Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future
by Cory Doctorow
July 6, 2017 - July 6, 2017

Done

9781892391810

Tachyon Publications, 2008. 213 pages. Unverified

8 22
29

p.172
panopticon »
a type of building designed by English philosop...
p.159
forfend »
(verb) forbid / (verb) to ward off; prevent / (...
p.150
inveigle »
(verb) to win over by wiles; entice / (verb) to...
p.149
Metcalfe's Law »
the value of a telecommunications network is pr...
p.120
lapsarianism »
the idea that humanity has fallen from a better...
p.172
we choose the future we want to live in
I'm an optimist. I think our social contracts a...
p.145
the permission that can never be had
[...] Perhaps the point is to titillate us with...
p.122
science fiction is the literature of the present
Science fiction is the literature of the presen...
p.113
a monkish Bible
[...] The thing is, when all you've got is monk...
p.97
a desire for posterity
[...] Almost all of us could be making more mon...

8

Introduction
by John Perry Barlow (missing author)

on information as "content" that doesn't have a "container" and so can be abundant and thus free. he wrote an article for an ancestor of Wired magazine called "The Economy of Ideas" or "Wine without Bottles". he's one of the founding members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (along with Mitch Kapor and John Gilmore)

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8

Introduction
by John Perry Barlow (missing author)

on information as "content" that doesn't have a "container" and so can be abundant and thus free. he wrote an article for an ancestor of Wired magazine called "The Economy of Ideas" or "Wine without Bottles". he's one of the founding members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (along with Mitch Kapor and John Gilmore)

0 / 1
15

Microsoft Research DRM Talk

talk given at Microsoft's Research Group Redmond offices on June 17, 2004. trying to convince them that DRM does not work:

  1. crypto-based technical argument (attackers are provided with the ciphertext, the cipher, and the key, and can transfer them to anyone)
  2. DRM only stops the least sophisticated/capable, and when they're foiled by DRM once they're more likely to bypass DRM next time (also, that geographical restrictions aren't even based on law, just a shitty business model)
  3. DRM is bad for business in the sense that it paralyses innovation
  4. DRM is bad for artists. story about piano rolls & Congress ruling that you could pay a publisher 2 cents for each piano roll copy (compulsory license). new technologies cheapen creation, reproduction, and distribution, and that's what game-changing about them, even despite their other flaws
  5. DRM is bad for microsoft. there's no market demand for better DRM. no customers want MS to spend time on this shit.

trying to get microsoft to build "the record player that can play everyone's records" (p34)

1 / 5
15

Microsoft Research DRM Talk

talk given at Microsoft's Research Group Redmond offices on June 17, 2004. trying to convince them that DRM does not work:

  1. crypto-based technical argument (attackers are provided with the ciphertext, the cipher, and the key, and can transfer them to anyone)
  2. DRM only stops the least sophisticated/capable, and when they're foiled by DRM once they're more likely to bypass DRM next time (also, that geographical restrictions aren't even based on law, just a shitty business model)
  3. DRM is bad for business in the sense that it paralyses innovation
  4. DRM is bad for artists. story about piano rolls & Congress ruling that you could pay a publisher 2 cents for each piano roll copy (compulsory license). new technologies cheapen creation, reproduction, and distribution, and that's what game-changing about them, even despite their other flaws
  5. DRM is bad for microsoft. there's no market demand for better DRM. no customers want MS to spend time on this shit.

trying to get microsoft to build "the record player that can play everyone's records" (p34)

1 / 5
35

The DRM Sausage Factory

originally published as "A Behind-The-Scenes Look At How DRM Becomes Law," InformationWeek, July 11, 2007

about CPTWG (the MPAA's "Content Protection Technology Working Group"), which he attended to get a sense of how DRM became law. not really about the actual tech, more about how to limit consumer options. representatives from the govt, the MPAA, tech companies (like Microsoft), etc. goes into how much influence the MPAA has over govt officials (one in particular)

