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  • Originally published 06/25/2013

    San Francisco™, Brought to You By Google

    Rebecca Solnit

    Credit: Wiki Commons/HNN staff.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com Finally, journalists have started criticizing in earnest the leviathans of Silicon Valley, notably Google, now the world’s third-largest company in market value. The new round of discussion began even before the revelations that the tech giants were routinely sharing our data with the National Security Agency, or maybe merging with it. Simultaneously another set of journalists, apparently unaware that the weather has changed, is still sneering at San Francisco, my hometown, for not lying down and loving Silicon Valley’s looming presence.

  • Originally published 05/10/2017

    Whose Internet Is It?

    Steve Hochstadt

    One of the exciting new developments in computer connectedness is the “internet of things”, the networking among objects we own, like cars, refrigerators, thermostats, and light switches, so they can communicate with us and with each other. In cute ads on TV, a baby turns lights on and off at home by touching a smart phone. In real life, the most basic of your daily actions at home can be monitored and recorded by companies you don’t know about or be hacked by criminals.

  • Originally published 10/08/2013

    Why Counter-Revolution

    Revolutionary Moments

    Does every revolution need a counter-revolution? While we are focusing on the Revolution, I’d like to raise a point about the counter-revolution of Thermidor. I do recognize that at first the leadership expected little change, but the regime morphed into a counter-revolution after a couple of months only. And the next few months witnessed signaled a significant change from the most radical era of the Revolution.Some revolutions do not seem to have this occur. For example, Iran still awaits a counter-revolution; likewise the Chinese did not have one either as long as Mao was alive. The Russians experienced the NEP in 1921 and then turned back from the market and the revolution resumed, not to abate in a thoroughgoing way until Gorbachev took power. It’s too early to tell for sure, but Egypt raced to counterrevolution very rapidly.These ruminations suggest that counter-revolution needs some definition and that world history can give us some idea of what are general factors in creating such a retreat.