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The Conversation #49 — Scott Douglas

People think that the Civil Rights Movement and all big epochal move­ments involve con­science, and they do. They also involve con­scious­ness. I mean, you can’t strug­gle against what you’re unaware off, right? The Klan as the icon­ic car­ri­ers of vio­lence, the Bull Connor of the icon­ic south­ern white male resis­tance, George Wallace the icon­ic neopop­ulist racist. You know, these were his­toric fig­ures in myth and real­i­ty. But we wouldn’t get to what they rep­re­sent­ed till much lat­er.

Are We Living Inside an Ethical (and Kind) Machine?

This is a moment to ask as we make the plan­et dig­i­tal, as we total­ly envel­op our­selves in the com­put­ing envi­ron­ment that we’ve been build­ing for the last hun­dred years, what kind of dig­i­tal plan­et do we want? Because we are at a point where there is no turn­ing back, and get­ting to eth­i­cal deci­sions, val­ues deci­sions, deci­sions about democ­ra­cy, is not some­thing we have talked about enough nor in a way that has had impact.

How to Overthrow a Government

I don’t want to live in a world where ISIS is scari­er than hack­ers, espe­cial­ly in 2016. We pre­vi­ous­ly held the title in 2013, ’14, and ’15. And to be hon­est I was a lit­tle bit dis­ap­point­ed when I saw this result. So I thought I’m in my 40s now, there’s a lot of young hack­ers in the audi­ence, and I’m not going to pass the baton to you guys unless we have that num­ber one spot back in our pile.

The Conversation #46 — Mark Mykleby

Today, in America right now, we only can think of growth in quan­ti­ta­tive terms. And in a resource-constrained envi­ron­ment, how frickin’ stu­pid is that? You’re actu­al­ly impos­ing your own death sen­tence by not being able to get over the grip of this quan­ti­ta­tive dynam­ic.

The Conversation #45 — James Bamford

You’re not going to get a gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple out­raged that somebody’s read­ing their email like you would’ve in the 70s get­ting a gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple out­raged that you’re read­ing their snail mail.

A Network of Sorrows: Small Adversaries and Small Allies

In an envi­ron­ment where every­body can pick up everybody’s tools, we’re all weird­ly empow­ered now. And I mean kind of weird in an almost fey sense like, our pow­ers are weird, they make us weird, and they make our our con­flicts weird. It’s again that idea that our tools are inter­act­ing with our human flaws in real­ly real­ly inter­est­ing ways.

Forbidden Research: Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance

When I announced the talk on Twitter, some­body imme­di­ate­ly was like, Lawful abuse, isn’t that a con­tra­dic­tion?” But if you think about it for just a moment it might seem to be a lit­tle bit more clear. After all, the legal­i­ty of a thing is quite dis­tinct from the moral­i­ty of it.

Forbidden Research Welcome and Introduction: Cory Doctorow

At that moment when every­body is sud­den­ly car­ing about this stuff, that’s the moment at which nihilism can be avert­ed. It’s the moment in which nihilism must be avert­ed if you’re going to make a change. Peak indif­fer­ence is the moment when you stop con­vinc­ing peo­ple to care about an issue, and start con­vinc­ing them to do some­thing about it.

What Do Algorithms Know?

The Tyranny of Algorithms is obvi­ous­ly a polem­i­cal title to start a con­ver­sa­tion around com­pu­ta­tion and cul­ture. But I think that it helps us get into the cul­tur­al, the polit­i­cal, the legal, the eth­i­cal dimen­sions of code. Because we so often think of code, and code is so often con­struct­ed, in a pure­ly tech­ni­cal frame­work, by peo­ple who see them­selves as solv­ing tech­ni­cal prob­lems.

Cybersecurity in the Age of Always-Connected Sensors

We all see the ben­e­fits of active safe­ty sys­tems in cars. But that same safe­ty tech­nol­o­gy, if attacked, can actu­al­ly allow you to immo­bi­lize a vehi­cle or even dis­able breaks while dri­ving.

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