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Berkman Buzz: January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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Berkman's currently accepting applications for our Summer 2012 Internship Program!
Also! We have a new Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation.

Jonathan Zittrain hosts Computers Gone Wild

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Computers Gone Wild: Impact and Implications of Developments in Artificial Intelligence on Society was an informal discussion that took place at Harvard Law School on December 8th, 2011. Hosted by Jonathan Zittrain, Marin Soljačić and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, we brought together eighteen mostly local guests to discuss the ways that AI is changing society. Unlike futuristic predictions involving the Singularity or the underlying technology, this workshop explored current technology. Sessions included discussions on warfare, finance, education, and labor. Below is a list of attendees and a summary of the discussion.

From Kendra Albert's post for The Future of the Internet, "Computers Going Wild?"
About Jonathan Zittrain | @zittrain

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At fantastic kick-off of @TheXFund w/ @hugovanvuuren. Very exciting initiative for @harvard
Jesse Shapins (@jshapins)

Yochai Benkler discusses the Megaupload indictment

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Last week was a busy one in digital intellectual property. In the wake of a day of online protest by technology companies and individuals opposing the proposed federal Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), the Obama Administration pulled its support for the measures. A day later, federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment against senior officials at Megaupload, one of the Internet's largest file-sharing sites. The officials were arrested in New Zealand and millions of dollars in assets were seized. Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia talks with Yochai Benkler, Faculty Co-Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, about copyright law in the wake of the developments.

From Bloomberg Law via YouTube, "Harvard Prof: Megaupload-Style Cases Will Kill Prosecuted Companies"
See also: "Seven Lessons from SOPA/PIPA/Megaupload and Four Proposals on Where We Go From Here"
About Yochai Benkler | @ybenkler

Zeynep Tufekci argues that Twitter's new tweet blocking policy is good for free speech

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I know many people are upset with Twitter’s announcement that it will now be able to block tweets country by country. There has been a lot of excellent writing / reporting on the content explaining that this is not as bad as it looks. (Check out good posts by my friend Jillian York here or Alex Howard here). My initial reaction upon a cursory reading of the announcement was also that it wasn’t too bad, given the alternatives. However I’ve since looked at the policy in more detail and my conclusion is that this isn’t a mediocre but acceptable policy; rather, this is an excellent policy which will be helpful to free-speech advocates.

From Zeynep Tufekci's blog post, "Why Twitter’s new policy is helpful for free-speech advocates"
About Zeynep Tufekci | @techsoc

Wayne Marshall explores nationalism and tradition in Congolese hip-hop

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As if there weren’t already enough to tease out about Konono N°1 and Congotronics, a recent article in the Guardian points to a song and video called “Karibu Ya Bintou” by Baloji, a Congo-born rapper who cut his teeth on the Belgian hip-hop scene but who has worked over the last few years to return to “roots” — in part by incorporating “traditional” sounds of the Congo, from soukous guitars to Konono’s hallmark distorted likembé....

It may be tempting to read something like “Karibu Ya Bintou” as a relatively straightforward exercise in “indigenizing” or localizing hip-hop, but the story of Baloji’s transnational musical moorings — especially his ambivalence toward Congolese pop — complicates such an interpretation:

From Wayne Marshall's blog post, "Very African and Very Modern"
About Wayne Marshall | @wayneandwax

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New post: CMLP ANNOUNCEMENT: Amicus Brief Filed Regarding Intersection of Trademark Law & Freedom of Speech http://t.co/ppwP78Sa
Citizen Media Law Project (@citmedialaw)

Ethan Zuckerman liveblogs the launch of David Weinberger's "Too Big To Know"

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David Weinberger‘s new book “Too Big To Know” (#2B2K – be sure to pick book titles that make good hash tags…) launched last night at Harvard Law School with a talk entitled “Unsettling Knowledge”. If you know David’s work, it’s obvious that the title is a pun. And David’s new book is a wonderfully unsettling piece – it challenges our notion of what knowledge is, and introduces the uncomfortable question of how we navigate this new space.

Knowledge as we know it is coming apart, David tells us. The bastions of knowledge, the physical emblems of knowledge, like encyclopedias, newspapers and libraries are undergoing radical transformation. We know we’re heading into a future that’s deeply different, though we don’t know quite how. The manifestations of knowledge are at risk, and all it took was the touch of a hyperlink.

From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post, "David Weinberger: Too Big To Know"
About Ethan Zuckerman | @ethanz

Weekly Global Voices: Serbia: The Media War Against Angelina Jolie

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Not so long ago Angelina Jolie was “more concerned” about the reception of her directorial debut movie, ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey‘, in Bosnia and Serbia than in the United States. She was eagerly awating the reactions of local audiences, whom she had portrayed in her war drama, and some of her fears turned out to be justified.

While the Bosnian public has warmly welcomed this war love story of a Serbian policeman and a Bosnian Muslim woman, the Serbian media have launched a war on the American actress, accussing her of spreading hatred toward Serbs.

From Sasa Milosevic's blog post for Global Voices Online, "Serbia: The Media War Against Angelina Jolie"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated January 27, 2012

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