Notes and quotes from Anarchist in the Library

February 2, 2006 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment

I list some notes from The Anarchist in the Library by Siva Vaidhyanathan

p 25,26 on Cynicism, defines ‘Costanzan’ cynicics (after George (Seinfeld) Costanza as out for their own benefit, deeply pessimistic. Diogenic (Diogenes of Sinope) cynicism embraces radical individual freedom of expression, eschews sophistry and theory and thus presages American pragmatism. Diogenic cynicism values discipline, self-sufficiency, and “living according to nature,” or rejecting the influence of social convention of cultural power….passionately humane and radically engaged…without regard for structural hierarchy. The word cynic comes from “doglike.”

P.74 Described is the ‘analog hole.’ An effort by the MPAA would close the analog hole through digital watermarks that would prevent machines such as your home computer from converting analog to digital signals.

P.123 …there are more libraries in 2004 than McDonalds in the US!?

P.125 For information to be commercially valuable it must not be widely available. Content industries have an interest in creating artificial scarcity be whatever legal and technological means they have at their disposal.

P.136 “Public library of science” and the “Budapest Open Access Initiative” are attempts to publish science openly.

P.138 Information…is a struggle against entropy. A healthy information system maintains a general equilibrium while allowing for change, adjustments, improvisations. Ideal systems are open, flexible, decentralized, and rich with diversity and differentiation.

P.139 In science, independent thinking and skepticism are encouraged. a tenet of the scientific ethical canon is that scientific work should be open to examination, criticism, and use by others. Thus a highly regulated information system is contrary to honest and effective science. But science demands an incentive system. Without an ROI companies and individuals might not strive to invent useful things. Technicalogical advances are subject to market failure. Without temporary, limited monopoly power, an innovator cannot create scarcity for a product.


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