Information on Dr. Susan Kellogg-Spadt

Dr. Susan Kellogg Spadt, PhD, CRNP, IF, CST is the Director of Female Sexual Medicine at the Center for Pelvic Medicine, located at the Bryn Mawr division of Academic Urology of PA, LLC. http://www.centerforpelvicmedicine.com/

Dr. Susan Kellogg-Spadt and Jennifer Fariello CRNP
have joined forces with Bryn Mawr Urology at the
Center For Pelvic Medicine
919 Conestoga Road
Building 1, Suite 301
RosemontPA 19010

phone 610-525-0541
Click Here to Call on a Smartphone

Dr. Susan Kellogg-Spadt, PhD, CRNP, IF, CST is currently the Director of Female Medicine at the Center for Pelvic Medicine, Academic Urology of PA, LLC. She is a nationally recognized expert in pelvic/vulvar pain and sexual dysfunction, at the Bryn Mawr office of Academic Urology. who treats patients from the greater Philadelphia/tri-state area and throughout the United States. She performs direct patient care and consultative services as a vulvar specialist, sexual dysfunction clinician and therapist. You will also find Jennifer Fariello, MSN, RNC, CRNP a certified nurse practitioner in women’s health working at the Center For Pelvic Medicine.

Female Pelvic Health Issues deserve the very best medical attention.
“Count On Us for the private, personal, & professional attention you need”

The Center for Pelvic Medicineis a national leader in treating female pelvic health problems.
We provide convenient access to advanced care for conditions in female urinary and pelvic floor health.

Opportunities, Threats, Internet Governance and the Future of Freedom

Opportunities, Threats, Internet Governance and the Future of Freedom
Robert M. McDowell
Last Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced it intended to start the process of severing its last tether to the non-profit organization that manages Internet domain names and addresses, such as dot com and dot org. These technical functions, that help people’s computers and mobile devices find what they seek on the Net, are administered through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
If all goes according to NTIA’s plan, the U.S. government will relinquish its contractual oversight of ICANN by September 2015. In its ideal form, this evolution could help reverse a growing tide of increased state interference into the Net’s affairs. If events don’t unfold as NTIAintends, however, Internet freedom, global prosperity and international political reform will be at risk.
Due to the complexities of the Internet ecosystem, and the manner in which it has thrived, before reacting impulsively, observers should pause and thoughtfully examine the nuances that abound in the wake of this development.
A best case scenario for the NTIA plan would have existing, non-profit, private sector Internet governance groups oversee ICANN’s management of these critical technical functions, just as they have other technical aspects of the Net for decades – with a perfect track record of success.
The worst case scenario would include foreign governments, either directly or through intergovernmental bodies, snatching the soon-to-be untethered technical functions for their own purposes. Keep in mind that Vladimir Putin plainly asserted in 2011 that his goal is to have “international control of the Internet” through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based arm of the U.N. Given Mr. Putin’s proclivity for expansionism, especially lately, we should regard his statement as a promise he intends to keep.
This concern is more than theoretical. Countries such as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and their client states, have worked for years to absorb many aspects of Internet governance into multilateral organizations such as the ITU rather than the non-profit private sector. They succeeded in gaining a toehold in the Internet’s affairs during the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications, a treaty negotiation in Dubai. They will be back to expand the ITU’s authority further at its plenipotentiary meeting this fall, which is another treaty negotiation as well as a “constitutional convention” for the ITU.
Context is everything with this scenario. Internet freedom has been under siege for years. Authoritarian regimes resent the free flow of information an unfettered Net brings – even if increased Net-based commerce is catapulting developing world economies to new heights. The U.S. government’s role with the contract for the technical functions operated through ICANN has been used as Talking Point Number One by those who seek to expand intergovernmental organizations’ reach into the Net’s operations to counter what these regimes contend is, essentially, American domination of the Internet.
Add to the mix the recent revelations by Edward Snowden regarding the breadth of the U.S. National Security Agency’s data gathering, and pro-international regulation forces have something stronger than mere rhetoric to make their case for their proposed power grab. The timing of NTIA’s announcement, however, comes at a crucial time and has the potential to change the trajectory of the debate, with no cost to the U.S. – unless the Administration weakens its stance.
NTIA’s Friday announcement was not a complete surprise to those who follow these esoteric but important matters. Working toward removing NTIA’s formal role in this area is consistent with the arc of actions taken by the U.S. government since the 1990s when it formalized the privatization of the Internet and its governance. In short, the Net has migrated further away from government control over the past three decades. As a result, it has become the greatest deregulatory success story of all time.
For instance, in the late 1980s, only a paltry 88,000 people – mainly government users and academics – had access to the Internet. Today, due to the government taking its hands off of the Net, more than 3 billion people across the globe have Web access through mobile devices alone. Accordingly, the Net is fundamentally and rapidly improving the human condition by boosting living standards and raising political expectations as it strengthens the sovereignty of the individual. The evidence is irrefutable that both domestic and international government policies to leave the private sector alone to innovate and invest were the direct cause of this beautiful explosion of entrepreneurial brilliance.
With Friday’s announcement, NTIA is taking its last steps down a path that was paved over two decades ago: a path intended to get the government out of the Internet governance business. In that spirit,NTIA has put forth several conditions before it would allow its contract overseeing ICANN to expire in September 2015. The most important condition is that no governmental, intergovernmental or multilateral bodies would be allowed to have a role in overseeing any technical functions. Implicitly, if foreign governments or treaty-based organizations were to insert themselves into this realm, NTIA would renew its contract with ICANN in 2015, thus keeping the status quo and ending the argument for at least few more years.
To show that it is resolute, the Administration should vehemently underscore the conditionality of its plan. It cannot soften its stance on this crucial issue, event slightly. If it does, chaos will reign unlike any other time in the Internet’s history. Internet freedom and prosperity would get caught in an international regulatory death spiral.
The best case scenario would involve sticking with what has worked in the Internet space since its inception: allowing the non-profit, non-governmental, private sector, multi-stakeholder Internet governance structure to keep doing what it has been doing so well without the “help” of governments. Diverse, loosely-knit and “bottom up” run technical groups such as the Internet Architecture Board, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Society, and regional and local engineers, academics and user groups, are the best stewards of these technical functions – not anyone’s government. These private sector groups will keep the Internet governance structure dispersed and free from bottle necks to ensure that no entity can control the Net or shut it down.
Accomplishing the complex task of modernizing the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, including the administration of critical technical functions, will be difficult and risky. U.S. policy in this space should be to keep governments out of the Net’s technical affairs. But we can’t have it both ways. The Administration must not waver, even symbolically. Internet freedom and prosperity hang in the balance. To be continued …
Who Controls The Internet?
Seven people control the system at the heart of the web: the domain name system, or DNS.

