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The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig
affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor
Requests for permission to reproduce selections from this book should be mailed to: Permissions Department, The New Press, 120 Wall Street, 31st floor, New York, NY 10005. Published in the United States by The New Press, New York, 2015 Distributed by Perseus Distribution LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Swartz, Aaron, 1986-2013. The boy who could change the world : the writings of Aaron Swartz / Aaron Swartz ; with an introduction by Lawrence Lessig ; part introductions by Benjamin Mako Hill, Seth Schoen, David Auerbach, David Segal, Cory Doctorow, James Grimmelmann, and Astra Taylor ; postscript by Henry Farrell. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-62097-076-8 (e-book) 1.Internet—Social aspects. 2.Internet—Political aspects. 3.Intellectual property. 4.Copyright. 5.Computers--Social aspects. 6.Computer architecture. 7.Swartz, Aaron, 1986-2013—Political and social views. 8.Political culture--United States. 9.Popular culture—United States.I.
These books are made possible by the enthusiasm of our readers; the support of a committed group of donors, large and small; the collaboration of our many partners in the independent media and the not-for-profit sector; booksellers, who often hand-sell New Press books; librarians; and above all by our authors. www.thenewpress.com Book design and composition by Bookbright Media This book was set in Aries and Gill Sans Printed in the United States of America 10987654321 CONTENTS Introduction by Lawrence Lessig Free Culture Introduction by Benjamin Mako Hill and Seth Schoen Counterpoint: Downloading Isn’t Stealing UTI Interview with Aaron Swartz Jefferson: Nature Wants to Be Free Guerilla Open Access Manifesto The Fruits of Mass Collaboration The Techniques of Mass Collaboration: A Third Way Out Wikimedia at the Crossroads Who Writes Wikipedia? Who Runs Wikipedia? Making More Wikipedians Making More Wikipedias Code, and Other Laws of Wikipedia False Outliers (The Dandy Warhols) Come Down Up with Facts: Finding the Truth in WikiCourt Welcome, Watchdog.net A Database of Folly When is Transparency Useful?
In the speech that closes this section, Aaron describes being called back into the world of free culture to lead the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a proposed U.S. law designed to restrict the Internet in ways that would cut back on the kind of information sharing that Aaron supported. He calls on his listeners to believe that their personal engagement in activism for information freedom is urgently needed and that they can become the “hero of their own story.” —Benjamin Mako Hill and Seth Schoen Counterpoint: Downloading Isn’t Stealing http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/001112 January 8, 2004 Age 17 The New York Times Upfront asked me to contribute a short piece to a point/counterpoint they were having on downloading. (I would defend downloading, of course.) I thought I managed to write a pretty good piece, especially for its size and audience, in a couple days.
Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv
4chan, 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
Because Book Sprints involve open contributions (people can contribute remotely as well as by joining the sprint physically) the process is ideally matched to open/free content. Indeed, the goal of FLOSS Manuals embodies this freedom in a two-fold manner: it makes the resulting books free online, and focuses its eﬀorts on free so ware. FLOSS Manuals has produced many fantastic manuals in 2-5 day Book Sprints. The quality of these books is exceptional, for example Free So ware Foundation Board Member Benjamin Mako Hill said of the 280 page Introduction to the Command Line manual (produced in a two day Book Sprint): “I have wri en basic introductions to the command line in three diﬀerent technical books on GNU/Linux and read dozens of others. FLOSS Manual’s “Introduction to the Command Line” is at least as clear, complete, and accurate as any I’ve read or wri en. But while there are countless correct reference works on the subject, FLOSS’s book speaks to an audience of absolute beginners more eﬀectively, and is ultimately more useful, than any other I have seen.” 8 But Collaborative Futures is markedly diﬀerent.
Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Marshall McLuhan, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K
The book would not have been possible without extensive interviews with the principal enablers of Wikipedia: Ward Cunningham, Larry Sanger, and Jimmy Wales. Michael Davis, Tim Shell, Terry Foote. Thanks to Wikimedia Foun- Ac know ledg ments_x dation board members Florence Devouard, Angela Beesley, and Michael Snow for discussions and insights. Smart folks who provided insight on the community and wikis included Re-becca MacKinnon, Ethan Zuckerman, Benjamin Mako Hill, Sunir Shah, Mitch Kapor, Jason Calacanis, Ross Mayfield, and Joseph Reagle. Conversations with non-Wikipedia-related people Lokman Tsui, Sasa Vucinic, Paul Denlinger, and Kaiser Kuo helped me crystallize my thoughts. While the subtitle of the book refers to Wikipedians affectionately as “nobodies,” those who gave special insight on the community were real somebodies: James Forrester, Austin Hair, Phoebe Ayers, Naoko Kizu, Revi Soekatno, Evan Prodromou, Mark Pellegrini, Kelly Martin, Kat Walsh, Greg Maxwell, Isaac Mao, Shizhao, Titan Deng, Mingli Yuan, Filip Maljkovic, Kurt Jansson, Arne Klempert, Mathias Schindler, Nina Gerlach, Samuel Klein, and Ray Saintonge.
Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman
Benjamin Mako Hill, crowdsourcing, Debian, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, ghettoisation, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Paul Graham, pirate software, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, software patent, software studies, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, web application, web of trust
And after helping to organize Debconf10 in New York City, I was able to fully experience the unmistakable pride that swells when a collective works to conjure something into being. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have participated and look forward to attending many more in future times. Though there are many developers who have taken the time to share their thoughts about Debian and other F/OSS projects, Benjamin “mako” Hill, in particular, has been a close friend and collaborator. I wish him well as he embarks on his own academic career and look forward to future collaborations. Martin Kraft, Clint Adams, Paul Wise, “vagrant,” Joey Hess, Erinn Clark, and Daniel Khan Gilmore have also been great friends as well as teachers over this journey. I returned to the University of Chicago in fall 2003 to write my dissertation, only to discover that really I had no idea how to proceed.
Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig
Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux
Three other interviewees spent a great deal of time teaching me material I didn’t get to use here. Dana Boyd generously shared her rich and extraordinarily interesting learning about youth and creativity. In the end, I came to believe that that research should first be presented by her. Count me among those to acknowledge it as profoundly important to an understanding of this next generation. Benjamin Mako Hill and Erik Möller spent a great deal of time outlining a rich and sophisticated understanding of “free culture.” But that work complemented and corrected much of what I said in Free Culture, and it would have diverted the 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 296 8/12/08 1:56:18 AM A C K NO W L ED GMEN T S 297 story too much here. Suffice it to say there is much more to be said, and I am hopeful I get a chance to say some of it.
23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day
It can probably make good guesses: Cotton Delo (22 Feb 2013), “Facebook to partner with Acxiom, Epsilon to match store purchases with user profiles,” Advertising Age, http://adage.com/article/digital/facebook-partner-acxiom-epsilon-match-store-purchases-user-profiles/239967. I try not to use Google search: I use DuckDuckGo, which does not collect personal information about its users. See https://duckduckgo.com. I use various blockers: Jonathan Mayer (17 Feb 2012), “Safari trackers,” Web Policy, http://webpolicy.org/2012/02/17/safari-trackers. Google has about a third: Benjamin Mako Hill (11 May 2014), “Google has most of my email because it has all of yours,” Copyrighteous, http://mako.cc/copyrighteous/google-has-most-of-my-email-because-it-has-all-of-yours. police forces have installed surveillance cameras: Mun Wong (4 May 2011), “Top 5 cities with the largest surveillance camera networks,” VinTech Journal, http://www.vintechnology.com/journal/uncategorized/top-5-cities-with-the-largest-surveillance-camera-networks.
3D printing, 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, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, 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
surveyed about their writing: Amanda Lenhart, Sousan Arafeh, Aaron Smith, and Alexandra MacGill, Writing, Technology and Teens (Pew Internet & American Life Project, April 24, 2008), accessed March 24, 2013, www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/Writing-Technology-and-Teens/09-The-Way-Teens-See-Their-Writing.aspx?view=all. This was the epiphany of Seymour Papert: My description of Papert’s work and thinking draws from his book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas, 2nd ed. (New York: Basic Books, 1993). download someone else’s Scratch game to reverse engineer it: Benjamin Mako Hill, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, and Kristina R. Olson, “Responses to Remixing on a Social Media Sharing Website,” presented at the Fourth International Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (2010), accessed March 24, 2013, www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ICWSM10/paper/view/1533/1836. formed their own international groups: Cecilia R.