|Me meeting Mr. John Scalzi|
At Penguicon 2017 - 1704.29
So this is long overdue. Like two months late, actually.
I have to get this up, so I may skimp on some of my content.
In fact, as I come back and insert this comment, I have realized that I have to stretch my content to other parts.
Get ready. There's lots of notes here, but I think they are somewhat intelligible.
I kind of acted like a fan boy meeting John Scalzi. I think he only signed my book and took a photo with me, though I was off to another thing, so I hope I didn't take advantage.
Seeing John Scalzi read was a hoot! More on this later, maybe. He read from the next LOCKED IN book called Head On. Very cool. Looking forward to book next year, which I know from his blog that John is currently busy finishing. In fact, he announced that he needs to hide from the news in order to finish it in a timely fashion or suffer disapproving looks from his editor. And nobody likes to see those looks.
Highlights were also meeting and interacting with Cory Doctorow and Ada Palmer. I wish I had pictures of myself with those fine folks, also.
Two months later, I have finished Cory's new book Walkaway, which was excellent, and I have just started Ada's Too Like the Lightning, and I think it's pretty great, too. I had already read Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire by the time I was at Penguicon.
Since I have been at Penguicon, its listserv has been choked with "discussion" about the Penguicon staff's managing of various issues to do with conduct, inclusion, and diversity. Criticisms have been directed to the con staff as misguided SJWs, particularly for its handling of gender issues, handicapped accessibility, and other practices that some feel are making Penguicon a "mono-culture" and exclusive rather than truly inclusive. For the most part, I think the debate is quite silly because the efforts of the con staff were by and large thoughtful and accepting. Yet some of the criticisms of how the con implemented its culture and made some who do not identify as SJWs feel excluded is worthwhile and it's something the con staff should listen to.
In any case, I love Penguicon, and I hope to go back next year, which may be a bit more challenging as soon Liesel and I will be living in Woodland, WA, near Vancouver, near Portland, OR.
Anyway, here's my previous three links of Penguicon 2017 content.
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #660 - I am going to PENGUICON 2017.
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #661 - Penguicon 2017 - Part One
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #662 - Penguicon 2017 - Part Two
So, as I left off my description of the con with Friday night, I had not had dinner until about 21:00 hours. I didn't get to sleep until around 23:00, so I slept in a bit, but I had breakfast delivered at 7 a.m. so I was up for that. I ate breakfast and worked a bit before heading out for the day.
Here's my schedule. I didn't make it to the start of the first panel, but I caught about half of it.
09:00 - Listening to Your character
10:00 - Censorship & Information Control
11:00 - Cory Doctorow Reads from WALKAWAY
12:00 - Scalzi reads
14:00 - Career Building - Mock Interview
15:00 - LUNCH
16:00 - Teaching Python Informatics to everyone AKA The end of Dilbert -
18:00 - Giving work away for free
19:00 - Why doesn't everyone self publish?
20:00 - DINNER
|Cory Doctorow (L) and Ada Palmer (R)|
I took extensive notes for the the panel with Cory Doctorow and Ada Palmer on CENSORSHIP AND INFORMATION CONTROL, which is also a project through the University Of Chicago, where Ada Palmer is a professor.
I was going to try to rewrite the notes, but why do that? I am might be able to post this entry sooner (as it is already so very late), if I just publish my notes with minor edits.
Also, Ada brought some really old books, and I have a few pictures of those...
I wish someone had taken a video of this talk. I know I missed things. It was so packed with good information and IDEAS. You know I like ideas: SEE THIS.
- what can we learn from the print revolution after the invention of the printing press.
- getting hackers and activists together with book historians and rare book librarians
- people are the gatekeepers for information are taken over from the new gatekeepers of information
- originally, around the time of the invention of piano rolls, composers said that recording our music is an act of theft. Of course, composers lose and the recording industry is born. Then there was another fight when the recordings were broadcast on the radio, and the fight repeats for cable TV, the VCR, and now digital - NAPSTER...
- What is the legitimate progress of art and culture and what is “theft pure and simple”
- recurring themes
- recurring theme: parallel technology
(1450 Gutenberg) - at first, print books are not the majority (vs. handwritten manuscript)
Print books do not become the norm for 80 years.
