Current Berkman People and Projects

Keep track of Berkman-related news and conversations by subscribing to this page using your RSS feed reader. This aggregation of blogs relating to the Berkman Center does not necessarily represent the views of the Berkman Center or Harvard University but is provided as a convenient starting point for those who wish to explore the people and projects in Berkman's orbit. As this is a global exercise, times are in UTC.

The list of blogs being aggregated here can be found at the bottom of this page.

December 02, 2016

Miriam Meckel
Piraten der Neuzeit

wiwo_titel_50_16_aktien_blog

Der Hackerangriff auf das Telekom-Netzwerk zeigt: Der moderne Krieg ist digital. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft müssen reagieren.

Der Zustand unserer Zivilisation zeigt sich an ihren Errungenschaften und an ihren Gefährdungen. Daran gemessen, balanciert die digital vernetzte Gesellschaft auf einem brüchigen Grat. So fantastisch die Möglichkeiten des digitalen Zeitalters sind, so bedrohlich sind sie auch, wenn die Piraten der Neuzeit sie gegen uns wenden.

Was der Deutschen Telekom in dieser Woche geschehen ist, das ist modernste Piraterie mit digitalen Mitteln. Hacker haben in einer weltweiten Attacke über eine Netzwerkschnittstelle zur dezentralen Wartung derzeit geschätzte 900 000 Telekom-Router per Angriff lahmgelegt. Der kriminelle Zugriff hat die Geräte abstürzen lassen. Wäre die Übernahme der Router gelungen, die Hacker hätten ein riesiges Netzwerk zur Verfügung gehabt, über das sie digitale Kettenreaktionen unvorstellbaren Ausmaßes hätten auslösen können. Glück im Unglück? So ein Schwachsinn. Um die Sicherheit der digital vernetzten Gesellschaft ist es miserabel bestellt. Wir sollen nun glücklich sein, dass die Geräte abgestürzt sind und zufällig Hackern der dauerhafte Zugriff und die folgenreiche Manipulation verweigert wurde? Das ist ja wohl ein Witz.

Der digitale Feind ist zuweilen kräftiger und schlauer als wir selbst. Um das zu verstehen, hätte es nicht des aktuellen Angriffs im Telekom-Netzwerk bedurft. Schon 2010 hat die Internetaktivistengruppe Anonymous durch Angriffe die Websites von Finanzunternehmen lahmgelegt, die Wikileaks-Gründer Julian Assange die Konten gesperrt hatten. Betroffen waren damals die Schweizer PostFinance, Mastercard, Visa und die Bank of America. Wenn es ums Geld geht, steigt schon mal die Sensibilität. Weihnachten 2015 haben Hacker ein ganzes Kraftwerk in der Ukraine lahmgelegt, Hunderttausende Haushalte saßen für Stunden im Dunklen. Im Februar griffen Hacker ein Krankenhaus in Neuss an und blockierten das IT-System. Die Belegschaft musste die Krankenakten zwischenzeitlich mit Papier und Bleistift führen. Da geht es um Leben.

Es wird Zeit, dass beim Risikomanagement richtig gewichtet wird. Bislang haben IT-Unternehmen – wirtschaftlich durchaus vernünftig – auf Schadensbehebung gesetzt. Warum mehr für Sicherheit ausgeben, wenn es günstiger kommt, Unfallfolgen zu bezahlen? So langsam dämmert es manch einem, dass sich das Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis umgekehrt haben könnte. Selbst in der Union wird nun laut darüber nachgedacht, ob im neuen IT-Sicherheitsgesetz nicht die digitale Produkthaftung fehlt.

Zur neuen Normalität der Cyberbedrohung gehört auch, dass Staat und Behörden mit Hackern zusammenarbeiten müssen, um zu verstehen, auf welche Attacken man sich vorbereiten sollte. Auch die Bürgerinnen und Kunden sind in der Pflicht. Im Fall Telekom hätte es vermutlich gereicht, die automatische externe Wartung abzuschalten. Wie so oft galt hier: Faulheit schlägt Sicherheit. Auch in der zivilisierten Gesellschaft reicht Vertrauen alleine nicht aus. Jeder muss auch Verantwortung übernehmen.

wiwo.de

by Miriam Meckel at December 02, 2016 06:34 AM

November 29, 2016

Justin Reich
Four Ways School Leaders Can Support Innovation
Video and ideas from the forthcoming Launching Innovation in Schools MOOC that explains four ways that school leaders can support innovation.

by Justin Reich at November 29, 2016 08:51 PM

Berkman Center front page
Technology, Disruption, and the Practice of Law: Will the Profession Survive?

Subtitle

with special guests, Raj Goyle and Ari Shahdadi

Teaser

Join us with special guests, Raj Goyle and Ari Shahadi

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

Nov 29 2016 12:00pm to Nov 29 2016 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
23 Everett Street
Second Floor, Conference Room

The law is arguably the least innovative profession in the country.  Huge sectors of the economy -- health care, banking, the arts -- face constant churn and upheaval.  Law schools steadily march along with a 150-year old approach to legal education, a 50-year old approach to law firm structure, and a stubborn fealty to the billable hour.  Huge portions of American society are served badly by the legal profession while the legal establishment does precious little to address the problem.  Technology has systematically brought great change to almost every profession - even taxi driving - so the question is when, not if, the law will be roiled by true disruption.  Join two HLS graduates who are on the forefront of answering these questions for a provocative and challenging discussion.

Raj Goyle is co-CEO of Bodhala, a leading legal technology company based in New York City and Ann Arbor focused on data analytics and legal procurement. Co-founded with a fellow Harvard Law graduate, Bodhala helps large and small in-house legal departments, saving companies significant time and money through the creation of a competitive, transparent legal marketplace. Goyle, who received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, served two terms in the Kansas House of Representatives after working as a policy analyst and civil rights attorney. He serves on the boards of Hunger Free America, the American India Foundation, Everyartist.me, Issue One and chairs the State Innovation Exchange. Goyle lives in New York with his wife Monica Arora, a partner at Proskauer. They have two daughters.

Ari Shahdadi is currently Vice President of Business Development at BuzzFeed, working on both business strategy and partnerships, including BuzzFeed News' groundbreaking live coverage of Election Night 2016 on Twitter. Prior to BuzzFeed Ari was the General Counsel of Tumblr for 4 and a half years, where he managed the legal, public policy, trust & safety, and support functions while leading the charge on Tumblr's efforts in a number of areas, including its $1.1 billion sale to Yahoo and its critical role in the battle that led to the FCC adopting the Open Internet order to enact true net neutrality in the US. Before Tumblr, Ari was a corporate lawyer at Gunderson Dettmer, a patent litigator at Fish & Richardson (while getting his JD, cum laude, from HLS), a software engineer, and an artificial intelligence researcher at MIT (while getting his SB and MEng in Computer Science). He has been described variously as "too cynical" and a "ray of sunshine" depending on who you ask and on what day.

by candersen at November 29, 2016 05:00 PM

November 27, 2016

David Weinberger
Fake news sucks but isn't the end of civilization

Because fake news only works if it captures our attention, and because presenting ideas that are outside the normal range is a very effective way to capture our attention, fake news will with some inevitably tend to present extreme positions.

Real news items often uses the same technique these days: serious news stories often will have clickbait headlines. “Clickbait, whether fake or real, thus tends to make us think that the world is full of extremes. The normal doesn’t seem very normal any more.”Clickbait, whether fake or real, thus tends to make us think that the world is full of extremes. The normal doesn’t seem very normal any more.

Of course, clickbait is nothing new. Tabloids have been using it forever. For the past thirty years, in the US, local TV stations have featured the latest stabbing or fire as the lead story on the news. (This is usually said to have begun in Miami
, and is characterized as “If it bleeds, it leads,” i.e., it is the first item in the news broadcast.)

At the same time, however, the Internet makes it easier than ever to find news that doesn’t simply try to set our nerves on fire. Fact checking abounds, at sites dedicated to the task and as one of the most common of distributed Internet activities. Even while we form echo chambers that reinforce our beliefs, “we are also more likely than ever before to come across contrary views”we are also more likely than ever before to come across contrary views. Indeed, I suspect (= I have no evidence) that one reason we seem so polarized is that we can now see the extremities of belief that have always been present in our culture — extremities that in the age of mass communication were hidden from us.

Now that there are economic reasons to promulgate fake news — you can make a good living at it — we need new mechanisms to help us identify it, just as the rise of “native advertising” (= ads that pose as news stories) has led to new norms about letting the reader know that they’re ads. The debate we’re currently having is the discussion that leads to new techniques and norms.

Some of the most important techniques can best be applied by the platforms through which fake news promulgates. We need to press those platforms to do the right thing, even if it means a marginal loss of revenues for them. The first step is to stop them from thinking, as I believe some of them genuinely do, that they are mere open platforms that cannot interfere with what people say and share on them. Baloney. As Zeynep Tufekci, among others, has repeatedly pointed out, these platforms already use algorithms to decide which items to show us from the torrent of possibilities. Because the major Western platforms genuinely hold to democratic ideals, they may well adjust their algorithms to achieve better social ends. I have some hope about this.

Just as with spam, “native advertising,” and popup ads, we are going to have to learn to live with fake news both by creating techniques that prevent it from being as effective as it would like to be and by accepting its inevitability. If part of this is that we learn to be more “meta” — not accepting all content at its face value — then fake news will be part of our moral and intellectual evolution.

The post Fake news sucks but isn't the end of civilization appeared first on Joho the Blog.

by davidw at November 27, 2016 04:49 PM

November 25, 2016

Miriam Meckel
Europäische Renegaten

wiwo_titel_49_16_italien_blog

In der EU legt inzwischen jeder für sich auf die Waagschale, was ihm gerade passt. Die Quittung schickt schon bald der Wähler.

Es war eine Runde der politisch Versehrten, die da in Berlin am vergangenen Freitag zu einem Mittagsmahl zusammenkam. Sie alle wurden von ihren Bürgerinnen und Bürgern verraten. Einige wissen das, andere lernen es gerade schmerzhaft. Gastgeberin war Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, die sich 48 Stunden später entschied, bei der Bundestagswahl 2017 wieder anzutreten. Ein Teil der Bevölkerung hat ihr emotional beim „Wir schaffen das“ schon die Gefolgschaft verweigert. Was das für die Zukunft bedeutet, wird sich in einem zweifellos schwierigen Wahlkampf zeigen.

Bei den anderen Gästen hat die Kavallerie der nationalen Renegaten längst zum Angriff geblasen. Das Ergebnis der US-Wahl ist auch für den noch amtierenden US-Präsidenten Barack Obama eine Niederlage. Viele seiner politischen Ambitionen werden den Amtsantritt Donald Trumps nicht überleben. Die britische Premierministerin Theresa May muss einen Brexit gestalten, von dem sie selbst womöglich nicht voll überzeugt ist, und wird für ihre ersten Anläufe kräftig kritisiert. Frankreichs Präsident François Hollande weiß, dass er im April nächsten Jahres abgewählt wird. Spaniens Regierungschef Mariano Rajoy hat nun endlich eine Minderheitsregierung zusammengezimmert, getragen von dem Motto: Man muss nur oft genug wählen lassen, irgendwann klappt es. Und Matteo Renzi, Italiens einstiger Hoffnungsträger, steht vor einem Verfassungsreferendum Anfang Dezember, das er voraussichtlich verlieren wird.

Renzi könnte zum Zünglein an einer Waage werden, deren Kalibrierung den ökonomisch geschulten Beobachter seit langer Zeit eher an Voodoozauber als an verlässliche Standards erinnert. In der EU legt inzwischen jeder für sich auf die Waagschale, was ihm gerade passt, und bestimmt das Gewicht nach Gutdünken. Und so stimmt auch das italienische Volk beim Referendum über Renzis vergebliche Bemühungen um ein effizienteres Italien in der Euro-Zone ab. Kommt Italien weiter ins Rutschen, steht die Euro-Zone tatsächlich an einem Kipppunkt.

Wer aber hofft, dass blind EU-Gläubige bald das Sehen lernen werden, muss für den Realitätsabgleich nur den Blick zwischen Washington und Europa hin und her schweifen lassen. Da streiten der Internationale Währungsfonds (IWF) und die EU über eine Beteiligung des IWF am dritten Rettungspaket für Griechenland über 86 Milliarden Euro. Der IWF will nur mitmachen, wenn ein Schuldenschnitt den Griechen eine echte Chance auf Erholung und Wachstum beschert. Ansonsten, so der IWF, seien die angedachten Haushaltspläne illusorisch. Darauf will sich Deutschland nicht einlassen.

Die Euro-Rettung, einst legitimes Mittel zur Stabilisierung eines Europas in Frieden und mit Wachstum, bedroht die Reste europäischer Einheit. Die zivilisierende Wirkung von Wirtschaft und Handel, wie sie der schottische Philosoph David Hume einst beschrieben hat, hat sich in der Euro-Krise ins Gegenteil verkehrt. Rette sich, wer kann.

wiwo.de

by Miriam Meckel at November 25, 2016 08:01 AM

November 23, 2016

PRX
Welcome Alex Braunstein!

When I was a little girl, I had a restaurant. It was a playset in my parent’s kitchen, tucked in the corner by a table. Everything about it was plastic and kid-sized. When friends came over, I would take their order, return to my plastic stovetop, and serve them plastic fried eggs. No one complained inside my restaurant, even though they technically never ate anything. Every time I cleared their small, shiny plates, I felt immense pride at feeding my loved ones. Imagination is a skill I never want to lose. That’s why I’m so excited to join PRX as the Community Manager of the Podcast Garage.

download

I’m a documentary artist who creates and facilitates stories with audio, photography, video, writing, and my own two ears. Over the last few years, I’ve produced stories on my own and at my home NPR station, Rhode Island Public Radio. Working at Brown University, I created a space for storytelling and social change and ran workshops, events, and an editorial team of students. I’ve also collaborated with friends, producers, and musicians on community storytelling projects like a performance of live audio stories spanning birth to death, and a public “living room” for storytelling on a sidewalk in downtown Providence. Sometimes, I just walk around my neighborhood and talk to strangers.

Listening is an act of imagination. That’s why I love audio. When we hear a story, we open up our other senses. We lose the ability to judge the look of things. We form memories out of what happens inside of us. I feel so lucky to be a part of the PRX community, which brings those moments to millions of people.

Until you and I get to meet, here are three other things about me*:

  1. I’ve stealth-camped all over RI and MA.
  2. I can recite the entire pilot’s alphabet.
  3. I have a pet turtle.
Imagination on full blast. Playing dress-up with my older brother, Simon.Imagination on full blast. Playing dress-up with my older brother, Simon.

*Only two of them are true.

I’ll be spending most of my days at the Podcast Garage. If you haven’t stopped by yet, please do anytime. Or email me at alex.braunstein@prx.org. I’ll make you my finest plastic fried egg.

The post Welcome Alex Braunstein! appeared first on PRX.

by Alex Braunstein at November 23, 2016 06:21 PM

Justin Reich
How to Fall in Love (with Statistics)
A new free online course provides teachers and students with the tools they need to distinguish facts from malarky.

by Justin Reich at November 23, 2016 04:04 PM

Joseph Reagle
The tenure file

A few months ago I submitted my dossier for tenure and it continues on its journey up the chain of command: external reviewers, department committee, chair, college committee, dean, university advisory committee and provost, president, and the board of trustees. I might get good news around May or bad news before then. Until then, I thought it'd be helpful to share some of what I learned, and what my dossier looked like. (The particulars will differ across disciplines and universities.)

Substantively, your statements are a marshaling of evidence into a compelling story about your research, teaching, and service. You need to highlight strengths and frame weaknesses—questions will be asked about the latter. As much as you might hear about substantive, independent, and arms-length evaluation, I suspect this is truly about your reputation and social-network. Consequently, you need to make it easy for your unit to find folks willing to write supportive letters and provide the materials that help letter writers do so.

Ambitious universities want external letters from full professors at R1 universities. Additionally, mine uses a template by which those reviewers are asked if the candidate would get tenure at the external institution. Because I'm interdisciplinary (a sociologist is not likely to say I'd get tenure in a sociology department) and an introvert (who is poor at schmoozing), this part worried me the most. Nonetheless, disciplinary service is one of the things you can do so you interact with senior scholars. You might do service at conferences or disciplinary associations, or review submissions at journals and presses where your own work has been accepted. I suspect editors of journals who have accepted your work make excellent letter writers, or know those who would be when asked by your chair. Because candidates have the ability to nominate or exclude a few external reviewers, I created a spreadsheet of senior faculty, their discipline, professorial rank, university rank, how I know them, and how they might know me. I wish I had started this earlier as it would have helped my own sense of where I was positioning myself and where to submit to and do service.

A feature of contemporary life is that much evaluation is quantified and relative, so you need to provide evidence of good standing. For research, this can include:

  • impact of publication venues
  • citation counts of your work (e.g., Google Scholar)
  • your standing relative to peers in your disciplinary cohort

I have concerns about quantification and relative-ranking, and write about this in my research, but it is a reality. I include the impact and selectivity of publication venues in my CV. I did not directly address my citation count and was too uncomfortable to compare myself to peers, but your letter writers will likely do so in any case. Candidates do not have access to the external letters, but can see quotes from external reviewers—designated as "Reviewer N"—in the chair and department letters.

Much of what I've said about research applies to teaching and service: you need to frame evidence of success and challenges surmounted in a compelling story, which brings me to compiling the dossier.

My third year review required me to compile a mock dossier according to the tenure requirements, and so I collected materials according to that structure, with subdirectories for each of the sections below. (I further divided some of the appendices for organizational purposes.) I thought there was a single dossier, but in reality, there were three that my department chair helped me build:

  1. the research statement and materials that go out to external reviewers
  2. your ~60 pages of material that is in the core, which is complemented by external letters, and all the letters up the university chain of command. My university wants this to be no more than 100 pages
  3. the appendices, which ended up including a lot; mine doesn't include all examples of service, but I included examples of student work and revision, and I added some of the teaching best practices I've developed.


Dossier Table of Contents

D. Curriculum vitae

  • Curriculum vitae

E. Statements and supporting evidence

  • e-statement-1a-teaching.docx
  • e-statement-1b-teaching-TRACE-table.xlsx
  • e-statement-2-research.docx
  • e-statement-3-service.docx
  • oc-syllabus-FA-4.pdf
  • reagle-2015-reading-the-comments-ch1.pdf

F. Performance reviews

  • 2011-annual-review.pdf
  • 2012-annual-review.pdf
  • 2013-annual-review.pdf
  • 2014-3rd-year-review.pdf
  • 2014-annual-review.pdf
  • 2015-merit-review.pdf

G. Comprehensive list of supporting documents

  • g-appendices-toc.docx

Appendix A. Teaching: Peer evaluations

  • 2012 1-Spring COMM1220 (MCS) Dallimore evaluation
  • 2012 2-Fall MSCR1220 (MCS) Goodale evaluation
  • 2014 1-Spring COMM1255 (CDA) Herbeck evaluation
  • 2015 1-Spring COMM4625 (OC) Dallimore evaluation
  • 2015 2-Fall COMM4625 (OC) Noland evaluation
  • 2016 1-Spring COMM1255 (CDA) Nisbet evaluation

Appendix A. Teaching: TRACE evaluations

  • 2011-2-fall-comm4622-01-nmc.pdf
  • 2011-2-fall-comm4622-02-nmc.pdf
  • 2012-1-spring-comm1220-mcs.pdf
  • 2012-2-fall-comm1231-orgcom.pdf
  • 2012-2-fall-mscr1220-mcs.pdf
  • 2013-2-fall-comm-1231-orgcom.pdf
  • 2013-2-fall-comm-1255-cda.pdf
  • 2014-1-spring-comm1231-orgcom.pdf
  • 2014-1-spring-comm1255-cda.pdf
  • 2014-2-fall-comm1255-cda.pdf
  • 2014-2-fall-comm4625-oc.pdf
  • 2015-1-spring-comm1255-cda.pdf
  • 2015-1-spring-comm4625-oc.pdf
  • 2015-2-fall-comm1255-cda-instructor-report.pdf
  • 2015-2-fall-comm4625-oc-instructor-report.pdf
  • 2016-1-spring-comm1255-cda-instructor-report.pdf
  • 2016-1-spring-comm4625-oc-instructor-report.pdf

Appendix A. Teaching: Best practices

  • Tip: Making sense of concepts
  • Rubric: Participation
  • Tip: Reading
  • Tip: Writing
  • Tip: Writing class essays
  • Tip: Writing responses
  • Handout: Writing Guide

Appendix A. Teaching: Student examples

  • Ad block
  • Boston Society of Vulcans
  • Circle of poison
  • First Church in Roxbury
  • Participation self and peer evaluation
  • Peer feedback
  • Revision changelog
  • Web search and evaluation

Appendix A. Teaching: Other syllabi

  • "Communication in the Digital Age" syllabus

Appendix B. Research

  • Reagle (2011), CPOV, Wikipedia: The Argument Engine
  • Reagle and Rhue (2011), IJOC, Gender bias in Wikipedia and Britannica
  • Reagle (2012), AoIR, Infocide
  • Loveland and Reagle (2013), NMS, Wikipedia Production
  • Reagle (2013), FM, "Free as in Sexist?"
  • Reagle (2014), NMS, Obligation to Know
  • Reagle (2014), Routledge, Revenge rating and tweak critique
  • Reagle (2015), FM, Following the Joneses
  • Reagle (2015), IJOC, Geek Policing
  • Reagle (2015), MIT Press, Reading the Comments
  • Reagle (n.d.), TBD, Introduction to Hacking Life
  • Reviews of Good Faith Collaboration
  • Reviews of Reading the Comments

Appendix C. Service Committees

  • Library Policy and Operating Committee 2012-2013

Appendix C. Service reviewing

  • Review for NMS
  • Review for JASIST
  • Review for Journal of Peer Production
  • Review for MIT Press
  • Review for MIT Press
  • Review for NSF
  • Review for WikiSym papers

by Joseph Reagle at November 23, 2016 05:00 AM

November 22, 2016

David Weinberger
[liveblog][bkc] Scott Bradner: IANA: Important, but not for what they do"

I’m at a Berkman Klein [twitter: BKCHarvard] talk by Scott Bradner about IANA, the Internet Assigned Names Authority. Scott is one of the people responsible for giving us the Internet. So, thanks for that, Scott!

NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.

Scott begins by pointing to the “absurdity” of Ted Cruz’s campaign
to prevent the “Internet giveaway.”“ The idea that “Obama gave away the Internet” is “hooey,”” The idea that “Obama gave away the Internet” is “hooey,” says Scott.

IANA started with a need to coordinate information, not to control it, he says. It began with the Network Working Group in 1968. Then Requests for Comments (RFC) in 1969. . The name “IANA” showed up in 1988, although the function had begun in 1972 with coordinating socket numbers. The Domain Name System made IP addresses easier to use, including the hierarchical clustering under .com, .org, etc.

Back to the beginning, computers were too expensive for every gov’t department to have one. So, ARPA wanted to share large and expensive computers among users. It created a packet-based network, which broke info up into packets that were then transmitted. Packet networking was the idea of Paul Baran at RAND who wanted a system that would survive a nuclear strike, but the aim of that network was to share computers. The packets had enough info to make it to their destinations, but the packet design made “no assumptions about the underlying transport network.” No service guarantees about packets making it through were offered. The Internet is the interconnection of the different networks, including the commercial networks that began showing up in the 1990s.

No one cared about the Net for decades. To the traditional telecom and corporate networking people, it was just a toy—”No quality of service, no guarantees, no security, no one in charge.” IBM thought you couldn’t build a network out of this because their definition of a network — the minimal requirements — was different. “That was great because it meant the regulators ignored us.”

The IANA function went into steady state 1984-1995. It did some allocating of addresses. (When Scott asked Jon Postel for addresses for Harvard, Postel sent him some; Postel was the one-person domain allocation shop.) IANA ran it for the top level domains.

“The Internet has few needs,” Scott says. It’s almost all done through collaboration and agreement. There are no requirements except at a very simple level. The only centralized functions: 1. We have to agree on what the protocol parameters are. Machines have to understand how to read the packet headers. 2. We have to allocate blocks of IP addresses and ASN‘s. 3. We have to have a single DNS, at least for now. IANA handles those three. “Everything else is distributed.” Everything else is collaboration.

In 1993, Network Solutions was given permission to start selling domain names. A domain cost $100 for 2 yrs. There were were about 100M names at that point, which added up to real money. Some countries even started selling off their TLD’s (top level domains), e.g., .tv

IANA dealt with three topics, but DNS was the only one of interest to most people. There was pressure to create new TLDs, which Scott thinks doesn’t solve any real problems. That power was given to ISOC, which set up the International Ad-Hoc Committee in 1996. It set up 7 new TLDs, one of which (.web) caused Image Online Design to sue Postel because they said Postel had promised it to them. The Dept. of Commerce saw that it needed to do something. So they put out an RFC and got 400+ comments. Meanwhile, Postel worked on a plan for institutionalizing the IANA function, which culminated in a conference in Jan 1998. Postel couldn’t go, so Scott presented in his stead.

Shortly after that the Dept of Commerce proposed having a private non-profit coordinate and manage the allocation of the blocks to the registries, manage the file that determines TLDs, and decide which TLDs should exist…the functions of IANA. “There’s no Internet governance here, simply what IANA did.”

There were meetings around the world to discuss this, including one sponsored by the Berkman Center. Many of the people attending were there to discuss Internet governance, which was not the point of the meetings. One person said, “Why are we wasting time talking about TLDs when the Internet is going to destroy countries?” “Most of us thought that was a well-needed vacuum,” says Scott. We didn’t need Internet governance. We were better off without it.

Jon Postel submitted a proposal for an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). He died of a heart attack shortly thereafter. The Dept. of Commerce accepted the proposal. In Oct 1998 ICANN had its first board meeting. It was a closed meeting “which anticipated much of what’s wrong with ICANN.”

The Dept of Commerce had oversight over ICANN but its only power was to say yes or no to the file that lists the TLDs and the IP addresses of the nameservers for each of the TLDs.” “That’s the entirety of the control the US govt had over ICANN. “In theory, the Dept of Commerce could have said ‘Take Cuba out of that file,’ but that’s the most ridiculous thing they could have done and most of the world could have ignored them.” The Dept of Commerce never said no to ICANN.

ICANN institutionalizes the IANA. But it also has to deal with trademark issues coming out of domain name registrations, and consults on DNS security issues. “ICANN was formed as a little organization to replace Jon Postel.”

It didn’t stay little. ICANN’s budget went from a few million bucks to over $100M.“ “That’s a lot of money to replace a few competent geeks.”” “That’s a lot of money to replace a few competent geeks.” It’s also approved hundreds of TLDs. The bylaws went from 7,000 words to 37,000 words. “If you need 37,000 words to say what you’re doing, there’s something wrong.”

The world started to change. Many govts see the Net as an intrinsic threat.

  • In Sept. 2001, India, Brazil, and South Africa proposed that the UN undertake governance of the Internet.

  • Oct 2013: After Snowden, the Montevideo Statement on the Future of Internet Cooperation proposing moving away from US govt’s oversight of IANA.

  • Apr. 2014: NetMundial Initiative. “Self-appointed 25-member council to perform internet governance.”

  • Mar. 2014: NTIA announces its intent to transition key domain name functions.

The NTIA proposal was supposed to involve all the stakeholders. But it also said that ICANN should continue to maintain the openness of the Internet…a function that ICANN never had. Openness arises from the technical nature of the Net. NTIA said it wouldn’t accept an inter-governmental solution (like the ITU) because it has to involve all the stakeholders.

So who holds ICANN accountable? They created a community process that is “incredibly strong.” It can change the bylaws, and remove ICAN directors or the entire board.

Meanwhile, the US Congress got bent out of shape because the US is “giving away the Internet.” It blocked the NTIA from acting until Sept. 2016. On Oct. 1 IANA became independent and is under the control of the community. “This cannot be undone.” “If the transition had not happened, forces in the UN would likely have taken over” governance of the Internet. This would have been much more likely if the NTIA had not let it go. “The IANA performs coordination functions, not governance. There is no Internet governance.”

How can there be no governance? “Because nobody cared for long enough that it got away from them,” Scott says. “But is this a problem we have to fix?”

He leaves the answer hanging. [SPOILER: The answer is NO]

Q&A

Q: Under whom do the IRI‘s [Internationalized Resource Identifier] operate?

A: Some Europeans offered to take over European domain names from Jon Postel. It’s an open question whether they have authority to do what they’re doing Every one has its own policy development process.

Q: Where’s research being done to make a more distributed Internet?

A: There have been many proposals ever since ICANN was formed to have some sort of distributed maintenance of the TLDs. But it always comes down to you seeing the same .com site as I do — the same address pointing to the same site for all Internet users. You still have to centralize or at least distribute the mapping. Some people are looking at geographic addressing, although it doesn’t scale.

Q: Do you think Trump could make the US more like China in terms of the Internet?

A: Trump signed on to Cruz’s position on IANA. The security issue is a big one, very real. The gut reaction to recent DDOS
attacks is to fix that rather than to look at the root cause, which was crappy devices. The Chinese government controls the Net in China by making everyone go through a central, national connection. Most countries don’t do that. OTOH, England is imposing very strict content

rules that all ISPs have to obey. We may be moving to a telephony model, which is a Westphalian
idea of national Internets.

Q: The Net seems to need other things internationally controlled, e.g. buffer bloat. Peer pressure seems to be the only way: you throw people off who disagree.

A: IANA doesn’t have agreements with service providers. Buffer bloat is a real issue but it only affects the people who have it, unlike the IoT DDOS attack that affected us all. Are you going to kick off people who’s home security cameras are insecure?

Q: Russia seems to be taking the opposite approach. It has lots of connections coming into it, perhaps for fear that someone would cut them off. Terrorist groups are cutting cables, botnets, etc.

A: Great question. It’s not clear there’s an answer.

Q: With IPv6 there are many more address spaces to give out. How does that change things?

A: The DNS is an amazing success story. It scales extremely well … although there are scaling issues with the backbone routing systems, which are big and expensive. “That’s one of the issues we wanted to address when we did IPv6.”

Q: You said that ICANN has a spotty history of transparency. What role do you think ICANN is going to play going forward? Can it improve on its track record?

A: I’m not sure that it’s relevant. IANA’s functions are not a governance function. The only thing like a governance issue are the TLDs and ICANN has already blown that.

The post [liveblog][bkc] Scott Bradner: IANA: Important, but not for what they do" appeared first on Joho the Blog.

by davidw at November 22, 2016 09:52 PM

Berkman Center front page
IANA: Important, but not for what they do

Subtitle

Join Berkman Klein Affiliate, Scott O. Bradner, for the story behind the recent IANA transition

Teaser

Join us to learn why some people thought the US was giving the Internet to China and Russia...

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

Nov 22 2016 12:00pm to Nov 22 2016 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

November 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

The Obama Administration’s decision to allow ICANN to assume sole responsibility for the development of policy over the naming and numbering function of the Internet, and the proceeding transition process has been a dramatic affair. Scott Bradner, who was involved in the design, operation and use of data networks at Harvard University since the early days of the ARPANET and has served on a number of roles at the IETF, will be at the Berkman Klein Center on November 22 to provide a history of ICANN, IANA, and the transition process. Why were so many concerned that the transition meant the U.S. was giving the Internet to China and Russia? Come by and find out.

About Scott

Scott Bradner was involved in the design, operation and use of data networks at Harvard University since the early days of the ARPANET. He was involved in the design of the original Harvard data networks, the Longwood Medical Area network (LMAnet) and New England Academic and Research Network (NEARnet).  He was founding chair of the technical committees of LMAnet, NEARnet and the Corporation for Research and Enterprise Network (CoREN).

Mr. Bradner served in a number of roles in the IETF. He was the co-director of the Operational  Requirements Area (1993-1997), IPng Area (1993-1996), Transport Area (1997-2003) and Sub-IP  Area (2001-2003). He was a member of the IESG (1993-2003) and was an elected trustee of the

Internet Society (1993-1999), where he was the VP for Standards from 1995 to 2003 and Secretary to the Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2016. Scott was also a member of the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA) as well as a trustee of the IETF Trust from 2012 to 2016.

Mr. Bradner retired from Harvard University in 2016 after 50 years working there in the areas of in computer programming, system management, networking, IT security and identity management.  He still does some patent related consulting.

 

by candersen at November 22, 2016 06:12 PM

PRX
RadioPublic Now Live!

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Yesterday, RadioPublic released the first versions of its iOS and Android apps (available on Apple iTunes here and Google Play here). RadioPublic’s mission as a Public Benefit Corporation is to “help listeners discover, engage with, and reward the creators of podcasts and other audio.” This is also their strategy and roadmap. The team is starting with discovery, and will be layering in engagement next, followed by rewards — both for producers and listeners themselves. Discovery is at the heart of this first RadioPublic release, and is part of their vision for rethinking radio in the mobile world.

RadioPublic wants to give producers ways to enhance their presence in the RadioPublic app without having to invest in another custom publishing platform, or in one-off features that require real effort with dubious effect. The team has a variety of useful extensions in the works that drive discovery, engagement, and monetization, and a few that are ready for you to take advantage of right now, including gateway episodes, podcast playlists, show endorsements, and series play order. Read about how to get started here.

The app is focusing on curated playlists as one avenue for discovery. The curated episode playlists cover a myriad of topics, activities, moods, genres, artists, publishers, and networks. The team has assembled hundreds of their own, and has invited tastemakers everywhere to use their curatorial expertise and brand to help listeners get to the good stuff.

Each playlist is a feed you can follow, and acts both as a mixtape to listen through, and a collection of jump off points. The playlists live on the web as well, so they’re easy to share, link to, and soon to embed in publishers’ and podcasters’ sites.

Get a deep dive into all the app’s feature on RadioPublic’s blog, and download the app today in iTunes and Google Play.

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The post RadioPublic Now Live! appeared first on PRX.

by Maggie Taylor at November 22, 2016 04:59 PM

Cyberlaw Clinic - blog
The European Court of Human Rights and Access to Information: Clarifying the Status, with Room for Improvement

european_court_of_human_rights_2010On 8 November 2016, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights handed down a much-anticipated judgment on the right of access to information. While the Court was clearer and firmer than it had ever been before on the status of the right to access information as part of the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention, it stopped short of acknowledging access to information as a fully-fledged right under the provision.

Overview

The case of Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v. Hungary concerned an information request that had been made by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC), a Budapest-based NGO that monitors and conducts advocacy on human rights. The request was addressed to a number of police stations in the country, asking that they provide the names of public defenders appointed in their area and the number of cases that had been assigned to each of them. This information was requested under Hungary’s 1992 Data Act, which contained a provision on access to information. The information was requested in the context of the HHC’s investigation into the quality of defence work done by public defenders. Two police stations refused to provide the information, and these refusals were challenged by HHC before the Hungarian courts. The Supreme Court found that, while the implementation of the constitutional right to criminal defence was a State task, the subsequent activities of the public defenders was a private activity, resulting in their names not being subject to disclosure under the Data Act. The matter was then taken to the European Court, which relinquished the matter to the Grand Chamber.

The Grand Chamber’s decision was much-anticipated as the Court had been slowly moving from an apparent outright rejection of the right to access information under Article 10 ECHR (Leander v. Sweden) to gradually acknowledging that, under certain circumstances, a limited right to access information falls within the right to freedom of expression as protected by that provision (Társaság a Szabadságjogokért v. Hungary). However, in the wake of this trajectory, the Court had left behind a legal quagmire that the Grand Chamber still had to navigate carefully in its judgment. It was hoped that the Grand Chamber would finally follow the line already taken by the Inter-American Court and the UN Human Rights Committee, and acknowledge that Article 10 comprised a self-standing right to access information. However, as much as the Grand Chamber took a significant step forward in its access to information jurisprudence, it was constrained by what had gone before.

What Had Gone Before: a Legal Quagmire

There were a number of factors derived from the Court’s own case law, and the Convention itself, that had together reinforced the position that Article 10 ECHR did not provide for a standalone right of access to information held by public authorities.

  • The wording of Article 10 itself: unlike its counterparts under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 19) and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (Article 19), Article 10 ECHR was not drafted to include an explicit reference to the freedom to “seek” information. As the right to access information was not explicitly apparent from the wording of Article 10, it was left for the Court to consider whether and to what extent such a right could be viewed as falling within the provision.
  • The Leander Principle: in Leander v. Sweden, the Court had held that “the right to freedom to receive information basically prohibits a Government from restricting a person from receiving information that “others wish or may be willing to impart to him.” The Grand Chamber recognized that the Court’s jurisprudence had extended this principle to cases where one arm of the State had recognized a right to receive information (e.g. by a court judgment) but another arm of the State had frustrated or failed to give effect to that right (see Sdruženi Jihočeské Matky v. the Czech Republic). Article 10 could, therefore, only be relied on in cases where the State prevented an individual from accessing information that another person was willing or required to disclose. It could not be relied on more generally to establish a right of access to state-held information.
  • No positive obligation on States: the Court had found that Article 10 did not confer on a State positive obligations to collect and disseminate information of its own motion (Guerra and Others v. Italy).

These factors effectively created obstacles for the Grand Chamber when considering the status of the right to access information under Article 10 ECHR, and hindered its ability to keep up with the international community on the issue.

Where We Are Now: A Broad Consensus

Not only has the right to freedom of expression been recognized as encompassing the right of access to information at the international level, including through decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee and reports of the Special Rapporteur, it has also been so recognized at the Inter-American and African regional level. Even domestically, within the Council of Europe and beyond, there has been an emerging consensus that the right to access information should be recognized and protected. In fact, a majority of countries within the Council of Europe itself have put in place a statutory right of access to information held by public bodies. This international trend was considered by the Grand Chamber in HHC’s case, but ultimately the Court favored the legal certainty of keeping as close as it could to its previous case law.

The Grand Chamber Judgment

In its judgment, despite the growing international consensus, the Grand Chamber determined that the default position under Article 10 was that there is no self-standing right of access to State-held information, and that there is no corresponding obligation on a State to disclose such information. Nonetheless, the Court did recognize that such a right or obligation may arise in two categories of cases: (1) where disclosure of the information has been imposed by an enforceable judicial order, and (2) in circumstances where access to the information is instrumental for an individual’s exercise of their right to freedom of expression, and where its denial constitutes an interference with that right.

The Court went on to set out four principles, drawn from its more recent case law relating to access to information, that could be relied on to determine whether a denial of access falls within the second category of case.

  • The purpose of the information request: it is a requirement, before Article 10 can come into play, for the information sought to be necessary for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. This can be demonstrated where the denial of the information would hinder or impair and individual’s exercise of the right.
  • The nature of the information sought: the information to which access is sought must generally meet a “public-interest test” for the disclosure to be necessary under Article 10.
  • The role of the applicant: where the individual is seeking access to the information with a view to informing the public in a capacity as a public or social watchdog, this will be an important consideration in determining whether Article 10 applies. The Grand Chamber went on to observe that this role is not only carried out by the press and NGOs but, “given the important role played by the Internet in enhancing the public’s access to news and facilitating the dissemination of information, the function of bloggers and popular users of the social media may be also assimilated to that of “public watchdogs” in so far as the protection afforded by Article 10 is concerned.”
  • Ready and available information: the extent to which the information being sought is ready and available will also be an important criterion when determining whether Article 10 is applicable to a case where an individual has been denied access to information.

These four principles were found by the Grand Chamber to be met by HHC’s case. In other words, the Grand Chamber was able to establish that, by denying HHC’s request to access the relevant information, Hungary had interfered with HHC’s right to freedom of expression under Article 10. The Grand Chamber went on to find that this interference was not “necessary in a democratic society”, and therefore was in violation of that right. In reaching this conclusion, the Grand Chamber attached particular weight to the fact that the information sought was intended to contribute to a debate on a matter of public interest concerning the appointment of public defenders, and the request did not involve data outside the public domain.

Conclusion

While it may be disappointing that the Court did not make an outright turn on the issue of access to information, leaving it behind other regional and international bodies that have fully acknowledged the right, this Grand Chamber judgment can still be seen as a step in the right direction. The Court’s reasoning in the first part of the judgment contains all the ingredients for acknowledging a full-fledged right to access information, including support in an international consensus on the existence of the right to access information. The only obstacle appears to be, in fact, the Court’s own caselaw. One can only hope that, in time, the Court will find itself prepared to surmount that one remaining obstacle and align itself with existing international standards.

Nani Jansen Reventlow is a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center and an Associate Tenant at Doughty Street Chambers.  She serves as an Advisor to the Cyberlaw Clinic.  Jonathan McCully is Legal Officer at the Media Legal Defence Initiative, which filed an intervention in the case.

European Court of Human Rights, 2010.jpg” image courtesy of Wikimedia user Alfredovic, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

by Nani Jansen Reventlow and Jonathan McCully at November 22, 2016 02:04 PM

ProjectVRM
Let’s give some @VRM help to the @CFPB

cfpbThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (@CFPB) is looking to help you help them—plus everybody else who uses financial services.

They explain:

Many new financial innovations rely on people choosing to give a company access to their digital financial records held by another company. If you’re using these kinds of services, we’d love to hear from you…

Make your voice heard. Share your comments on Facebook or Twitter . If you want to give us more details, you can share your story with us through our website. To see and respond to the full range of questions we’re interested in learning about, visit our formal Request for Information

For example,

Services that rely on consumers granting access to their financial records include:

  • Budgeting analysis and advice:  Some tools let people set budgets and analyze their spending activity.  The tools organize your purchases across multiple accounts into categories like food, health care, and entertainment so you can see trends. Some services send a text or email notification when a spending category is close to being over-budget.

  • Product recommendations: Some tools may make recommendations for new financial products based on your financial history. For example, if your records show that you have a lot of ATM fees, a tool might recommend other checking accounts with lower or no ATM fees.

  • Account verification: Many companies need you to verify your identity and bank account information. Access to your financial records can speed that process.

  • Loan applications: Some lenders may access your financial records to confirm your income and other information on your loan application.

  • Automatic or motivational savings: Some companies analyze your records to provide you with automatic savings programs and messages to keep you motivated to save.

  • Bill payment: Some services may collect your bills and help you organize your payments in a timely manner.

  • Fraud and identity theft protection: Some services analyze your records across various accounts to alert you about potentially fraudulent transactions.

  • Investment management: Some services use your account records to help you manage your investments.

A little more about the CFPB:

Our job is to put consumers first and help them take more control over their financial lives. We’re the one federal agency with the sole mission of protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. We want to make sure that consumer financial products and services are helping people rather than harming them.

A hat tip to @GeneKoo (an old Berkman Klein colleague) at the CFPB,  who sees our work with ProjectVRM as especially relevant to what they’re doing.  Of course, we agree. So let’s help them help us, and everybody else in the process.

Some additional links:

by Doc Searls at November 22, 2016 01:32 AM

November 21, 2016

Justin Reich
Launching Innovation through Teacher to Teacher Learning
When teachers are interviewed about who has the most influence over their teaching practice, the number one answer is: "other teachers."

by Justin Reich at November 21, 2016 10:38 PM

Center for Research on Computation and Society (Harvard SEAS)
Uri Stemmer
Ph.D Candidate at the Department of Computer Science, Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU)
Privacy Tools Project

by Gabriella Fee at November 21, 2016 07:57 PM

PRX
Inside the Podcast Studio: Offshore

offshore-logo-3000In this edition of Inside the Podcast Studio, we chat with Honolulu Civil Beat, a team behind the new Offshore podcast. The show tells stories of Hawaii beyond the paradise it’s normally perceived as. Hear from Patti Epler, Offshore‘s editor, about how the show was conceived and what’s next.

