Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:ordered liberty“

Your Mother Wants You To Go Home to Eat

by Jason Z.

The Great Firewall of China -- that country's massive Internet censorship program -- is the great standing exception to the the cornucopian communication age cottage industry, not unlike China itself is for neoliberalism's great markets=freedom project.

So it's fascinating to take in this academic meditation on the uncanny spread of an Internet meme, The Curious Case of Jia Junpeng, or The Power of Symbolic Appropriation in Chinese Cyberspace.

the main message is that in China today, the internet can always be appropriated by users for their own purposes, however closely it is monitored or controlled. ... ... The issue is not simply a matter of citizen expression versus state control, or freedom versus repression, though these are of central importance. Even during more controlled periods such as the Cultural Revolution, there were what Tang Tsou calls "zones of indifference" which state power did not try to penetrate or control. In some ways, cyberspace is easier to control. A vast online community, for example, may be monitored from a small central control office. Entire networks can be shut down. Yet this does not mean Chinese cyberspace does not have its own "zones of indifference."

"Zones of indifference" ... reminiscent of (if distinctly less exalted than) Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zones. What's next in this for the timeless play of coercion, critique and consent? I think I may have to pick up the gentleman's book to get a few ideas.


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Do Progressive Techies Have a Google Blind Spot?

"No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks." -Mary Wollstonecraft A couple of weeks ago, there was a thread called "google & privacy" on the lib-techie mailing list Progressive Exchange, commenced with an innocent question about the search behemoth's ubiquitous IP tracking, and losing itself on the fringes of a trackless mire over the relative corporate responsibility of making profitable terms with the Chinese government. Google makes slick tools, and I've certainly left my own fingerprints all over their logs. But it's pretty surprising the degree to which many progressives are willing to let Google skate with no more accountability than its Wal-Mart-smiley slogan, "Don't Be Evil" -- or even, in criticism, to underscore some perceived failure of non-evilness as a matter for corporate ethos and little more.

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The Cycle of Netroots Life

At least the healing, back-to-fundraising process can begin in the bosom of YearlyKos, whose namesake shared these observations on FISA capitulation day:
We are a full-fledged partner in the progressive coalition ... with our allies in the labor movement, our friends in the issue groups, and our party leadership. ... [E]arly hostility – based on substantive differences – is now giving way to new respect and trust.
We in the club, yo! What's systematic, institutional betrayal if not a call for more and better Democrats?

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DIA Embraces Web 2.0? This Is News?

Oh, you mean the other DIA.
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is seeing "mushrooming" use of these various Web 2.0 technologies that are becoming critical to accomplishing missions that require intelligence sharing among analysts... "Web 2.0 mashup fans on the Internet would be very much at home in the burgeoning environment of top-secret mashups, which use in some cases Google Earth and in some cases other geospatial, temporal or other display characteristics and top-secret data."
Source. Via Smart Mobs.

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The Allegory of the People In the Cave By the Greek Guy

"The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow." -H.G. Wells It's been a week for the snarling technophobes, eh? While Bush pere was reflecting on the evils of adversarial bloggers and the lucky way he wasn't leaving an IP trail with the email way back when at the Army-Navy game, across the pond, Tony Blair's outgoing spinmeister was heard huffing through the revolving door a remonstrance fast becoming the "uphill both ways" cliche of the pre-Internet pol:

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