nettime mailing lists mailing lists for networked cultures, politics, and tactics

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mailing lists for networked cultures, politics, and tactics
 
an historic retreat
 
Dear Nettimers:
There is a very much bigger game afoot where issues concerning the
NTIA/ICANN etc.etc. are mere pawns on the chessboard.
The NTIA announcement has to be seen in the context of the NetMundial
meeting to be convened in Brazil at the end of April and where the NTIA
announcement pre-empted a (quite likely and more or less global) agreement
on a rather worse set of recommendations from the US’s perspective.
The key element in the NTIA/USG announcement was not the preamble but rather
the first bullet point i.e. the determination that the transfer would only
take place in a manner which would “Support and enhance the multistakeholder
model”. This should be seen in the context of the USG’s statement to the
NetMundial concerning its position on the future of Internet Governance
http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/prsrl/2014/221946.htmwhere
“multistakeholderism” is mentioned 12 times and “democracy” is referred to
once in passing.
So what exactly is “multistakeholderism”? Well that isn’t quite clear and no
one (least of all the US State Department) has pointed to a useful
definition.
But whatever it is a key element is that all the relevant “stakeholders”
including the major Internet corporations get to sit around promoting their
“stakes” and making Internet policy through some sort of consensus process
where all the participants have an “equal” say and where rules of things
like procedure, conflict of interest etc.etc. all seem to be made up as they
go along. Also, it is becoming clear that the various proponents of MSism
see it as a replacement for democratic processes of Internet governance
(continuously misrepresented as being completely aligned with multilateral
processes). Clearly the major Internet corporations, the US government and
their allies in the technical and civil society communities are quite
enthusiastic — getting to sit around and jointly work out things like
frameworks, principles and rules (or not) for privacy and security,
taxation, copyright etc. in an Internet enabled environment–pretty heady
stuff.  Whether the outcome in any sense is supportive of the broad public
interest and an Internet for the Common Good, well that isn’t so clear.
Mike
 
Hi Dan,
I must say, I’ve never really understood the politics around ICANN. That has
always been too arcane for me. So I don’t understand this development
either.
<…>
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The English stiff upper lip shows security cracks