0 / 2
35

The DRM Sausage Factory

originally published as "A Behind-The-Scenes Look At How DRM Becomes Law," InformationWeek, July 11, 2007

about CPTWG (the MPAA's "Content Protection Technology Working Group"), which he attended to get a sense of how DRM became law. not really about the actual tech, more about how to limit consumer options. representatives from the govt, the MPAA, tech companies (like Microsoft), etc. goes into how much influence the MPAA has over govt officials (one in particular)

0 / 2
44

Happy Meal Toys versus Copyright
How America chose Hollywood and Wal-Mart, and why it's doomed us, and how we might survive anyway

(Originally published as "How Hollywood, Congress, And DRM Are Beating Up The American Economy," InformationWeek, June 11, 2007)

on how the US used international trade as a weapon to get poor countries to enforce copyright laws (when ofc they'd rather just allow unrestricted copying). in 1995, the US signed the WTO & the associated IP agreement (the Trips Agreement), meaning that fellow signatories can export manufactured goods to the US sans tariffs. (this is part of what destroyed US manufacturing).

ends with an explanation of what the information economy really is (NOT selling information, but using information to improve everything else in the economy)

0 / 2
44

Happy Meal Toys versus Copyright
How America chose Hollywood and Wal-Mart, and why it's doomed us, and how we might survive anyway

(Originally published as "How Hollywood, Congress, And DRM Are Beating Up The American Economy," InformationWeek, June 11, 2007)

on how the US used international trade as a weapon to get poor countries to enforce copyright laws (when ofc they'd rather just allow unrestricted copying). in 1995, the US signed the WTO & the associated IP agreement (the Trips Agreement), meaning that fellow signatories can export manufactured goods to the US sans tariffs. (this is part of what destroyed US manufacturing).

ends with an explanation of what the information economy really is (NOT selling information, but using information to improve everything else in the economy)

0 / 2
49

Why Is Hollywood Making A Sequel To The Napster Wars?

(Originally published in InformationWeek, August 14, 2007)

on the entertainment industry now going after YouTube, & why they should compromise with YouTube (otherwise they'll drive customers into the waiting arms of TPB et al)

0 / 0
49

Why Is Hollywood Making A Sequel To The Napster Wars?

(Originally published in InformationWeek, August 14, 2007)

on the entertainment industry now going after YouTube, & why they should compromise with YouTube (otherwise they'll drive customers into the waiting arms of TPB et al)

0 / 0
54

You DO Like Reading Off a Computer Screen

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, March 2007)

on computers offering a new kind of reading, with a different cognitive model (more distractions, more bits-and-pieces) than the typical novel. similar to how the record album, with its intentional ordering and art, isnt how most people consume music today. not certain what his point is: that people don't want ebooks? they do, but only as a supplement to printed books? idk

0 / 2
54

You DO Like Reading Off a Computer Screen

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, March 2007)

on computers offering a new kind of reading, with a different cognitive model (more distractions, more bits-and-pieces) than the typical novel. similar to how the record album, with its intentional ordering and art, isnt how most people consume music today. not certain what his point is: that people don't want ebooks? they do, but only as a supplement to printed books? idk

0 / 2
58

How Do You Protect Artists?

(Originally published in The Guardian as "Online censorship hurts us all," Tuesday, Oct 2, 2007)

on DMCA takedown notices as a form of censorship that doesn't actually protect artists, just makes the whole copyright landscape worse (specifically, tech companies have to waste resources on this) & creates a chilling effect (though he doesn't use that term) that prevents art from being made for fear of infringement

0 / 0
58

How Do You Protect Artists?

