The Demographics of Bitcoin (Part 1 old)

The Demographics of Bitcoin (Part 1 old)

These were the initial findings of the Bitcoin community survey, based on 102 responses.  Much better figures based on 1,000 responses are HERE. Some highlights… The average user is a 31.7 year old libertarian male. Top motivators for new users are curiosity, profit, and politics. Bitcointalk.org is the dominant community platform. Far more people have used Bitcoin…

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Coding Freedom — Gabriella Coleman

Coding Freedom — Gabriella Coleman

In the spirit of the movement it describes, I am “open sourcing” my reading notes on Gabriella Coleman’s excellent book Coding Freedom, an anthropological study of the Debian community and the wider software ecosystem in which it operates.  I’ll also leave the Google Docs version open for anyone in case anyone might find it useful.…

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Review: Rain Room

Review: Rain Room

The first thing to say about Rain Room is that although it doesn’t cost any money to enter, it is not exactly free.  Instead you pay with the most democratic commodity of all, your time.  On our first attempt to see it we were told the waiting time would be three and a half hours.…

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Six Free Ideas

Six Free Ideas

I remember an old daydream from years ago about an Internet army. The idea was that a core group of people would start an Internet academy, training Internet users in programming and scripting skills. As the academy grew, and students ‘graduated’, its teachers and alumni would start to form a networked community based around techno-anarchic…

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The Demographics of Ingress

The Demographics of Ingress

This is based on a non-scientific sample of 1,572 players of Ingress, Google’s augmented reality game.  The survey was posted to Reddit, Google Plus, Twitter, and IRC.  From there it passed through informal networks, so hopefully respondents were dispersed enough to make the results meaningful.   The game is dominated by liberal Anglophone men.  The…

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Ingress Census Ends Tuesday Night

Ingress Census Ends Tuesday Night

Last night I posted a survey for Ingress players to Reddit (and then a number of other platforms).  It is a census of sorts, I was curious to know if the choice of team is informed by politics or age, but included lots of other questions that may be of interest to others.  As is the…

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Curating Media Coverage of the Rothko Incident

Curating Media Coverage of the Rothko Incident

Today, BBC News (and others) reported that the Rothko painting defaced by Vladimir Umanets at the Tate Modern will take “up to 18 months to repair.”  Tomorrow, Vladimir Umanets is scheduled to be sentenced by London’s Crown Court for criminal damage to the Rothko.  At first this feels like a very standard slice of the…

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Baudrillard’s Hyperreal — A Case Study of Second Life

Baudrillard’s Hyperreal — A Case Study of Second Life

Interpreting Baudrillard has always been tricky. He himself was critical of artists who incorporated his theories into their work. The nature of these theories, particularly simulation and simulacra, is such that to reproduce them seems to betray the spirit of the text. This is not a defect, but rather a distinctive irony that occurs in…

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The Pussy Riot Show Trial

The Pussy Riot Show Trial

There’s a certain guilty thrill in watching something you’ve studied rise to the world stage in its most extreme form.  War nerds enjoy wars, economists revel in recession, and politicians love a political crisis.  So as the Kremlin revives the show trial format, a grotesque simulation of judicial process ever-so-slightly refined for a digital age, Russia…

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How To Time Travel With A Salmon

How To Time Travel With A Salmon

I’ve just read Umberto Eco’s “How to Travel with a Salmon”, officially because I wanted to delve back into the world of anthropology and semiotics, but really because I was staying with my parents, had some reading time, and the book was there on the shelf. The collection of essays has an enchanting, dated feel…

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