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This One Trick Will Revolutionize Your Use of Social Media: Block fuckwits.

On social media, the advantage is that a large userbase and participation. The disadvantage: it's 99.9999% crap.

What's working for me is to filter ruthlessly. If someone is disruptive, ideological, insane, or crazy-making, I'll block them without thought (I used to agonize over that, I don't any more).

High signal is rare, but odds of missing out by blocking idiots are low.

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"Pseudonyms and anonymity are also an established part of many cultures -- for good reason."

- Alma Whitten, former Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering, Google

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On authors who were publishing information technology panopticon concerns in the 1980s, or earlier

A quickie dump.

Paul Baran / RAND

  • "On the Engineer's Responsibility in Protecting Privacy"

  • "On the Future Computer Era: Modification of the American Character and the Role of the Engineer, or, A Little Caution in the Haste to Number"

  • "The Coming Computer Utility -- Laissez-Faire, Licensing, or Regulation?"

  • "Remarks on the Question of Privacy Raised by the Automation of Mental Health Records"

  • "Some Caveats on the Contribution of Technology to Law Enforcement"

Largely written/published 1967--1969.

Willis Ware / RAND

Too numerous to list fully, 1960s --1990s. Highlights:

  • "Security and Privacy in Computer Systems" (1967)

  • "Computers in Society's Future" (1971)

  • "Records, Computers and the Rights of Citizens" (1973

  • "Privacy and Security Issues in Information Systems" (1976)

  • "Information Systems, Security, and Privacy" (1983)

  • "The new faces of privacy" (1993)


Shoshana Zuboff, In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power (1988) Notably reviewed in the Whole Earth Catalog's Signal: Communication Tools for the Information Age (1988).

"Danger to Civil Rights?", 80 Microcomputing (1982) (

"Computer-Based National Information Systems: Technology and Public Policy", NTIS (September 1981)

"23 to Study Computer ‘Threat’" (1970)

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Privacy and Information Technology" bibliography is largely 1990--present, but contains some earlier references.

Similarly "Privacy"

Credit Reporting / Legislation

US Privacy Act of 1974

Invasion of Privacy Act 1971 - Queensland Government, Australia

Arthur R. Miller, The assault on privacy: computers, data banks, and dossiers

"The Computer, the Consumer and Privacy" (1984)

Richard Boeth / Newsweek

The specific item I'd had in mind:

Richard Boeth, "Is Privacy Dead", Newsweek, July 27, 1970

Direct PDF:

Based on an HN comment:

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My present Recaptcha policy:

Request audio.

Respond "Fuck you Google"

Repeat until access granted, or the joy fades.

Bonus: All audio AI parsing tends to "Fuck you Google".

I need to get a new monitor for an M1 Mac mini. I think it’s probably time to get something…big and curved.

What do I want?

I'm looking for an affordable braille display because I'd like to get one to make to help reporting usability issue for people relying on braille.

I'd emphasize on OS installation, shell usage and command line tools. I may even use the computer screen-less :flan_think:

If it would be considered a bad idea, tell me.

Boost appreciated :flan_thumbs:

Dear : Any guidelines on E-Ink / B&W/grayscale / low-refresh rate app design / UI/UX?

I've recently come into possession of an e-ink book reader, and am discovering the joys (seriously) and limitations (dittos) of e-ink displays and software designed for them.

I've just begun looking for any information concerning design guidance for e-ink devices, and am coming up very short. If you're aware of any such resources please respond to thread.

Boosts welcomed.

Tomorrow, Zeynep Tufekci and I are delivering the Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Contemporary Political Struggle: Social Movements, Social Surveillance, Social Media:


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@dredmorbius @cadadr I think the most notable — and usually not as often mentioned in these fedi discussions — co-op sector is food production, all the way from agriculture to production to grocery stores. It's also the most stabilized, which is probably why it is so often forgotten. In many countries the majority of food chain is in co-operative hands.

Re: that last boost, subtoot-ishing because IDK how on topic this is.

I've watched a lot of Richard Wolff lately and I love learning about workplace democracy. Coop-ifying and unionising the economy is unequivocally good.

But the one problem here is that a lot of these solutions are mostly labour based, and seems to take it granted that in a just world there's good work for everyone.

Is it so? Should it be so? Or should our livelihoods be detached from income and labour? Is this sustainable?

@dredmorbius Thank you for that. I agree with this analysis wholeheartedly and I should learn to not write unsophisticated disagreement toots.

Oh wait, I need to keep doing that, because it makes you unpack your thoughts ;).

I agree the technology itself is unlikely to be able to address the core issues (though I'm not ruling it out - particularly there may be new ways of organizing and pricing things, which may come from theoretical work, or an accidental side effect of some tech).


The many problems of the "marketplace of ideas" metaphor aren't specific to the notion of an exchange of ideas, but of any marketplace. It's simple, direct, immediate, minimum-viable-standard ideas, goods, services, products, etc., which dominate in any market. It doesn't matter if these are ideas, hamburgers, blockbuster movies (arguably ideas), electronic devices, or hamburgers. The marketplace puts a general premium on simplicity, mass appeal, and immediate benefit (even if this carries long-term harm).

The failures aren't specific to ideas. This is simply what marketplaces, and market-based economic systems, do. It's a failure of any such system.

the mars landing video was recorded on the rover by a computer running #linux

stock off the shelf camera and computer hardware on that system, per press conference

What ebook reader would you recommend?

Must have:

* backlight
* text highlighting
* buttons, not touch screen

I've been using Kindle Oasis but it sucks so incredibly that it's just frustrating to read anything on it... I was always using the old Kindles but they have no backlight and it's a huge advantage. New Kindles on the other hand come with the bloody touch screen which makes it impossible to highlight anything precisely. Plus I don't like Amazon :)

A documentary on rocket science features several former Soviet rocket scientists talking about their experience after the Soviet space program was shut down. Rocket scientists, literally, with no place to turn for employment. That's where you start thinking about inefficiencies in usefully allocating talent. Neither the Soviet nor American economic systems seem to have a particularly good answer for that. Though in the US, Wall Street seems to have a capacity for sponging up some of the potential. I don't find that particularly useful.

The Egyptians built pyramids. I wonder if that wasn't in part a large skills-retention and problem-solving exercise.

Unless you can address the economics of capital, rents, labour, public goods, and assets, and their relationships to power, privilege, and oppression, then technology itself either does not help, and frequently worsens, power imbalances.

Down the Rabbit Hole

  • Philosophy†
  • History of Philisophy†
  • Philosophy of the History of Philosophy†
  • History of the Philosophy of the History of Philosophy‡
  • Philosophy of the History of the Philosophy of the History of Philosophy‡
  • ... ‡


† These actually exist.

Ok, so on my website, I maintain a Library Page, sorted by (sometimes pretty arbitrary) category:

Inside you'll find listings of all the books I've collected, and wherever possible a review of the book by someone who is not me – presumably, if I own the book I probably don't hate it (although there are a few; someone gave me White Fragility for Christmas and it's horrible cubicle drone nonsense)

If you're on Birdsite and want to help, look into #TexasMutualAid people are asking for help there.

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I like the future we used to have so much more than the one we’re getting.

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