I’m pleased to post Show # 241, July 17, my interview with Prof. Jason Arnold of Virginia Commonwealth University, author of Secrecy in the Sunshine Era: The Promise and Failures of U.S. Open Government Laws. Jason has written a foundational book describing the many ways that secrecy plays a role in information flow today. From secrecy in government operations to science, Jason’s study allows the reader to become familiar with the permutations of information control as well as the limitations of existing sunshine laws. Because secrecy is a surprisingly nascent field, it warrants much more attention than it has historically received. Hence my interest in Jason’s work, and his efforts made for great radio!
The barrage begins. Today I’ll be posting four shows from July 2015. Then, because of a pincer attack of classes, my own writing projects and an attempt to remain a husband and father known to his family, I will be on a Hearsay Culture hiatus until October (other than recording a few new shows in September for airing in October, as well as setting the Fall schedule).
Let’s begin with Show # 240, July 10, my interview with ethicist Wendell Wallach, author of A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control. Wendell’s primary concern is the haphazard introduction of technology into our everyday lives. While not skeptical about technology, he cautions against the “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to technology and disruption that he sees in areas ranging from drones to the algorithms within them. We had a broad discussion of the challenges and reality of emerging technology and the choices that we face (whether we want to face them or not), as well as the administrative state’s ability to grapple with these complex policy decisions. It was a fun and illuminating discussion.
I’m now advised that in addition to Stitcher, Hearsay Culture is now available on the Pocket Casts app! Like Stitcher, this is a proprietary podcast aggregator, so use it if you’d like. I hope that you find it useful!
I’m always interested in ways to make the show more accessible and known. If you have any suggestions, please email me at email@example.com, or use the contact page. Thanks for listening!
Subscribe in Pocket Casts
The Summer 2015 schedule is posted! It’s a terrific group of guests, discussing topics ranging from legislative decision-making to control over robots. I look forward to chatting with them!
Note: because I have several writing deadlines coming up this summer (on issues like trade secrecy in start-ups and transparency in trade negotiations), there’s a a slightly lighter schedule than normal. Apologies; alas, articles do not write themselves — yet.
If you’ve been paying attention to the links below recent show posts (and why wouldn’t you? Are you THAT busy?), you may have noticed a new link to Stitcher. For those who don’t know, Stitcher is a proprietary podcast listening app. Based upon listener requests, and my own interactions with some people who wanted to hear the show there, Hearsay Culture is now available at Stitcher. The show will remain available through the existing media, so you’re not required to migrate to Stitcher. So in a world of seemingly endless options, here’s another to consider. I hope that you find it useful!
I’m pleased to post Show # 239, June 3, my interview with Jacob Silverman, author of Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection. Jacob has written an insightful critique of the costs associated with information socialization and sharing. [Note: as a contracts professor, I should point out that this book does not use “terms of service” (end-user license agreements and the like) as we might in first-year Contracts]. Focusing on the meaning of status, visibility and followers, Jacob runs through a range of concerns surrounding social media, including sentiment analysis, privacy and “dataveillance.” We probed several areas in our discussion, from the meaning of the monicker “Luddite” to whether technology is, in fact, neutral. I greatly enjoyed the interview.
I am pleased to post Show # 238, May 27, my interview with Prof. Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University on Bitcoin, cryptography, privacy and web transparency. Arvind does a range of information policy-related research and writing as a professor affiliated with Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP). [Note: I am a Visiting Research Collaborator at CITP]. Through studying the operation of and security challenges surrounding the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, Arvind has been able to assess cryptography as a privacy-enhancing and dis-intermediating technology. To that end, we had a wide-ranging discussion, from the varied roles of cryptography to commercial surveillance and transparency. Because Arvind is such a dynamic and interdisciplanary scholar, we had a wonderful discussion that I hope you enjoy!
At long last, I’m pleased to post Show # 237, May 20, my interview with return guest Prof. Gabriella Coleman of McGill University, author of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous. Biella has written a remarkable anthropological study of Anonymous, the ubiquitous collection of technology activists who were born out of the “lulz” (i.e., pranksterism plus). Over many months, Biella got to know an assortment of individuals involved in Anonymous, and through that interaction paints a complex and surprising picture of their operations. In our discussion, we talked about both her research methods and the insights that she developed through her work. In an era of networked interactions that exist on the spectrum from public to secret, Biella’s work is both groundbreaking and essential. I greatly enjoyed our broad discussion.
The show has entered the Tumblr-sphere. Find us – shockingly – at http://hearsayculture.tumblr.com. Look for more social media and podcast links coming soon!
I’m pleased to post Show # 236, May 13, my interview with Peter Asaro of the School of Media Studies at The New School, on killer robots. Peter is one of the leading experts on the somewhat haphazard introduction of robotics into everyday life. As the Spokesperson for the The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, Peter has taken a key role in educating the public about robotics’ current and potential future capabilities. In our discussion, we canvassed the nascent world of robotics law and regulation, and the impact of robotics on everything from the availability of jobs for humans to the right of privacy. Because we are seemingly at the near-dawn of this era, I was thrilled to have Peter on the show to discuss his important work. I hope that you enjoy the interview.