David Hare: ‘The security services are running the country, aren’t they?’
“Well, they’re running the country, aren’t they? I mean, the reason I’m writing about the security services is that there is no democratic control of them whatsoever. And now it seems the judiciary is joining in.”  The judgment certainly appears to support the central thesis of Hare’s latest trilogy of BBC films, about an MI5 agent disillusioned by his employer’s rampant abuse of power.
PO box justice: what secret Home Office court says about British openness
As the Guardian’s revelations show, this tribunal’s so-called scrutiny of the security services is a living shame to the UK
This revelation about the tribunal says a lot about the compulsive secrecy of the British establishment, which Nick Pickles, head of the excellent Big Brother Watch, likens to an addiction – a morbid condition of some sort. But it also, I am afraid, says something about British complacency. Our trust in these people to do the right thing behind closed doors on matters where the state’s interests are so aggressively defended is really alarming.  That so few complaints against the intelligence agencies have ever been upheld at the tribunal, and just a few paltry sums in compensation have been paid, is all you need to know about the justice available there. We should see it for what it is: a secret operation, designed to stifle legitimate complaints against the authorities.  In the past 15 years the legal system has embraced secret immigration tribunals, secret courts and the IPT, in which lawyers and claimants have little, if any, idea of the processes to which they are party and subject.  This is a living shame to the United Kingdom. The idea that our politicians go about the world lecturing others on the rule of law or standards of justice is absolutely preposterous. But it is a hypocrisy that is permitted to exist because we do not hold their feet to the fire and demand to know why money is spent on ring-fencing their power.
Surveillance: Westminster faces up to the facts | Editorial
You may not like Edward Snowden. You may think him a villain rather than a hero. But few people – even within the closed worlds of intelligence – deny that he has brought into the open matters that demanded to be discussed. The more the revelations spilled into the open, the clearer it became that these were issues of the greatest importance – bearing on the private sector, the US and UK’s digital economy, international relations, individual privacy and the integrity of the web itself. There are huge implications for business, individuals and the courts, as well as the intelligence agencies themselves, in what has been disclosed. How could politicians really imagine they could sit this out – and what would that silence say about politics itself?  In the space of 48 hours, the dam has broken. First came a thoughtful speech by the shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper. Although characteristically cautious, in order to avoid criticising any of the agencies directly, she accepted that the UK’s creaking statutory protections need to be updated for the era of Big Data, and also damned the passivity of the three commissioners who were supposed to be keeping an eye on the surveillance undertaken by different arms of the state.

NSA's automated hacking engine offers hands-free pwning of the world

NSA’s automated hacking engine offers hands-free pwning of the world
With Turbine, no humans are required to exploit phones, PCs, routers, VPNs.
by Sean Gallagher – Mar 12 2014, 3:20pm EDT
Since 2010, the National Security Agency has kept a push-button hacking system called Turbine that allows the agency to scale up the number of networks it has access to from hundreds to potentially millions. The news comes from new Edward Snowden documents published by Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald inThe Intercept today. The leaked information details how the NSA has used Turbine to ramp up its hacking capacity to “industrial scale,” plant malware that breaks the security on virtual private networks (VPNs) and digital voice communications, and collect data and subvert targeted networks on a once-unimaginable scale.
Turbine is part of Turbulence, the collection of systems that also includes the Turmoil network surveillance system that feeds the NSA’s XKeyscore surveillance database. While it is controlled from NSA and GCHQ headquarters, it is a distributed set of attack systems equipped with packaged “exploits” that take advantage of the ability the NSA and GCHQ have to insert themselves as a “man in the middle” at Internet chokepoints. Using that position of power, Turbine can automate functions of Turbulence systems to corrupt data in transit between two Internet addresses, adding malware to webpages being viewed or otherwise attacking the communications stream.
Since Turbine went online in 2010, it has allowed the NSA to scale up from managing hundreds of hacking operations each day to handling millions of them. It does so by taking people out of the loop of managing attacks, instead using software to identify, target, and attack Internet-connected devices by installing malware referred to as “implants.” According to the documents, NSA analysts can simply specify the type of information required and let the system figure out how to get to it without having to know the details of the application being attacked.
<snip>

Color Photography from Russia in the Early 1900. The Russian Imperial anthem, "God Save the Tsar."

A rare voice recording of the Emperor Nicholas II, during the parade of His Imperial Majesty’s Grenadier Corps in honour of the birthday of the Sovereign.
Photos: Color Photography from Russia in the Early 1900′s
The photographs of Russian chemist and photographer, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, show Russia on the eve of World War I and the coming of the revolution. From 1909-1912 and again in 1915, Prokudin-Gorskii travelled across the Russian Empire, documenting life, landscapes and the work of Russain people. His images were to be a photographic survey of the time. He travelled in a special train car transformed into a dark room to process his special process of creating color images, a technology that was in its infancy in the early 1900′s. Prokudin-Gorskii left Russia in 1918, after the Russian Revolution had destroyed the Empire he spent years documenting. To learn more about the Prokudin-Gorskii, the process he used to create the color photographs, and see his collection, you can visit the Library of Congress, who purchased his glass negatives in 1948 after his death in 1944.
#25 Andrei Petrov Kalganov. Former master in the plant. Seventy-two years old, has worked at the plant for fifty-five years. He was fortunate to present bread and salt to His Imperial Majesty, the Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II, Zlatoust; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #
http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2009/10/21/color-photography-from-russian-in-the-early-1900s/?source=ARK_plog

