Ellipsis … is a series of dots that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word, sentence or whole section from the original text being quoted, and though necessary for syntactical construction, is not necessary for comprehension. Ellipses can also be used to indicate an unfinished thought or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence … When placed at the beginning or end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy or longing. The ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech or any form of text, and can be used to suggest a tense or awkward momentary silence.
Manu Joseph makes a point I’ve emphasized in class:
Too many people presume that what the poor want from the Internet are the crucial necessities of life. In reality, the enchantment of the Internet is that it’s a lot of fun. And fun, even in poor countries, is a profound human need.
The key word there is “presume”.
I’ve had many students who are RM’s (returned LDS missionaries). They frequently complain in macroeconomics classes about poor people in developing countries who have cellphones and don’t use them to better themselves.
As an positivist economist I try to emphasize that it’s our job to figure out why they find the things so valuable, rather than make normative judgements about how they use them.
The thing with really new technology is that it’s hard to imagine how it will be used.
And this one requires a lot of imagination: a 3-D scan is made of your teeth, a mold is formed from that, small bristles are attached, and ouila: you have a personalized toothbrush that basically can’t miss your personal nooks and crannies.
What is the value to society of something like this? Hmmm. It might save:
2 minutes per day
At a value of $0.25 per minute
For 365 days a year
For the 250 million or so people who spend time brushing their teeth in this country
And we get a grand total of $45 billion per year.
That’s not chump change: it would cover about a day of our “partial government shutdown”.
P.S. I’ve offered that last example for (tongue-in-cheek) perspective. More realistically, this estimate gives us a ballpark figure for the amount of consumer surplus that could be captured by this device.
I’m not making this up (but I’m going from memory so I may have paraphrased a bit):
The problem with censorship is who’s going to do it; that’s why I have my home network locked down at the router.
One of the men in the conversation then recited:
Information wants to be free.
The two of them then gave disturbing, and positively Orwellian, interpretations that missed not one but both meanings of the phrase.
BTW: Lest I be accused of Mormon bashing, let me note that as parents of a teen and a tween we’re struggling with the same issues. The key word is “struggling”, because what’s important is the admission of ambiguity.
FWIW: I am reminded of the popularity in Utah of older movies that, no doubt, were severely frowned upon at the time they were new, like say, Animal House. Or alternatively, the popularity of classic rock (produced by the drug-addled way back when), while the relatively clean Lilith-oriented music of the 90’s remains decidedly unpopular.
Groklaw has closed all portions of its site that are currently active. Some parts will be left open for archival use.
The reason is inability to ensure privacy.
Groklaw is obscure outside of the law and internet fields.
If you think the internet is great because of selfies and kitten videos, you probably shouldn’t care.
If you think the internet is great because it will let the sharp people stay a step ahead of characters from Pink Floyd’s The Wall … then Groklaw was your ally.
Citing concerns about privacy and government surveillance, Pamela Jones is shutting down her site Groklaw, which for years took on what she and vocal fans saw as wrongheaded legal action in the tech domain.
"There is now no shield from forced exposure," Jones said in final blog post Tuesday. Groklaw depended on collaboration over e-mail, "and there is now no private way, evidently, to collaborate."
Jones, a paralegal, started her site a decade ago taking on the SCO Group's legal attack on IBM and others involving Linux and Unix intellectual property.
It’s all about power and control. That’s what my cousin says about minding 2 year-olds, and its what I say about why people are attracted to government.
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