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First POST: Power Brokers

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, July 21 2014

Why Microsoft's Bradford Smith is so influential in tech policy; the split between DailyKos and Netroots Nation; how the GOP is wooing conservative and libertarian techies; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Weird Nerds

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, March 19 2014

The NSA can collect a whole country's phone conversations (not just metadata); Edward Snowden gets his 15 minutes of TED fame; the evolving etiquette of quoting public Tweets; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Done In By Data

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, January 10 2014

Are meaningful reforms of the NSA coming?; How Silicon Valley became "the man"; why municipal broadband should be embraced in New York City; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Accomplishments

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, January 2 2014

Must-reads from the end of the year; The New York Times calls for clemency for Edward Snowden; the Commotion 1.0 mesh networking toolkit launches; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Not Psyched

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, September 12 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Mark Zuckerberg and Marissa Mayer offer their responses to the NSA revelations; the "tech intellectuals" get their academic review; educational technology moves in on public schools; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Egypt

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 15 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Reacting to the massacres in Egypt; Bradley Manning apologizes; Pew Internet says the kids are all right; and much, much more. Read More

Ender's Game: The Problem With "The End of History" In Technology Debates

BY Nick Judd | Monday, April 29 2013

Why do some writers insist on treating the end of the 20th century like an intellectual black hole, capturing all ideas that enter and preventing new ones from escape? A more interconnected global society, influenced by Internet communications technology, is now part of the world — but a virulent strain of bad rhetoric seems set on preventing anyone from leveling a genuine critique about what that might mean. Read More

Book Review: Evgeny Morozov Doth Protest Too Much

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 9 2013

By Chatham House, via Wikimedia Commons

According to Evgeny Morozov, the world has gone crazy and he's one of the few sane people left. His strange new book, "To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism," goes so far to build up straw men for his attacks that he suggests contemporary technologists would have ensured Rosa Parks could never have committed her legendary act of civil disobedience. And it gets worse ... Read More

Liberation Technology: Three Studies Examine the Impact of Social Media on Popular Uprisings

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, July 17 2012

It's hard to deny that social media affected Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring uprisings, the student protest movement in Chile, Yo Soy 132 in Mexico and the social justice movement in Israel, but there's plenty of controversy over how and why social media mattered. Were Facebook, Twitter and YouTube mobilizing tools that brought people to the streets? Or were social media platforms just useful platforms for broadcasting information about revolutions that were actually mobilized through traditional grassroots means? On these questions, two papers and one book recently caught our attention. Read More

Worth Watching: Pariser, Vaidhyanathan, Morozov and Weisberg On Whether the Internet is Closing Our Minds

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 18 2012

They say that anyone who knows what's good for him will avoid arguing on the Internet.

But what of arguing about the Internet?

That's what four net-centric thinkers — MoveOn.org board president Eli Pariser, "Googlization of Everything" author Siva Vaidhyanathan, Slate's Jacob Weisberg and "Net Delusion" author Evgeny Morozov — did Tuesday at an Oxford-style debate organized by Intelligence Squared U.S. and held here in New York. At issue: "When it Comes to Politics, The Internet is Closing Our Minds.”

Pariser — author of "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You" — and Vaidhyanathan argued in favor and won by moving 25 percent of attendees over to their position.

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News Briefs

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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