A criticism of the history lesson in the first new Cosmos

From: Dr. Juan E Cabanela Ph.D.
Date: Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 5:08 PM
Subject: A criticism of the history lesson in the first new Cosmos
As an astronomer, I found the science generally good although the asteroid field and Kuiper belt were way too crowded with objects, I’ll call that artistic license…  I do find myself disappointed that care was not (apparently) taken to present the history more accurately.
A fairly good blog post at Science 2.0 by Hank Campbell
http://www.science20.com/science_20/blog/cosmos_spacetime_odyssey_review-131240
presents the case that the Bruno story as presented in Cosmos is patently false.  The pertinent quote is as follows:
> Then suddenly we get a claim that Giordano Bruno is responsible for the concept of the universe – because he read ‘banned’ books. Lucretious wasn’t science – there was no scientific evidence for his claim that wind caused earthquakes or worms spontaneously generated – it was philosophy, and his book was not rare in 1600 AD, people were also not martyred for reading it, and yet we get told a philosophical belief in infinity was what got Bruno into trouble.
>
> It’s an immediate disconnect for people who know science history because it smacks of an agenda. I instead object because it is flat-out incorrect. To claim that Bruno promoted the concept of the universe, a “soaring vision”, despite persecution, while simultaneously being hired over and over by the institutions we are told were oppressing him, makes no sense. That segment of the show makes it sound like he was a devout Christian tormented by reason rather than what he was – a cultist who engaged in confirmation bias to pick and choose anything that matched his beliefs.
I don’t quite agree that the cartoon was trying to say Bruno invented the idea of a universe, just the idea of an infinite universe.  And at the end of segment, Tyson does state Bruno was not a scientist because he didn’t have any evidence to back up his claims, so his claims could have fallen into the dustbin of history as many other scientific claims have.  But those are quibbles with Mr. Campbell.  I do agree with him in that if what he says about the history of Bruno is accurate (I am not a science historian and can’t fully assess it), then the picture presented of Bruno seems to be distorted and not an truthful reflection of the history.

Juan

The Father of Bitcoin Found Living in California

sBitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto <more>
Temple City  Los Angeles’s San Gabriel foothills in CA hole up in the family home and leave his estimated $400 million of Bitcoin riches untouched. At the age of 23, after graduating from California State Polytechnic University, he changed his name to “Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto,” according to records filed with the U.S. District Court of Los Angeles in 1973. Since then, he has not used the name Satoshi but instead signs his name “Dorian S. Nakamoto.” Descended from Samurai and the son of a Buddhist priest, Nakamoto was born in July 1949 in the city of Beppu, Japan, where he was brought up poor in the Buddhist tradition by his mother, Akiko. In 1959, after a divorce and remarriage, she immigrated to California, taking her three sons with her. Now age 93, she lives with Nakamoto in Temple City.

The Calypsonians of Panama

The Calypsonians of Panama

The Hot Cool of Panamanian Calypso
 
Leslie George
Ethnomusicology professor Leslie George founded Grupo Amistad in 1990 with four members, which later ballooned to eight, featuring a guitar, bass, conga drum, ukulele and saxophones.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuzaA-cW2Pw]
 

Los Beachers de Panama

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkuuLzS_B-Q]

