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Citations from "The Hard Parts of Open Source" at StrangeLoop 2018

Citations

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

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

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 I include them because they are interesting historical documents, not because I am making a personal statement of any particular belief.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.

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@evancz evancz commented Oct 11, 2018

The comments here do not notify anyone, so it is like writing a note and hiding it in a tree in the forest. Someone may find it, but it is a very strange way to have a conversation. I think creating a fresh post on reddit or discourse is probably the best way to talk through the particular things you are interested.

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@voku voku commented Oct 22, 2018

... but I like the forest. (*emoji of a tree === Body contains unicode characters above 0xffff)

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