On the Podcast

Tell us about Offshore and what makes it unique
Offshore strives to tell stories from Hawaii that will resonate with listeners not only locally but on the mainland too, and even globally. The idea is that Hawaii is not all paradise, not all beaches and waterfalls and rainbows. There’s a very complex cultural mix here, for one thing, and being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean presents many challenges. Residents are constantly trying to figure out how to get along in this small space. Other places can learn from what Hawaii is going through. The show is built around multi-episode seasons, so each season follows a single theme but is broken into 6-10 episodes that drop weekly. Each episode is about 30 minutes.

How did the podcast come to be?
Civil Beat is a small but ambitious nonprofit news website, and we are always looking to innovate and find creative ways to tells stories and engage readers. We are basically print reporters who have moved into the online space and have graduated to multimedia efforts like video and audio. We started podcasting a few years ago with a basic hosted interview show called Pod Squad. But we wanted to find a way to do in-depth, long-form storytelling in an audio format. So we started developing some ideas, eventually connected with PRX and formed this really cool partnership that has become Offshore.

Offshore Podcast Jessica and April

How is the team at Civil Beat structured?
Our reporter/host/producer is Jessica Terrell. She was our education reporter but got drafted into podcasting after a big series in which she spent three months in a homeless village. We produced a 30-minute podcast to supplement the written package (which has now won numerous national and regional awards, by the way). She was the natural pick for this show, and has a great voice that everyone seems to love!

Our assistant producer is April Estrellon. She’s also our exceptionally talented multimedia producer: she works with video, audio, online graphics, and more. She’s also the producer of Pod Squad and about the only person in the newsroom who knows what to do when something goes wrong with our computers or internet.

Our executive producer is Ben Adair who you probably already know. He’s a very talented, very experienced former NPR editor and producer. He’s working with us on the first couple of seasons and has been coming to Hawaii periodically for training. We essentially had little or no experience with audio storytelling, audio equipment or editing tools when we started this project. Ben has been a great teacher and coach.
I’m the editor so I get involved in the overall concept for the show, the seasons, and the episodes. I mainly give advice.

How did you choose the stories for season 1?
Season 1 is called “A Killing in Waikiki.” It looks at race and power through the lens of two killings, 80 years apart. In each case a Native Hawaiian man was shot and killed by a white person in a position of authority. One story is from 1932, about a Navy officer who killed a native Hawaiian man, at a time when the US military basically ran this place. The second story, from 2011, involves a federal State Department agent in town as diplomatic security, again killing a local man. There have been a lot of police killings of people of color on the mainland. The sense is that racial tensions are on the rise, and why can’t we all just get along? Let’s learn from Hawaii, the most multicultural state, which people view as some sort of post-racial paradise.

Jessica interviewing Nanette Napoleon at the cemeteryJessica interviewing Nanette Napoleon at the cemetery for episode 5

It’s where every other state is heading as minority populations grow and become dominant. Hawaii has never had a white majority. There is a lot of animosity between all races here, especially involving Native Hawaiians who have been kind of surpassed by other big ethnic groups—the Japanese, Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans, and whites. It’s very hard to just get along with each other.

What is your thought process behind presenting controversial topics like in season 1?
That’s actually just part of the job, right? As journalists we report on contentious issues and people with problems pretty much every day. And Civil Beat in particular is an investigative and watchdog news outlet. We are very respectful of Hawaiian culture because it is a big part of life here in the islands. We strive to be polite but persistent.

What makes your show ideal for the podcast format?
In-depth audio storytelling works well here. There are so many different voices that you never actually hear—the melting pot is a very real thing with a mix of all sorts of ethnicities and values. The islands have a lot of great stories to tell, whether its the clash of science and culture (coming in Season 2), or being right in the middle of climate change, or trying to become sustainable both in food production and energy. A podcast can be very a powerful medium, especially when examining an issue in depth. It goes beyond what you can do with terrestrial radio or even online written stories.

On the Space

offshore-podcast-bts-1-1024x647Jessica and April in the whisper room

Where do you literally record your work? Can you walk us through the space?
We have a small-ish sound studio called a whisper room that we had shipped over from the mainland. You can never find this stuff in Hawaii so it always has to come from 2,500 miles away. Which is not cheap. Our whisper room arrived in 60 pallets and boxes and our staff put it together over a weekend. Beyond that we work at our desks in the middle of the newsroom.

How do you record your show? What type of equipment does your team use?
We use ProTools for recording and editing in studio, hooked up to an Mbox which hooks to an Apple computer.

Patti and JessicaPatti and Jessica

We generally use a shotgun mic and a Zoom field recorder.

On Podcasting

What can the podcast medium achieve that other media forms like broadcast cannot?
I like the fact that people can listen to podcasts on their own time frame. You don’t have to tune in at a certain time, so the impact is greater. You have people who actually are trying to hear and concentrate on what you’re saying.

Offshore PodcastThe Civil Beat Office

What do you think makes a great podcast host? Tell us more about Jessica and what makes her unique
Jessica has a great personality and a great voice for this kind of thing. First and foremost she is an excellent journalist. She has a great interview style and a great way with people, so as a host she comes across as informed friend, someone who is helping you understand what’s going on. Jess has a very interesting backstory too, which is probably what makes her such a good reporter and writer. You can read more about her in the series she did on the homeless called The Harbor. She grew up homeless herself, in a traveling family band. Her dad took them all over the country, all over the world really, in this sort of vagabond lifestyle. She learned a lot about a life that most of us never experience.

How do you envision the future of the podcasting landscape?
I think podcasting will continue to grow as more people discover great shows. Like everything else, the finances will shake out and productions that are obviously putting in effort and energy (and thus resources) will float to the top of the rankings. I think it’s very cool that outfits like RadioPublic are developing the kinds of tools that will enhance the podcast experience for people and make it very useful. That should bring even more listeners and hopefully more revenue potential, so podcast producers can stay in business.

Subscribe to Offshore in iTunes and get a new episode every week.

The post Inside the Podcast Studio: Offshore appeared first on PRX.

by Maggie Taylor at November 21, 2016 05:24 PM

November 18, 2016

Miriam Meckel
Zeitschleifen der Ökonomie

wiwo_titel_48_16_obama_merkel_blog

Durch Brexit und Trump wird ein Gemisch aus altlinken Ideen und neuem Nationalismus hochgespült. Europa sollte dagegenhalten.

Markt war gestern. Heute ist wieder der Staat gefragt. So kurz und knapp lässt sich auf den Punkt bringen, wie sich der Wind international gerade dreht. Die Wendepunkte fürs Geschichtsbuch sind markiert: Die auf die Finanzkrise folgende Staatsschuldenkrise hat die Geldpolitik schon weltweit dem Gebot der politischen Systemrelevanz unterworfen. Nun dreht sich auch Großbritannien, innerhalb der EU immer Fahnenträger einer liberalen Wirtschaftsordnung, gerade geschmeidig auf einem von Premierministerin Theresa Mays Leopardenabsätzen herum: Schlank ist ja schon die Chefin, da kann der Staat doch mal wieder ein bisschen zulegen.

Interventionismus und erhöhte Staatsausgaben, das sind auch zwei Fäden im wirtschaftspolitischen Häkelwerk von Donald Trump, dessen Entwirrung bislang auch dem schlauesten Wirtschaftsberater nicht recht gelungen ist. Trump will im Schnelltempo eine Steuerreform durchbringen. Sie soll die US-Wirtschaft in den kommenden zehn Jahren um 5800 Milliarden Dollar entlasten. Das ist ein Wort und könnte tatsächlich gut eineinhalb Prozentpunkte Wirtschaftswachstum zu den bisherigen Prognosen hinzuaddieren. Die Kehrseite der Medaille zeigt wachsende Staatsverschuldung. Die will Trump nämlich nur um 1200 Milliarden Dollar senken. Der Schuldenberg wächst also weiter. Trump will auch die Gewinne von US-Konzernen heim ins Land bringen. Das Geld soll für ein riesiges Investitionsprogramm genutzt werden, mit dem amerikanische Flughäfen, Straßen und Brücken wieder instandgesetzt werden.

Staatsinterventionismus und nationales Eigeninteresse, das sind zwei erste Leitplanken, die Großbritannien nach dem Brexit und die USA nach der Wahl zu verbinden scheinen. Und Europa sitzt dabei immer mit im Boot. Trump wird nicht zulassen, dass der Dollar zu stark wird, sonst leiden die Exporte. Und wenn seine Konjunkturspritzen die US-Wirtschaft antreiben, gehen auch die Renditen der Staatsanleihen in Europa nach oben. Hoch verschuldete Staaten, wie Italien, müssen dann mehr Zinsen zahlen. Fragt sich nur, wie und woraus.

Es ist ein seltsames Gemisch aus altlinken Ideen und einem neuen Nationalismus, das wie in einer Zeitschleife der Ökonomie wieder hochgespült wird. Dieser dirigistisch-nationalistische Komplex, wie man ihn in Anlehnung an US-Präsident Dwight D. Eisenhower bezeichnen kann, wird der Wirtschaft nicht guttun. Es ist absehbar, dass die historisch hart erkämpften Prinzipien der Sozialen Marktwirtschaft, des freien Handels und des Wettbewerbs darunter leiden werden.

In einem gemeinsamen Papier plädieren Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel und US-Präsident Barack Obama in dieser Ausgabe der WirtschaftsWoche für genau diese Werte und für die Soziale Marktwirtschaft als Bindeglied zwischen Deutschland und den USA. Aus historischer Einsicht, denn ein Zurück in die Vergangenheit ist nicht möglich. Und aus Überzeugung. Miteinander sind Deutschland und die USA stärker als gegeneinander. Wer hören kann, mag hören.

wiwo.de

by Miriam Meckel at November 18, 2016 08:04 AM

November 17, 2016

Justin Reich
Make Writing Classes Larger and Other Heresies of Connected Courses
Using a Connected Courses infrastructure, Kim Jaxon makes epic learning experiences for 100 freshman composition students.

by Justin Reich at November 17, 2016 08:30 PM

Berkman Center front page
Transparency and Freedom of Information in the Digital Age

Teaser

This symposium seeks to examine the present state of play with respect to transparency and freedom of information.

Event Date

Nov 17 2016 1:00pm to Nov 17 2016 1:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Thursday, November 17, 2016
1:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall
Milstein East B and Room 2012 (see below)

The Internet has transformed the government accountability landscape in many respects. Government actors have long been subject to open government laws and requirements that they consider public input when issuing regulations.  But, the democratizing impact of networked communications technologies has allowed more citizens to engage more directly than ever before with federal, state, and local officials.  

Some of these engagements take place through authorized channels, including via submission of freedom of information requests and filing of administrative comments.  Others take place through more radical, unauthorized transparency interventions.

Journalists, civil liberties advocates, and others seeking to study government and hold it accountable regularly rely on information obtained via freedom of information requests, as well as leaks or hacks, to support their activities.  This kind of information can be crucial to informed debate on complex issues, including national security and international affairs.  But, easy access to tools that facilitate government transparency makes it harder to distinguish the appropriate role for journalists or activists from the role of everyday citizens.  And, those seeking to use information obtained via unlawful means may face normative, ethical, and perhaps even legal dilemmas about the limitations on such use.

This symposium seeks to examine the present state of play with respect to transparency and freedom of information.  It will incorporate short sets of remarks and “interventions” throughout the program offering perspectives on the current landscape.  And, there will be two panel discussions.  The first will offer a "view from the inside,” considering how government actors operate in an atmosphere of increased transparency and citizen engagement.  The second will offer a "view from the outside,” as those interested in promoting transparency and accountability consider the ways in which the Internet has impacted their work.

This event is presented by Harvard Law School and by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, with generous support from HLS alumnus Mitch Julis.

Itinerary
1:00p - 1:05p    
    
Welcome and Introduction
WCC Milstein East B

1:05p - 2:00p
Opening Interventions
WCC Milstein East B
  • Speakers:  
    Jonathan Manes (University of Buffalo School of Law)
    Esme Caramello (Harvard Law School)
    Michael Morisy (MuckRock)

2:05p - 3:20p        
Panel #1 -- "View from the Inside"
WCC Milstein East B

  • Panelists:  
    Richard Lazarus (Harvard Law School)
    Amy Bennett (National Archives)
    Quentin Palfrey (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, MIT)
    John Stubbs (Romulus Global Issues Management)

  • Moderated By:
    Christopher T. Bavitz (Harvard Law School)

3:20p - 3:30p        
BREAK

3:30p - 4:00p
Output Transparency vs. Input Transparency (Video Presentation)
WCC Room 2012
  • Speaker:  
    Cass Sunstein (Harvard Law School)

4:05p - 5:20p        
Panel #2 -- "View from the Outside"
WCC Room 2012
  • Panelists:  
    Nani Jansen Reventlow (Doughty Street Chambers)
    David E. McCraw (The New York Times)
    Jameel Jaffer (Knight First Amendment Institute, Columbia University)
    David Sobel (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

  • Moderated By:  
    Andy Sellars (Boston University School of Law)

5:20p - 5:30p
Conclusion and Acknowledgments
WCC Milstein East B

5:30p - 6:30p
Cocktail Reception
WCC HLS Pub
 

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by gweber at November 17, 2016 04:38 PM

November 16, 2016

Berkman Center front page
Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice

Subtitle

A book talk discussion and reception with the editors and contributors.

Teaser

Join the editors and contributors of the new book Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice (MIT Press 2016) for a discussion on the role of civic media in the changing face of democracy around the world.

Event Date

Nov 16 2016 5:30pm to Nov 16 2016 5:30pm
Thumbnail Image: 

November 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
Harvard Law School campus
Wasserstein Hall, Room 1019

What does civic engagement look like in a digital age? What does it mean to participate in civic life when the lines between online and offline, political and social, organization and network are increasingly blurred? We define civic media as the “technologies, designs, and practices that produce and reproduce the sense of being in the world with others toward common good.” We offer this intentionally broad definition to accommodate what we see as a growing range of civic practices. And we hope that the term is generative, not restrictive – that it sparks the imagination about what it might include. But this isn’t simply a casual investigation. There is urgency in defining the term, as there is danger of these emerging practices of civic engagement simply getting lumped into larger media trends, or on the flip side, getting written off as anomalies narrowly defined. The term civic media suggests an “acting with” as a means of achieving a common good. It is inclusive of the range of intentional actions that people take with and through technologies, designs, or practices (aka media). Throughout the book, civic media is exemplified not through products or outcomes, but through the processes and potential of using the tools available to strive for the common good.
Join the editors and contributors of the new book Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice (MIT Press 2016) for a discussion on the role of civic media in the changing face of democracy around the world.
 
Panelists include Ethan Zuckerman (MIT), Colin Rhinesmith (Simmons), Beth Coleman (University of Waterloo), Ceasar McDowell (MIT), and Peter Levine (Tufts). The discussion will be moderated by editors, Eric Gordon and Paul Mihailidis.
 
About Eric
 
Eric Gordon is the founding director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson. He is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Eric studies civic media and public engagement within the US and the developing world. He is specifically interested in the application of games and play in these contexts. In addition to being a researcher, he is also the designer of award winning "engagement games," which are games that facilitate civic participation. He has served as an expert advisor for the UN Development Program, the International Red Cross / Red Crescent, the World Bank, as well as municipal governments throughout the United States. In addition to articles and chapters on games, digital media, urbanism and civic engagement, he is the author of two books: Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World (Blackwell 2011, with Adriana de Souza e Silva) and The Urban Spectator: American Concept Cities From Kodak to Google (Dartmouth 2010). His edited volume (with Paul Mihailidis) entitled Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice will be published by MIT Press in 2016.
 
About Paul
 
Paul Mihailidis's research explores the nexus of media literacy, young people and engagement in civic life. He is the Director of the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, a program that annually gathers scholars and students from around the world to investigate media and global citizenship. His book Media Litearcy and the Emerging Citizen: Youth, Engagement and Participation in Digital Culture (Peter Lang 2014) explores the competencies young citizens need to thrive in the digital age.

Mihailidis has published widely on media literacy, global media, and digital citizenship.In addition to Media Literacy and the Emerging Citizen, he has edited two books: Media Literacy Education in Action: Theoretical and Pedagogical Perspectives (w/Belinha DeAbreu, Routledge 2013) and News Literacy: Global Perspectives for the Newsroom and the Classroom (Peter Lang 2012). He has two forthcoming anthologies: The Civic Media Reader (MIT Press, w/ Eric Gordon) and the International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy (Wiley, with Renee Hobbs)

Mihailidis sits on the board of directors for the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), is the co-editor for the Journal of Media Literacy Education (JMLE), and the Associate Director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson College. Mihailidis has presented his research to the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), UNESCO, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and traveled to China to join the board of the Academy for Global Media in Chongqing. As Director of the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, Mihailidis oversees a program that gathers over 60 students and a dozen faculty from five continents for three weeks every summer to create multimedia media literacy products that are used in over 100 countries around the world

by candersen at November 16, 2016 08:50 PM

Open Call for Fellowship Applications, Academic Year 2017-2018

About the Fellowship ProgramQualificationsCommitment to Diversity •  Logistics
Stipends and BenefitsAbout the Berkman Klein CenterFAQ
Required Application MaterialsApply!

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is now accepting fellowship applications for the 2017-2018 academic year through our annual open call. This opportunity is for those who wish to spend 2017-2018 in residence in Cambridge, MA as part of the Center's vibrant community of research and practice, and who seek to engage in collaborative, cross-disciplinary, and cross-sectoral exploration of some of the Internet's most important and compelling issues.

Applications will be accepted until Monday January 16, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

We invite applications from people working on a broad range of opportunities and challenges related to Internet and society, which may overlap with ongoing work at the Berkman Klein Center and may expose our community to new opportunities and approaches. We encourage applications from scholars, practitioners, innovators, engineers, artists, and others committed to understanding and advancing the public interest who come from -- and have interest in -- countries industrialized or developing, with ideas, projects, or activities in all phases on a spectrum from incubation to reflection.

Through this annual open call, we seek to advance our collective work and give it new direction, and to deepen and broaden our networked community across backgrounds, disciplines, cultures, and home bases. We welcome you to read more about the program below, and to consider joining us as a fellow!

About the Berkman Klein Fellowship Program

“The Berkman Klein Center's mission is to explore and understand cyberspace; to study its development, dynamics, norms, and standards; and to assess the need or lack thereof for laws and sanctions.

We are a research center, premised on the observation that what we seek to learn is not already recorded. Our method is to build out into cyberspace, record data as we go, self-study, and share. Our mode is entrepreneurial nonprofit.”

Inspired by our mission statement, the Berkman Klein Center’s fellowship program provides an opportunity for some of the world’s most innovative thinkers and changemakers to come together to hone and share ideas, find camaraderie, and spawn new initiatives. The program encourages and supports fellows in an inviting and playful intellectual environment, with community activities designed to foster inquiry and risk-taking, to identify and expose common threads across fellows’ individual activities, and to bring fellows into conversation with the faculty directors, employees, and broader community at the Berkman Klein Center.  From their diverse backgrounds and wide-ranging physical and virtual travels, Berkman Klein Center fellows bring fresh ideas, skills, passion, and connections to the Center and our community, and from their time spent in Cambridge help build and extend new perspectives and actions out into the world.

A non-traditional appointment that defies any one-size-fits-all description, each Berkman Klein fellowship carries a unique set of opportunities, responsibilities, and expectations based on each fellow’s goals. Fellows appointed through this open call come into their fellowship with a personal research agenda and set of ambitions they wish to conduct while at the Center. These might include focused study or writing projects, action-oriented meetings, the development of a set of technical tools, capacity building efforts, testing different pedagogical approaches, or efforts to intervene in public discourse and trialing new platforms for exchange.  Over the course of the year fellows advance their research and contribute to the intellectual life of the Center and fellowship program activities; as they learn with and are influenced by their peers, fellows have the freedom to change and modify their plans.

Together fellows actively design and participate in weekly all-fellows sessions, working groups, skill shares, hacking and development sessions, and shared meals, as well as joining in a wide-range of Berkman Klein Center events, classes, brainstorms, interactions, and projects. While engaging in both substance and process, much of what makes the fellowship program rewarding is created each year by the fellows themselves to address their own interests and priorities. These entrepreneurial, collaborative ventures – ranging at once from goal-oriented to experimental, from rigorous to humorous – ensure the dynamism of a fellowship experience, the fellowship program, and the Berkman Klein community.  As well, the Center works to support our exemplary alumni network, and beyond a period of formal affiliation, community members maintain ongoing active communication and mutual support across cohorts.

Alongside and in conversation with the breadth and depth of topics explored through the Center’s research projects, fellows engage the fairly limitless expanse of Internet & society issues. Within each cohort of fellows we encourage and strive for wide inquisition and focused study, and these areas of speciality and exploration vary from fellow to fellow and year to year. Some broad issues of interest include (but are not limited to) economic growth and opportunity, health, fairness, security, privacy, access to information, regulation, politics, and democracy. As fields of Internet and society studies continue to grow and evolve, and as the Internet reaches into new arenas, we expect that new areas of interest will emerge across the Center as well. We look forward to hearing from potential fellows in these nascent specialities and learning more about the impact of their work.

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Qualifications

We welcome applications from people who feel that a year in our community as a fellow would accelerate their efforts and contribute to their ongoing personal and professional development.