(Originally published in The Guardian as "Online censorship hurts us all," Tuesday, Oct 2, 2007)

on DMCA takedown notices as a form of censorship that doesn't actually protect artists, just makes the whole copyright landscape worse (specifically, tech companies have to waste resources on this) & creates a chilling effect (though he doesn't use that term) that prevents art from being made for fear of infringement

0 / 0
61

It's the Information Economy, Stupid

(Originally published in The Guardian as "Free data sharing is here to stay," September 18, 2007)

about what the information economy really is and why it doesn't necessitate blocking the transmission of information

0 / 1
61

It's the Information Economy, Stupid

(Originally published in The Guardian as "Free data sharing is here to stay," September 18, 2007)

about what the information economy really is and why it doesn't necessitate blocking the transmission of information

0 / 1
64

Downloads Give Amazon Jungle Fever

(Originally published in The Guardian, December 11, 2007)

starts off by defending amazon's policy decisions (for its used book market; against turning over purchasing history to fight terrorism; being judicious about applying copyright takedown notices). then explains why the kindle & its associated DRM techniques are viciously bad for the consumer. also amazon unbox (does it still exist?)

he asks: why does amazon stand up for consumer rights when it comes to physical goods, but not digital ones?

i am sure that cory doctorow knows why (even though he never talks about larger socioeconomic structures but still he must know) but at the same time, the question he poses at the very end makes me want to shout, "you idiot, you fucking moron, it's literally just capitalism"

0 / 0
64

Downloads Give Amazon Jungle Fever

(Originally published in The Guardian, December 11, 2007)

starts off by defending amazon's policy decisions (for its used book market; against turning over purchasing history to fight terrorism; being judicious about applying copyright takedown notices). then explains why the kindle & its associated DRM techniques are viciously bad for the consumer. also amazon unbox (does it still exist?)

he asks: why does amazon stand up for consumer rights when it comes to physical goods, but not digital ones?

i am sure that cory doctorow knows why (even though he never talks about larger socioeconomic structures but still he must know) but at the same time, the question he poses at the very end makes me want to shout, "you idiot, you fucking moron, it's literally just capitalism"

0 / 0
66

What's the Most Important Right Creators Have?

(Originally published as "How Big Media's Copyright Campaigns Threaten Internet Free Expression," InformationWeek, November 5, 2007)

on Viacom taking on YouTube and how its anti-infringement demands would drastically change the whole landscape of the internet, and not at all for the better (no more free hosted services, cus they'd have to check everything for infringement). & how the availability of these services has made the entertainment industry more artist-friendly (cus now artists have alternatives, and thus leverage)

0 / 1
66

What's the Most Important Right Creators Have?

(Originally published as "How Big Media's Copyright Campaigns Threaten Internet Free Expression," InformationWeek, November 5, 2007)

on Viacom taking on YouTube and how its anti-infringement demands would drastically change the whole landscape of the internet, and not at all for the better (no more free hosted services, cus they'd have to check everything for infringement). & how the availability of these services has made the entertainment industry more artist-friendly (cus now artists have alternatives, and thus leverage)

0 / 1
70

Giving it Away

(Originally published in Forbes.com, December 2006)

on giving away (e)books for free while also publishing the hard copies through Tor Books. how it helps his sales+distribution (and thus gives him the opportunities afford by greater visibility).

0 / 1
70

Giving it Away

(Originally published in Forbes.com, December 2006)

on giving away (e)books for free while also publishing the hard copies through Tor Books. how it helps his sales+distribution (and thus gives him the opportunities afford by greater visibility).

0 / 1
74

Science Fiction is the Only Literature People Care Enough About to Steal on the Internet

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, July 2006)

idk if i agree with the premise in the title (he doesn't have stats on it, just seems like an anecdotal observation). he talks about releasing his books online & how that drives sales ("An SF writer's biggest problem is obscurity, not piracy"), and how the internet allows authors to have conversations with their readers

0 / 0
74

Science Fiction is the Only Literature People Care Enough About to Steal on the Internet

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, July 2006)

idk if i agree with the premise in the title (he doesn't have stats on it, just seems like an anecdotal observation). he talks about releasing his books online & how that drives sales ("An SF writer's biggest problem is obscurity, not piracy"), and how the internet allows authors to have conversations with their readers

0 / 0
78

How Copyright Broke

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, September, 2006)

on the history of copyright & how the context is different now because we have the technology to easily copy content

