Writing in the Atlantic, my friend Biella Coleman, an assistant professor at NYU, describes the syllabus for her wonderful Anthropology of Hackers class. I met Biella when she was doing her fieldwork, part of which involved volunteering at and interviewing the staff and supporters of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Week Eight: The Aesthetics and Politics of Code
Free and Open Source Software is about software, specifically source code, the underlying directions written by programmers and powering software. But what is code? What are its politics? To acquaint ourselves with the material and aesthetic properties of software, we read a handful of chapters from Software Studies by Mathew Fuller. We then move more squarely to the politics of code with Lawrence Lessig's piece "Open Code and Open Societies" as well "Code is Speech: Legal Tinkering, Expertise, and Protest among Free and Open Source Software Developers" based on my fieldwork with Free Software developers.
The Anthropology of Hackers
(Image: Nested Parens! 25 years of HaCkErS, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from ioerror's photostream)
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I’ve had quite a few fun afternoons playing with dry ice from making spooky fog in the kitchen to exploding plastic bottles in the yard. But I’ve never had the opportunity to pour hot lava over dry ice. In this video, the lava is 1400 °C and the dry ice is -78C°. So cool! And […]
A Boston University team have developed an acoustic, 3D-printed metamaterial whose topology is such that it reflects 94% of human-audible sound; the researchers' demonstration involves inserting a ring of this stuff in a PVC pipe and blasting a speaker down one end: light and air emerges from the other end, but sound does not.
Despite government legislation and improving caller ID technology, robocalls and scam artists are rampant on the phone lines – up to 35 billion a year in the US alone. They can be annoying at best and a financial threat at worst, but there’s a way to take security into your own hands. One good example […]
If you’re a Mac user, you thrive on simplicity. Everything in its place and a place for everything. Unsurprisingly, there’s a ton of great organizational apps out there for Mac, and now someone’s had the great idea to bundle them all together. Whether you’re running a demanding business or just getting through the day to […]
Seems like drones are doing a lot of jobs these days, from reconnaissance to delivery. Now, we can add “keeping the Death Star safe” to that list. Whether you’re a drone enthusiast or a Star Wars fan, these Star Wars Propel Drones are undeniably the coolest toy around. Yes, that’s a fully functional drone replica […]