[NetBehaviour] NYT: (Copyright) "Is Google like Gas or Like Steel?" Neither, it is like Nernst's Third Law of Thermodynamics (or the Nicene Creed.

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Jan 6 19:05:24 CET 2013

Hi Rob,


My intention with the blogpost was to shift the discussion concerning
Google/Facebook etc. away from "free speech" i.e. what people are able to
say, to "free thought" i.e. what people are able to think... Google with
some 90% of the global search activity can, through its algorithms
"unperson" someone or an idea etc. (for example by dropping their reference
down several pages in the search ranking, or "disappearing" something from
the search engine completely. 


q.v. In the George Orwell book Nineteen Eighty-Four, an Unperson is someone
who has been vaporized. Vaporization is when a person is murdered by being
turned into vapors. Not only has an unperson been killed; they have also
been erased from society, the present, the universe, and existence. Such a
person would be taken out of books, photographs, and articles so that no
trace of them is found in the present anywhere - no record of them would be
found. The point of this was that such a person would be gone from all
citizens' memories, even friends and family. There is no Newspeak word for
what happened to unpeople, therefore it is thoughtcrime to say an unperson's
name or think of unpeople. This is like the Stalinist Soviet Party erasing
people from photographs after death; this is an example of "real" unpeople.





-----Original Message-----
From: netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org
[mailto:netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org] On Behalf Of Rob Myers
Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2013 9:38 AM
To: netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] NYT: (Copyright) "Is Google like Gas or Like
Steel?" Neither, it is like Nernst's Third Law of Thermodynamics (or the
Nicene Creed.


On 06/01/13 02:35, michael gurstein wrote:

> *From:*Dave Farber [ <mailto:dave at farber.net> mailto:dave at farber.net]

> *Sent:* Friday, January 04, 2013 5:35 AM

> *To:* ip

> *Subject:* [IP] Google's Lawyers Work Behind the Scenes to Carry the 

> Day

> - NYTimes.com


>  <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/opinion/is-google-like-gas-or-like-s>

> teel.html?_r=0


> ---------------------------------------------


> I've blogged about this:


> /I'm wondering though whether the issue concerning Google is rather 

> misplaced when included under matters concerning free speech/free 

> expression. Whether a search algorithm propelling a robotic process of 

> information selection would be covered by free speech "rights" is 

> something for legal scholars to ponder at their leisure./


But "robots" don't decide to speak, the people that create them do. 

Anonymous's DDOS attacks, Facebook likes for controversial causes, and
Generative Art are all affected by this.


A more useful line in US law is between protected and commercial speech.






- Rob.


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