The conference ‘Platform Cooperativism: The Internet, Ownership, Democracy’ convened techno-skeptics whose objections are growing louder | The Washington Post

Techno-skeptics’ objection growing louder; Joel Achenbach; In The Washington Post; 2015-12-26.

tl;dr → A conference report.  The dissidents met, ate, drank, talked (in the argot of the times: they shared, networked, bonded). A good time was had by all, yet they all are against it in one way or another; they are unhappy; they want it to be different.  Each and every one of them has a dream and a vision; yet none of them has a viable plan.

Original Sources

Platform Cooperativism: The Internet, Ownership, Democracy; a conference; The New School; 2015-11-13 & 2015-11-14.


  • Hooks in above the fold with a picture & description of Astra Taylor; her presence & concepts.
  • “A conference”
    The conference is never actually named or citedin the WaPo article

    • Platform Cooperativism
    • The New School, New York City
    • attendees: circa 1,000
    • Concept
      <quote>reinventing the Internet. They dream of a co-op model: people dealing directly with one another without having to go through a data-sucking corporate hub.</quote>
  • Edward Snowden
    • <quote>The Edward Snowden revelations</quote>
    • The rise of Terrorism as a tactic; contra The War on Terror
      (yes yes, you can’t declare war against a tactic, you can only declare war against an entity [citation needed]).

      • Paris
      • San Bernardino
  • Facebook
    • is bad
    • <quote>A frequent gibe is that on Facebook, we’re not the customers, we’re the merchandise. Or to put it another way: If the service is free, you’re the product.</quote>
    • Mark Zuckerberg
      • age 31
  • Google
    • is bad
  • Something about Plato
    On the invention of writing.
  • History (the narrative)
    • 1994 → browser
    • 1998 → Google
    • …time passes…
    • 2006 → Twitter
    • 2007 → iPhone
    • …time passes…
    • today!
  • South Korea
    • gaming is addictive, must be regulated
  • European Union
    • Right To Be Forgotten
    • Affects
      • Google
      • Yahoo
  • The Machine Age
    • Shadowhawk
    • Asimo, of Honda
  • Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
    • a think tank, of lobbyists
    • Washington DC
    • Robert Atkinson, president
    • <quote>two-thirds of its funding from tech companies</quote>.
    • soft Luddites (e.g. Astra Taylor)


In the arbitrary order of mention

The Activists (6 count)
  • Astra Taylor
  • Douglas Rushkoff
  • Jaron Lanier
  • Andrew Keen
  • James Barrat
  • Pope Francis
The Establishment (1 count)
  • Robert Atkinson, president, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF)

In alphabetical order

Robert Atkinson

  • president; Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
  • opines about regulation
  • worries about (soft) Luddites; e.g. Astra Taylor.

Jaron Lanier

  • <quote>Lanier’s humanistic take on technology may trace back to his tragic childhood: He was 9 when his mother was killed in a car accident in El Paso. He later learned that the accident may have been caused by an engineering flaw in the car.</quote>
  • Proposal
    • consumers be compensated for their data in the form of micropayments.
  • <quote>In our society there are two paths to success: One is to be good at computers and the other is to be a sociopath.</quote>, attributed to Jaron Lanier.

Douglas Rushkoff

  • Team Human

Nathan Schneider

  • co-organizer of the recent New School conference on cooperative platforms.
  • journalist (sic)
    his bio attests as <quote>a writer, editor, and professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. </quote>

Astra Taylor

  • age 36
  • vocation
    free spirit

    • activist
    • filmmaker
      of documentaries
    • musician
  • not paranoid
  • <quote>21st century digital dissenter</quote>
  • comments about
    • her appearancepresence
    • her education → unschooled (not schooled, home schooled).
  • Proposal
    • government-supported media platforms — think: yet more public radio (public web sites)
    • more regulation of media platforms — contra monopoly formation.
  • Opines
    • information [often] wants someone to pay for it
      contra information wants to be free.


  • digital social networks
  • digital establishment
  • humanists
  • human-machine interactions
  • Luddite
    • neo-Luddite (Ted Ludd)
    • soft Luddites (e.g. Astra Taylor)
  • machine age
  • machine intelligence
  • shadow narrative
  • stemwinder
    <quote>a stemwinder of a talk</quote>
  • techno-skeptics
  • unschooled
    contra homeschooled



  • Gary Shteyngart; Super Sad True Love Story; Random House; first edition; 2011-05-03; 334 pages; kindle: $10, paper: $0.01+SHT.
    tl;dr →the protagonists want to find love in an uncaring world.
  • Dave Eggers, The Circle; Vintage; first edition; 2014-04-22; 497 pages; kindle: $12, paper: $2+SHT.
    tl;dr→the protagonist is a Hi-Po at a Google-like company who is a lifestreamer; trouble ensues.

Via: backfill.

The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization | Peter M. Senge

Peter M. Senge; The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization; Doubleday; revised edition; 2006-03-21; 445 pages; kindle: $14, paper: $4+SHT.

Peter M. Senge; The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization; Crown Business; 1st edition; 1994-06-20; 593 pages.

Peter M. Senge; The Dance of Change: The challenges to sustaining momentum in a learning organization; Crown Business; 1st edition; 1999-03-16; 608 pages.

Books on Interviewing Software Engineers & Software Developers

Of the mind puzzle variety.  Snappy questions, snappy answers, rendered on a whiteboard in 45 min.

Archaeological order by publication date.

John MonganNoah SuojanenEric Giguere

John Mongan, Noah Kindler, Eric Giguere; Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job; Wrox; 3rd edition; 2012-11-13; 2012-11-13.

Adnan AzizTsung-Hsien LeeAmit Prakash

Adnan Aziz, Amit Prakash, Tsung-Hsien Lee; Elements of Programming Interviews: 300 Questions and Solutions; CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition; 2012-10-11

Narasimha Karumanchi

Narasimha Karumanchi; Coding Interview Questions; CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2012-05-02; 496 pages.
Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Gayle Laakmann McDowell; Cracking the Coding Interview: 150 Programming Questions and Solutions; CareerCup; 5th edition, revised; 2011-08-22; 508 pages.

Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Gayle Laakmann McDowell; The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company; Wiley; first edition;  2011-03-01; 280 pages.

Books on Architecture & Software Process | Luke Hohmann

Luke Hohmann; Journey of the Software Professional: The Sociology of Software Development; Prentice Hall; 1 edition; 1996-10-17.


  • Culture, Values
  • Private vs Public Values
  • Structure, Process, Outcomes
  • Trust issues


  • Use Amazon Marketplace (used) to acquire.

Luke Hohmann; Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions; Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition; 2003-02-09.