GLAM and the Free World

GLAM and the Free World


Cory Doctorow, UK

Museums and the Web remarks

There’s a little apocryphal story about that may perhaps speak to you as museum-folk, and it goes like this:
* The state of Roman metallurgical science determined the maximum length of a chariot’s axle and hence its wheel-base
* The Roman-chariot’s wheel-base determined the width of the Roman roads
* The width of the Roman roads determined the width of modern carts
* The width of modern carts determined the width of modern roads
* The width of modern roads determined the width of wheel-bases for cars and lorries
* The width of lorries determined the width of containers and the parameters rail-cars and container-ships
* And since the Space Shuttle’s reusable fuel-tanks had to be transported on these roads and railroads, they, too, were ultimately determined by the state of Roman metalurgy, thousands of years ago
This is, of course, a gross oversimplification, but it is intended as parable and not as history
The reason to recount this parable here, now, at this early, liminal moment in the future history of the information age is that
* We are presently building the electronic nervous system of the modern world, and
* We dwellers on the electronic frontier have it on our power to establish the norms, laws and practices that will echo through the ages to come
They call this the information age
And it is
It may feel as thought we have been buffeted by change for these past twenty years
But it is just getting started
We live in a world that is increasingly made of computers
Computers we put inside our bodies
Computers we put our bodies into
And here is only one computer
Turing complete: A computer that can execute all the instructions we can express in symbolic logic
So any policies that we create for computers redounds through the entirety of experience
#
So let’s talk about archiving, cultural dissemination, cultural preservation, and the information age
The information age has been attended by two parallel and contradictory shifts in the way we think about value
* First, it has been attended by the rise of neoliberal globalisation, and this project says that everything must be viewed through a market lens
* Every one of our public institutions is being subjected to this lens, with great distorting effects
* Our schools, for example, have largely been recreated as factories whose products are educated children, whose employees are teachers, whose management is the school administration, whose board of directors are the government and whose shareholders are the taxpayers
* And like any business, schools must produce quarterly reports that hold the management accountable to its shareholders
* It must quantify its production efforts and show that they are producing good value for money
* There are really only two things you can chart in the context of education: standardized test-scores and attendance
* And so these two factors have been reified in public education beyond all others
* Schools have been refactored to relentlessly focus on these two numbers at the expense of every other activity
* So if a student walks into her grade two classroom and picks up a book and starts reading it to herself, has her brain catch fire with the sheer, vertiginous joy of reading, the job of a modern teacher is to stop that activity when the bell rings and to move that student on to the next stage, lest her learning proceed unevenly and her standardized test-scores suffer as a result
* When I was seven years old, I plucked a copy of Alice in Wonderland from the class shelf and lay down on the carpet and read and read and read
* And my teacher saw what was happening and let it unfold — she recognized that the everyday extraordinariness of true learning was taking place and she let her student kindle the spark of interest into a blaze of passion, a llfelong love-affair with books
* But the school-as-factory model has no room for this
* The indiscriminate application of market-logic makes a nonsense out of activities that are, fundamentally, non-market, and these non-market activities necessarily include archiving, scholarship, cultural preservation and communication
* To describe the “business” of museums in market logic is to apply a metaphor that is both highly suspect and highly susceptible to intellectually dishonest manipulation
* Think for a moment of digitization projects undertaken with through public/private partnerships, like the digitization of the US Department of Defense archives by T3 Media or the British Film Institute’s digitization with Siemens
* In these projects, a commercial operator is brought in to digitize these public collections and then put them behind a paywall in order to recoup their costs
* The market-logic goes like this: a company like Siemens is making a sizable investment in the archiving of these public assets, so they have the right to recoup their investment — they’re assuming the risk, so they get the reward
* But this is a highly selective way of expressing the way capitalism works. Let’s take another look at it:
* In Silicon Valley and throughout the high-tech world, we have a grand tradition of startups who court investors with high-risk/high-reward propositions from search engines to Bitcoin
* It’s virtually unheard-of for a startup to be profitable from the get-go; a startup may run for years before it gets its first dollar in income, and years more before that income exceeds its outgo and becomes a profit — Amazon is *still* unprofitable, decades after its founding
* So entrepreneurs will seek out “angel investors” — individuals who put very early money into the business in return for a generous ownership stake in the business
* Almost every angel investment will come to nothing, money flushed down the drain, but there is no shortage of angel investors, because the reward for a successful bet is incredible: being the first investor in a business means that the business pays you a much larger dividend than it pays any of the later-stage investors — you’ve assumed the risk, you get the reward
* Back to public archives: for decades, for centuries, the public have played the role of angel investor for these collections, paying and paying, year after year, to keep them afloat while they seek the path to profitability
* Now these archives have arrived at their moment: the world of digitization has unlocked untold value in their collections
* Through digitization, the whole world can now use these archives simultaneously, scholars everywhere can text-mine them, they can be used to start new businesses and create new curriculum
* This is the thing that every entrepreneur dreams of: the moment when their weird and unlikely idea is validated by the marketplace, when it arrives at its cultural moment: when the idea of a bare-bones search-engine like Google suddenly rockets to ascendancy and leaves the bloated incumbents like Yahoo and Altavista in the dust
* At that moment, it is customary for the angels and the entrepreneurs to seek out some deeper pockets — venture capitalists — and sell them a very small slice of equity in exchange for a *lot* of money, to build out all the infrastructure you need to handle all the demand