Fellows come from across the disciplinary spectrum and different life paths. Some fellows are academics, whether students, post-docs, or professors. Others come from outside academia, and are technologists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, policymakers, activists, journalists, educators, or other types of practitioners from various sectors. Many fellows wear multiple hats, and straddle different pursuits at the intersections of their capacities. Fellows might be starting, rebooting, driving forward in, questioning, or pivoting from their established careers.  Fellows are committed to spending their fellowship in concert with others guided by a heap of kindness, a critical eye, and a generosity of spirit.

The fellowship selection process is a multi-dimensional mix of art and science, based on considerations that are specific to each applicant and that also consider the composition of the full fellowship class. Please visit our FAQ to learn more about our selection criteria and considerations.

To learn more about the backgrounds of our current community of fellows, check out our 2016-2017 community announcement, read their bios, and find them on Twitter. As well, other previous fellows announcements give an overview of the people and topics in our community: 2015-2016, 2014-2015, 2013-2014.

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Commitment to Diversity

The work and well-being of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society are profoundly strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, disability, and much more. We actively seek and welcome people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, persons with disabilities, and people at intersections of these identities, from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods.

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Logistical Considerations

While we embrace our many virtual connections, spending time together in person remains essential. In order to maximize engagement with the community, fellows are encouraged to spend as much time at the Center as they are able, and are expected to conduct much of their work from the Cambridge area, in most cases requiring residency. Tuesdays hold particular importance--it is the day the fellows community meets for a weekly fellows hour, as well as the day the Center hosts a public luncheon series; as a baseline we ask fellows to commit to spending as many Tuesdays at the Center as possible.

Fellowship terms run for one year, and we generally expect active participation from our fellows over the course of the academic year, roughly from the beginning of September through the end of May.

In some instances, fellows are re-appointed for consecutive fellowship terms or assume other ongoing affiliations at the Center after their fellowship.

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Stipends and Access to University Resources

Stipends

Berkman Klein fellowships awarded through the open call for applications are rarely stipended, and most fellows receive no direct funding through the Berkman Klein Center as part of their fellowship appointment.

To make Berkman Klein fellowships a possibility for as wide a range of applicants as possible, in the 2017-2018 academic year we will award a small number of stipends to incoming fellows selected through our open call for applications. This funding is intended to support people from communities who are underrepresented in fields related to Internet and society, who will contribute to the diversity of the Berkman Klein Center’s research and activities, and who have financial need. More information about this funding opportunity can be found here.

There are various ways fellows selected through the open call might be financially supported during their fellowship year. A non-exhaustive list: some fellows have received external grants or awards in support of their research; some fellows have received a scholarship or are on sabbatical from a home institution; some fellows do consulting work; some fellows maintain their primary employment alongside their fellowship. In each of these different scenarios, fellows and the people with whom they work have come to agreements that allow the fellow to spend time and mindshare with the Berkman Klein community, with the aim to have the fellow and the work they will carry out benefit from the affiliation with the Center and the energy spent in the community. Fellows are expected to independently set these arrangements with the relevant parties.

Office and Meeting Space

We endeavor to provide comfortable and productive spaces for for coworking and flexible use by the community. Some Berkman Klein fellows spend every day in our office, and some come in and out throughout the week while otherwise working from other sites. Additionally, fellows are supported in their efforts to host small meetings and gatherings at the Center and in space on the Harvard campus.

Access to University Resources

  • Library Access: Fellows are able to acquire Special Borrower privileges with the Harvard College Libraries, and are granted physical access into Langdell Library (the Harvard Law School Library).  Access to the e-resources is available within the libraries.  

  • Courses: Berkman Klein fellows often audit classes across Harvard University, however must individually ask for permission directly from the professor of the desired class.  

  • Benefits: Fellows appointed through the open call do not have the ability to purchase University health insurance or get Harvard housing.

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Additional Information about the Berkman Klein Center

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is dedicated to exploring, understanding, and shaping the development of the digitally-networked environment. A diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, technologists, policy experts, and advocates, we seek to tackle the most important challenges of the digital age while keeping a focus on tangible real-world impact in the public interest. Our faculty, fellows, staff and affiliates conduct research, build tools and platforms, educate others, form bridges and facilitate dialogue across and among diverse communities. More information at https://cyber.harvard.edu.

To learn more about the Center’s current research, consider watching a video of the Berkman Klein Center’s Faculty Chair Jonathan Zittrain talking about Why the Internet Matters from fall 2016, and check out the Center’s most recent annual reports.
 

Don't Take Our Word for It

Those who have come through the program have shared reflections on their experiences, and provide great insights and specifics from an insider’s view.

Berkman became a supportive community of people I can count on to a read a draft of something I write before I post it, or to talk through a difficult decision and urge me to find my own voice. Parts of my work this year were challenging in unexpected ways, and I'm thankful to have had the support of this inspiring and encouraging group.

- Sara Watson

As a fellow, you'll be part of an amazing, supportive network of people who will help you, challenge you, and work with you to make your work more socially conscious, more visible, more effective, and more awesome.

- Nathan Matias

 

Frequently Asked Questions

To hear more from former fellows, check out 15 Lessons from the Berkman Fellows Program, a report written by former fellow and current Fellows Advisory Board member David Weinberger. The report strives to "explore what makes the Berkman Fellows program successful...We approached writing this report as a journalistic task, interviewing a cross-section of fellows, faculty, and staff, including during a group session at a Berkman Fellows Hour. From these interviews a remarkably consistent set of themes emerged."

More information about fellows selection and the application process can be found on our Fellows Program FAQ.

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Required Application Materials

(1.) A current resume or C.V.

(2.) A personal statement that responds to the following two questions.  Each response should be between 250-500 words.

  • What is the research you propose to conduct during a fellowship year?  Please
    • describe the problems are you trying to solve;
    • outline the methods which might inform your research; and
    • tell us about the public interest and/or the communities you aim to serve through your work.
       
  •     Why is the Berkman Klein Center the right place for you to do this work?  Please share thoughts on:
    • how the opportunity to engage colleagues from different backgrounds -- with a range of experiences and training in disciplines unfamiliar to you -- might stimulate your work;
    • which perspectives you might seek out to help you fill in underdeveloped areas of your research; and
    • what kinds of topics and skills you seek to learn with the Center that are outside of your primary research focus and expertise.

(3.) A copy of a recent publication or an example of relevant work.  For a written document, for instance, it should be on the order of a paper or chapter - not an entire book or dissertation - and should be in English.

(4.) Two letters of recommendation, sent directly from the reference.

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Apply for a 2017-2018 Academic Year Fellowship Through Our Open Call

The application deadline is Monday January 16, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Applications will be submitted online through our Application Tracker tool at:
http://brk.mn/1718app

Applicants will submit their resume/C.V., their personal statement, and their work sample as uploads within the Berkman Klein Application Tracker.  Applicants should ensure that their names are included on each page of their application materials.

Recommendation letters will be captured through the Application Tracker, and will require applicants to submit the names and contact information for references in advance of the application deadline.  References will receive a link at which they can upload their letters.  We recommend that applicants create their profiles and submit reference information in the Application Tracker as soon as they know they are going to apply and have identified their references - this step will not require other fellowship application materials to be submitted at that time.

Instructions for creating an account and submitting an application through the Application Tracker may be found here.

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by rtabasky at November 16, 2016 02:16 PM

November 15, 2016

David Weinberger
[liveblog][bkc] Aaron Perzanowski: The End of Ownership

I’m at a Berkman Klein Center lunchtime talk. Aaron Perzanowski is talking about “The End of Ownership,” the topic of his new book of the same name, written with Jason Schultz. Aaron is a law professor at Case Western Reserve Law School.

NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.

Normally we consumers take for granted rights for physical goods that come from the principle of exhaustion: when you sell something, you exhaust your rights to control it. That’s why we have used book stores and eBay and we can lend a novel to a friend. In this way, the copyright system gives end users a reason to participate: if you buy it, you can do what you want with it.

Aaron Perzanowski:

Online we use familiar forms of ownership: buy, rent, gift. This means that consumers don’t have to figure out every purchase from scratch; we have the basic understanding. Or do we?

The book talks about the erosion of the concept of exhaustion and the rights that flow from it.

First, copies themselves are disappearing. We used to own a copy. Now we subscribe to content streaming from the cloud. Copies are no longer rare, valuable, persistent.

Second, courts have redefined who counts as an owner. It used to be that if you paid money for it, and you paid for it once (i.e., not a subscription), then you owned it. In 1908, the courts decided that Bobbs Merrill couldn’t control the price for which a purchased copy could be re-sold. Now, end user license agreements routinely say that you have not bought a copy and thus you can not re-sell it.

He contrasts two cases from the 9th District Court of Appeal that were decided back to back on the same day, and that are totally inconsistent. In the first case, a promotional copy of a CD had stamped on it that accepting the CD binds the recipient to a prohibition on transferring it to someone else. The court said that you can’t impose ongoing obligations that travel around with the disk.

“We’ve passed the logical breaking point…”In the same case, on the same day, the same panel considered who owns the CD in the AutoCAD package. It contained the same sort of license. The court decided that those disks were licensed by users, not owned.

Q: The music CD was unsolicited. But I bought the AutoCAD disk.

A: Do you have more or less ownership interest in something you got for free or something you paid $8,000 for?

Early in the software industry, it wasn’t certain that sw could be patented or protected by copyright, so licenses played a bigger role. But now sw is everywhere, not just on little disks. Which bring us to Digital Rights Management (DRM). At first it was at least somewhat related to protecting IP. But we’ve passed the logical breaking point, E.g., Lexmark doesn’t want people to refill their printer ink cartridges. So they had code on their printers that detected non-Lexmark cartridges or refills and wouldn’t use them. The courts disagreed.

Apple recently got a patent on using infrared light recording to disable recording on your iPhone. If a concert broadcasts this light, your phone won’t be able to record it. Or if you’re a police officer who doesn’t want to be recorded. This is an example of how tech can turn the devices you think you own against you.

“The Internet of Things is really the Internet of Things you don’t own.”The Internet of Things is really the Internet of Things you don’t own. John Deer tractors have sw embedded in them that is licensed to the owner of the tractor. GM says the same thing about cars. Another example of “machine mutiny”: Keurig.

The final problem: The deceptive “Buy Now” button. You’re usually not really buying anything. E.g., remember when Amazon deleted copies of 1984 from Kindles? “What rights do people think they have when they ‘buy now.'” Aaron and Jason did an experiment that showed that if people bought through a “by now” button, they thought they have the right to keep, device, lend, and give their copy. People make this mistake because they port over their real-world understanding of buying goods.

Q&A

Q: How does this work internationally?

A: An international exhaustion regime could have dramatic consequences for people in less developed economies. I worry about this, but I don’t know the answer. It’s very tough to generalize.

Q: How does consumer understanding of this affect pricing?

A: We tested this. Would consumers behave differently if they knew the truth? We asked how much more people would be willing to pay. It was worth about $3 more for those rights, although we didn’t ask them to actually pay that money. [Amazon lets you stream a video for 24 hrs for $3-$5 or buy for somewhere around $15, or so I recall.]

Q: How are the demographics in their understanding of the rights they’re buying?

A: Generally white men 30+ were the least accurate. They assumed they were entitled to all the rights.

Q: How are the streaming services doing in terms of the confusion?

A: We haven’t researched it specifically but my intuition is that people aren’t as confused. They know that if they don’t pay their Spotify bill, they won’t have the service next month.

A: Disney will never again release Song of the South because it’s embarrassing. The loss of a cultural object like this is very disturbing.

Q: Is people’s sense of fairness shifting so we won’t be bothered by, say, GM turning off your car’s software?

A: This is a problem with dealing with consumer expectations. We’re advocating for one set, but they’re going in the other direction. We’ve situated our argument in the language of property because it’s incredibly powerful. That’s how sw owners argue their cases: “We own this property, so we get to say how it’s used.” But the property rights of IP holders shares a border with the stuff that we as consumers own.

Q: What can be done to change the trajectory?

A: The parallels to the privacy world are instructive. The people we surveyed took these concerns about ownership to heart in a way that they don’t in the privacy context.

A: You’ve only touched the tip of the ice berg. The problem is worse than you’ve indicated.

Yes, there is a broader problem.

A: [me] Take away the deception about “Buy” buttons and one could argue that customers simply have (or will have) more options. Does your focus on the property argument misses the cultural damage that unbundling licenses will wreak?

Q: This is why we talk about exhaustion. We’re trying to explain to people why ownership matters to culture. It’;s risky to argue that we just need to correct the misinformation. But there’s some hope. The only sector of the music market growing faster than Spotify et al. is vinyl. It’s a smaller percent of the market, but there are people who will pay a price premium for something that’s tangible and that’s theirs. Likewise, physical books haven’t gone away the way people [er, like me] predicted.

If it turns out that we as a culture don’t value these objects, that we want to pay $9.99 for access to everything, there’s not a lot that I can do other than point out the virtue of this other path.

Q: Are you identifying values connected to our ownership of tangible items that we ought to be defending as we move to digital items?

A: “Property functions as a stand-in for individual freedom.”Property functions as a stand-in for individual freedom. It gives individuals the right to make choices without asking anyone for permission. Thirty years ago, you could repair your car without asking anyone for permission.

Q: Have there been court cases about medical devices?

A: Not that I know of. But we give some examples in the book where individual users want to improve their functional. Manufacturers don’t want to let users monkey with them. Car companies say the same thing.

The post [liveblog][bkc] Aaron Perzanowski: The End of Ownership appeared first on Joho the Blog.

by davidw at November 15, 2016 06:28 PM

PRX
The Heart Wins Gold at Third Coast!

The Heart,heart_new made by Kaitlin Prest and Mitra Kaboli, won top honors this weekend as the gold winner for Best Documentary at Third Coast International Festival. The winning piece is an episode called Mariya, which chronicles Mariya Karimjee’s experience with female genital mutilation, how she deals with it personally and broaches a conversation with her family.

Learn more about the event in this NPR interview with festival executive director Johanna Zorn. Zorn said:

“The production is very subtle. It’s mostly music in the background that takes us from, you know, one chapter of her life to the next. And it’s beautifully done. It gives us space to think about what is happening and for us to, perhaps for a very short time, you know, be in her shoes.”

Current also published a press release reporting on all the winners. Huge congratulations to The Heart! Check out more pictures of the event in our Facebook album.

The HeartPhoto courtesy of Third Coast Fest

The post The Heart Wins Gold at Third Coast! appeared first on PRX.

by Maggie Taylor at November 15, 2016 04:14 PM

Berkman Center front page
The End of Ownership

Subtitle

with Aaron Perzanowski, Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University

Teaser

Do you own the products you buy? From ebooks to smart appliances, digital goods are increasingly undermining consumer expectations of ownership and the autonomy we associate with it.

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

Nov 15 2016 12:00pm to Nov 15 2016 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Harvard Law School Campus
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein East C (Room 2036, second floor)

Recent shifts in technology, intellectual property and contract law, and marketplace behavior threaten to undermine the system of personal property that has structured our relationships with the objects we own for centuries. Ownership entails the rights to use, modify, lend, resell, and repair. But across a range of industries and products, manufacturers and retailers have deployed strategies that erode these basic expectations of ownership. Understanding these various tactics, how they depart from the traditional property paradigm, and why some have been embraced by consumers are all crucial in developing strategies to restore ownership in the digital economy.

About Aaron

Aaron Perzanowski teaches courses in intellectual property, telecommunications and innovation. Previously, he taught at Wayne State University Law School, as a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School of Information, and as a visitor at the University of Notre Dame Law School. Prior to his teaching career, he served as the Microsoft Research Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and practiced law at Fenwick & West in Silicon Valley.

His research addresses topics ranging from digital copyright to deceptive advertising to creative norms within the tattoo industry. With Jason Schultz, he is the author of The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy (MIT Press 2016), which argues for retaining consumer property rights in a marketplace that increasingly threatens them. His book with Kate Darling, Creativity Without Law: Challenging the Assumptions of Intellectual Property (NYU Press 2017), explores the ways communities of creators operate outside of formal intellectual property law.

 

by gweber at November 15, 2016 04:05 PM

November 14, 2016

Ethan Zuckerman
Trump’s victory and the rise of insurrectionism in America

Hundreds of thousands of articles will be written this week trying to explain what happened in the 2016 US presidential election. One of the best explanations was written four years ago by television host and cultural commentator, Chris Hayes.

In his book, Twilight of the Elites, Hayes explains that left/right divisions in the US are no longer as relevant as the tension between institutionalists and insurrectionists. Institutionalists believe the institutions of our society – government, media, education, healthcare, business – are fundamentally sound, but need the ongoing engagement of good, energized people to keep them healthy and functional. Insurrectionists believe that these same institutions have failed us and need to be torn down and replaced.

We just experienced a presidential election between a consumate institutionalist and a radical insurrectionist. Clinton’s notable qualities – her deep understanding of the way Washington works, her experience in the State department, the respect she receives from powerful people domestically and internationally, her ethic of hard work – are the calling cards of the institutionalist. She understands the system and is ready to make it work better.

Trump, on the other hand, doesn’t understand the systems he’s just been given the keys to. That’s okay, since he’s not promising to steer it well, but instead to crash it into a wall. The people who elected Trump did so not because they thought his business expertise would translate into good governance. They did so because the American system wasn’t working for them, and Clinton promised only fine-tuning of a system that’s failing them. Crashing the bus is a stupid move, but when you believe it’s been driven in the wrong direction for the past few decades, it can feel like progress.

Well before Trump announced his unlikely candidacy, institutionalists were starting to feel the earth shift under their feet. For decades, American trust in government has been shrinking. In 1964, 77% of Americans told pollsters that they believed the government in Washington would do the right thing all or most of the time. Now, that number is under 15%. And who can blame us? Trust started falling with Watergate, accelerated under 8 years of Reagan telling us that government couldn’t do anything right, was reinforced by the failures of the war in Iraq, our national failure to protect the poor after Katrina and the financial crisis of 2008. If you’re not at least a little mistrustful, you’re not paying attention.

When people start to mistrust systems, two things happen. They stop participating within them, and they look for someone – a single person who they can relate to – who promises a way out of or around the system. Mistrust leads both to low political participation, as we saw in this election, and to the rise of authoritarians and demagogues.

Someone always runs as the outsider, the rebel who’ll shake up the political establishment. The Republicans – in spite of themselves – nominated a genuine outsider this year, someone who neither understood or respected the process. When the nation – and the world – is in an insurrectionist mood, the normal rules of politics don’t apply. For his insurrectionist supporters, every time Trump trampled on another norm – threatening to prosecute his rival, banning reporters from his events, encouraging violence in his rallies – it was evidence that he was genuinely outside the system, genuinely willing to challenge the status quo. When we on the left celebrated Clinton’s self-control, leadership, competence and experience, it read as us reassuring our insurrectionist neighbors that we institutionalists were committed to ensuring that nothing major would actually change.

I work with thousands of people on dozens of civic projects, all of whom are asking, “What now?” I don’t know, and I distrust anyone who thinks s/he does. But here’s a start:

This would be a good time to take insurrectionists seriously. When we dismiss all Trump voters are racists or misogynists, we run the risk of ignoring those who hated Trump, hated what he stood for, and voted for him anyway, because they hate their dead-end jobs, they can’t afford health insurance, and they see things getting worse, not better, for their children.

Don’t get be wrong – some genuinely hateful people voted for Trump because they see him as making America Hate Again. Protecting marginalized people – immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQI, people of color – has to be the top priority for the next four years for anyone outraged and dismayed by Trump’s election.

But progressives need a new vision for an economy where workers, not just entrepreneurs, have a bright future. And I’m pretty sure that future isn’t built around the gig economy. Yes, GDP is up, but when inequality is as high as it is, that doesn’t mean a thing for most workers. Yes, unemployment is reasonably low, but the quality of jobs has dropped for many of the workers who are demanding change. Understanding that many people feel their future slipping away, and that people who feel threatened tend to treat those they see as “other” very badly, is an important step anyone who works on social change needs to take.

Not all insurrectionists are conservative. Occupy was a progressive insurrectionist movement, as was Podemos. So is the Pirate Party in Iceland, which came close to capturing power last month. Insurrectionism doesn’t have to mean a return to the political dark ages (though under Trump, it likely will.)

Progressives need to understand an insurrectionist moment as an opportunity to push for structural change. Trump wants to “drain the swamp”, and make fundamental changes to how Washington works. Conveniently, so do I – Washington hasn’t worked very well for many people for a long time now. When Trump’s incoherent and insane ideas don’t pan out, it would be a very good thing for progressive insurrectionists to offer some structural changes we’d like to make. An electoral college bound to the popular vote, larger congressional districts with rank-order voting to lessen tyranny of the majority, bans on dark money? Those are hard for with an institutionalist, who’s been put into place by that system, to fight against, but they could be the platform for a progressive insurrectionist.

If you can’t make change through law, make in another way. For the past couple of years, I’ve been preaching the idea that elections, laws and court decisions aren’t the only path to social change. I’ve done so because I’ve seen many progressive-leaning insurrectionists become frustrated with their inability to pass laws and elect leaders to advance their priorities.

Law is a powerful way to make social change, but it’s far from the only way. Deep changes like the acceptance of gays and lesbians in society is a norms-based change that unfolds in popular culture and social media far before law catches up and protects rights. Changes in technology are leading to a change in how we understand and protect privacy, allowing citizens to respond to government surveillance by hardening their personal privacy. Changes in markets, where social enterprise is emerging as an alternative to conventional enterprise, is an area where disruptive, insurrectionist practices are celebrated. We’re starting to see successful examples of change using levers other than law as the primary lever of change. This challenging moment is a good time to learn to use those non-legal levers better.

Help people feel powerful. Insurrectionism results from the understandable feeling many people have that they are powerless to change the systems that govern their lives. Anything we can do to help more people feel powerful undercuts the insurrectionist argument. Alternatively, anything that helps people make change by combatting and replacing dysfunctional institutions with ones that work better harnesses insurrectionism for positive ends. What doesn’t help is any outcome that leaves people feeling powerless and alienated, as that’s the circumstances that’s led us to this dark moment.

