeper.” “Oh!” Luckey said, thinking of something else. “So there’s this comic that someone on 4chan made and it totally nails the game industry. Have you ever seen it? It’s that one that starts with a game dev saying: U CAN DO ANYTHING!!” Mitchell had not, so Luckey explained it to him. The comic was only six panels long and it begins, as Luckey had mentioned, with a game developer announcing that his upcoming game will be so amazing—so filled with incredible features—that players will be able to do . . . anything!


pages: 691 words: 203,236

Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann

4chan, affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, immigration reform, imperial preference, income inequality, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open borders, phenotype, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, twin studies, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional

Pat Buchanan, ‘Trump embraces the culture war’, Patrick J. Buchanan Official Website, 10 October 2017. 8. ‘Polls [sic] shows majority of Americans’. 9. B. Campbell and J. Manning, The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars, Cham, Switz., 2018: Palgrave Macmillan. 10. Zach Goldberg, Twitter posts @ZachG932, 31 May–28 June 2018. 11. A. Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right, Winchester and Washington, DC, 2017: Zero Books. 12. Marion Mourge, ‘Laurent Wauquiez s’insurge contre “les élites” ’, Le Figaro, 25 October 2017. 13. J. Duckitt and C. G. Sibley, ‘A dual-process motivational model of ideology, politics, and prejudice’, Psychological Inquiry 20:2–3 (2009), 98–109. 14. Lee Roden, ‘Why Sweden is talking about immigration more than before’, The Local (Sweden), 6 July 2016. 15.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

It should be clear that the interests of the strong geodesign articulated by this book in the interests of a better Stack-to-come are not to be found inside the cultural politics of this First World psychodrama. A late-industrial-era aesthetics of hand tools, grooming, and food (particularly of the white working class) may represent a new pastoral for some urban youth cultures, but a generational fetishization of analog machines does not make for a good theory of technology. And yet it sometimes seems as if that, plus a 4Chan-of-everything, is where things stand. The end result of this dreary convergence of the artisanal opt-out with misanthropic populism is that many of the worst Cloud feudal outcomes are far more likely to emerge than they would be if that collective intelligence were guided by another more future-forward cultural politics. Just as for the Right denialists, the Left counterparts sometimes work as if their strongest loyalties are to the protection of their own worst fears. 11.