- This is the curve - the exponential curve (as print books replace handwritten books by the proliferation of more and more presses and people who know how to work them.
- Gutenberg has one press - he teaches one person to work it and build one and that person teaches two more and so on - it takes until 1700 until there is a saturation (over 200 years).
- another challenge at the beginning is that there is no distribution system. Gutenberg prints 80 bibles but there are only 6 people in his town who want to buy the Bible. Gutenberg goes bankrupt. Eventually a printing press is established in Venice and printers sell books to ship captains to be transported to other places - a distribution system begins.
Eventually, there are book fairs - books for cheese economy - a trade system.
- Cory referenced Clarke’s second law - when a scientist tells you something is possible, he’s probably right but when he tells you something is impossible, he’s probably wrong
- connects this idea to DRM - the DRM engineers hide secrets in technology that he gives to his adversary - wishful thinking
- the Ulysses Pact
- information’s use value has a point at which it starts to diminish but there is a point of no return for its dissemination.
- the goal of this system is not to destroy the information but control who has access to the information. Even in the inquisition, they did not destroy all copies of the book, but they simply controlled access to the information, to the banned books. The inquisition starts printing in the 1500s the index of banned materials.
- We trust the elites to have access to this knowledge but we don’t trust the general public to have access to this information.
- The continental versus the English system of information control.
- Old books are very rugged - almost indestructible - leather, pages of on woolen material
Ada brought 400-500 year old books.
- system in England was backwards - you could print anything
but you had to print your home address on it - if the authority thought the information was dangerous, they would come arrest you.
- psychological effect on the creator
- in continental system, you are writing for the censor, writing for the clerk who works for the inquisition - gatekeepers
- but different in English system – see Milton’s writings – different initial audience in mind
- did censors ever censor something that they should not have censored - did discuss controlling over-zealous censors
- protected literature and fables with naughty bits that are harmless - such as the Decarmeron - 50% are stories of monks having sex with each other - one where a monk dresses up as the angel Gabriel
- Jansenism - extreme Catholicism in the 18th century
- If you can outrun the censor by creating public celebration of your work, then you might get a pass - like NAPSTER, more people signed on to Napster than voted for GW Bush at the same time
- in 1976 when the VCR was invented, no one knew the danger it would present to art and distribution
- but in 1984 when the supreme court ruled on the beta max case, the VCR could no longer be banned because there were six million VCRs in homes and a video store in every neighborhood
- People will never vote for someone who wants to take away something people depend on.
- Those who want to control information need to anticipate the impact of a technology to ban it in advance.
- bans were sweeping - ban printed versions of the writings of Martin Luther and all books printed by that printer.
- others banned all books coming out of Geneva and Amsterdam
- but once 50% of all books that are printed in Amsterdam, too many people want books from those cities, so the censors require, to work around the ban, they only need to cross out the publication location as to make it permissable - the crossings out (which were on each page) there was a constant reminder on each page of this “wall” between Catholic and the Protestant world.
- this business of how to out run the rules - cory’s connection to the Amsterdam work around - America becomes a country that exports designs to countries who make them - WTO agreement - but eventually China becomes the only country where everything is made - China can ignore attempts to enforce trade controls because they make everything and businesses rely on China for their goods because we don’t make anything here in America anymore.
- notice and take down - copyright and control - for example YOU TUBE is a great proprietor of notice and STAY down - copyright proprietorship can ask for anything with an AV hash be taken down, all things - originally copyright proprietorship would want pre-approval control for videos on You Tube or Tweets, which is impossible.
- when they created rules for pre-ban of technology, such as Amsterdam, what’s the work around?
- printing starts in Germany but goes bankrupt, then Venice where it is financially solvent, then printing hub moves to Paris because France by itself has a population equal to the rest of Europe, then Amsterdam becomes a printing hub.
- the reason Amsterdam works is that it’s both a port city (distribution) and has no censorship
- some books “lie” claiming they were printed in Amsterdam even though they were not
- in the inquisition, the penalties for owning banned books were always fines not burning at stake and also sitting through tedious lectures (correction through orientation) - but also confiscation of a personal library.
- this is a big deal - People had small fortunes in their libraries.
- handmade manuscripts costs as much as a house - but early print copies cost as much as a 2-3 month salary for a teacher - so confiscation of a library was a big deal.