I didn’t want to see a Trump presidency, and the rise of insurrectionism to the highest levels of the American government scares the crap out of me. But scarier is the endless blame game I hear my allies engaged in, figuring out whether we blame the media, the FBI or anyone other than ourselves for this loss. We have a brief opportunity to figure out how to make social change in an age of high mistrust and widespread insurrectionism. It would be a shame if Donald Trump figured out how to harness this power and the progressives lined up against him failed to do so.

by Ethan at November 14, 2016 01:49 AM

November 13, 2016

Ethan Zuckerman
Making space for sadness

I hadn’t found space yet to cry this week.

As the election results came in, I was out bowling with my students, and as they got more despondent, I told them ways Clinton might still win. When I woke to a Trump presidency, I knew there would be crying people in my office (I didn’t expect some would be faculty!) and I started sharing my sincere, but carefully chosen, feelings that this was a chance to build a new, stronger progressive, anti-racist movement. I spent Friday in a day-long workshop with Marshall Ganz, working on sharpening my skills so I can be a better leader and a better coach to those I work with. Saturday, I marched with friends in the cold, protesting in a town where almost everyone agrees with us because I thought it was important to show my face, to lend my body to a mass of people standing up and resisting.

I didn’t cry until this morning when a friend posted this Kate MnKinnon Saturday Night Live video.

Yep. That did it. So I’ve spent the last hour in bed sobbing, which I really needed. And once I was ready to stop crying, Dave Chapelle’s monologue was a good way to get up and face the morning.

And so, later today I’m off to London to see friends who’ve been trying to find the way forward after Brexit. On stage Tuesday, we’re going to talk about how the US, the UK and much of the world have gotten to a place where people feel so alienated and mistrustful that they’re willing to try anything in the hopes of seeking a change. We’re going to look for ways that progressives can play defense, to protect the rights of the most vulnerable, while looking for ways that massive change could lead to massive growth.

I’m wiping my eyes, packing my bags and getting back to work. However you’re feeling this week, I hope you’re able to do so too.

by Ethan at November 13, 2016 02:53 PM

November 12, 2016

John Palfrey
Guest Blog Post: Trustee Steve Sherrill, on the All School Meeting Address He Would Have Given

This weekend, we welcomed our trustees and many other alumni and parents to campus for meetings and also the 137th Andover-Exeter sporting contests.  Over the course of the last several days, I have received a lot of feedback about the All School Meeting address that I gave on Wednesday morning after the presidential election.  One reaction came from an Andover trustee, Stephen Sherrill, Class of 1971.

Steve raised some questions about my address and told me that he would have given a “different” address had he spoken to the students.  In the spirit of open dialogue and with his permission, I am posting below his alternative All School Meeting address.  I believe that now, more than ever, we need to talk constructively with one another when we disagree politically so that we can move forward our nation and our world.  Even as Steve and I plainly disagree in various ways, I embrace his constructive criticism and look forward to more dialogue in future.  Steve’s comments to me follow and appear in italics:

It was interesting to me that a need was felt to address the student body in reaction to an election result. I do not recall such a need being felt in the past. So, why this time? And, if I were called upon to speak, what would I say? Here goes:

We awoke this morning to an unpredicted election result. It has made many on this campus unhappy; it has made many elsewhere in America happy. That fact, above all, we must recognize. Neither side can ignore or discard the views and votes and sentiments, the needs and hopes and pains, no matter how expressed, of 50% of the American electorate. In a democracy all voices must be heard and all viewpoints considered. Whether we like it or not, the political arena is not one in which discourse is necessarily more sensitive and more thoughtful , less attention-seeking and less provocative, than the discourse prevalent in social and entertainment media and unfortunately in private spaces – in each of our “locker rooms”. And political actors on both sides of the aisle seize upon extremist and intemperate statements by the other to amplify rather than mute them.

In this election, the negative campaigning, the focus on personality, the apparent animosity between the candidates, the “attack” language, has been unprecedented and distasteful. The electorate has been uniquely unhappy with both candidates. Both have character flaws that one might view as disqualifying. Many felt both candidates were unsuited for the job. Of those, most voted for Donald Trump, despite the offensiveness of much of his rhetoric (if “tweets” might be given the once elevated title of rhetoric) and personal conduct, especially with respect to women. Obviously, many voters overcame this because of Hillary Clinton’s conduct relating to her maintenance of a personal server, her relationship to donors to the Clinton Foundation and a sense of dishonesty in addressing these issues. More importantly, many felt alienated from the political status quo. They felt their needs were not heard or addressed. Remember, Donald Trump was perhaps the last choice of the Republican establishment – many question whether he is in fact at heart a Republican. Just as Bernie Sanders, who has not in fact been a Democrat, received virtually the same amount of electoral support in the Democratic primaries as Hillary Clinton. Clearly, the fundamental truth of this electoral season has been dissatisfaction with the political status quo.

So what do we focus upon going forward? Clearly, continuing to be knowledgeable about political issues is important. In this respect, we should first challenge the views that we hold, whether they be liberal or conservative. The truth is that the state of affairs that is routinely characterized as “divisiveness” or “gridlock” consists in large part of a difference in strongly held views about what is best for America. Perhaps in better understanding the views of the other side, we will come upon some areas for greater agreement. Perhaps the best solution is not to blame somebody for “gridlock” when the truth is that there is a bona fide disagreement and, perhaps, no real effort has been made to compromise.

Take, for example, the contentious topic of immigration. At one end, as the caricature would hold, are the nativist bigots; at the other, are drug dealers and job-stealers. These are the caricatures that in this election have been used by both sides to attract voters and drive turnout. Of course, these caricatures are misguided. In a more thoughtful characterization, on the one side are Republicans who oppose “amnesty” as benefiting lawbreakers while law abiders wait in line; on the other side are Democrats who will accept no solution without citizenship (i.e., the right to vote). In the middle are the American workers who are dealing with unemployment and lacking income growth and the American economy which is employing immigrant labor. Is there a middle ground? One which legitimizes the presence of hard-working, tax payers without an easy road to citizenship? Perhaps, but only if politically driven messaging by each side can be overcome and the legitimate concerns of all addressed. And let us not ignore the difficulty of the immigration issue: few would deny that a country must have control over who comes to live in it; few would deny that immigrants (including illegal ones) have made valuable contributions to our workforce and culture. Both realities must be recognized for a solution to be realized that will be acceptable to all except those committed only to political gain.

Many voters for Hillary Clinton overcame doubts about her character to vote for the policies for which she stood. And it was probably even more difficult for many voters for Donald Trump (especially women and Hispanics) to overcome his offensive comments to vote for the policy direction which he articulated. (And, by the way, in some important respects, many Trump and Clinton policies seemed the same: infrastructure spending, trade, protection of Social Security.) Those votes do not represent tolerance of the candidate’s character and behavior. And we should recognize that.

We must not seize upon the mistakes and weaknesses of others who are our political antagonists to banish their voices. We must challenge ourselves to think, to be open to viewpoints of others and to focus upon the issues our country faces. We must not accept preconceptions and orthodox opinion. We must not take the easy route of denying the legitimacy of differing viewpoints because of the sometimes offensive manner in which they are expressed. Only listening and considering will we be able to bridge gaps and deal with the issues important to our future.


by jgpalfrey at November 12, 2016 10:49 PM

November 11, 2016

David Weinberger
Life will, uh, find a way

Mike Ananny [twitter: ananny] had to guest-lecture a class about media, communications and news on Nov. 9. He recounts the session with an implicit sense of wonder that we can lift our head up from the dirt after that giant Monty Python jackboot dropped on us.

monty pyton foot

It’s a reminder that step by step, we’ll make some progress back to where we were and then beyond.

No, I don’t really believe that. Not yet.

But I will.

Thanks to you.

The post Life will, uh, find a way appeared first on Joho the Blog.

by davidw at November 11, 2016 05:15 PM

November 10, 2016

danah boyd
Put an End to Reporting on Election Polls

We now know that the US election polls were wrong. Just like they were in Brexit. Over the last few months, I’ve told numerous reporters and people in the media industry that they should be wary of the polling data they’re seeing, but I was generally ignored and dismissed. I wasn’t alone — two computer scientists whom I deeply respect — Jenn Wortman Vaughan and Hanna Wallach — were trying to get an op-ed on prediction and uncertainty into major newspapers, but were repeatedly told that the outcome was obvious. It was not. And election polls will be increasingly problematic if we continue to approach them the way we currently do.

It’s now time for the media to put a moratorium on reporting on election polls and fancy visualizations of statistical data. And for data scientists and pollsters to stop feeding the media hype cycle with statistics that they know have flaws or will be misinterpreted as fact.

Why Political Polling Will Never Be Right Again

Polling and survey research has a beautiful history, one that most people who obsess over the numbers don’t know. In The Averaged American, Sarah Igo documents three survey projects that unfolded in the mid-20th century that set the stage for contemporary polling: the Middletown studies, Gallup, and Kinsey. As a researcher, it’s mindblowing to see just how naive folks were about statistics and data collection in the early development of this field, how much the field has learned and developed. But there’s another striking message in this book: Americans were willing to contribute to these kinds of studies at unparalleled levels compared to their peers worldwide because they saw themselves as contributing to the making of public life. They were willing to reveal their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas because they saw doing so as productive for them individually and collectively.

As folks unpack the inaccuracies of contemporary polling data, they’re going to focus on technical limitations. Some of these are real. Cell phones have changed polling — many people don’t pick up unknown numbers. The FCC’s ruling that limited robocalls to protect consumers in late 2015 meant that this year’s sampling process got skewed, that polling became more expensive, and that pollsters took shortcuts. We’ve heard about how efforts to extrapolate representativeness from small samples messes with the data — such as the NYTimes report on a single person distorting national polling averages.

But there’s a more insidious problem with the polling data that is often unacknowledged. Everyone and their mother wants to collect data from the public. And the public is tired of being asked, which they perceive as being nagged. In swing states, registered voters were overwhelmed with calls from real pollsters, fake pollsters, political campaigns, fundraising groups, special interest groups, and their neighbors. We know that people often lie to pollsters (confirmation bias), but when people don’t trust information collection processes, normal respondent bias becomes downright deceptive. You cannot collect reasonable data when the public doesn’t believe in the data collection project. And political pollsters have pretty much killed off their ability to do reasonable polling because they’ve undermined trust. It’s like what happens when you plant the same crop over and over again until the land can no longer sustain that crop.

Election polling is dead, and we need to accept that.

Why Reporting on Election Polling Is Dangerous

To most people, even those who know better, statistics look like facts. And polling results look like truth serum, even when pollsters responsibly report margin of error information. It’s just so reassuring or motivating to see stark numbers because you feel like you can do something about those numbers, and then, when the numbers change, you feel good. This plays into basic human psychology. And this is why we use numbers as an incentive in both education and the workplace.

Political campaigns use numbers to drive actions on their teams. They push people to go to particular geographies, they use numbers to galvanize supporters. And this is important, which is why campaigns invest in pollsters and polling processes.

Unfortunately, this psychology and logic gets messed up when you’re talking about reporting on election polls in the public. When the numbers look like your team is winning, you relax and stop fretting, often into complacency.When the numbers look like your team is losing, you feel more motivated to take steps and do something. This is part of why the media likes the horse race — they push people to action by reporting on numbers, which in effect pushes different groups to take action. They like the attention that they get as the mood swings across the country in a hotly contested race.

But there is number burnout and exhaustion. As people feel pushed and swayed, as the horse race goes on and on, they get more and more disenchanted. Rather than galvanizing people to act, reporting on political polling over a long period of time with flashy visuals and constantly shifting needles prompts people to disengage from the process. In short, when it comes to the election, this prompts people to not show up to vote. Or to be so disgusted that voting practices become emotionally negative actions rather than productively informed ones.

This is a terrible outcome. The media’s responsibility is to inform the public and contribute to a productive democratic process. By covering political polls as though they are facts in an obsessive way, they are not only being statistically irresponsible, but they are also being psychologically irresponsible.

The news media are trying to create an addictive product through their news coverage, and, in doing so, they are pushing people into a state of overdose.

Yesterday, I wrote about how the media is being gamed and not taking moral responsibility for its participation in the spectacle of this year’s election. One of its major flaws is how it’s covering data and engaging in polling coverage. This is, in many ways, the easiest part of the process to fix. So I call on the news media to put a moratorium on political polling coverage, to radically reduce the frequency with which they reference polls during an election season, and to be super critical of the data that they receive. If they want to be a check to power, they need to have the structures in place to be a check to math.

(This was first posted on Points.)

by zephoria at November 10, 2016 07:53 PM

Miriam Meckel
Die kommerzialisierte Demokratie

wiwo_titel_47_16_trump_blog

Donald Trumps erste Reden deuten Versöhnung statt Spaltung an – und zeigen, wie sehr er die Politik als Geschäftsmodell begreift.

Eine demokratische Entscheidung verdient Respekt. Auch wenn sie zugunsten von jemandem ausfällt, der Demokratie als Voraussetzung für seinen eigenen Erfolg fortwährend infrage gestellt hat.

Die Furcht ist nun groß, dass mit Donald Trump die Weltwirtschaft eine Hundertachtziggradkurve nehmen wird, dass unlauterer Wettbewerb den freien Zugang zu Märkten verdrängt, dass Trump also für schrumpfende Freiheit, aber für wachsende Selbstverwirklichung bis hin zur protektionistischen Selbstherrlichkeit stehen wird: America first eben.

 Das alles sind bislang Vermutungen, geboren aus den Äußerungen Trumps im Wahlkampf. Der nächste US-Präsident hält Mexikaner für Vergewaltiger, bezeichnet jene als klug, die keine Steuern zahlen, will Grenzzäune bauen und Strafzölle erheben, zeigt sich für Folter aufgeschlossen, brüstet sich mit sexuellen Übergriffen auf Frauen und jubelt seinen Anhängern zu, während die Demonstranten verprügeln. Waren das programmatische Worte, dann wartet tatsächlich eine Zeitenwende auf Amerika und die Welt.

Die Dankesrede Trumps lässt anderes vermuten. Kein Wort der Spaltung, kein aggressiver Ton, nur Vereinendes. Trump scheint mit dem Wahlsieg auf Versöhnen statt Spalten umprogrammiert. Ein Zeichen der Hoffnung für alle, die mit Sorge auf die Prognosen für die Weltwirtschaft und die internationalen Beziehungen schauen.

Für Trump ist es schlicht ökonomische Rationalität. „Complicated business“ allerdings. Er kennt sich aus mit Nachfrage und der zielgruppengenauen Abstimmung des Angebots, und er weiß, sich mangelhafte Rahmenbedingungen zunutze zu machen. Dieser Wahlkampf war geprägt durch politisch unerschlossene Zielgruppen. Die „lower white middle class“, die sich benachteiligt, übergangen und vergessen fühlt. Die vom politischen Establishment Enttäuschten. Diejenigen, die inzwischen zu fast allem bereit sind, um ihren Frust und ihre Wut gegenüber „denen da oben“, wer immer das ist und wo immer die sind, zu kühlen. Trump hat diese Zielgruppen perfekt bedient. Er hat sich die Marktsegmente der Erniedrigten und Beleidigten erschlossen und sie mit allen Mitteln bewirtschaftet. Er wird nicht davor zurückscheuen, einmal im Amt, die Möglichkeiten zu nutzen, die sich daraus für ihn ergeben.

Mit einer republikanischen Mehrheit in Senat und Repräsentantenhaus stehen ihm alle Wege offen. Und dennoch: Sorgen muss man sich nicht nur darum, was Trump anrichten wird, sondern was er längst angerichtet hat. Wenn seine radikalen Wahlkampfaussagen schlichtes Marketing waren, wird die Wahl zur Farce.

Dann hat Trump die Präsidentenwahl zur Wahl zwischen Coke und Pepsi degradiert. Wenn Politik Business wird, trägt die Demokratie die Opportunitätskosten ihres eigenen Ausverkaufs. Oder um es in den leicht angepassten Worten des ehemaligen Bundesverfassungsrichters Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde zu sagen: Der freiheitliche kommerzialisierte Staat lebt von Voraussetzungen, die er selbst nicht garantieren kann.

wiwo.de

by Miriam Meckel at November 10, 2016 07:46 AM

November 09, 2016

Justin Reich
3 Critical Competencies for the Future - Preparing Students to Thrive in 2020
For our students to thrive in 2020, they will need to develop the critical competencies of media literacy, computational thinking, and empathy.

by Beth Holland at November 09, 2016 09:20 PM

John Palfrey
All School Meeting: Post-Election, November 9, 2016

Good morning, Andover.

We gather here in All-School Meeting after a night that goes down in American history as one of the most unpredictable and anxiety-provoking any of us has ever witnessed. I am well aware that this morning there is a wide range of emotions in this Chapel: for some, despair, fear, anger, and similar emotions roll around in your gut and in your head; for others, there may be gladness at the outcome; for still others, a sense of steeliness and resolve; and so on. I am glad we have this place to come together. I am glad we have one another to be with, in the midst of a nation and a world that is so plainly divided.

I want to share some thoughts with you that are not directed at any one person or any one group, but at all of us – all of us – in this community. After that, we will have a short piece of reflective music from the chamber orchestra. Mrs. Elliott and Mrs. Griffith also have some words to share with you.  And then, the Chapel will be open for us to remain and talk together until the next period begins.

This morning, I am focusing my own thoughts on why I came to Andover. I came here because I recognized and admired in this community the values that are most important to me. I know we talk about these values a lot in this Chapel, in All School Meeting, and I think it is more important than ever that we take the time this morning to reflect on them here together. I choose to spend these moments today thinking about what is in our control and what we can manage, right here and now, at Andover – to be part of the healing and part of the solution to a problem of divisiveness that is undeniable this morning in America.

We start with Non Sibi. We embrace together the idea that thinking and acting for others must guide our lives – not for self. Andover has stood for this value for 239 years and it will for ever more. I call on us today, and in the days to come, to can act with the empathy and kindness toward one another that is at the heart of the Non Sibi spirit. That is hard, I am certain, for those who feel attacked and abandoned this morning, and there are many who do. Non Sibi teaches us at Andover to be a community guided by love and tolerance. It is on all of us to ensure that everyone here feels that love and support.

Second: knowledge and goodness. We stand for the idea that it not enough just to be smart, just to have a head filled with the knowledge of books; we stand for the idea that character is as essential to education as our book-learning is. At the same time, our founding values emphasize that it is also not enough just to be good – that the knowledge that comes from hard work, the hard kind of work you know so well as Andover students, really matters. I take heart today in both aspects of this commitment: that we see it as our job to focus on both mind and morals as we go through this journey together, as students and teachers.

For some people, in your comments and your bearing this morning, I sense a certain despair – a sense of “why bother”? I hope and trust that, as we reflect on this election, that those who feel grief and despair today can turn those feelings over time into a commitment – a clear sense of exactly why to bother – why, exactly, we absolutely must bother with both knowledge and goodness, why all that hard work – on both your skills and your goodness – matters so very much.

Third: youth from every quarter. I want to be very clear that there is a place for everyone at Andover – no matter where you come from, who your parents are, how much money you have. I want to be clear that there is also a place at Andover for you no matter whether you are a conservative or a liberal. Our commitment to youth from every quarter is not partial; our commitment is absolute. This Academy shall be ever equally open to youth from every quarter. Those words are supposed to mean what they say – and we are all called upon, every one of us, to make them come true.

The thing that hurts the most about this election, for many people – and here, I speak for myself, too – is that too much of the rhetoric has been about exclusion, not inclusion; it has been about hate and not about love; it has been about putting some people above others. The conversation has not been about an America that I recognize – a land in which literally every person, by definition, came from another place or from the Native American nations that were on this very land before the European settlers arrived.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: there is absolutely no place for that kind of divisive and hateful rhetoric at Andover. We can disagree about laws and policies and politics – and, in fact, we must. But we cannot embrace the hateful aspects of the campaign we have just witnessed. Hate, in all its forms, is inconsistent with the values of this school, as they were written and as we now interpret them. We are a place where we invite people from all over the world, based solely on their abilities and their promise, to live, work, and play together. There is no student more valued than any other student; there is no adult more valued than any other adult. No election, nothing that could happen in politics can change that fact.

To every student at Andover: you have a place here that you have earned and which you earn every day through your good conduct and your hard work. You have adults here who have chosen to spend our professional lives with you because we believe in you, what you stand for, and what you will go on to do.

I do not want to hear about anyone acting with disrespect toward anyone else based on who they are, their race, where they came from, their faith, their beliefs, or any other reason of this sort. That is not what Andover is about. There is a better way and we must find it. And for those who disagree or act otherwise, we need to talk. You know where to find me in GW.

The very hardest problem at the heart of this election, for me, is the paradox of tolerance. Please forgive me this short foray into political philosophy, but I think you will get what I mean in a moment. At Andover, we teach tolerance. I doubt anyone here would disagree with that – I hope and trust that no one here would disagree with that. It is extremely easy to be a tolerant person when everyone around you is tolerant. It is easy to tolerate the tolerant, if you get what I mean. If we all commit to this principle, things go well. I hope at Andover we can indeed all commit to a deep, abiding sense of tolerance.

The problem with tolerance is when it comes to the intolerant. To the extent that some people in society are intolerant of other people – and we know that to be true – there becomes, all of a sudden, a problem with tolerance. The tolerant are called upon to tolerate the intolerant (who, in turn, are not asked to tolerate anyone). And to some degree, in a democracy, we must – that is part of the deal. We do not just give votes to the tolerant. And it is true that we grow and learn when we tolerate the views of others with whom we disagree.

