This is a list of many of the references in The Hard Parts of Open Source from StrangeLoop 2018. I hope you find them interesting as well!
I am sharing these because they are interesting historical works, not because I want to talk good or bad about any particular idea. I have tried to put things in a good order, such that each one motivates the next if you go sequentially. The documentaries have a perspective, but they serve as really helpful maps for further inquiry!
History of Behavior Modification
- The Century of the Self by Adam Curtis (four part documentary)
- Propaganda by Edward Bernays
- Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann
- Beyond Freedom and Dignity by B. F. Skinner
I think the Adam Curtis documentary is a great start for this topic. It has a whole episode about Edward Bernays, which will motivate the subsequent books in the list. I wanted to check the claims made in the doc, so I started looking into the references. Edward Bernays and Walter Lippmann actually worked together at the Committee on Public Information which seems to be the earliest use of modern propaganda techniques. Bernays later commercialized those ideas, whereas Lippmann tried to figure out the implications for democracy. Their books describe the foundational dangers of this line of thinking, and B. F. Skinner is one of the very few authors I have found that suggests some way to address these dangers.
The books have quite a few references within them, and I recommend following them. The ones I followed have all been really good as well!
History of Cybernetics
- All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace by Adam Curtis (three part documentary)
- From Counterculture to Cyberculture by Fred Turner
- The Californian Ideology by Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron
- A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace by John Perry Barlow
- Hacker's Manifesto by Loyd Blankenship
- The Virtual Community by Howard Rheingold
- The Human Use of Human Beings by Norbert Wiener
As in the last case, the documentary definitely has a particular angle, but I think it is a useful/engaging map of this topic nonetheless. Fred Turner’s book is more historical and an even more detailed map.
Many of the resources in this section are extremely ideological. I include them because they are interesting historical documents, not because I am making a personal statement of any particular belief. I found them helpful in understanding more about the very different perspectives I see as I interact with different people.
From there, a lot of additional sources are available online. For example, you can look into John Perry Barlow, Stewart Brand, Global Business Network, and The WELL to start seeing interconnectedness of the people in this lineage.