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Lulz Will Find a Way: How Meme Culture is Empowering civic Engagement in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Among oth­er things [The Cute Cat Theory] sug­gests that ordi­nary online tools and plat­forms, the kind that peo­ple com­mon­ly use to share innocu­ous con­tent such as cute pic­tures of cats make it pos­si­ble for non-activist users to cre­ate and dis­sem­i­nate activist con­tent online.

Policing the Romantic Crowd; Velocipedes and Face Recognition

We have to be care­ful about dis­tin­guish­ing between mere analo­gies link­ing the Romantic peri­od to our own age that maybe don’t have any use­ful analogs, and those that do have some con­tin­ued oper­a­tional rel­e­vance. Because it is the case that Romantic writ­ers like John Keats, Mary Shelley, William Wordsworth, philo­soph­i­cal­ly mod­eled and to some extent thought through many of the debates and issues that we’re cur­rent­ly hav­ing as we seek to shape the con­tours of our future soci­eties.

Jen Lowe at Deep Lab

Almost a year ago, I put my heart­beat online, and along with my heart­beat an account­ing of all the days I’ve lived, and the days I sta­tis­ti­cal­ly have yet to live, along with my aver­age heart­beat for each day. So I was play­ing with the idea of pri­va­cy. Here’s this very inti­mate mea­sure, in a way. But I’m not wor­ried about shar­ing it because there’s not much you can learn about me from my heart rate.

Privacy, cen­sor­ship, and secu­ri­ty in the Middle East

So I got curi­ous, and I asked myself what is the Iranian Internet, and who is the Iranian user? I was pissed off enough, like I said, to take a step or to feel the urge to do some­thing. To feel the urge of mak­ing some­thing. And the thing that I real­ly want­ed to bring across was that cen­sor­ship is hap­pen­ing in a dif­fer­ent coun­try, where it’s being used to bring across infor­ma­tion, to make voic­es heard.

Liberation Technology

My goal […] was to live in that ten­sion, to empow­er mak­ers, musi­cians, coders, and artists to con­tin­ue to make wide-eyed and yet still open-hearted— One of my favorite authors, Ursula K. LeGuin calls this the Grand Inquisitor’s Choice,” where you choose free­dom with­out hap­pi­ness, or hap­pi­ness with­out free­dom.

Protest Bots

I wrote a let­ter to my local rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and he wrote me back and it was this boil­er­plate of all this bull­shit. So I was read­ing it and just men­tal­ly cross­ing off line after line of bull­shit, so I decid­ed to make a bot that does that for me. What it does is it goes into an API that lists mem­bers of Congress and their Twitter accounts, picks one at ran­dom, picks their most recent tweet, and it retweets it but replaces a cer­tain per­cent­age of all the char­ac­ters of that tweet with black or gray rec­tan­gles so that the remain­ing amount of let­ters that you get to actu­al­ly read is equiv­a­lent to the cur­rent lev­el of Congress’ approval rat­ing, which I get from The Huffington Post’s API.

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