What I believe is that there must be a point at which the tolerant are allowed to be intolerant of those who are intolerant. Our study of history points to many examples when it was a terrible mistake to tolerate intolerance for too long. This is the paradox of tolerance – and it is much on my mind today. Each one of us must find for ourselves that point. For me, that point is here, where I insist that we value all our students and their well-being equally.

As a school, I believe we must do everything we can to focus on building tolerance and love for one another so we do not find ourselves faced with this very paradox – a true paradox in the sense that it cannot be resolved when it gets to that point. As a leader of this community, I will give a very wide berth to the conversations we need to have about politics and difference. But intolerance of one another is something that we must resist.

Last concept, for now anyway: Finis Origine Pendet. The end depends upon the beginning. I love this concept because it emphasizes how much what happens here, matters to what happens out there, in the broader world. It matters because who you become when you leave Andover and what you do is grounded in who you are and what you do when you are here.

There is one idea that has been puzzling me since I got to Andover that I wanted to toss out to you this morning, on this topic of Finis Origine Pendet. One thing that adults often remark upon is the extent to which young people today are not interested in the political process – that you do not believe in the institutions of government and that you do not aspire to run for office or serve in the military or in the civil service.

I am quick to point out, by the way, what I know from research and from being with all of you: your civic activism is actually at a very high level historically, but you tend to prefer NGOs, social entrepreneurship, and approaches that are outside of the formal government processes.

One aspect of Andover’s history, as I trust you all know, is that we have produced in the past graduates who have gone on to be presidents, senators, representatives, judges, military leaders, and leaders of the civil service. In fact, last night, we all re-elected an Andover graduate, Seth Moulton, to represent this very district in the United States Congress.

I mention all this because I hope that this election, wherever you stood, will make you think about whether a life in politics – or at least active engagement in politics – is worth your time. I believe it is and I hope you will do. In fact, I think the health of our republic, and republics around the world, depends upon your doing so.

Our founding values at Andover are inextricably tied to the founding values of America. In both cases, the words are (mostly) very beautiful and inspiring. In both cases, we have lived up to them only in part. At Andover, I believe we can and will live up to ours, and in so doing, both support one another here, and support the healing of our world. Out of many, we must can and must be one – e Pluribus Unum.

This morning, as we wake up to a divided nation and a world of hurt and anger, I find I am devoted more than ever to the central cause that brought me to Andover: to help to make this residential school an example of a tolerant, loving, diverse, serious, hard-working, supportive, unbreakable community. Andover can be a symbol of unity and healing in a world that feels awfully divided and broken. No matter where we come from, we all have great good fortune in being here at this school, right now. In my view, we have no choice – no choice – but to roll up our sleeves even higher than we did yesterday to make this community, to make Andover, a beacon of hope – a beacon of hope for this country and for the world.  Thank you.

 


by jgpalfrey at November 09, 2016 06:25 PM

danah boyd
I blame the media. Reality check time.

For months I have been concerned about how what I was seeing on the ground and in various networks was not at all aligned with what pundits were saying. I knew the polling infrastructure had broken, but whenever I told people about the problems with the sampling structure, they looked at me like an alien and told me to stop worrying. Over the last week, I started to accept that I was wrong. I wasn’t.

And I blame the media.

The media is supposed to be a check to power, but, for years now, it has basked in becoming power in its own right. What worries me right now is that, as it continues to report out the spectacle, it has no structure for self-reflection, for understanding its weaknesses, its potential for manipulation.

I believe in data, but data itself has become spectacle. I cannot believe that it has become acceptable for media entities to throw around polling data without any critique of the limits of that data, to produce fancy visualizations which suggest that numbers are magical information. Every pollster got it wrong. And there’s a reason. They weren’t paying attention to the various structural forces that made their sample flawed, the various reasons why a disgusted nation wasn’t going to contribute useful information to inform a media spectacle. This abuse of data has to stop. We need data to be responsible, not entertainment.

This election has been a spectacle because the media has enjoyed making it as such. And in doing so, they showcased just how easily they could be gamed. I refer to the sector as a whole because individual journalists and editors are operating within a structural frame, unmotivated to change the status quo even as they see similar structural problems to the ones I do. They feel as though they “have” to tell a story because others are doing so, because their readers can’t resist reading. They live in the world pressured by clicks and other elements of the attention economy. They need attention in order to survive financially. And they need a spectacle, a close race.

We all know that story. It’s not new. What is new is that they got played.
Over the last year, I’ve watched as a wide variety of decentralized pro-Trump actors first focused on getting the media to play into his candidacy as spectacle, feeding their desire for a show. In the last four months, I watched those same networks focus on depressing turnout, using the media to trigger the populace to feel so disgusted and frustrated as to disengage. It really wasn’t hard because the media was so easy to mess with. And they were more than happy to spend a ridiculous amount of digital ink circling round and round into a frenzy.

Around the world, people have been looking at us in a state of confusion and shock, unsure how we turned our democracy into a new media spectacle. What hath 24/7 news, reality TV, and social media wrought? They were right to ask. We were irresponsible to ignore.

In the tech sector, we imagined that decentralized networks would bring people together for a healthier democracy. We hung onto this belief even as we saw that this wasn’t playing out. We built the structures for hate to flow along the same pathways as knowledge, but we kept hoping that this wasn’t really what was happening. We aided and abetted the media’s suicide.
The red pill is here. And it ain’t pretty.

We live in a world shaped by fear and hype, not because it has to be that way, but because this is the obvious paradigm that can fuel the capitalist information architectures we have produced.

Many critics think that the answer is to tear down capitalism, make communal information systems, or get rid of social media. I disagree. But I do think that we need to actively work to understand complexity, respectfully engage people where they’re at, and build the infrastructure to enable people to hear and appreciate different perspectives. This is what it means to be truly informed.

There are many reasons why we’ve fragmented as a country. From the privatization of the military (which undermined the development of diverse social networks) to our information architectures, we live in a moment where people do not know how to hear or understand one another. And our obsession with quantitative data means that we think we understand when we hear numbers in polls, which we use to judge people whose views are different than our own. This is not productive.

Most people are not apathetic, but they are disgusted and exhausted. We have unprecedented levels of anxiety and fear in our country. The feelings of insecurity and inequality cannot be written off by economists who want to say that the world is better today than it ever was. It doesn’t feel that way. And it doesn’t feel that way because, all around us, the story is one of disenfranchisement, difference, and uncertainty.

All of us who work in the production and dissemination of information need to engage in a serious reality check.

The media industry needs to take responsibility for its role in producing spectacle for selfish purposes. There is a reason that the public doesn’t trust institutions in this country. And what the media has chosen to do is far from producing information. It has chosen to produce anxiety in the hopes that we will obsessively come back for more. That is unhealthy. And it’s making us an unhealthy country.

Spectacle has a cost. It always has. And we are about to see what that cost will be.

(This was first posted at Points.)

by zephoria at November 09, 2016 04:47 PM

November 08, 2016

Harry Lewis
Why History Matters
In a Crimson interview, Sanctions Could Be Subject to Change, Faust Says, President Faust starts out on a very promising note in discussing her policy about single-gender social organizations. “The way I talk about is I say, ‘here’s the problem, and now how do we figure out the solution.'" That is exactly right. It is what should  have happened but did not. Define the problem, and ask a group of faculty to come up with a solution, in consultation with students and administrative staff. It should have happened already. It still can happen. It should happen.

Unfortunately, the president gives no indication in the interview that she would rescind her single-gender student organization policy or suspend its implementation to give time a group to devise a better one. She seems, in fact, quite skeptical that this sort of thing is within faculty purview at all.
To Government professor Eric M. Nelson ’99—who expressed frustration that Faculty members were not consulted before the policy was rolled out—Faust responded that, to her understanding, the Faculty has not traditionally been involved in shaping undergraduate life and played little role in decisions like the derecognition of the final clubs in the 1980s and the randomization of House assignments in the late 1990s.


This is account of the history is wholly, utterly wrong. The faculty were directly involved in both decisions. In fact, the deans of that era would not have dared make such policy decisions without a thorough faculty vetting.

According to the Crimson of December 11, 1984, the severance of the final clubs from the College occurred at a meeting of the Committee on College Life, an ancestor of the Committee on Student Life. The CCL was a standing student-faculty committee formed pursuant to the Dowling legislation. As the Crimson reports,
the 12 member committee, consisting of five students and five faculty as well as [Dean of Students Archie C.] Epps and [Dean of Harvard College John] Fox, unanimously recommended that the College expedite the separation.
 As I recall, this separation was but the end of a long process of consultations with faculty and students that had begun in 1977 with the "non-merger merger" of Harvard and Radcliffe. There were many, many faculty consultations along the way. It was not a voting matter for the Faculty as a corporate body, but the Faculty, through its elected representatives, was involved in shaping the outcome. The final decision was an executive decision by the dean of the College -- but he was acting on the recommendation of the duly constituted student-faculty committee.

The Faculty was even more involved in the randomization decision. The decision to randomize the housing assignments was developed and recommended by the Committee on the Structure of Harvard College -- an ad hoc committee of very distinguished faculty that met in 1993 and 1994 and consulted widely with faculty, students, and administrators before issuing its report. A poor scan of the committee's report is posted here. In fact, the committee had a very broad mandate -- essentially to review the College and its structure. The committee itself identified self-segregation as a problem and proposed randomization as the solution, after considering a number of alternatives. The so-called Lewis-Maull Committee (Dean Nancy Maull co-chaired with me) included as members J. Woodland Hastings (Paul C. Mangelsdorf Professor of Natural Sciences, Master of North House); Akira Iriye (Charles Warren Professor of American History); David Pilbeam (Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences); Peter J. Gomes (Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Minister in the Memorial Church); Richard J. Herrnstein (Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology); Paul C. Martin (John Hasbrouck van Vleck Professor of Pure and Applied of Physics, Dean of the Division of Applied Sciences); Barbara Rosenkrantz (Professor of the History of Science, Emcrita); and Theda Skocpol (Professor of Sociology). Its recommendation to randomize the Houses went, with a lot of moral weight behind it, first to the Committee on House Life (later merged with the Committee on College Life to form the present Committee on Student Life), then to the Faculty Council; then to the full Faculty for discussion; before finally being implemented by Dean of the College Fred Jewett. (In an ironic twist, Dean Jewett actually did not implement the policy as it was recommended -- he failed to control for gender ratio in each House. That proved to be a disaster the very first year, and that control, which had been recommended in the College Structure report, was put in place for subsequent years.)

So twenty or thirty years ago, the Faculty was deeply involved in policy-making with respect to undergraduate life. Indeed the Faculty's interest in such matters is the reason why the Faculty annually votes the entire Handbook for Students, not just the academic rules.

The President is wrong to suggest that it is now incumbent on the faculty opposing the motion to devise alternatives in the next three weeks: 
In the interview Thursday, Faust said the next meeting in December would be an opportunity for concerned professors to propose alternatives to the controversial policy.
Alternatives should be devised cooperatively, by faculty, students, and the administration, by a well-informed, smaller group, in a thoughtful, collegial, deliberative process. The full faculty does not have the facts available to it and it has been given no background with which to debate the importance of restricting sororities, fraternities, and final clubs. The proposed policy was not developed in three weeks, nor was it thrashed out in a room with hundreds of people; no alternative proposal should be slapped together on that time scale in preparation for an unwieldy debate.

I wholly agree with the President's preference for shared governance. So let's again govern Harvard that way -- appoint and charge a group to come up with a proposal and then have it vetted through the properly constituted Faculty governance committees -- exactly as was done in 1984 and 1994, and exactly what was not done with the matter at hand.

 
  
 
 
 

by Harry Lewis (noreply@blogger.com) at November 08, 2016 03:09 AM

November 07, 2016

Cyberlaw Clinic - blog
Cyberlaw Clinic and Berkman Klein Researchers Submit NTIA Comment on Broadband Research Agenda

Drawing from their experience studying trends in internet services pricing across the country, a team of researchers, including Berkman Klein Center Research Director Rob Faris,  Cyberlaw Clinic project coordinator Kira Hessekiel, Berkman Klein fellow David Talbot, and HLS ’18 student Danielle Kehl, submitted a comment to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and National Science Foundation to advocate for more comprehensive public information on the price of internet access services.


The two agencies put out a request for comments in early September to advise them in framing a National Broadband Research Agenda to further the recommendations of the Broadband Opportunity Council, a project of 25 federal agencies led by the Department of Commerce, of which NTIA is a division, and the Department of Agriculture.

In their comment, the team discusses the challenges of understanding the state of internet access and adoption without granular, comprehensive data on the cost of residential internet access services.  Finding policy solutions to the digital divide necessitates understanding the effect of price, and while information on national aggregate pricing is available, high-level numbers often hide important, geography-specific information from which researchers, policymakers, communities, and individuals could stand to benefit. The Obama Administration has made connecting the unconnected a policy priority in recent years, launching initiatives like ConnectHome and supporting existing federal agency efforts to bridge the digital divide by offering subsidies or discounted internet access service to various segments of the population. Yet these programs are being launched and evaluated without the ability to consider key metrics like speed and price.

Independent researchers, like the Berkman Klein Center commentators, face significant capacity constraints that limit their ability to collect this information on a large scale. Not only does the sheer volume of data make this a daunting task, but key pricing information may be rendered inaccessible by the terms of service of an internet service provider’s website or through a requirement that users enter personal information, such as a social security number or a credit card number.  The federal government, particularly the FCC, already collects some data from ISPs, and is far better positioned to collect these data on a large scale and responsibly share them with the public.

The comment recommended that the federal government collect the following data at a granular level from ISPs in a machine-readable format:

  • Advertised download and upload speeds;
  • Monthly price (including, where applicable, promotional discounts);
  • One-time fees (e.g. activation or installation fees, required equipment purchases);
  • Recurring fees (e.g. modem or other equipment rentals);
  • Contract length and any applicable termination fees; and
  • Data caps or other service limits.

By including granular pricing data in the National Broadband Research Agenda, the NTIA and NSF can create a tool that will aid individuals, communities, researchers, and policymakers as they work to close the digital divide for all Americans.

by Kira Hessekiel at November 07, 2016 07:48 PM

Zeynep Tufekci
TED talk and a newsletter

A few updates!

My TED talk on the importance of human morals in the age of machine intelligence is up. You can watch it here. I especially focus on the implications of machine learning..

I’ve started a newsletter, which will include my longer writing, but it won’t be archived publicly. I’m experimenting with having a non-public outlet, for conversations that are not public statements, but more like thinking out loud, or thoughts or notes that do not make it into my public writings.

Sign up to my newsletter:

powered by TinyLetter

(You can also sign up at this link:https://tinyletter.com/zeynepnotes)

I continue to write regularly at the New York Times. Some of my columns can be found here. (It’s not an exhaustive list; some of them are posted outside the opinion pages. You can find them by searching the whole site).

 

by zeynep at November 07, 2016 02:22 AM

November 06, 2016

David Weinberger
United Needs Info: a screenplay

United Airline’s new app let’s you watch free entertainment on flights on your Android or IoS device. But it wants to know a lot about you first:

United app's permissions

Some find that a tad intrusive. Not at all. Let me explain why…


You’re watching a movie on the new United in-flight app when suddenly a perfectly groomed middle-aged white man in an expensive suit and a carefully cropped goatee stands up and announces that the plane is now under his control. He turns his palms up, and one by one six young men rise from their seats spaced throughout the plane. Their dark faces are covered by bandanas so that all you can see are their dark eyes and dark skin. One of them coughs in Arabic.

All of your instincts, honed by years in a service known by a three-letter acronym that no one knows, not even you, come into play.

You gently swipe your thumb, scarred and weary from your many exploits, across your iPhone7™ on which you had been watching a movie, using United’s revolutionary YouScreen Personal Full Entertainment System — the Home of the Whopper — revealing what to the shapely white woman in the seat next to yours appears to be a game of Ultimate Fighter. The quizzical but charmed look on her face says she’s thinking it’s an odd time to play a game. But you know better.

Click left-right-right-up-up-A-left-D-down-right-down-down-up-A-A-B-A and … you’re in.

YouScreen slides a special screen in front of its usual friendly GUI. The YouScreen ATM (Anti-Terrorist Mode) displays blinky data and little fiddly bits against a camo background. It does a quick matrix analysis and reports on all non-white passengers currently not activating their AIS (Ass In Seat) sensor.

Got ’em!

The YouScreen’s map reveals that the one closest to you, in seat 16B, has some Arabic name that sounds all the same to you, lives in, let’s say, Iran, has been treated for cardiac arrhythmia, and during the flight watched two Jennifer Aniston movies and an episode of “Touched by an Angel.” He is clearly the weak point where you can begin.

But then you notice something interesting. YouScreen tells you that the man standing at the front of the plane is Fritz Deutscher, a German national. YouScreen reports that his phone is filled with TED Talks about leading through intimidation, and that he recently searched for “shoe inserts that embiggen you.” You can see that on his calendar are weekly therapy appointments, and twice weekly tanning sessions. There are daily skype calls to and from his mother with an average her-to-him talk time ratio of 14:1. Herr Deutscher may look tough, but is quite insecure.

You have the YouScreen ATM call Deutscher’s mobile using the special ring tone he’s set for his mother. As he lifts it to his face, you have it take a selfie, knowing that the lighting in the plane is low enough to trigger the flash. He is just for a moment dazed, confused — why is Mutti calling him in his moment of triumph? Why can’t he ever satisfy her? — and blinded.

You are out of your seat. Within moments you have subdued the terrorists.

Humbly waving off the cheers from the rest of the passengers, you slip back into your seat. The white woman next to you touches your hand. You go back to your movie.

And that movie is … Die Hard. Or maybe Air Force One. Something self-knowing and ironic. Doesn’t matter.

[Fade out]


You see, ladies and gentlemen, it’s all for your safety and convenience.

The post United Needs Info: a screenplay appeared first on Joho the Blog.

by davidw at November 06, 2016 09:41 PM

November 05, 2016

ProjectVRM
#120—our lever on the world

archimedes120

Archimedes said “Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I can move the world.”

For decades, big business has had a place to stand and move millions or billions of consumers. That place is mass media.

Now, with the Internet, customers have a place to stand as well. Sure, businesses of all kinds and sizes can also stand there, but that’s a good thing, because the Internet is a place designed to get rid of distances. Think of it as a giant zero between everybody and everything on it: a second virtual world that coexists with the physical one.

We need our own levers in this world. We already have a few, in the form of browsers, email, and ways to publish on our own. But  we need new and better tools that make us both independent—able to stand on our own—and engaging, so we can do business.

Our developers list is constantly changing, but currently we list these categories of software and services:

That’s in addition to hardware, code bases, protocols, frameworks and other forms of work.

Now, in Phase Two, we need to focus sharply on making levers for the Archimedes in each of us: ways we can move the world. For example, here are two requests that came up just in the last few days:

  1. A single way any of us can view and control all the subscriptions in our lives. Maybe it’s an app. Maybe it’s a dashboard. What matters is that it’s a single lever that scales across every subscription we pay for. Every magazine, premium cable channel, public radio station, podcast, whatever. One tool that scales across all of them—rather than as many tools as there are services we pay, each provided by them rather than by us.
  2. A single way any of us can view and control relationships and data flows between ourselves and all of the utilities and service providers that serve our homes. With one of these, we can see and compare, for example, energy and water uses over time, and easily reach and relate to any and all of our service providers. This too might be a dashboard of some kind.

This is in addition to the commercial relationship manager we’ve wanted with from ProjectVRM’s start ten years ago: a tool that gives us one way to change our contact information (e.g. last name or address) for every entity we deal with, in one move.

Those levers give each of us scale:

seesaw

Ten years into this project, and the idea of giving individuals scale is still new, still odd. So, to help move both development and conversation forward, I suggest a new category, just for levers that give each of us world-moving scale: One to Zero, meaning One to the Whole Net. Abbreviation: 120. Hashtag: #120.

So, rather than asking if some product is an example of VRM, we can ask “Does that do 120?”

And let’s see how it goes.

Save

by Doc Searls at November 05, 2016 07:32 PM

November 04, 2016

Ethan Zuckerman
What happens when mistrust wins – my speech at the Colombian national journalism prize

I spent yesterday in Bogota, Colombia, as the invited guest of the Premio Nacional de Periodismo Simón Bolívar, offering a speech on the future of civics and the future of journalism. It’s a wonderful event – roughly 1100 people came to celebrate Colombia’s equivalent of the Pulitzer prize. I had a great time meeting the amazing Colombian journalists who served as the jury for the award as well as the team behind the event.

cwx3m_aw8aavd8d

My friends on the jury pointed out something that they found amazing – this year’s winners offered stories about the environment, gay adoption, teenage parties, sexual identity… and almost nothing about the country’s 52 year long civil war. As one of my friends put it, “Maybe we can now focus on the problems any normal nation has.” Fingers crossed that, despite the no vote on the peace deal with the FARC, this positive trend continues.

Here’s what I shared with the audience in Bogota:

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about a deep change that I think is occurring in the world we share. Since I’m a professor at MIT, you are probably expecting me to tell you about a technological shift – the rise of synthetic biology or of quantum computing. But please don’t worry – I don’t understand that stuff either. Instead, I’m here as a journalist and a publisher, and I want to talk about a social and political shift I’m seeing in my lab and in my reporting work. It’s a shift that helps explain what’s happened in recent events both in Colombia and in the US. And it’s a shift that’s changing what it means to be a journalist and what our industry needs to do.

I was last in Bogota in August, just three months ago. Talking to friends and colleagues, I felt the great hope many people had that the 52 year civil war might be coming to an end, that the amazing transformation of cities like Bogota and Medellin would become what Colombia was known for globally, instead of years of violence. I also got the strong sense that peace was hard, that achieving a solution that Colombians thought was fair and just was going to require much more than an agreement and a referendum.

