Benjamin Mako Hill

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pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, functional programming, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, 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, zero-sum game

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?

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.


pages: 554 words: 149,489

The Content Trap: A Strategist's Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand

Airbnb, Benjamin Mako Hill, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Minecraft, multi-sided market, Network effects, post-work, price discrimination, publish or perish, QR code, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, selection bias, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, two-sided market, ubercab, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

“If you view community” I am grateful to Anil Dash for an interview in December 2013. All quotes in this section from Dash are from this interview. Mako Hill noticed something interesting Benjamin Mako Hill, “Almost Wikipedia: What Eight Early Online Collaborative Encyclopedia Projects Reveal About the Mechanisms of Collective Action,” in Essays on Volunteer Mobilization in Peer Production (Ph.D. diss. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013). I am grateful to Benjamin Mako Hill for an interview in January 2014. All quotes in this section from Mako Hill are from this interview. The norms on Wikipedia I am grateful to Alan Wu for a very informative description of Wikipedia norms; interview conducted in April 2016.

There’s a second, more basic, one: thinking that merely “opening up” to crowds will generate content. Wikipedia is perhaps the most studied crowdsourcing organization in the world. “There’ve been over 6,000 papers written about it,” noted software-developer-turned-social-scientist (and now University of Washington professor) Benjamin Mako Hill, whose own Ph.D. dissertation added to the list. Yet, when he embarked on his study of its success, Mako Hill noticed something interesting: Wikipedia wasn’t the first effort to create a volunteer-driven online collaborative encyclopedia. Seven similar efforts preceded its 2001 launch. None came remotely close to achieving Wikipedia’s success.

I am extremely grateful to all those who were willing to be interviewed about, and to reflect on, their experiences: Kjell Aamot, Janet Balis, Binny Bansal, Paul Berry, Caitlyn Chen, Ben Colayco, Scott Cook, Larry Culp, Anil Dash, Markus Dohle, Pieter du Toit, Clark Gilbert, Espen Egil Hansen, Karim Lakhani, Anne Messitte, Benjamin Mako Hill, Phil Kent, Madeline McIntosh, Jon Miller, Craig Moffett, Ajit Mohan, Sverre Munck, Barry Nalebuff, Raju Narisetti, Martin Nisenholtz, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Torry Pedersen, David Perpich, Andrew Rashbass, Jan Rivkin, Rolv-Erik Ryssdal, Terje Seljeseth, Uday Shankar, Carl Shapiro, Paul Smurl, Robert Steen, Peter Stern, Chris Stibbs, Ole Jacob Sunde, Steve Tadelis, Denise Warren, Carl-Nicolai Wessmann, John Winsor, Ali Yurukoglu, and Dylan Zhang.


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 future is already here, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler

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.


pages: 398 words: 86,023

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, Bill Atkinson, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, disinformation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, 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, Tragedy of the Commons, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K, Yochai Benkler

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.


The Internet Trap: How the Digital Economy Builds Monopolies and Undermines Democracy by Matthew Hindman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, bounce rate, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, disinformation, Donald Trump, fault tolerance, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, Ida Tarbell, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telescope, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, lake wobegon effect, large denomination, longitudinal study, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, New Economic Geography, New Journalism, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Robert Metcalfe, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Stewart Brand, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Chicago School, Thomas Malthus, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Yochai Benkler

Loose collections of citizens would be able to function as media outlets, publishing civic information, political opinions, and even original reporting. Wikipedia and political blogs have both been invoked repeatedly as successful examples of distributed content creation. 170 • Chapter 8 Yet as work by Yochai Benkler, Aaron Shaw, and Benjamin Mako Hill has noted, the question is not whether peer production is possible, but instead under what conditions is peer production likely to succeed?18 Again and again, real-world peer production of content has been unable to compete with traditional corporate models. Evolutionary audience models explain this failure by highlighting the intractable problem of stickiness.


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, hustle culture, IKEA effect, impact investing, 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, Yochai Benkler

Special thanks to all who shared their insight and knowledge: Mayor Steve Adler, Yun Mi Antorini, Phil Aroneanu, Hila Lifshitz-Assaf, Douglas Atkin, Ben Balter, Zachary Barrows, Yochai Benkler, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Randy Bretz, Letitia Browne-James, Craig Calhoun, Harry Campbell, Jennifer Carlson, Alexandra Cavoulacos, Perry Chen, Joe Deshotel, Alex Fiechter, Aria Finger, Natalie Foster, Ligia Friedman, Chuck Gates, Mark Glaze, Reuven Gorsht, Nicola Greco, Tate Hausman, Scott Heiferman, Ahti Heinla, Naomi Hirabayashi, Philip K. Howard, Rick Ifland, Verity Jones, Ben Keesey, Jess Kutch, Joseph Kvedar, Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Nancy Lublin, Brian Lynch, Benjamin Mako Hill, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, Michelle Michael, Geoff Mulligan, Nehkara Nikki Newhouse, Rainer Nõlvak, Alex Pentland, John Pinette, Shael Polakow-Suransky, Ai-jen Poo, Katie Radford, Thomas Reese, Jay Rogers, Robin Sather, Nathan Schneider, Michael Silberman, James Slezak, Lara Stein, Courtnie Swearingen, Madelon van Tilburg, Eric Topol, Chris Wanstrath, David Weinberger, Paul Wicks, Rob Wijnberg, David Willey.


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, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Larry Wall, late fees, Mark Shuttleworth, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, peer-to-peer, 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, yellow journalism, Yochai Benkler

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.


pages: 398 words: 107,788

Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman

activist lawyer, Benjamin Mako Hill, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Debian, disinformation, Donald Knuth, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, ghettoisation, GnuPG, Hacker Conference 1984, Hacker Ethic, Herbert Marcuse, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Larry Wall, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, 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 Hackers Conference, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, web application, web of trust, Yochai Benkler

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.


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, Andy Carvin, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, compensation consultant, 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, Ian Bogost, 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 future is already here, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, the strength of weak ties, 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.


Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project by Karl Fogel

active measures, AGPL, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, collaborative editing, continuous integration, corporate governance, Debian, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Firefox, GnuPG, Hacker Ethic, Internet Archive, iterative process, Kickstarter, natural language processing, patent troll, peer-to-peer, pull request, revision control, Richard Stallman, selection bias, slashdot, software as a service, software patent, SpamAssassin, web application, zero-sum game

Thanks to Greg Stein not only for friendship and well-timed encouragement, but for showing the Subversion project how important regular code review is in building a programming community. Thanks also to Brian Behlendorf, who tactfully drummed into our heads the importance of having discussions publicly; I hope that principle is reflected throughout this book. Thanks to Benjamin "Mako" Hill and Seth Schoen, for various conversations about free software and its politics; to Zack Urlocker and Louis Suarez-Potts for taking time out of their busy schedules to be interviewed; to Shane on the Slashcode list for allowing his post to be quoted; and to Haggen So for his enormously helpful comparison of canned hosting sites.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, drone strike, 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, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, 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, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler, zero day

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.