* Importantly, though, the angels are not crowded out here. If the big investors tried, the management and the VCs would end up in court, faced with a minority shareholder suit that they would lose
* This is exactly the opposite of what happens with Siemens and the BFI or the T3 Media and the DoD
* We, the public, are the angels
* We built up all that value in our public assets
* The return on our investment comes from access to those assets — the right to see and use them
* And the johnny-come-lately digitization firms are the venture-capitalists, latecomers to the party who only put their money in once *our* money had paid to bring the enterprise to profit.
* The risk they assume — the cost of digitization — is infinitesimal compared to our own
* And yet, they demand terms that result in the confiscation of our equity for accomplishing the relatively minor, low-risk task of taking pictures of *our stuff*
* And management — the governments of the neoliberal era — give it to them
* Even in the dubious enterprise of applying market-logic to public enterprises, this is a titanic ripoff that no actual business would get away with in the real world
#
* But of course, this is a nonsense from start to finish
* The public don’t invest in cultural preservation because we perceive a profitable upside down the road
* We invest in cultural preservation, archiving, and access because these are *public goods* — they are not primarily market activities
* Using ROI to calculate the value of the museums sector is like adding up all the money you spend on raising your children and then handing them a bill for their upbringing when they graduate from high-school — it’s the work of a sociopath
* Our cultural institutions exist to tell us who we are, where we have been and where we are and where we’re going
#
* The information age is, in many ways, the beginning of history
* It’s a moment at which every person is swiftly becoming an archivist of her own life, a curator of billions of blips of ephemeral communications and ruminations and interactions
* As any archaeologist who’s ever rejoiced at finding a midden that reveals how normal people lived their lives in antiquity can tell you, this ephemera, so rare and badly preserved through most of our history, is of incalculable value
* Which would you rather see: an oil painting of a Victorian monarch, a ramrod stiff photo of your great-grandmother in her confirmation smock, or a hundred transcripts of the conversations she shared with her peers and her family?
* The tools by which we accomplish this archival business are, of course, computers
* Carried in our bags and pockets, worn in and on our bodies
* There is one group of people in the world who understand how archiving works, who understand the importance of the ephemeral en masse, who can steer us to personal and cultural practices of preservation, archiving, dissemination, and access — it’s you, the museum sector
* Just as librarians — who have toiled for centuries at the coalface of information and authority, systematizing the process of figuring out which sources to trust and why — are more needed than ever now, when we are all of us required to sort the credible from the non-credible every time we type a keyword into a search box
* So too are curators and archivists more needed than ever, now that we are all archiving and curating all the live-long day
* You can help us lay roads that lead us from our primitive information chariots, here at the dawn of history, to a future of information spaceships that carry us to the stars
#
* The stakes are high
* Because the self-serving application of market-logic to information is even more absurd and harmful than its application to public institutions:
* Since the 1970s, technologically illiterate politicians and economists have bandied about the idea of an “information economy,” based on buying and selling information piecemeal
* Their bizarre utopia is a world where you can buy and sell information in ever-thinner slices
* Selling the right to watch movies at home but not on vacation
* Selling the right to stream, but not save, a song
* Selling the right to use a program on the phone in your pocket today, but not the right to run it on your next phone
`
* Ultimately, selling the right to sell a novel to read on Wednesdays, but only between the hours of 5 and 7, while standing on one leg
* Once I was in a meeting at the DVB, where they make the standards for European digital TV, and there was this insane discussion about whether a TV program could be flagged so that you could only watch it in the room where the receiver was
* That is, you couldn’t run a wire or use a wireless transmitter to watch it in another room
* I asked, “Come on, what is this for? It’s not like there’s any law that lets a broadcaster dictate what room you’re allowed to watch a show in”
* And there was a rep from the MPA, the Hollywood movie industry association, there and he said, “Look, watching a movie in one room that’s being received in a different room has value, and if it has value, we should be able to charge money for it”
* Siva Vaidyanthan calls this the “if value, then right” theory — if something has value, someone should have a right to earn money from it
* But I call it it urinary tract infection business model
* Instead of the right to use your stuff coming in a healthy, satisfying gush, every button on your remote has a price-tag attached to it, and the value flows in mean, painful drips
* This is that self-serving version of market logic again
* Even assuming that markets have any place in determining what you do in your house
* Why should the pseudoproperty right to determine how you watch TV trump the right to have your TV do as you tell it?
* There’s the crux of the matter, where it all comes together:
* The concept of an “information economy” predicated on selling you access to information piecemeal requires, necessarily, that your computers be designed to disobey you
* If you only have the right to watch a movie in your bathroom while you’re eating a ciabatta and whistling Dixie, your computer has to have the ability to refuse when you tell it to play the movie under any other circumstances
* This is an offensive idea whether or not you buy into the markets-are-all logic or not
* Let’s start with the market argument, since it’s pretty damned simple
* If you own something, it should do what you tell it to
* The dead hand of some remote authority should not weigh on your refrigerator door, controlling when you can snack; nor should it bar your closet if you want to change clothes
* This is what property *is* — stuff that’s yours
* Back before the 1970s, only a few nutcase extremists used the term “intellectual property” to describe copyright
* They called it “copyright” or used terms like “author’s monopoly”
* This acknowledged that copyright was a limited, temporary regulatory monopoly that primarily related to industrial entities