In the wake of the vote on October 2, Colombia looks like a nation divided, with 49.8% voting sí and 50.2% voting no. I want to suggest that Colombia is divided in a much more serious way, between 62% who didn’t vote and 38% who did. The group that won in the referendum was not Uribe supporters, not those who wanted to see more FARC leaders prosecuted. Those who won the vote were the 62% who had so little faith in the democratic process that they didn’t vote.

It’s very fashionable to beat up on the people who didn’t vote – they were too lazy, they weren’t educated enough about the issues, it was raining and they didn’t care enough about their civic duty to go out and get wet. I want to suggest that it’s dangerous to dismiss this group as lazy or uneducated.

Let me give you an example from the United States. In our elections, we see a great difference in turnout between old people and young people – retired people vote at almost twice the rate of people in their twenties. People read these statistics and declare that we have a crisis in civics! Young people are so selfish, so obsessed with their phones and music and media that they aren’t paying any attention to the world around them.

But there’s other data that contradicts this. Young people in America are volunteering at higher rates than they ever have. Huge percentages of people are active online in political discussions about racism and about sexual harassment, writing online and sharing stories of their experiences. Most of my students aren’t going into politics or into government service, but they are starting businesses that have the twin goals of making money and of making social change, building products and services around alternative energy and organic farming. They may not be voting, but they are profoundly active in their communities and in civic life.

So what’s going on here? This isn’t a crisis in civics, it’s a crisis in confidence, specifically a crisis in confidence in institutions.

The Gallup Research survey asks Americans the same question every year: do you have confidence that the government will do the right thing all or most of the time? In 1964, 71% of people said yes, they had confidence in the government. Last year, the answer was 13%. And who can blame them? The US congress passes fewer laws than ever, there’s less compromise between our two parties, and it’s so difficult to accomplish everything that the government periodically shuts down, and is in danger of defaulting on its debt, not because we are out of money, but because we can’t agree to sign the check.

But Americans aren’t just losing confidence in government – the same survey asks about confidence in other institutions: the church, banks, big business, universities, the health care system, the police. In the US, confidence is down in every large institution with the exception of the military.

So I have some bad news – mistrust is on the rise around the world, not just in the US. The research firm Eurobarometer looks at these same questions of trust in institutions around the world, and they find that trust is diminishing in most democracies. There’s two places trust is increasing – the most successful democracies in Scandinavia and Northern Europe and in autocratic states, like China and the United Arab Emirates.

What happens at times of high mistrust? People stop participating in the political process. If you don’t trust that the government can or will carry out the will of the people, why bother to vote? Why run for office or support the campaigns of those who do? Elections continue, but the people who are elected know that they lack a strong mandate – they were elected by a plurality of voters, and they know the majority may not support anything they do. The people who continue to participate are those most passionate… and most extreme. We end up with paralysis, because the most passionate participants are not willing to compromise. And this paralysis leads to more disengagement from voters – they were worried that government couldn’t accomplish anything, and this paralysis simply proves they were right.

When we lose confidence in institutions, we tend to transfer our trust to individuals. In the US, that’s leading to one of the strangest elections in history, where a man with no experience governing, a history of business failures and a track record of offending nearly everyone in our country stands a chance of becoming our president. But mistrust in institutions doesn’t have to lead to demagoguery. It can lead to all new ways for citizens to participate in civic life.

Around the world, I am seeing citizens look for ways to make change outside the political system. My students don’t want to go into government, but they do want to go into business. Last week, I met with two students from India who’ve invented a pollution control device that filters particles out of exhaust. You can attach it to a car, a generator, a motorbike, and not only does it reduce your emissions, but their technology can turn those particles into ink. So you can drive your car or run your generator, and fill the toner cartridge for your laser printer at the same time. They’re convinced that they can help people make money and reduce emissions at the same time, and they might be right.

Making change through technology and markets is a great way for individuals to try to make change when they lose faith in their ability to pass laws. But perhaps the most powerful way people can make change is by trying to shape social norms, the unwritten rules of how we interact with each other in society. In the US, you may know, we’re having very serious problems with African Americans being killed by police. This isn’t a problem of law: it’s illegal for the police to kill someone unless their lives are at risk. It’s a problem of social norms: due to America’s tragic racial history, many white people perceive young black men to be dangerous. Ending the violence means changing this deep-seated perception.

Activists involved with the Black Lives Matter movement have used social media to call attention to this crisis of police violence – they’ve demanded the news media do a better job of covering cases where black people are killed by police by making victims famous. Our lab did a study of these efforts and found there were ten times as many stories about black victims of police violence after the movement started than before it began.

This form of social change is uncomfortable for us as journalists. For one thing, the press is an institution that’s subject to almost as much mistrust as government. And now activists are telling us that we’re not doing our jobs right, that we need to cover this story and not that one. They are telling us that we’re not always living up to our own ethical standards, that our reporting sometimes makes complicated situations more confusing.

I want to invite you to look at the situation a different way. Activists have realized that making media is a way of making change. What they’ve realized is what we do as journalists is powerful, and that they can do this work, too. We have a natural tendency to defend our territory, to complain about these interlopers invading our profession as we struggle to keep doing the important work we do. But I believe that they way forward is to cooperate with people who are making media to make change. I believe activists and citizens can make news that is fair and trustworthy, and that we can learn new lessons from them as well.

My friend Michael Schudson has an essay called “Six or Seven Things News Can Do For Democracy”. Some of what he asks the press to do is familiar to us – to inform, investigate and analyze the events that take place in the world around us. These are tasks everyone who proudly calls themselves a journalist knows how to do well, and we can help citizens learn to do this work as well.

But Schudson asks the news to do things we’re less comfortable with. He argues that it’s news’s job to make us empathize with stories of people who are unfamiliar to us. That the news needs to provide a public space for discussion of the issues of the day. That sometimes the job of news is to empower people to mobilize and take political action. Some of these are places where we can learn lessons from activists, from citizen journalists, from people who are using the media to make change and to feel powerful even when they feel deeply disempowered by the institutions around them.

Schudson ends his essay by suggesting that news can help people understand and appreciate our democratic system and how it works. Here I want to suggest that our job isn’t to explain how we think democracy is supposed to work, or how democracy used to work. Our job is to help people understand how democracy works – and doesn’t work – now.

Often, people are right to be mistrustful of institutions – our job is to discover and reveal institutions that are broken or corrupt. But we cannot stop there, or we leave our readers informed but disempowered. We have to help citizens – our readers – understand how they, personally, can make change in the world, at the ballot box, as consumers, as entrepreneurs, through social media, through technology. We have to document where the levers of power are in society today and help people learn how to move them.

Maybe it’s not fair to put this challenge on the media, an institution that’s going through its own struggles to be financially sustainable. But I believe the answer to our future as an industry begins with ensuring we are relevant as a civic actor. And the brilliance and bravery of the journalists in Colombia we are honoring today and who have done groundbreaking work through years past gives me great confidence that you are all up to the task. Thanks for listening to me and thank you for the work you do.

by Ethan at November 04, 2016 04:25 PM

PRX
PRX Remix Picks: In Touch with the Great Outdoors

Welcome to the fourth edition of Remix Features! If this is your first time reading, let me explain: PRX Remix is a curated, randomized, never-ending channel featuring the best stories from podcasts, radio shows, and independent producers. As the Remix curator, I’m constantly adding new work to the mix, which is now more than 3,000 stories strong. This blog series brings you some of my new favorites.

This month, I’m sharing three stories about humans interacting with the natural world. They range from a love story between a man and his donkey as they walk across a continent, to the profile of a photographer who specializes in capturing dilapidated farmhouses, to a story of human navigation before the advent of GPS technology.

“Hoofprints On The Heart” from HumaNature

PRX RemixDonkeys are the best

The backstory here is that Jon Dunham walked from Oregon to the tip of South America. An impressive feat? Absolutely. But I wasn’t convinced that his long walk would make for a great story.

I was wrong. The talented producers of HumaNature, a podcast from Wyoming Public Radio, expertly carved a story out of Jon’s experience. It became a love story between the unlikeliest duo: Jon and a donkey he named Judas. Before joining forces with Judas, no one would approach Jon, a lone gringo walking through foreign land. Once Judas was in the picture, though, everyone was excited to meet Jon and his unusual traveling companion. Judas also served as Jon’s guardian angel, showing him which plants were safe to eat and even protecting him from jaguars encroaching on their campsite at night.

The duo trekked together from Mexico to Brazil and, along the way, even managed to cause a widely reported international incident between Panama and Colombia due to a border crossing snafu. Jon and Judas became inseparable, their remarkable relationship the heart of this story.

Alternatingly funny, profound, and heartbreaking, “Hoofprints On The Heart” delivers a road trip tale unlike any you’ve heard before.

“Farm Noir” from KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices

PRX RemixI spy a ghost

In “Farm Noir,” we join KFAI reporter Britta Greene as she follows Patrick Judd on a unique photoprahy expedition. Judd photographs dilapidated farms with an infrared filter—a peculiar hobby, for sure. He’s a big fan of the film noir aesthetic, so he loves the look of the crumbling farms, the beauty of the manmade structures returning to the earth. He’s also motivated by a profound belief in ghosts.

With each camera snap, feeling equal parts excitement and apprehension, he hopes to catch a glimpse of the farmhouses’ former inhabitants.

Greene does a great job channeling the skepticism a listener might feel by pushing Judd to describe his pursuit of the paranormal in terms everyone can understand, even those who don’t believe in ghosts. We learn that he toils away at his day job during the week, and his extracurricular ghost hunting expeditions give his weekends a sense of purpose.

This is a great example of a short arts feature done well—natural sound, an interesting character, and the added element of mystery.

“Look Toward The Dawn” from Outside/In

PRX RemixThe original GPS

In today’s world, we take navigation for granted. Roads and trails are marked with extensive signage, GPS spits out directions with the push of a button, and even physical maps and compasses are now ultra-modern. This story from New Hampshire Public Radio’s Outside/In podcast explores the fascinating, and once essential, skill of navigation using nothing but the natural world.

Host Sam Evans-Brown takes us on a serious journey in under 25 minutes. First we go back thousands of years to when the Polynesians first developed the ingenious navigation system at the heart of the story. Then we jump to the 1970s, when the Polynesian’s navigation tradition had almost been lost with time. But, as Evans-Brown puts it, a “hodgepodge of Hawaiian anthropologists and adventurers” banded together to revive the practice. We then take a deep dive into the actual practice of becoming a master navigator using only the natural world. Among many other tactics, it involves learning the position of over 100 stars and measuring your hands against the horizon.

The piece closes by connecting natural navigation to our own lives and the way we think about the world today. Trying to figure out which direction you’re facing at any given moment—without modern tools—is incredibly hard to do in our technology-dominated society. But Evans-Brown asks us to consider what’s lost when we don’t even try.

This is a complicated but well-told story. It feels effortless to listen to, even though there’s many different threads woven in to build the narrative arc. It’s a truly engrossing tale of adventure, tradition, and lessons we can learn from the natural world, if only we paid closer attention. A highly-recommended listen.

 

How To Listen to PRX Remix:
Download the PRX Remix app or go to prx.mx and press ‘play’. If you’re a satellite radio kind of person, check out channel 123 on Sirius XM or XM radio. If you’re a traditionalist and stick to the radio dial, check these listings to find Remix on a station near you.

Josh Swartz is the curator of PRX Remix. Email him at remix@prx.org with questions and suggestions.

The post PRX Remix Picks: In Touch with the Great Outdoors appeared first on PRX.

by Maggie Taylor at November 04, 2016 02:44 PM

Miriam Meckel
Im Westen nichts Neues

wiwo_titel_46_16_usa_blog

Das Duell zwischen Hillary Clinton und Donald Trump wird als der bislang abstoßendste Wahlkampf in die neuere Geschichte der USA eingehen. Sein erstes Opfer ist die Demokratie. Das zweite Opfer wird die Wirtschaft sein.

Verdun liegt jetzt ganz weit im Westen. Im übertragenen Sinne natürlich. Was sich in der letzten Phase des US-Wahlkampfs abspielt, ist die virtuelle Variante eines Stellungskriegs. Die politischen Kombattanten liegen in den Gräben, feuern auf den jeweiligen Gegner, und auf beiden Seiten der Front bewegt sich nichts mehr. Damit sind wir zurück auf dem Niveau der zweiten Schlacht um Petersburg (1864) gegen Ende des amerikanischen Bürgerkriegs. Man muss ja nichts lernen aus Erfahrung.

Dieser Wahlkampf wird als der bislang schmutzigste und abstoßendste in die neuere Geschichte der USA eingehen. Sein erstes Opfer ist die Demokratie. Der immer neu aufflammende Verdacht gegen Hillary Clinton als eine Politikerin, die sich nicht an Recht und Gesetz hält, hat viel Vertrauen zerstört. Gleiches gilt für Donald Trump. Wer als Bewerber für das höchste Amt in der ältesten Demokratie der Welt vorsorglich bekannt gibt, das Wahlergebnis anzufechten, wenn er verliert, und seine Herausforderin ins Gefängnis stecken will, der missbraucht die Möglichkeiten einer Demokratie. Öffentlich proklamieren Trump-Wähler inzwischen, sie wollten bei einem Clinton-Sieg zum Sturm aufs Kapitol blasen. Der nächste Bürgerkrieg wird schon mal verbal erklärt.

Nicht die Wahl ist „rigged“ (manipuliert), wie Trump es immer wieder formuliert, sondern das politische System eines inzwischen tief zerrissenen Landes. Eine aktuelle repräsentative Umfrage unter der Generation der 18- bis 29-Jährigen zeigt: Knapp die Hälfte der Jungen ist der Überzeugung, das Land sei auf dem falschen Weg. Noch schlimmer: Mehr als die Hälfte haben Angst vor der Zukunft. Das zweite Opfer dieses Wahlkampfs ist die Wirtschaft. Er verschleudert das wichtigste Kapital, das Amerika hat: eine optimistische, zupackende Generation, die glaubt, dass sie etwas verändern kann. Wer ohne Zuversicht ist, der gründet nicht und überlässt das Unternehmen anderen.

Die WirtschaftsWoche war mit dem Redaktionsteam für die aktuelle Ausgabe überall in den USA unterwegs, um sich ein eigenes Bild davon zu machen, welche Erwartungen es an den nächsten Präsidenten gibt. Dabei sind wir vielen Politikern, Unternehmerinnen, Gründern und Macherinnen begegnet, die sich nicht unterkriegen lassen. Aber auch vielen Menschen, die alle Hoffnung auf Besserung verloren haben. Es gibt zu viele, die abgehängt und vergessen wurden. Wenn es in den nächsten Jahren nicht gelingt, sie wieder in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft zu integrieren, dann wird der soziale Stellungskrieg im Wortsinne das neue Wahrzeichen der USA. Um das zu verhindern, braucht es eine Steuerreform, eine bessere Einwanderungspolitik und Investitionen in die Infrastruktur.

Optimisten übrigens werden nicht als solche geboren. Sie bilden sich. In der Schule, im Arbeitsleben, immer durch das Testen der eigenen Möglichkeiten und den eigenen Erfolg angetrieben. Das war mal Kern des amerikanischen Traums. Nach dem 8. November wird es Zeit, nicht mehr den Gegner, sondern die Zukunft ins Auge zu fassen.

wiwo.de

by Miriam Meckel at November 04, 2016 08:24 AM

November 03, 2016

PRX
Your Podquest Winner: Ear Hustle!

In March, Radiotopia launched Podquest, an open call for new podcast ideas, aiming to grow and diversify the network, nurture fresh talent, and reach new audiences. 1,537 people from 53 countries submitted ideas about every topic under the sun.

Radiotopia executive producer Julie Shapiro led a committee of 11 PRX staff and Radiotopia producers in reviewing the entries. 99 Radiotopia donors also reviewed the top 50 entries. Ultimately, the field was narrowed to 10 impressive semifinalists, and later four finalists in June. For the past five months, the finalists have been working on pilot episodes, which were judged by our esteemed committee.

ear-hustleEarlonne, Nigel and Antwan

Today, the journey, which started seven months ago, is complete as Radiotopia announces the winner of Podquest: Ear Hustle. Ear Hustle is a unique partnership between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a collaborator and artist living on the outside. The show unveils the hidden stories of life inside prison, told and produced from the perspective of those who live it. Ear Hustle dives into true, compelling first-person narratives that are difficult, honest, funny, poignant and real, while revealing a more nuanced view of the people serving time in American prisons.

Ear HustleAntwan in the media lab

The show is produced in San Quentin’s media lab, where work is done for video and audio projects at the prison, and includes computers, microphones, keyboard for sound design and scoring, Pro Tools licenses, headsets, and more. There are about 12 men who work there, filming various events that happen in the prison and producing radio stories about life inside that air on Crosscurrents on KALW 91.7. Ear Hustle evolved from the work done on Crosscurrent in conjunction with the San Quentin Prison Report, which is a multi-media project started by Troy Williams, a man formerly incarcerated at San Quentin.

Ear Hustle aims to tell stories about life inside prison, including the good and the bad. The stories will look at the daily experience of life behind bars, and also dig deep into the reasons people commit crimes and end up in prison. Episode topics will range from pets, fashion and cooking in prison, to stories about restorative justice programs, correctional officers, and profiles of people who work for victim’s rights organizations. Earlonne Woods is a co-creator, co-host and co-producer of Ear Hustle. Earlonne is 45 years old, from LA, and is serving a 31-years-to-life sentence for attempted second degree robbery. Before starting his current sentence he was a struggling parolee but dreamt of going to film school.

Antwan Williams is the co-creator and sound designer for Ear Hustle, and also creates original hand-drawn artwork for each episode. He’s 28 years old, also from LA, and serving a 15-year sentence for armed robbery with a gun enhancement. Antwan has always been creative and dreamt of having a life in the arts: he’s a dancer, musician, artist, and designs his clothes by altering the official prison blues.

Ear HustleNigel interviewing Earlonne

Nigel Poor is the co-creator, c-ohost, and co-producer for Ear Hustle. She is also an artist and professor of photography at California State University, Sacramento. In 2011, Nigel got involved with the prison as a volunteer teacher for the Prison University Project. The project runs a college preparatory program and an Associate of Arts degree program at San Quentin, and in 2015 it received a National Humanit ies Medal from President Obama. Ear Hustle plans to donate a percentage of all of their proceeds to the Prison University Project.

“We are beyond excited to be Podquest winners. My hope is that Ear Hustle can help show that people inside and outside the prison system can work together as colleagues,” said Nigel Poor. “We want to lead by example, and demonstrate that people with different backgrounds and experiences can actually come together and produce important work. Ear Hustle is not just a creative project. It is actually teaching men viable skills and showing the world the effect of rehabilitation, and that change is possible. I hope our project shows the potential for a different story about people who are incarcerated.”

Radiotopia will pick up the first 10-episode season of Ear Hustle, debuting later in 2017. Ear Hustle will use the proceeds from their prize to create their show, and to significantly upgrade the equipment at the San Quentin media lab.

Ear HustleEar Hustle’s Radiotopia interview

“I was beyond impressed with the range of creative ideas submitted to Podquest from so many talented entrants,” said Julie Shapiro, executive producer of Radiotopia. “Narrowing down to just four finalists was nearly impossible, and then deciding one winner amongst them even harder. The heart and passion that Ear Hustle brought to their pilot episodes, combined with the unique and important stories they aim to share, ultimately moved us to choose them as the Podquest winner. What they accomplished under difficult circumstances is really quite amazingworking inside a prison with no internet, limited working hours, and limited team communication. We’re excited to help bring Ear Hustle into the world, and for listeners to hear stories and perspectives they’ve never heard before.”

Listen to Ear Hustle’s audio trailer here, and visit the Third Coast Festival in Chicago, Nov 11-13, where Nigel will be available at the Radiotopia booth for interviews and to discuss the show.

About Radiotopia
Radiotopia, from PRX, is a curated network of extraordinary, talent-driven shows. Radiotopia empowers independent producers to do their best work, grow audience and increase revenue. At its core, Radiotopia cultivates community — for both listeners and makers alike.

Radiotopia is a partnership between PRX and Roman Mars, creator of 99% Invisible, supported by the Knight Foundation, and led by Executive Producer Julie Shapiro. In 2015, the network was named one of Fast Company’s World’s 10 Most Innovative Companies Backed by Kickstarter. Since launch, the network has quickly grown to over 13 million downloads per month.

Podquest is one of a series of initiatives funded by a $1 million grant received in May 2015 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Podquest is additionally supported by Hindenburg Systems, the media talent network AIRmedia.org, and Blue Microphones.

The post Your Podquest Winner: Ear Hustle! appeared first on PRX.

by Maggie Taylor at November 03, 2016 01:29 PM

November 01, 2016

Harry Lewis
My remarks to the faculty in support of the nondiscrimination motion
Madam President: On behalf of several members of this body, I move that Harvard College shall not discriminate against students on the basis of organizations they join, nor political parties with which they affiliate, nor social, political or other affinity groups they join, as long as those organizations, parties, or groups have not been judged to be illegal.

This motion stands on its own as a statement of principle that we, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, have long honored in practice. As our posted argument notes, when this Faculty considered how to respond to the dilemma posed by ROTC’s discriminatory membership practices coupled with Harvard students’ desire to join as cadets, a faculty committee recommended that we cut off support to ROTC. But the same committee considered and explicitly rejected as “excessively paternalistic” the option of punishing students who chose to join MIT ROTC. The FAQ we distributed cites other historical precedents for the simple proposition that Harvard should not discriminate against members of this community on the basis of their private decisions about organizational memberships.

