paper ideas Archives

  1. Notes on Arthur Bestor’s ‘Backwoods Utopias’

    A few months ago I finished reading Arthur Bestor‘s ‘Backwoods Utopias‘, a book on the Utopian social-communitarian movements of the pre-Civil War US. Some belated notes on the book’s themes follow. The average high school US history textbook gives a thumbnail sketch of these movements, but for those who didn’t get that or don’t remember…

  2. interesting research on ‘conditional cooperation’

    Interspecies cooperation by Barry Rogge. License: For those interested in some of my previous writings on intrinsic motivation, this survey paper by Simon Gächter may be of interest. Key sentence: [W]e find strong evidence that many people’s attitude toward voluntary cooperation is conditional on other people’s cooperation… Moreover, the fact that many people contribute more…

  3. morning link bits

    All too short and insubstantive piece on the Amazon ‘top reviewers’. Reminds me a bit of the wikipedia cabal discussion. We will eventually demand transparency in these institutions, I think. (via the awesome furdlog- must-read if you want to keep tabs on some of the big picture tech policy issues, especially as understood by the…

  4. wesabe ‘data bill of rights’

    Wesabe’s Marc Hedlund is speaking at the Princeton Cloud Computing seminar I’m at. Their ‘data bill of rights’: This Data Bill of Rights is our promise to you. You can export and/or delete your data from Wesabe whenever you want. Your data is your data, not ours. Our job is to help you understand and…

  5. Voting With Your Feet and Other Freedoms

    This Post In A Nutshell (aka, the Murray Version) No one should be surprised that social network users can’t ‘vote with their feet,’ because most users give up a portion of their autonomy when they choose to use web services. This post will suggest that protecting autonomy is desirable and should be designed in to…

  6. hypothetical copyright exam question

    [picture: 'Unsolved Mystery', by ButterflySha, used under a CC-BY license.] Hypothetical copyright exam question for your late-night pondering: If a poem is derived from statistical analysis of 22 books, but contains no actual direct sequences from those books longer than 2-3 words, is it a derivative work of those 22 books? Thou shalt be I.…