* The promulgation of the term “intellectual property” has been a conceptual disaster
* What is “intellectual property”? Foundationally, it’s the idea that if someone’s intellect is involved with something, it is forever their property
* The very idea of so-called “intellectual property” is incompatible with actual, real property
* The facade of your house, the gears on your bicycle, and the shirt on your back all have some intersection with someone’s intellect
* If your purchase of those objects does not terminate the others’ interests in what they made, then where does this idiocy end? Does the butcher get to tell you how to cook a steak? Can the cobbler tell you how to shine your shoes?
* If we’re not talking about specific things like “copyright” — a technical statute that regulates the entertainment industry — we are instead using a term like “intellectual property” — a term that means “Shut up and do as your told,” in the same way that “terrorist” means “Person doing anything I don’t like” then we are talking nonsense
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* But forget “property” arguments
* Your house is not the agora
* Knowledge isn’t property
* Peer reviewed journals don’t determine the scholarly rigour of an article on the basis of a price-discovery mechanism of bids and puts
* These processes are non-market, and property relationships are only incidental to them — buying paper to print journals, paying for hosting for online versions
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* Let’s talk about the history of the future instead
* The shape of the space-ships that are prefigured by the wheelbases of our primitive new informational chariots
* What does is mean to design a computer that disobeys you?
* Remember “Turing Complete”? There is only one way to design a computer, and that’s to make a computer that can run every valid program — that can execute any instruction that can be expressed in symbolic logic
* And yet every Iphone and Ipad is designed to prevent you from running code that doesn’t come from the App Store, so that Apple can extract a 30% commission from all the software vendors trying to sell to you
* Your satellite receiver won’t connect to a PVR that lets you record shows and save them
* Your PS4 won’t run games that aren’t blessed by the politburo at Sony
* Your Kindle won’t let you load books you inherit from your parents’ estate onto your device
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* How does this work? How is it possible that these valid programs won’t run on these devices?
* The answer is, they *will* run on those devices
* But the devices are designed to ship with spyware out of the box
* Hidden programs that lurk in the depths, watch everything that you do
* Waiting for you to do something forbidden
* And then they swim to the surface and say, “I can’t let you do that, Dave.”
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* An Iphone isn’t a computer that *can’t* run non-App-Store apps — it’s a computer that won’t *let its owner* run non-App-Store-apps
* It is designed from the ground up to have certain programs that you can’t terminate
* To have programs that hide from users, whose associated files are intentionally obscured by the operating system
* It is a computer whose operating system has a mote in its own eye, by design
* When the user asks the computer whether there’s a “don’t run unauthorized code” program running, the computer’s job is to say no
* When the user asks the computer to run a fake “don’t run unauthorized code” program, it refuses
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* That’s the nature of a digital restriction in the age of universal computers
* Whether it’s a mandate that a self-driving car can’t drag race
* That a 3D printer can’t print a gun
* That an Ipad can’t run unauthorized software
* The outcome is a computer that hides things from its owners
* In a world where computers are inside our bodies and our bodies are inside computers, this is an insane idea
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* What happens when your computers betray you?
* If you’re the American retail giant Target, a computer that lets someone else run covert code means that 100 million peoples’ credit-card numbers leak
* If you’re Cassidy Wolf, the reigning Miss Teen USA, then a computer that lets someone else run covert code means profound betrayal: in September 2013, the FBI arrested a man called Jared James Abrahams who hijacked Wolf’s computer, took nude photos of her, and attempted to blackmail her into performing on-camera sex-acts, as he had done with 150 other victims, including minor children
* If you’re one of the civilians wrongly murdered by a US drone, the information leaking out of your computer about your location is a matter of life and death
* There is no way to design a computer that disobeys its owner when ordered to do so by the police, the government or a corporation but doesn’t disobey its owner when a crook, a creep or a spy uses that facility for his own purposes
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* This is just the beginning
* In November 2012, the late security researcher Barnaby Jack demonstrated an attack that would allow him to exploit the wireless interface in implanted defibrillators and cause them to seek out and infect other defibrillators and then cause them to deliver lethal shocks to their owners
* There’s a reason former US vice president Dick Cheney specifically had the wireless interface on his own defibrillator disabled when it was implanted
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* We are at the beginning of history
* We have seen what happens when computers and networks are designed to betray their owners rather than protect them
* Edward Snowden has lifted the rock that the NSA and GCHQ were hiding beneath and shown us how deep their rot has spread
* They have undermined every email channel, every messaging channel, the undersea cables and the chats in World of Warcraft
* The NSA theory of future history might be summed up as the “greater manure pile theory of crimefighting”
* They believe that if the pile of manure is deep enough, there *must* be a pony in it somewhere
* If they can only wiretap every conversation, they will eventually catch all the bad guys
* This method ignores the important contributions of Cardinal Richilieu to the theory of guilt and innocence: If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.
* That is to say, once you have a big and deep enough dossier on anyone, you can find something in terminally destructive in there
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* I have another theory of future history
* Technology that is designed to serve its users, rather than betray them, has the power to make a world that is better in every way
* Because the most significant effect of adding networked computers to your life is that it reduces the cost of collaborating with other people
* When I was an activist in the 1980s, 98% of my job was writing addresses on envelopes and putting stamps on them and the remaining 2% was spent figuring out what to put in the envelopes
* Now we get the envelopes for free
* The cost of organizing ourselves is in free-fall
* Organizing work is the project that defines our species
* The thing we’ve been perfecting since the first primate said, “I’ll watch out for tigers, you take care of the kids, and he’s gonna go the fruit”
* The thing that lets us transcend the limitations of individual humans and approach something we can only call *super*human — the power to do more than a single human can do
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* The Internet doesn’t have to serve as a force-multiplier for spies
* We have in our grasp ciphers that can encrypt messages so perfectly that even if all the hydrogen atoms in the existence were made into computers that toiled until the heat-death of the universe on their decryption, they would still never attain it
* In some deep and mathematical sense, the universe wants us to have secrets
* This is why the NSA and GCHQ are so freaked out, why they’re spending $250MM/year on programs like BULLRUN and EDGEHILL, which exist to sabotage the implementations of cryptography
* Because they know that when the crypto is done right, they can’t get in
* Our networks can be tools that allow us to simultaneously link our efforts to make our world a better place, AND keep the details of those arrangements secret from the forces of greed and reaction who would use our social graphs as a to-do list for midnight arrests, torture and secret execution
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* This is something we can only do if we liberate ourselves from the self-serving narratives of a market logic that confiscates the public domain and our public institutions and flogs them off like Vladimir Putin handing out state industries to his oligarch pals
* And from the technologically bankrupt idea that we can fix social programs by breaking the computers, a colossally bad idea on the lines of putting cameras in all our living rooms to make sure we’re not planning terrorist atrocities during the commercial breaks
* And then acting surprised when it turns out that some of your own agents are freelancing, selling surveillance footage out the back door; or that the cameras are being watched by people other than the legitimate authorities, or that the spymasters have been politicized and are looking at the government’s critics in order to find ways to discredit them
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* I want you to help me avert this future history and find a better one
* You, whose mission is to preserve our culture and to communicate it
* Stop telling your patrons to put their cameras away
* If the only way to get something for your collection is to promise that you will prohibit non-flash photography of the item, then that item is not a fit candidate for your collection
* You can’t convey the mission of cultural preservation and communication to an audience whom you are prohibiting from preserving and communicating their interactions with culture
* It’s like telling your kids not to start smoking while you put a light a fresh cigarette from the one you’ve just smoked to the filter
* Refuse the dishonest market logic that says public archives should pay for digitization by allowing paywalls to be erected between the public and the archives they already own
* Place your scholarly works with open access journals that hew to the Enlightenment ethic that says the difference between rigorous science and superstitious alchemy is whether your researches are widely circulated for criticism, replication and debate
* Above all, do not, under any circumstances, allow the digitized artifacts from your collections to be locked up with digital rights management — that “I can’t let you do that Dave” stuff that tries to control how files are used once they’re on someone else’s computer
* This is not only ineffective — if the piracy wars taught us nothing, they’ve taught us that
* It also betrays the mission of the museum as an institution conceived for the public good
* What is the point of an institution that exacts such a terrible price? How can you square the mission of cultural preservation with tactics that require your patrons to allow for hidden programmes that surveil and control them?
* And if that’s not persuasive enough, consider the future history of a museum in a world where all the digital artifacts you wish to preserve and communicate are locked up with technology that is illegal to remove, whose sole purpose is to *prevent* the long-term diffusion of their payloads?
* Archives and DRM go together like rare book collections and flamethrowers
* Every time you use DRM, you legitimize, promote, and promulgate technology whose sole purpose is to prevent the preservation and communication that is the very purpose of museums
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* Look, it’s not that I reject the very idea of rules for how we use cultural artifacts
* I’m all for them!
* But let’s have those rules determined by an approach that begins with the idea that cultural rules should serve free expression, not censorship
* That public institutions should serve the public first and foremost
* That the nervous system of the information age should be designed and regulated with the care and gravitas due to something that we place our lives, our freedom and our destiny in — not as a political football
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* In two thousand years, our descendants will arrange cases full of our artifacts from this dawn of digital history
* They will wonder about the curators and historians and archivists who were their progenitors
* The professionals who, more than anyone else, had it in their power to understand what it meant for, what potential it had
* You can choose how history remembers you
* Whether you served a future history in which our informational roads were used to conquer and control us
* Or to give us the freedom to communicate and collaborate to our enduring and universal benefit
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* There are people who caricature this whole position
* Who say that this a mere naive belief that “information wants to be free”
* But I’ve had a long talk with information about this
* We went away for a weekend in the country, drank white wine, cried and hugged
* And when it was over, information whispered in my ear that it doesn’t want to be free
* The only thing it wants is for us to stop anthropomorphizing it
* Because information doesn’t WANT anything
* It’s a mere abstraction
* However, PEOPLE want to be free
* And when the world is made up of networked information-processing devices, that human freedom can only be attained through a free, open, and fair informational infrastructure
* Help us create it


Cite as:
C. Doctorow, GLAM and the Free World. In Museums and the Web 2013, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web. Published February 19, 2014. Consulted March 7, 2014 .
http://mwf2014.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/glam-and-the-free-world/