freedom

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Washington Monument at dusk

While I was in Washington DC recently, I recorded an interview with attorney and author Mike Godwin, he of Godwin’s Law fame.

We spoke about Godwin’s Law, of course, as well as nationalism, concentration camps, human rights, privacy, the fragility of democracy, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, libertarianism, Australia’s My Health Record, and more.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or go to SoundCloud or Spreaker.

Play

This podcast was recorded on Friday 5 October 2018 in Washington DC.

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My week of Monday 3 to Sunday 9 March 2014 has been and gone and has delivered little of note. The plan did not go to plan. I shall return to this theme another time.

Articles

I completed my 1500-word piece for the Walkley Foundation magazine’s special issue on press freedom that’ll be published in May.

Media Appearances

None. However the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has asked me to guest lecture their first year students again with an updated version of Algorithms and the Filter Bubble in April, and ABC News24 has booked me for a chat way off in the distant future somewhen.

5at5

Well, there was one. Why did I start this again?

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

There is no plan. Let’s see. I have cancelled a planned visit to Melbourne, should you have seen mention of that somewhere.
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Boy Genius: Aaron Swartz at the Creative Commons Salon, 9 March 2006, photographed by Buzz Andersen: click for original on FlickrThis photograph by Buzz Andersen has been haunting me for the last hour. It’s Aaron Swartz, seen at the first Creative Commons Salon in 2006. And over the weekend we heard news that Swartz is now dead, aged just 26, from an apparent suicide.

My challenge for today is writing something about the meaning of this bold and bright young man’s life and death. Something new to add to the whirlpool of words that has been devouring the internet from its geekier nether regions all the way to the mainstream press.

This is why, despite my expressed intention to write more last night about my slowly-evolving plans for 2013, I wrote no such thing. Having slept on it, though, I have an answer to both problems.

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A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. This post covers the week from Monday 16 to Sunday 22 January 2012, i.e. last week. Yes, just like last week’s Weekly Wrap it’s being posted way late because I’ve been incredibly busy.

The main cause of that was covering Linux.conf.au 2012 (LCA) conference. Indeed, some of the conference coverage wasn’t posted until well into the following week — which is this week as I’m posting this post, except it shouldn’t be because this post is about last week. Confused? You should’ve been there!

Now there’s so much stuff here that I’m posting the main body of text over the fold. If you’re only seeing the preview, do click through ‘cos there’s a very important question about the photo.

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Photo of stairs descending to the deserted platform at Gordon StationAs much as one stairway can symbolise imprisonment, another one at Gordon railway station (pictured) is a symbol of Freedom. It’s deserted, but I know there’ll soon be a late-night train taking me somewhere that dinner can be found. Huzzah!

Yes, I really was trapped alone in an office building, with deadlocking doors at the top and the bottom of the stairwell. One of the tenants is Westpac bank, so everything is solid. And I’d already phoned the client’s people but bounced to voicemail each time. I was looking forward to a long night on the stairs. Not.

And yes, I really did post to my website from The Stairway of Imprisonment.

My PowerBook has a battery. It talks Bluetooth to my Nokia N80 phone, and uses the phone’s 3G data link through Vodafone to teh Internetz. I used the N80’s camera to take the photo, and Bluetooth’d it back to the PowerBook for a quick and dirty bit of Photoshop. The photo transfer happened without disturbing the data link too! Impressed.

Luckily, while I was doing all that one of the client’s staff phoned back. I could take the call while still online, too. Hi, Loraine! She only lives 15 minutes of late-night driving from the office, so I was freed soon enough. And right now I’m on a train back to the City. Indeed, I’m posting this story precisely as I cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge!