The Fog of Freedom: Liberation and Lock-in in the Age of the Internet (Open Access Week Event - October 27)

  • The Fog of Freedom: Liberation and Lock-in in the Age of the Internet
  • Christopher Kelty (Center for Society and Genetics and Information Studies, UCLA)
  • Thursday, October 27 / 4:00 PM
  • McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

Why are new information technologies so frequently associated with freedom? Which cultural and philosophical concepts of freedom are central to technology design, use and critique? Why freedom instead of justice, equality or well-being? How was the link forged and why? This presentation will explore the fog of freedom in episodes from the last forty years of the development of information technology: the development of UNIX; the rise of free software; the appearance of “social media,” cloud computing, and crowdsourcing; and the eternal return of the monopoly tech company.

Christopher Kelty is a member of the Information Studies Department, the Anthropology Department, and the Center for Society and Genetics at UCLA.  He is the author of Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (Duke University Press, 2008), as well as articles on the nanotechnology and responsibility, new forms of mediated civic participation in science and culture, and the history of software.

Sponsored by the UCSB Library in recognition of Open Access Week (October 24-30) and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center's Public Goods series.