Review: Hacker Hoaxer Whistleblower Spy – The Many Faces of Anonymous

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Gabriella Coleman

Anonymous is almost certainly not what you think it is. You have to live it to understand it, its implications, its functioning, and its place in society. Gabrielle Coleman lived it, as a fully disclosed academic anthropologist. This is her story as much as theirs.

The structure of Anonymous is like the structure of the internet: multiple channels, multiple entry points, self healing patches, and lots of redundancy. (Also lots of swearing, lots of personal attacks, and lots of suspicions. Testosterone is involved.) This enables a totally flat organization to achieve in minutes what giant corporations and government take years to effect. The exhilaration, the joy, the satisfaction participants savor is incomparable. Anonymous is far more than a labor of love; it is idealists executing on their dreams. Everyone should be jealous.

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Feb 1

Sepp Hasslberger: Toward a People’s Internet

Sepp Hasslberger

Sepp Hasslberger

The internet will really have to be the people’s property…

Towards a people’s Internet

Complete book by the chapter below the fold.

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Aug 23

Review (Guest): Revolution 2.0 The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power A Memoir

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Wael Ghonim

5.0 out of 5 stars The true origins of the Egyptian revolution . a must read now more than ever, May 5, 2012

By Wessam ElmeligiSee all my reviews

Wael Ghonim has become an iconic figure of the Egyptian revolution since he anonymously started the Facebook Page, “We are All Khalid Said,” criticizing police brutality in Egypt after young activist Khalid Said was beaten to death in broad daylight by the police in Alexandria for posting a video on police corruption on the internet. In the first few days of the revolution, Ghonim was kidnapped by plainclothes policeman but released later. He appeared on a talk show at a time when the protests were reaching a dead end. Instead of delivering a fiery speech full of revolutionary fervor as expected, he wept and apologized publicly to the parents of protesters who were killed during the protests, saying “don’t blame us, blame those who are power hungry.” His tearful words ignited the protests again.

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Mar 6

Review: The Internet in the Middle East

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Deborah Wheeler

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising and therefore valuable, February 11, 2015

This is a solid piece of work that might normally have been a 4 but it surprised me just enough to warrant taking it to a 4. I love unconventional wisdom and seeing solid proof that conventional wisdom — in this case, “The Internet changes everything for the better” questioned.

I read this book on the same flight as I read Richard Wolff’s Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism (City Lights Open Media) and this is the second reason I will place the book at five: while the Internet does NOT change everything for the better, especially in the case of women and youth in Kuwait, it IS “occupied,” is does blur the line between the user and the producer, and it does offer a model for new forms of social and economic organization. In a strange way I could not have anticipated, these two books complement each other.

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Feb 28