1 / 1
78

How Copyright Broke

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, September, 2006)

on the history of copyright & how the context is different now because we have the technology to easily copy content

1 / 1
83

In Praise of Fanfic

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, May 2007)

basically he thinks fanfic is good, and that authors shouldn't demonize it (they're lucky to have fans who care so much)

0 / 1
83

In Praise of Fanfic

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, May 2007)

basically he thinks fanfic is good, and that authors shouldn't demonize it (they're lucky to have fans who care so much)

0 / 1
87

Metacrap: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia

(Self-published, 26 August 2001)

on metadata, and how we would have a utopia if everything existed in a searchable database. but we can't get there because:

  1. people lie;
  2. people are lazy and omit metadata;
  3. people are stupid (misspellings, etc);
  4. people don't know themselves very well (see: programmer time estimates);
  5. hierarchives are subjective and thus it's impossible to create a common ontology that everyone agrees on;
  6. people won't agree on a common yardstick;
  7. there's more than one way to describe something.

on the other hand, some metadata is useful (e.g., pagerank, though ofc that has lots of problems of its own and he doesn't address them at all)

0 / 0
87

Metacrap: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia

(Self-published, 26 August 2001)

on metadata, and how we would have a utopia if everything existed in a searchable database. but we can't get there because:

  1. people lie;
  2. people are lazy and omit metadata;
  3. people are stupid (misspellings, etc);
  4. people don't know themselves very well (see: programmer time estimates);
  5. hierarchives are subjective and thus it's impossible to create a common ontology that everyone agrees on;
  6. people won't agree on a common yardstick;
  7. there's more than one way to describe something.

on the other hand, some metadata is useful (e.g., pagerank, though ofc that has lots of problems of its own and he doesn't address them at all)

0 / 0
93

Amish for QWERTY

(Originally published on the O'Reilly Network, 07/09/2003)

about learning to type before learning to write & so he's super comfortable with QWERTY but flails when confronted with a non-QWERTY phone. conclusion: don't get too married to an interface because it will be obsoleted eventually?

0 / 0
93

Amish for QWERTY

(Originally published on the O'Reilly Network, 07/09/2003)

about learning to type before learning to write & so he's super comfortable with QWERTY but flails when confronted with a non-QWERTY phone. conclusion: don't get too married to an interface because it will be obsoleted eventually?

0 / 0
95

Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books

(Paper for the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference, San Diego, February 12, 2004)

the many dimensions of ebooks: as a marketing tactic; complementing the physical book; making the customer feel like they own it; satisfying the writer's desire for posterity; the shareability (which can counteract even negative reviews, since it's now so easy to check the book out for yourself); the ability to store a wide variety of ebooks and thus cater to everyone in a way that a physical library can't.

some backstory on cory: he started working at libraries/bookstores at the age of 12 and stayed for a decade, when he moved into tech; he always wanted to be a writer and now he is; he owns over 10k books. the double-meaning of ebooks: the legitimate side (as a business venture) and the piracy side. the history of books (monks, gutenberg, etc). ebooks are great because you can share them. pushing the copyright infringement angle is bad for everyone. nothing really new but this is (imo) one of his better essays

1 / 2
95

Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books

(Paper for the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference, San Diego, February 12, 2004)

the many dimensions of ebooks: as a marketing tactic; complementing the physical book; making the customer feel like they own it; satisfying the writer's desire for posterity; the shareability (which can counteract even negative reviews, since it's now so easy to check the book out for yourself); the ability to store a wide variety of ebooks and thus cater to everyone in a way that a physical library can't.

some backstory on cory: he started working at libraries/bookstores at the age of 12 and stayed for a decade, when he moved into tech; he always wanted to be a writer and now he is; he owns over 10k books. the double-meaning of ebooks: the legitimate side (as a business venture) and the piracy side. the history of books (monks, gutenberg, etc). ebooks are great because you can share them. pushing the copyright infringement angle is bad for everyone. nothing really new but this is (imo) one of his better essays