This motion is proposed in response to an unprecedented decision to limit opportunities for students who choose to join certain sororities, certain fraternities, and the so-called final clubs, female or male. (Not all clubs are affected by the policy, as I understand it. To fall beyond the reach of the policy it suffices to have a member of the other gender or a member from another college. So for example, it is fine under the policy to be a member of a sorority, even one that is exclusive on the basis of ethnicity as well as gender, as long as it includes MIT students as members.)

This is not the right place to discuss the nature and extent of the problems presented by single-gender organizations of Harvard students. I want to stress that the signatories to the motion are not defending any or all of these organizations. Nor are we denying the problems they create. Nor are we against change! About all that the twelve of us probably agree on is that Harvard should avoid making rules restricting students’ civil liberties—of speech, of religion, or of association. For example, the FAS would not sanction students for book purchases they might make at the Harvard Coop or the Harvard Book store, even if we feared that reading those books posed a grave moral hazard to the students or to the community. We would, I hope, not discriminate against students for adhering to a religion that gives women second-class status. In the same way, Harvard should honor students’ individual right to free association, and that is what our motion states.

It has been argued that the policy does not actually ban students from joining these organizations. Harvard is simply subjecting the offending students, goes the reasoning, to the loss of certain opportunities. But the College is creating a blacklist, an indexof prohibited organizations, to use a canon law metaphor. Join one of the heretical clubs and you can remain a Harvard student, but there are certain blessings Harvard won’t bestow. Only the worthies, the students who have shown their fealty to Harvard by not joining the prohibited clubs, can be team captains or heads of student organizations, or get Harvard’s endorsement for a Rhodes Scholarship.

This automatic exclusion from an opportunity is really rather bizarre, if you think about what it would mean. For example, the College might interfere with the leadership elections of students in a political organization. An implementation committee is already hammering out the details of how this would all work, but the problem is not in the details—the problem was creating the blacklist in the first place.

I have heard it argued that reforming the all-male final clubs is so important that it justifies this infringement of civil liberties. These clubs aren’t truly private organizations, goes the argument, because they consist solely of Harvard students. And nobody needs them anyway. So given the importance of the objective, it is OK for Harvard to impose its standards on the private choices of students.

We have heard this line of argument before, twice in the past few years, when Harvard has infringed personal liberties of members of this community in service of goals it considered more important. This was the defense when Harvard read faculty email without notifying them, in search of the source of a leak to the Crimson. This was also the defense when Harvard photographed students in the classroom without informing them, because the data would be important to educational research. In each case, the argument went, the infringement was minor, no one suffered any harm, and the goal was important. Both times, Harvard eventually stepped back from this line of defense. Now once again, Harvard is showing an ethical blind spot in arguing that its high-minded ends justify means that would not be tolerated in civil society.

This policy is disappointing both for the dangerous precedent it sets, and for the irregular way it was enacted, by administrative fiat after the last faculty meeting of the year this past spring. Others who will speak after me plan to address these matters, but I must note here that a memo distributed for this meeting mischaracterizes our concerns and incorrectly implies that they have been addressed. We were given no opportunity to review that memo, and it misstates our views. We did not think that the scope of the policy needed to be made clearer. Our concern is that having enacted a college policy of this importance without consulting this body or its elected representatives, the dean and the president would at a later date be empowered to enact other policies, about this matter or others that properly lie within the jurisdiction of this body.

For my own part, my most serious objection to this policy is neither precedent nor process. My deepest concern is educational. The policy teaches our students, who watch everything we do, bad lessons. It is illiberal—it teaches students that it is OK to sacrifice basic individual freedoms in pursuit of large but only vaguely related social goals.

Our sights should be set higher. Part of our commitment to diversity is our institutional confidence that students may think differently than we do, and may make private choices of which we disapprove. By all means, if we conclude that students should not visit or join these organizations, let’s tell them they shouldn’t go, and why. Let’s tell them loudly and clearly and persistently. If students behave badly, anywhere, then by all means let us hold them accountable for their actions. And of course, we should continue to adhere to this Faculty’s standards of inclusivity for official Harvard student organizations—the standards we vote every year.

But our long history should have taught us some humility about our capacity to make the best private choices for our students. Let us teach and model our values as best we can. But to make rules for students about their private lives is to admit our own failure to persuade them, through evidence and reason, to live up to our ideals. Or perhaps we just haven’t tried hard enough. I don’t recall freshman advisors or directors of undergraduate studies ever being told that we should warn undergraduates away from sororities. My advisees tell me that they don’t remember the dangers of the final clubs even being mentioned in Freshman orientation.


For all these reasons we move to bar discrimination on the basis of organizational memberships. As several members of this Faculty have expressed to me their fear of being seen voting their conscience in favor of a motion to which the President and the deans are opposed, I respectfully request that the vote at our December meeting be done by paper ballot. Thank you.

by Harry Lewis (noreply@blogger.com) at November 01, 2016 10:44 PM

Center for Research on Computation and Society (Harvard SEAS)
CRCS & IACS Seminar: Opportunities and Perils in Data Science

Location: 

G115 Maxwell Dworkin

Title: Opportunities and Perils in Data Science
Speaker: Dr. Alfred Z. Spector (CTO and Head of Engineering, Two Sigma Investments)

Abstract

by kmavon at November 01, 2016 08:52 PM

Ethan Zuckerman
This crazy election: Denial of Service attacks on Democracy

Reading Facebook before bed last night, amidst the Halloween costumes and candy haul photos, I saw this headline: “How to choose between the most corrupt, least popular candidates of all time”. Given that I’m researching a book on mistrust and its effects on politics and civic life, this seemed like something worth reading.

relevant-to-my-interests

Alas, instead of examining the peculiarities that have led us to an election between two candidates that might have otherwise been unelectable, the article is a humor piece. It offers “offensive and misdemeanors” for each candidate and advises you to use your own moral compass to make the choice. For Clinton, it lists “Poor email server management”. For Trump, there’s a list of 230 sins. I made it through about 90 before falling asleep.

So… I voted for Clinton. I did so because I think Trump is an especially hideous human being, and voting for Clinton lets me vote against him twice (denying him my vote, and voting for the candidate most likely to beat him, instead of for Stein, Johnson or my favorite, Vermin Supreme.) And while I feel great about voting for our first female president, I voted for Clinton with some misgivings. I’m not thrilled about how little access she’s given the press through formal press conferences. I’d like to understand her relationship with Wall Street better and how this might affect support for the sorts of consumer protections Elizabeth Warren has fought so hard for. And I’m really pissed off about the ways in which the Clinton Foundation appeared to use access to the State Department to raise money.

Weirdly enough, despite 18 months of non-stop election coverage, I feel like these stories are somewhat undercovered. But it’s not actually coverage – it’s a shortage of attention. While there’s been good reporting on them, these stories haven’t taken over the news cycle in the way we would expect them to. There’s three reasons for this, and none are that the mainstream media is in the tank for Clinton.

First, the sheer amount of shit and scandal that Donald Trump generates every time he opens his mouth has overwhelmed the mainstream press to the point where it’s surprisingly difficult to pay attention to any specific piece of it. Scandals that would sink another candidate – a personal foundation that doesn’t actually give any money, for one – simply become part of the noise and the haze.

Just today, the New York Times is reporting that Trump used tax avoidance strategies that have subsequently been ruled improper, and were deeply dodgy when he engaged in them. Slate reports on speculation from the computer security community that a server run by the Trump Organization may have had secret communications with a server owned by a bank connected to Russian oligarchs, raising the possibility of a secret email channel between the Trump campaign and Russian groups. (There’s good arguments that the evidence discovered isn’t a smoking gun, but evidence that email is weird and wonky.) And while Democrats wonder why James Comey chose Friday to reopen an investigation of the Clinton email scandal based on emails found in an investigation of Anthony Weiner’s solicitation of a 15-year old girl (if you wrote this stuff for telenovelas, you’d get fired), Mother Jones wonders whether there’s video evidence of Donald Trump at a Russian orgy that gives the FSB leverage over Trump in a kompromat operation.

The sheer flood of craziness makes it hard to focus on any single issue. If this is the result of brilliant oppo research from the Clinton campaign, they should just fucking stop already. A Trump orgy tape, or Trump saying the “n-word” (the other rumored November surprise), isn’t going to persuade undecided voters (though it might contribute to the collective demoralization of staunch Republicans and keep them from the polls.) But the flood of negativity is also giving ammunition for those who support Trump because they believe our electoral system and media are rigged and that he faces a massive political and media conspiracy that’s keeping him from the presidency.

The sheer volume of Trump scandals means that journalists have to answer questions about false balance and equivalency when they look into Clinton scandals. Report on concerns about the Clinton Foundation and you face reasonable questions about whether the sins of the Clinton Foundation are as rotten as those of the Trump Foundation, or whether influence peddling rises to the same level of importance as sexual harassment.

Report on Clinton missteps and you also run the danger of being lumped in with the vast right wing conspiracy that’s been generating “Hillary is the Devil” stories since the late 1990s. These stories have reached truly astounding levels of complexity and paranoia – Google “Clinton Death Count” for a quick dive into the world where the Clintons have ruthlessly killed dozens of friends and associates who’ve had the misfortune to cross their paths. When you report on a “legitimate” Clinton scandal, you run the risk of being considered one of those who believes Hillary strangled Vince Foster with her bare hands to satiate her naked blood lust, and you know the story you’re publishing gives more ammunition for those who blame Clinton for everything from Benghazi to the lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7.

hillary-clinton-enemies-database1-457x500

With the death of Blackberry, Clinton has moved to Apple products and is worried that the phone jack leaves her vulnerable to FBI tapping. So she pressured Tim Cook into a product change he knew would tank the business so she could protect her nefarious communications. (I just made that up, but I expect to see it on Infowars by this evening.)

The net result of this batshit crazy election cycle is a Distributed Denial of Service attack on democracy. Like a webserver brought to its figurative knees by an endless flood of malformed requests, we are beginning to melt down under the avalanche of craziness. We’re left with the impression that this is an election between the possibly shady but unfairly attacked versus the truly unhinged… or between the thoroughly corrupt insider whos managed to undermine both government and the media versus the rough, offensive and often outrageous outsider who’s the only man she couldn’t bring down. We can’t move beyond those impressions because we are drowning in controversies and conspiracies, with very little help in understanding which matter and which we should take seriously.

That’s not good for us in the long run. I anticipate that Clinton will win the election, not in a landslide, but in a surprisingly close race. Almost immediately after taking office, she will be impeached, both because it’s a great way for the right to slow down any policy steps she might take (“Obviously, we can’t consider a candidate for the Supreme Court while the President is being impeached!”) and because there’s tons of data from Wikileaks and elsewhere that raises uncomfortable questions about the Clintons’ foundation and her service as secretary of state. Given the increasing polarization and paralysis of the government combined with the three ring circus of impeachment, the Hillary Clinton presidency will be historically unproductive, giving the Republicans a great chance to reposition themselves as the party of revolution, promising to blow up a broken system and replace it with something new that works. And this time around, they probably won’t nominate a serial molester who dodges taxes.

We need an oppositional press that vets candidates before we get this far in an election cycle. We needed investigations of Trump and Clinton’s foundations many months before the election. And we need new strategies, both as press and as voters, for navigating political cycles in which information is in surplus and attention is scarce.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-4-29-19-pm

by Ethan at November 01, 2016 08:31 PM

PRX
PRX Podcast Garage: Roman Mars Five Things

Roman Mars’ Favorite Things

Greatness is inspired by greatness. Five Things is an ongoing live event series at the PRX Podcast Garage hosted by Julie Shapiro (EP, Radiotopia).

Five Things invites some of today’s most talented and successful producers, artists, writers and thinkers to share five things —audio, visuals, books, objects or something else entirely — that have shaped their creative practice over time, and inform how they approach their work now.

To kick off the series, Julie welcomed Roman Mars (host and creator, 99% Invisible) to share his five.

Number One: Murder Can Be Fun, a zine by John Marr

“[John Marr] wrote these long, really well researched stories about death and crime and mayhem in very cool ways, and I was really impressed by them. When I was devising my first show in 2002 (it was called Invisible Ink) I wanted to create a punk rock This American Life. I wanted a zine-based This American Life. So I called it Invisible Ink: a Radio Zine, and John Marr was on my first episode. Zines crafted who I am and how I told stories.”

Number Two: Your Radio Nightlight, a radio show by Benjamen Walker

“After I got into the idea of making radio, it was at a time whenThis American Life was really going gangbusters and everyone I knew wanted to go work for Ira. But Benjamen and I wanted to run our own shows, and we found each other through Julie [Shapiro]. This is the weirdest story but [Benjamen] found my website, I called him the next day because I got his number from Julie, and he thought I could tell he was on my website. Which explains a lot about Benjamen Walker…

I just loved the way he was, he was so weird. I was also a really big fan of Joe Frank, but he was Joe Frank for my generation. I actually related to him more than I related to Joe.”

Number Three: Chicago Architecture Boat Tour

“It made me think, you can do architecture on the radio if you tell the right story. In fact, you might even be able to do it better.

My visceral reaction to [the Montgomery Ward tower], which has sort of a ho-hum modernism… it didn’t really do it for me. But the story does it for me, and therefore the building does it for me. That was hugely instrumental.”

Number Four: POTUS Challenge Coin

“It’s nice to have a thing. I need it for my nervous disposition.”

Number Five: Dischord Records

“When Hrishi [Hirway] was independent and started Song Exploder, he had just left another group and was figuring out what to do and everyone was courting him. I said to him, ‘But our label is the Dischord label’, and that’s what put him over the edge. He actually said yes to another network and then backed out. I knew the way to his heart! For people who know, Dischord is really meaningful to us, and luckily Hrishi is one of the people who knew.”

About Roman Mars

Roman Mars is the host and creator of 99% Invisible, a short radio show about design and architecture. With over 120 million downloads, the 99% Invisible podcast is one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Fast Company named Roman one of the 100 Most Creative People in 2013. He was a TED main stage speaker in 2015, currently the most popular TED Talk about design, with over 3.5 million views. His crowd funding campaigns have raised over $2 million and he’s the highest-funded journalist in Kickstarter history. He is also a co-founder of Radiotopia, a collective of ground-breaking story-driven podcasts.

“99% Invisible…is completely wonderful and entertaining and beautifully produced…”
— Ira Glass, This American Life

About Julie Shapiro

Julie Shapiro is the executive producer of Radiotopia from PRX — a curated network of extraordinary, cutting-edge podcasts. From 2014–15, she was the executive producer of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Creative Audio Unit. In 2000 she co-founded the Third Coast International Audio Festival, where as artistic director, she prioritized innovative audio and a cross-pollinating international listening culture. Shapiro has taught radio to university students, presented at conferences all over the globe, and produced stories for the airwaves and podcasts in the US and beyond. You can find her on twitter @jatomic.

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The post PRX Podcast Garage: Roman Mars Five Things appeared first on PRX.

by Maggie Taylor at November 01, 2016 07:14 PM

David Weinberger
[liveblog][bkc] Paola Villarreal on Public Interest in Data Science

I’m at a Berkman Klein Center lunch time talk by Paola Villarreal [twitter: paw], a BKC fellow, on “Public Interest in Data Science.” (Paola points to a github page for her project info.)

NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.


Public interest, she says, is the effecting of changes in social policies in the interest of the public, especially for the underdog. Data science extracts knowledge and insight from data in various forms, using math, statistics, research, info science and computer science. “What happens if you put data and tech in the hands of civil liberties orgs, human rights activists, media outlets”What happens if you put data and tech in the hands of civil liberties orgs, human rights activists, media outlets, and governments? How might this effect liberty, justice, equality, and transparency and accountability?


She is going to talk about the Data for Justice project, which is supported by the Ford Foundation, the ACLU, and the Mozilla Foundation. The aim is to empower lawyers and advocates to make data-supported cases for improving justice in their communities.


The process: get the data, normalize it, process it, analyze it, visualize it … and then socialize it, inform change, and make it last! She cautions that it is crucial to make sure that you’ve identified the affected communities and that they’re involved in generating a solution. All the stakeholders should be involved in co-designing the solution.


Paola talks about the Annie Dookhan case. Dookhan was a chemist at a Massachusetts crime lab, who falsified evidence, possibly affecting 24,000 cases. Paola shows a table of data: the percentage of adults and juveniles convicted in drug cases and those whose evidence went through Dookhan. It’s a very high number: in some counties, over 25% of the drug convictions used possibly falsified data from Dookhan.


She shows a map of Boston that shows that marijuana-related police interactions occur mainly where people of color live. She plays a clip from marijuana,justiceos.org.


She lists her toolkit, which includes R, Stata, PostGIS, Ant (Augmented Narrative Toolkit),
and Tableau


But what counts is having an impact, she says. That means reaching out to journalists, community organizers, authorities, and lawmakers.


She concludes that data and tech do not do anything by themselves, and data scientists are only one part of a team with a common goal. The intersection of law and data is important. She concludes: Data and tech in the hands of people working with and for the public interest can have an impact on people’s lives.


Q&A

Q: Why are communities not more often involved?


A: It’s hard. It’s expensive. And data scientists are often pretty far removed from community organizing.


Q: Much of the data you’re referring to are private. How do you manage privacy when sharing the data?


A: In the Dookhan case, the data was impounded, and I used security measures. The Boston maps showing where incidents occurred smudged the info across a grid of about half a mile.


A: Kate Crawford talks about how important Paola’s research was in the Dookhan case. “It’s really valuable for the ACLU to have a scientist working on data like this.”


Q: What happened to the people who were tried with Dookhan evidence?


A: [ann] Special magistrates and special hearings were set up…


Q: [charlie nesson] A MOOC is considering Yes on 4 (marijuana legalization ballot question) and someone asked if there is a relationship between cannabis reform and Black Lives Matter. And you’ve answered that question. It’s remarkable that BLM hasn’t cottoned on to cannabis reform as a sister issue.


Q: I’ve been reading Cathy O’Neil‘s Weapons of Math Destruction [me too!] and I’m wondering if you could talk about your passion for social justice as a data scientist.


A: I’m Mexican. I learned to code when I was 12 because I had access to the Internet. I started working as a web developer at 15, and a few years later I was director of IT for the president’s office. I reflected on how I got that opportunity, and the answer was that it was thanks to open source. That inspired me.


Q: We are not looking at what happens to black women. They get criminalized even more often than black men. Also, has anyone looked at questions of environmental justice?


Q: How can we tell if a visualization is valid or is propaganda? Are there organizations doing this?


A: Great question, and I don’t know how to answer it. We publish the code, but of course not everyone can understand it. I’m not using AI or Deep Learning; I’m keeping it simple.


Q: What’s the next big data set you’re going to work on?


A: (She shows a visualization tool she developed that explores police budgets.)


Q: How do you work with journalists? Do you bring them in early?


A: We haven’t had that much interaction with them yet.

The post [liveblog][bkc] Paola Villarreal on Public Interest in Data Science appeared first on Joho the Blog.

by davidw at November 01, 2016 05:56 PM

Justin Reich
Parents Are Partners (Even if They Miss Back-to-School Night)
Parents long for ways to help their children succeed. Two interventions show the power of providing parents with timely and actionable information to support student learning.

by Beth Holland at November 01, 2016 05:49 PM

Finding the Greater Purpose in 1-to-1 Technology Programs
Instead of viewing new technologies and strategies as an either/or debate, consider the power of a both/and paradox.

by Beth Holland at November 01, 2016 05:48 PM

Berkman Center front page
Public Interest Data Science: The Data for Justice Project

Subtitle

with Berkman Klein Fellow Paola Villarreal

Teaser

What happens when you put data and technology in the hands of civil liberties and human rights organizations? Learn about the Data for Justice project, an ACLU of Massachusetts data initiative.

Parent Event

Berkman Klein Luncheon Series

Event Date

Nov 1 2016 12:00pm to Nov 1 2016 12:00pm
Thumbnail Image: 

November 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
Harvard Law School campus
Wasserstein Hall, Room 3018 (third floor)

 

The Data for Justice project is an initiative that aims to make (open) data actionable empowering lawyers, advocates, community organizers, journalists, activists and the general public by developing the tools and frameworks that digest complex databases without losing sight of the ultimate goal: to tell a story that can effect social change and justice.

This project is the product of the work of Paola Villarreal, a Berkman Klein Center Fellow as a Data Scientist at the ACLU of Massachusetts and as a 2015 Ford and Mozilla Foundations Open Web Fellow.

About Paola

Paola Villarreal is a self taught systems programmer/data scientist that works with the ACLU of Massachusetts on social justice projects that heavily rely on open technology and data. While at the Center, she will focus on The Data for Justice project which aims to strengthen access to justice and reduce inequality by developing data tools that inform the work of advocates, activists, community organizers, lawyers, and journalists and their communities.

 

by gweber at November 01, 2016 05:08 PM

October 31, 2016

Center for Research on Computation and Society (Harvard SEAS)
Postdoc Georgios Kellaris Presented "Generic Attacks on Secure Outsourced Databases," at the 23rd Annual Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS)
October 24, 2016

Postdoc Georgios Kellaris presented his paper, "Generic Attacks on Secure Outsourced Databases," at the 23rd Annual Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) from October 24 – 28 in Vienna, Austria. The conference brought together information security researchers, practitioners, developers, and users from all over the world to explore cutting-edge ideas and results. Kellaris' was one of ten papers selected for presentation by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

by Gabriella Fee at October 31, 2016 05:52 PM

Paper by Postdoc Thomas Pasquier to be Presented at ACM/IFIP/USENIX Middleware 2016
December 12, 2016

"Policy-Driven Middleware for a Legally-Compliant Internet of Things," on which Postdoc Thomas Pasquier is a co-author, will be presented at the annual ACM/IFIP/USENIX Middleware Conference in Trento, Italy on December 12-15, 2016. The scope of the conference is the design, implementation, deployment, and evaluation of distributed system platforms and architectures for computing, storage, and communication environments. 

by Gabriella Fee at October 31, 2016 04:32 PM

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