Benjamin Mako Hill (previously) collaborated with colleagues involved in critical technology studies to write a textbook chapter analyzing the use of computational methods in social science and providing advice for social scientists who want to delve into data-based social science.
For years, Benjamin Mako Hill has paid to host his own mail, as a measure to enhance his privacy and independence from big companies. But a bit of clever analysis of his stored mail reveals that despite this expense and effort, he is a Gmail user, because so many of his correspondents are Gmail users and store copies of his messages with Google. — Read the rest
In The remixing dilemma: The trade-off between generativity and originality [PDF], a paper just published in American Behavioral Scientist, Benjamin Mako Hill and Andrés Monroy-Hernández analyzed a data-set of projects from the Scratch website that had been made available for download and remixing. — Read the rest
Benjamin Mako Hill writes, "Last year, I participated in a discussion on Wikipedia that led to the deletion of an article about the "Institute for Cultural Diplomacy."
Because I edit Wikipedia using my real name, the ICD was able to track me down. — Read the rest
Free software advocate Benjamin Mako Hill's lecture on "Antifeatures" for the Free Technology Academy is a fascinating look at the ubiquitous "antifeature" — that is, a deliberately designed product feature that none of the product's users desire. Examples include cameras that block saving images as RAW files, phones that are designed to identify and drain third-party batteries, and, of course, printers that are designed to reject third-party ink. — Read the rest
MIT's Leah Buechley and Benjamin Mako Hill recently published a paper called LilyPad in the Wild: How Hardwareʼs Long Tail is Supporting New Engineering and Design Communities, about the success of the LilyPad microcontroller in attracting women to electronics projects. — Read the rest
My friend Mako got married recently; he's a hacker and so's his new wife, Mika, and they exchanged vows of mathematical significance: "the numbers of letters in each word in each vow matches consecutive digit in the decimal expansion of a famous mathematical constant." — Read the rest