1 / 2
115

Free(konomic) E-books

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, September 2007)

giving away ebooks to spur sales etc. a rehash of previous essays really

0 / 0
115

Free(konomic) E-books

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, September 2007)

giving away ebooks to spur sales etc. a rehash of previous essays really

0 / 0
119

The Progressive Apocalypse and Other Futurismic Delights

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, July 2007)

scifi as futurism? Lapsarianism (with its assumptions of an apocalypse), and singularity

1 / 1
119

The Progressive Apocalypse and Other Futurismic Delights

(Originally published in Locus Magazine, July 2007)

scifi as futurism? Lapsarianism (with its assumptions of an apocalypse), and singularity

1 / 1
123

When the Singularity is More Than a Literary Device: An Interview with Futurist-Inventor Ray Kurzweil

(Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, June 2005)

on the singularity as perhaps a spiritual belief system and not just technical. Ray Kurzweil: serial tech entrepreneur who believes in the singularity, characterised as a Heinlein hero. some quotes from Kurzweil on consciousness (as it pertains to uploading backups of ourselves to computers, and Turing tests). talks a bit about genetic programming and how some people think that it could be the mechanism to reach singularity, but to do it right you need a fitness function that approximates human consciousness. idk, i kind of skimmed this, i would have been all up in this shit a year ago but now i don't really care

0 / 0
123

When the Singularity is More Than a Literary Device: An Interview with Futurist-Inventor Ray Kurzweil

(Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, June 2005)

on the singularity as perhaps a spiritual belief system and not just technical. Ray Kurzweil: serial tech entrepreneur who believes in the singularity, characterised as a Heinlein hero. some quotes from Kurzweil on consciousness (as it pertains to uploading backups of ourselves to computers, and Turing tests). talks a bit about genetic programming and how some people think that it could be the mechanism to reach singularity, but to do it right you need a fitness function that approximates human consciousness. idk, i kind of skimmed this, i would have been all up in this shit a year ago but now i don't really care

0 / 0
134

Wikipedia: a genuine Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy - minus the editors

(Originally published in The Anthology at the End of the Universe, April 2005)

starts by talking about the internet archive, Slashdot, Yahoo? Slashdot: distributed editing (everyone edits everyone else), where Google: algorithmic moderation (assuming that the signals it looks at, which are really abstractions of what people feel about a certain page, are somehow more objective--the critical perspective is mine, not his)

characterises wikipedia as "authorship without editorship", or "authorship fused with editorship". kind of a journalistic piece that goes into the pros and cons of wikipedia (pros: errors caught very quickly; cons: third-world topics, like the Congo Civil War, go under the radar cus the editors don't have expertise in it). wikipedia as a place for discovering truth via a dialectic (he doesn't use that word but it's essentially what he's describing when he talks about the editor wars over the page on Israel)

0 / 0
134

Wikipedia: a genuine Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy - minus the editors

(Originally published in The Anthology at the End of the Universe, April 2005)

starts by talking about the internet archive, Slashdot, Yahoo? Slashdot: distributed editing (everyone edits everyone else), where Google: algorithmic moderation (assuming that the signals it looks at, which are really abstractions of what people feel about a certain page, are somehow more objective--the critical perspective is mine, not his)

characterises wikipedia as "authorship without editorship", or "authorship fused with editorship". kind of a journalistic piece that goes into the pros and cons of wikipedia (pros: errors caught very quickly; cons: third-world topics, like the Congo Civil War, go under the radar cus the editors don't have expertise in it). wikipedia as a place for discovering truth via a dialectic (he doesn't use that word but it's essentially what he's describing when he talks about the editor wars over the page on Israel)

0 / 0
144

Warhol is Turning in His Grave

(Originally published in The Guardian, November 13, 2007)

on the National Portrait Gallery's "no photography" policy (which is intended to protect copyright)

0 / 1
144

Warhol is Turning in His Grave

(Originally published in The Guardian, November 13, 2007)

on the National Portrait Gallery's "no photography" policy (which is intended to protect copyright)

0 / 1
146

The Future of Ignoring Things

(Originally published on InformationWeek's Internet Evolution, October 3, 2007)

we need computers to tell us what we can ignore (e.g., irrelevant emails, posts in our RSS feed that we don't care about) while ensuring we don't miss the stuff we do care about.

