Technology, Art, and Power


“Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works”

So it was as proponents of the Hollywood-funded bill curmudgeonly shot down all but two amendments proposed by its opponents, who fought to dramatically alter the document to preserve security and free speech on the net. But the chilling takeaway of this whole debacle was the irrefutable air of anti-intellectualism; that inescapable absurdity that we have members of Congress voting on a technical bill who do not posses any technical knowledge on the subject and do not find it imperative to recognize those who do.

This used to be funny, but now it’s really just terrifying. We’re dealing with legislation that will completely change the face of the internet and free speech for years to come. Yet here we are, still at the mercy of underachieving Congressional know-nothings that have more in common with the slacker students sitting in the back of math class than elected representatives. The fact that some of the people charged with representing us must be dragged kicking and screaming out of their complacency on such matters is no longer endearing — it’s just pathetic and sad.

There’s nothing as frightening as anti-intellectualism. This bill was written by the MPAA/RIAA, and the idea that those voting for or against the bill do not know what a DNS server is — smells awful.

via Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works | Motherboard.

Nyan Cat progress bars for Mac


Nyan cat powers my progress bars. Here’s how.

An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community (4chan /b)

This just in:

“Analyzing ephemerality via two weeks of of site activity, we found that the median thread spends just ?ve seconds on /b/’s ?rst page before being pushed off by newer posts, and that the median thread expires completely within ?ve minutes. Even in a world informed by Twitter and newsfeeds, where content is out of users’ attentional sphere quickly, we argue that such rapid content deletion drives many of /b/’s community dynamics. On /b/, ephemerality and deletion create a powerful selection mechanic by requiring content the community wants to see be repeatedly reposted, and potentially remixed. We believe this is critical to the site’s in?uence on internet culture and memes.”

Read the full paper here (PDF). (also).

If you haven’t seen /b/, then I’ll let you find it.

All Slashdot Fortune Cookies

Due to a fortunate error over at Slashdot, all the fortune cookies ever written for the site appeared in the footer like an overload of wisdom. I’ve saved them for the sake of history below:

  • Try the Moo Shu Pork. It is especially good today.
  • Try to get all of your posthumous medals in advance.
  • Try to have as good a life as you can under the circumstances.
  • Try to relax and enjoy the crisis. — Ashleigh Brilliant
  • Try to value useful qualities in one who loves you.
  • Tuesday After Lunch is the cosmic time of the week.
  • Tuesday is the Wednesday of the rest of your life.
  • What happened last night can happen again.  (more…)

What I use and why

Thinking about Kevin Kelly’s book “What Technology Wants” encouraged me to consider the tools I use. What’s redundant? What tools can I do without? Am I ready for the technopocalypse? Will I need to learn to write with MY HAND again?

More than almost everyone I know, I’m a try-er and join-er. If there’s a ‘beta invite’ sign-up form, I’ll sign-up. At every point in my computer-life history, I’ve used the most up-to-the-minute services and websites if they help me do what I want to do. That also means that I’m forever canceling and culling my subscriptions to these sites and ‘Here’s our new features’ emails. Deleting old accounts, erasing my usage history, and obliterating my connections to things I don’t use is a weekly affair.

Right now, I’m using what I want, what I need, and what I can put up with. A hard balance. I’m always interested in the solutions other people find to their problems, so I thought I’d join that conversation by posting what I use, what I use it for, and why. You can spend a lifetime finding the right tool for the job. That journey has required a great deal of experimentation over the years.


The ‘Assembly’ art project, a choreographed ‘mass visitation’ to disable a website

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have recently become a mainstream term: A large number of computers overload a server with traffic in the attempt to disable it. A DDoS event can also be coordinated in the vein of Internet art. During the middle of October,, for a project by Brad Troemel, proposed

“to drain the maximum amount of bandwidth or potentially freeze the website to a standstill [...] On November 1st we encourage you to open as many tabs of as possible and leave them open all day. In doing so, participants may group together to temporarily remove this website’s existence on the Internet, putting a halt to its undesired effects on our community and the world at large.

A vote was taken to decide what website to ‘visit.’ What happened?

I had been following thejogging after discovering ‘Perfo Rmanceart‘, a Facebook user who conducted interesting and obnoxious online experiments like spamming the Guggenheim Museum’s Facebook page with links. thejogging was a stream of interesting experiments so when I saw the above page I went into my RSS reader and recorded the site’s final moments:

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This kind of experiment interests me because it pushes the boundaries of Internet freedom and Internet art in a very public and well-documented way. In light of the DDoS attacks between Tumblr & 4chan and the more politically-motivated attacks against Paypal & Mastercard in response to their stance towards Wikileaks, this project is extremely interesting. Below is a bit more about this work:

  1. The artist’s statement at the beginning of the project
  2. A chronology of events and an essay written post-project: ‘Notes on Assembly’
  3. Brief interview with the artist, Brad Troemel, 12/2010.


Geocities offered as 900GB torrent

Fatal error: Using $this when not in object context in /nfs/c07/h03/mnt/103840/domains/ on line 38