Category Archives: Aaron Swartz Day 2018

Big Weekend At The Internet Archive – John Perry Barlow Symposium and AGI & Corporations Seminar

We wanted to make sure that everyone knew about two important events happening this weekend at the Internet Archive.

The first is a John Perry Barlow Symposium from 2pm-6pm – which we think might actually be better than an old fashioned memorial :-)


Much like Aaron Swartz Day, rather than simply mourn the loss of our friend, the Internet Archive is taking this opportunity to discuss and promote many of the ideals that John Perry stood for, with some speakers that knew him well, so that we can carry on working in his name:

Edward Snowden, noted whistleblower and President of Freedom of the Press Foundation

Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Cory Doctorow, celebrated scifi author and Editor in Chief of Boing Boing

Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab

John Gilmore, EFF Co-founder, Board Member, entrepreneur and technologist

Trevor Timm, Executive Director of Freedom of the Press

Shari Steele, Executive Director of the Tor Foundation and former EFF Executive Director

Mitch Kapor, Co-founder of EFF and Co-chair of the Kapor Center for Social Impact

Pam Samuelson, Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California, Berkeley

Steven Levy, Wired Senior Writer, and author of Hackers, In the Plex, and other books

Amelia Barlow, daughter of John Perry Barlow

See you there!

Then on Sunday, the Internet Archive is putting on a seminar on AGI (Artificial General Intelligences) & Corporations that is as frightening and interesting as it sounds.

This ties in to this year’s Aaron Swartz Day event, where we have an “AGI Ethics” track this year. (The Ethical Algorithms track is sticking around too.)

About the event:

Even if we don’t know yet how to align Artificial General Intelligences with our goals, we do have experience in aligning organizations with our goals. Some argue corporations are in fact Artificial Intelligences – legally at least we treat them as persons already.

The Foresight Institute, along with the Internet Archive, invite you to spend an afternoon examining AI alignment, especially whether our interactions with different types of organizations, e.g. our treatment of corporations as persons, allow insights into how to align AI goals with human goals.

While this meeting focuses on AI safety, it merges AI safety, philosophy, computer security, and law and should be highly relevant for anyone working in or interested in those areas.

Tickets – $10

See you there too! :-)

Wired Hears Our Call For an “RSS Revival”

It’s Time for an RSS Revival

By Brian Barrett for Wired.

Can I get a Hallelujah! :-) Looks like we got through to someone re: bringing back RSS! As we explained back in November:

We now realize that centralized news is “bad” for all sorts of reasons. Many of us have let Google News and Facebook become our primary news filters, which was stupid and naive and lazy of us, but I think I can safely say we are now paying the price.

But what’s done is done. Time to fix it now. Let’s revive RSS and dig up all the old news readers. The news outlets still use it, and they will use it more, if we demand it of them.

The Wired article has pointed out the newest tools (below)!  Just like we asked! Thanks to Brian Barrett :-)

From the Wired article:

“There are multiple approaches to connecting to news. Social felt pretty interesting at first, but when you mix social and algorithmic, you can easily get into these noise bubbles, or areas where you don’t necessarily feel 100 percent in control of the algorithm,” says Edwin Khodabakchian, cofounder and CEO of popular RSS reader Feedly. “A tool like Feedly gives you a more transparent and controllable way to connect to the information you need.”…

…Feedly has plenty to offer casual users. It has a clean user interface, and the free version of its service lets you follow 100 sources, categorized into up to three feeds—think News, Sports, Humor, or wherever your interests lie. …Paid accounts—of which Feedly has about 100,000—get you more feeds and integrations, faster updates, and better tools for teams.

For more of a throwback feel, you might try The Old Reader, which strips down the RSS reader experience while still emphasizing a social component…

Power users, meanwhile, might try Inoreader, which offers for free many of the features—unlimited feeds and tags, and some key integrations—Feedly reserves for paid accounts…

(Dave) Winer has re-entered the fray, this week introducing feedbase, a database of feeds that makes it easy to see what others subscribe to, ideally prompting discovery and an even more open approach. “I thought it might be a good time to try to add an important feature to RSS that was always part of the vision, dynamic subscription lists,” Winer says.