Governments Can’t Self-Regulate Surveillance

10/10/2020

Reading Sacha Molitorisz’s Net Privacy: How We Can Be Free in an Age of Surveillance, I have appreciated the background and philosophical backing for protecting privacy. In particular, the relational approach to privacy he describes I think is a brilliant way to expand the scope of what actually constitutes privacy as an individual and societal concern. However, there have been a few points that I do not agree with or wish were explored more; as young as it is, the role blockchain technology has and could play in ensuring net privacy is not even mentioned once. Instead, the chapter I am currently reading speaks of regulation and legislation, talking about the privacy of individuals and society but then falling back on the State or global institutions to uphold it – a tad problematic.

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Is Renewable Energy Not the Capitalist Dream?

19/05/2020

I am currently reading Merchants of Doubt, a 2010 book written by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway about how a number of global issues have been corrupted by a small number of “experts” and powerful special interests. The topics covered are quite varied, from smoking, to environmental concerns like acid rain, to Reagan’s Star Wars plans, etc. Probably the most important one is climate change, which I have not reached yet, but it’s an obvious one. But why? The free market loving capitalists should be flocking to support renewable energy, not because they give a shit about the planet, but because it could be the freest market ever created.

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Anarchism and the Neutrality of Technology

15/02/2020

The more varying anarchist literature and essays I read (which is, admittedly, not even that much overall), the more I realise that, beyond the central theme of “opposing” all forms of authority and hierarchy, anarchism only has one other uniting feature – it can’t really decide or agree on much more than that. One such field is that of technology, with anarcho-primitivists and crypto-anarchists essentially being on opposite ends of that particular spectrum.

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Privacy for Sale

03/02/2020

Oliver Thorn, better known as Philosophy Tube on YouTube, released his latest video Data recently. Much of the content was stuff I was already aware of, and some I have written a bit about before, but there were a few parts that really stuck out – partly because, the very next day, what happened in the scene happened to me.

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My 2019 Reading List

31/12/2019

Admittedly, I thought I had read more books than the ones on this list, but alas it is much smaller than anticipated when I compiled it. I wasn’t expecting anything huge, and 16 books is still a reasonable feat, in my view, but I can’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment that I didn’t get through more. I would, however, suggest that finishing university and keeping up with news events and analysis probably makes up for that. Nevertheless, these are the books I read this past year, with a few thoughts looking back on them and links to piece that refer to them.

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Addressing Modern Slavery: A Reflection Pt.2

04/11/2019

Blockchain Technology

Modern slavery takes a variety of forms, but the most prominent, overarching sector it infiltrates is supply chains. From raw materials to the distribution of a final product, slave labour can be used to tarnish the origins of many things we consume without a second thought, from foodstuffs to electronics. But what if there was a way to blow this shady and opaque industry open and to the light of public scrutiny?

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Blockchain: Owning Your Data

12/09/2019

In my last piece, I threw together some thoughts about how blockchain could reshape how we approach work. It offers itself perfectly – if implemented right – to essentially abolishing the idea of corporate hierarchies, decentralising online platforms and giving individuals autonomy and security. Like the rise of the Internet, however, which promised similar ideas of freedom, blockchain is being hit with corporate influence. In this piece, though, I want to talk about one way blockchain fights back against the most lucrative market to ever exist: data.

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Blockchain Technology Can Reshape Work

11/09/2019

I have been reading Blockchain Revolution by Don and Alex Tapscott recently – at an admittedly slow pace, I’ve had a lot of reading to get through for university – and researching blockchain elsewhere. It’s a bizarre read, not because I don’t understand the concept of blockchain, but because the authors appear pro-capitalism while so many of the benefits they have talked about so far lend themselves more towards abolishing it piece by piece.

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