- parallels are blowing cory’s mind
- Edison invents movies in New Jersey but Edison had patent enforcers and only allowed films with his approval
- artsy jews chafed at this and went as far west as possible and formed a little town near the Mexican border called Hollywood and formed a new film industry, eventually when patent enforcers of Edison’s from out east reached them and tried to shut them down, it’s too late, they’re established.
- Kirby Dick - THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED
- copies - “in the vault”
Hannah Markus, scholar at Harvard
- The Inquisitorial licensing process
- doctors apply for exceptions for banned medical texts
- Pliny - not because of the information about the immortality of the soul but about epilepsy
- BUT permission expires after 3 yrs
- but doctors keep adding things to the permission list
- few things that become hot buttons - are Machiavelli and Galileo - CAN’T HAVE THEM - but you can have them if you are a king or a duke or if you are a Jesuit - then suddenly tons of people join the Jesuits so they can get access to clandestine stuff
- dukes and kings have big libraries and have court librarians who provide access to forbidden texts
- The Inquisition hates this and tries to stop it but they do not have their own enforcement tools, they must go to the local police to get their enforcements, but they cannot get too many enforcements
- States carve out elite access to their approved population
- certificate transparency - invisible certificate submission to approval - and then certificate permissions are removed.
CORY DOCTOROW - Talks after short reading from Walkaway.
- creative commons - https://creativecommons.org/
- cory is going to release Information Doesn’t Want to be Free on CC next week
- cory has a without DRM condition on all books
- why can’t I buy your books anonymously, he’s asked, because I am not a bank, he says.
- Standard deal of back end with e-book with traditional publishing is 25%.
- Authors are creating separate e-book stores to circumvent e-book rates of big publishers
- cory did not self publish because he wanted a 30 city book tour and a higher readership
-SOMEONE ASKS - “Am I a bad person for getting a pirated copy of WALKAWAY last week and read it?”
- Not much different than borrowing book from library - so okay
- Vote with your ballot and your integrity and not with your wallet
- character who is privileged who is trying to set privilege aside (unearned privilege) and do good in the world - activism
- class warfare uses identity to set us against each other
to ensure equitable treatment for everyone we need to care about intercesstionalism??
or did he mean intersectionalism
- people whose resilience is lacking
ULYSSES CONTRACT - knowing that wehn your resolve is trongest, lashing yourself to the mast to protect yourself from when your resolve is the weakest
- Aaron’s Law - violating the EULA was not a felony
Aaron who founded reddit
- committed suicide
_ privatized prisons are coming back under Trump but never went away under Obama
97% plea rate suggests that our prisons are filled with people who are not guilty - people plea to get a lesser sentence because they don’t think they can beat the system and get an acquittal
- named in the lawsuit the EFF is engaging against the govt
DCMA - named in lawsuit
- back door into the legislative system
- Matthew Green
- Bunny Wang - broke the X-Box
- currently breaking DRM to make a filter to look ahead in a video for strobe effects to protect content from epileptic people who are prone to seizures is a felony and so this DCMA clause does not pass constitutional muster
- our (EFF's) argument is part is that you are not allowed to break DRM for fair use and this is not right
will congress fix the CFAA??
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
Creative commons considers and “gets right”
Larry Lessig’s four forces, also known as Pathetic Dot Theory
code - what’s possible
norms - what’s acceptable
markets - what’s something that can make money
law - what are legal
the actual problem with copyright is that public knows nothing about copyright
but if you have to understand copyright law to be entertained then the system is busted and no progress can be made in the education of the public, say, in regards to the 12 yr old who wants to write Harry Potter fan fic
how do we test who is a publisher or who is a bank?
Does lending 10 mil make you a bank? What if we have hyper inflation and a sandwich costs 10 mil, no a bank?
So making 1000 copies of something makes you a publisher, then are we publishers when we make copies of something with our computer then are we publishers?
Copyright advocates - if it’s all or nothing, then we will take a little less
DCMA - now creeping into tractors and cars
$70K machine to fix a GM car
- parts will only work when enabled
- farmers need John Deere to enable tractors to accept the parts
- $150 minimum to have JD tech come to farm and turn on the bit that enables the part in the tractor
More to come...
Reflect and connect.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
I miss you so very much, Mom.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 726 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1706.30 - 10:10
NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.