Related to the second half of our conversation about Boyle yesterday, read this very poignant piece by Cathy Davidson about the life and death of Aaron Swartz and the ways in which we/society values some types of information and knowledge distribution and circulation and criminalizes others. This brings us back to Jorge's point about the surveillance state and Boyle's theory of information. Acceptable unintended consequences?
Jorge
1/17/2013 15:30:50

Horrific. Swartz reminds me of Gramsci in many ways. Essentially, embodying what Gramsci held to be organic intellectualism, but also the fate that lies those who oppose fascist governments.

I sense to the suits that this IS an acceptable unintended consequence. I keep thinking about one of the points Dr. Christen shared Tuesday, that since the expansion of the internet and information society, we are very much witnessing precedent be set. And its not limited to Swartz and his crusade for open access either. FBI activity in 2010 comes to mind, where homes of anti-war activists (students included) were raided on account of "material support of terrorism."

Thinking about post 9/11 jurisprudence, and how laws passed today are setting the precedent for upcoming decades, I wonder if the scanning, redistribution, and teaching of a JSTOR article that has been (il)legally downloaded (perhaps on account of Swartz or some other open access source) will not be viewed one day as "material support of piracy"?

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Kim Christen
1/17/2013 16:15:03

I think you are right on in your last paragraph...it's shocking, but it seems we are headed that way unless the tide turns soon.

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