0 / 0
146

The Future of Ignoring Things

(Originally published on InformationWeek's Internet Evolution, October 3, 2007)

we need computers to tell us what we can ignore (e.g., irrelevant emails, posts in our RSS feed that we don't care about) while ensuring we don't miss the stuff we do care about.

0 / 0
148

Facebook's Faceplant

(Originally published as "How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook," in InformationWeek, November 26, 2007)

on fb trying to be more of a platform (and an ad platform at that), which is obvs bad for the internet. also about why he thinks FB will cease to be "cool" eventually as more and more people join (including people you don't want to be friends with). it's now a decade later and fb is still pretty damn big so i guess this essay didn't age that well, but it's not that bad

2 / 0
148

Facebook's Faceplant

(Originally published as "How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook," in InformationWeek, November 26, 2007)

on fb trying to be more of a platform (and an ad platform at that), which is obvs bad for the internet. also about why he thinks FB will cease to be "cool" eventually as more and more people join (including people you don't want to be friends with). it's now a decade later and fb is still pretty damn big so i guess this essay didn't age that well, but it's not that bad

2 / 0
152

The Future of Internet Immune Systems

(Originally published on InformationWeek's Internet Evolution, November 19, 2007)

on Bayesian filtering and how it's used for spam detection, and how that same technology can be overzealous and cut off legitimate uses of things (e.g., when you use your credit card overseas and get blocked)

0 / 0
152

The Future of Internet Immune Systems

(Originally published on InformationWeek's Internet Evolution, November 19, 2007)

on Bayesian filtering and how it's used for spam detection, and how that same technology can be overzealous and cut off legitimate uses of things (e.g., when you use your credit card overseas and get blocked)

0 / 0
155

All Complex Ecosystems Have Parasites

(Paper delivered at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, San Diego, California, 16 March 2005)

on how AOL could stop spam by shutting off access to spammers, and doing more monitoring/verification, but that in the process it would break email. this is used as an analogy for DRM, etc (costs us innovation, and yet there's still piracy)

1 / 0
155

All Complex Ecosystems Have Parasites

(Paper delivered at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, San Diego, California, 16 March 2005)

on how AOL could stop spam by shutting off access to spammers, and doing more monitoring/verification, but that in the process it would break email. this is used as an analogy for DRM, etc (costs us innovation, and yet there's still piracy)

1 / 0
161

READ CAREFULLY

(Originally published as "Shrinkwrap Licenses: An Epidemic Of Lawsuits Waiting To Happen" in InformationWeek, February 3, 2007)

on shitty EULAs and why we should get rid of them

0 / 0
161

READ CAREFULLY

(Originally published as "Shrinkwrap Licenses: An Epidemic Of Lawsuits Waiting To Happen" in InformationWeek, February 3, 2007)

on shitty EULAs and why we should get rid of them

0 / 0
164

World of Democracycraft

(Originally published as "Why Online Games Are Dictatorships," InformationWeek, April 16, 2007)

about online games and other virtual worlds where the game's maintainers have all the power (i.e, dictatorships as opposed to democracies). interesting piece

0 / 0
164

World of Democracycraft

(Originally published as "Why Online Games Are Dictatorships," InformationWeek, April 16, 2007)

about online games and other virtual worlds where the game's maintainers have all the power (i.e, dictatorships as opposed to democracies). interesting piece

0 / 0
170

Snitchtown

(Originally published in Forbes.com, June 2007)

on surveillance & how it's an ineffective measure (the people who commit crimes won't be deterred by surveillance). pretty good one, maybe even the best one

1 / 1
170

Snitchtown

(Originally published in Forbes.com, June 2007)

on surveillance & how it's an ineffective measure (the people who commit crimes won't be deterred by surveillance). pretty good one, maybe even the best one

1 / 1