Resisting Big Data: Interfering With ‘Collaboration,’ Nonconsensually

Consider the various image-sharing databases online: Facebook’s photo stores, Instagram, Flickr. These contain trillions of photographs, petabytes of fragile digital data, growing daily, without limit; every day, millions of users worldwide upload the¬† images they capture on their phones and cameras to the cloud, there to be stored, processed, enhanced, shared, tagged, commented on. AndContinue reading “Resisting Big Data: Interfering With ‘Collaboration,’ Nonconsensually”

Self-Policing In Response To Pervasive Surveillance

On Thursday night, in the course of conversation with some of my Brooklyn College colleagues, I confessed to having internalized a peculiar sort of ‘chilling effect’ induced by a heightened sensitivity to our modern surveillance state. To wit, I said something along the lines of “I would love to travel to Iran and Pakistan, butContinue reading “Self-Policing In Response To Pervasive Surveillance”

The Offensive Stupidity Of The No-Fly List

Last Friday (July 31st) my wife, my daughter, and I were to fly back from Vancouver to New York City after our vacation in Canada’s Jasper and Banff National Parks. On arrival at Vancouver Airport, we began the usual check-in, got groped in security, and filled out customs forms. The US conducts all customs andContinue reading “The Offensive Stupidity Of The No-Fly List”

Tennis, IBM’s Data Tracker, and the Hidden Order of Things

If it’s the first–or sometimes, the second–weekend in July, it’s time for Wimbledon brunch–or breakfast. Today, I hosted a few friends to partake of the pleasures of the 2012 finals. ¬†Among them, Roger Federer’s biggest fan, one whose fanhood makes for very interesting watching from up close. I have watched many tennis matches with herContinue reading “Tennis, IBM’s Data Tracker, and the Hidden Order of Things”