The foolishness of a carbon-negative blockchain

With the experience of ‘fortress conservation’, poor implementation of the Forest Rights Act and the CAMPA philosophy in India, it’s hard not to think that the idea of carbon offsets is stupid. This mode of ‘climate action’ has been most popular in the US and the EU, given that carbon offsets are essentially status-quoist: they…… Continue reading The foolishness of a carbon-negative blockchain

A new way to harass editors?

There’s a new way to harass editors – or perhaps it’s an old way that we’re just finding out about, first-hand. We know that repressive governments have started using the US’s infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as a new means to censor content they do not like. But it now seems private parties have also…… Continue reading A new way to harass editors?

Will this blog be online a hundred years from today?

For almost two weeks now, we at The Wire have been dealing with a complaint that someone from Maharashtra lodged against us with Amazon Web Services (AWS), our sites’ host, for allegedly copying one paragraph in one article sans consent from a source that the complainant allegedly owns, and thus violating AWS’s terms of use…… Continue reading Will this blog be online a hundred years from today?

On crypto-art, racism and outcome fantasies

If you want to find mistakes with something, you’ll be able to find them if you tried long enough. That doesn’t inherently make the thing worthless. The only exception I’ve encountered to this truism is the prevailing world-system – which is both fault-ridden and, by virtue of its great size and entrenchment, almost certainly unsalvageable.…… Continue reading On crypto-art, racism and outcome fantasies

The overlay bias

I’m not very fond of some highly popular pieces of writing (I won’t name them because I’m nervous about backlash from authors and/or their supporters) because a part of their popularity is undeniably rooted in technological ‘solutions’ that asymmetrically promote work published in the solution’s country of origin. My favourite example is Pocket, the app…… Continue reading The overlay bias

Injustice ex machina

There are some things I think about but struggle to articulate, especially in the heat of an argument with a friend. Cory Doctorow succinctly captures one such idea here: Empiricism-washing is the top ideological dirty trick of technocrats everywhere: they assert that the data “doesn’t lie,” and thus all policy prescriptions based on data can…… Continue reading Injustice ex machina

DotA redux – AI loses

What happened An artificially intelligent (AI) gaming system built by a company co-led by Elon Musk took on some of the best human players at a game more complex than chess or Go last week – and lost. AI losing is not something you hear about in the media often because it doesn’t lend itself…… Continue reading DotA redux – AI loses

Categorized as Tech

View from the beanstalk

In early 2015, I developed an unlikely hobby: tinkering around with hosting solutions on the web, specifically providers of infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It’s unlikely because it’s not something I consciously inculcated; it just happened. Three years later, this hobby has morphed into a techno-garden of obsessions that I tend to on the side, in…… Continue reading View from the beanstalk

On that Poynter debate about stock images and ethical visual journalism

Response to Mark Johnson, Article about free images ‘contradicts everything I hold true about journalism’, Poynter, February 9, 2018. ∞ Let’s get the caveats out of the way: The article to which Johnson is responding did get some of its messaging wrong. As Johnson wrote, it suggested the following: “We don’t think about visuals BUT visuals are…… Continue reading On that Poynter debate about stock images and ethical visual journalism