I’m pleased to post Show # 245, October 9, my interview with author David Brin, on transparency, reciprocal accountability, cyber-utopianism and the preservation of excitement in an age of cynicism. David was an early guest on Hearsay Culture, having been on show # 30 back in early 2007 discussing his now-classic Transparent Society. In the intervening eight years, our sense of utopianism has continued to wane, even as technology’s ability to positively confront the world’s ills has improved. David’s prolific writings on this and other topics was the subject of our far-ranging discussion, from transparency today to how to teach children to maintain energy and optimism despite life’s seemingly hyper-complex challenges. As in 2007, David was a fascinating and engaging guest, and I greatly enjoyed our talk.
A Tech/Law Talk Show designed to cover modern technology and Internet issues with host Dave Levine.
This has been a crazy semester. Thus, I am delinquent in posting shows from this quarter. I am about to update the record.
Let’s start with Show # 244, October 2, my interview with Prof. Andrea Matwyshyn of Northeastern University Law School, on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Volkwagen fraud scandal. Andrea has been doing outstanding work focusing on how copyright law can impede the ability of computer security researchers to conduct their research. On behalf of several academic security researchers, she submitted a request for an exemption under the DMCA for such research, and found success in late October. In our interview, we discussed the nature of computer security research, the law around it, and its implications for issues like research around the still-unfolding Volkswagen scandal. I am a big fan of Andrea’s work, and was delighted to have her on the show. I hope that you enjoy the interview.
For the final of the July shows, I’m thrilled to post Show # 243, July 31, my interview with Prof. Jacqueline Lipton of The University of Akron Law School, author of Rethinking Cyberlaw: A New Vision for Internet Law. Jacqui’s work is well known to Internet and intellectual property law scholars, and she makes a wonderful contribution with her take on the state of Internet Law as a field today. Focusing primarily on copyright, trademark and speech caselaw and doctrine, Jacqui suggests that Internet Law’s primary focus is now information and intermediaries (think Google or Facebook). As I’m going to be teaching Internet Law again starting in a few weeks, I’m integrating Jacqui’s insights into my materials. We discussed the state of the field and where its headed in our discussion, which was a lot of fun.
The third show for today’s salvo of new shows is Show # 242, July 24, my interview with Prof. Natasha Schüll of MIT, author of Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas. Natasha’s ground-breaking book is an eye-opening study of the ways that technology can and is used to stoke the human predilection for addiction. Focusing on Las Vegas, Natasha’s deep dive into the world of addicted gamblers exposes the capabilities (and some limitations) of an industry’s efforts to reap profits. Moreover, the ease with which programmers can alter games in order to increase gambling (and the resulting losses) is startling. As Natasha points out, people are in the game not just for money; we discussed that dynamic as well as the future of gaming and addiction in our fascinating interview.
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!
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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.