My Dissertation Now Available

Greetings everyone…My dissertation “Network of Knowledge: Wikipedia as a Sociotechnical System of Intelligence” is now available here on the blog.

It will be permanently downloadable from the About Me page, but I also wanted to put it here on the front page in hopes that it might spur questions and comments.

A huge thanks to all of the bot operators and Wikipedia contributors who participated in the study. I plan to continue this research (once I get the IRB approval at my new institution) and would love to chat with other WP bot operators and people involved in the creation, maintenance, and governance of automated and semi-automated tools. Please email me if you’re interested.

Washington Post article on the invention of email stirs debate

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai: Inventor of e-mail honored by Smithsonian - Washington Post

Photo: Donna Coveney

The Washington Post posted this note during the debate: “Clarification: A number of readers have accurately pointed out that electronic messaging predates V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai’s work in 1978. However, Ayyadurai holds the copyright to the computer program called“email,” establishing him as the creator of the ‘computer program for [an] electronic mail system’ with that name, according to the U.S. Copyright Office.”

History’s Worst Software Bugs

History's Worst Software Bugs - Wired

Wikimedia Commons: User:B4

“With that [Toyota] recall, the Prius joined the ranks of the buggy computer — a club that began in 1945 when engineers found a moth in Panel F, Relay #70 of the Harvard Mark II system.The computer was running a test of its multiplier and adder when the engineers noticed something was wrong. The moth was trapped, removed and taped into the computer’s logbook with the words: ‘first actual case of a bug being found.’ ” (Simson Garfinkel, Wired)

The Gentleman Hacker of 1903

The Gentleman Hacker of 1903 - On The Media

Photo: Guglielmo Marconi (Smithsonian)

“Not exactly. He was demonstrating a genuine security failing of wireless telegraphy, and that was that anybody could tune into it and transmit their own messages or intercept somebody else’s messages. Marconi, rather foolishly, denied that that was possible. And it was only Marconi’s insistence that it was secure that had Maskelyne putting together a system to prove otherwise, though lots of people do that these days. They break into a bank security system just to prove that there’s something wrong with it. And in some ways, Maskelyne did a pretty good public service.” (Paul Marks on OnTheMedia)

Clay Shirky: How social media can make history

“What matters here isn’t technical capital, it’s social capital. These tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring. It isn’t when the shiny new tools show up that their uses start permeating society; it’s when everyone is able to take them for granted.” (Clay Shirky, TED Talks)