Eben Moglen is a revelation – as this talk proves and is what led to a (subsequently failed) hit being put out on Facebook:
Jonathan Perlman – who is currently switching out Dawson College’s website for WordPress turned me on to the company Digital Ocean whose forums I later read are frequented with something called: Software Intellectuals.
Is Eben Moglen a software intellectual?
Surely he gets at the nuts and bolts of the thing better than Jaron Lanier or Joel Spolsky, who some time ago put out these wonderful books I devoured The Best Software Writing, volume I and volume II.
Other current – software intellectual – favourites of mine include Jen Simmons of the podcast The Web Ahead and Gina Trapani of the podcasts This Week in Google and All About Android though these two are more about mechanics than critique.
Does it occur to software engineers the economic and political ramifications of the things they create?
Something as mundane and seemingly benign as log files – says Eben Moglen – when centralized – become an economic weapon. A giving up of control.
I have seen glimpses of this new power structure, sometimes referred to as technocapitalism, like K trying to get at The Castle, system engineers, program and product managers, marketers and salesman somewhere beyond the pale.
R & D, technical writers, software programmers, like robots programmed themselves with little freedom of thought or action.
Eben Moglen talks about logs in his seminar – but what about user privileges – access to the Facebook database – the NSA’s files – the Google backend?
This ever so Escher-esque of constructs, this messy monstrosity going on in Michael Ventura’s oligopoly America largely begins and ends now in Silicon Valley and the rest of the world should cease being prostrate to a bunch of kids in hoodies and ridiculous glasses – or is that what Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is really about?