Archive for January, 2014|Monthly archive page

Gamification Done Right

Gamers Solve RNA Structures | The Scientist Magazine®.

The point is not to treat the participants as children or to offer more or less bogus rewards for work (and then pretend that it’s been turned to play) but to articulate an environment where free flows of ideas and achievements are encouraged.

5 of the most famous (and effective) growth hacks of all time – The Next Web

5 of the most famous (and effective) growth hacks of all time – The Next Web.

These are not dumb ideas. They are kind of obvious, but that’s only because I and others have also thought of them. But that’s also irrelevant. These ideas actually work, and there is even theoretical backing that I can cite for them–always a plus, for me.

The ‘Snowden Effect’ Is Crushing US Tech Firms In China – Business Insider

The ‘Snowden Effect’ Is Crushing US Tech Firms In China – Business Insider.

Bambauer: Is Data Speech?

Is Data Speech? by Jane R. Bambauer :: SSRN.

The title is brilliant. And the article interesting.

The key point: “Data privacy laws regulate minds, not technology. Thus, for all practical purposes, and in every context relevant to the privacy debates, data is speech.”

The abstract:

 

Privacy laws rely on the unexamined assumption that the collection of data is not speech. That assumption is incorrect. Privacy scholars, recognizing an imminent clash between this long-held assumption and First Amendment protections of information, argue that data is different from the sort of speech the Constitution intended to protect. But they fail to articulate a meaningful distinction between data and other, more traditional forms of expression. Meanwhile, First Amendment scholars have not paid sufficient attention to new technologies that automatically capture data. These technologies reopen challenging questions about what “speech” is.

This Article makes two bold and overdue contributions to the First Amendment literature. First, it argues that when the scope of First Amendment coverage is ambiguous, courts should analyze the government’s motive for regulating. Second, it highlights and strengthens the strands of First Amendment theory that protect the right to create knowledge. Whenever the state regulates in order to interfere with knowledge, that regulation should draw First Amendment scrutiny.

In combination, these claims show clearly why data must receive First Amendment protection. When the collection or distribution of data troubles lawmakers, it does so because data has the potential to inform, and to inspire new opinions. Data privacy laws regulate minds, not technology. Thus, for all practical purposes, and in every context relevant to the privacy debates, data is speech.

Calo: Digital Market Manipulation

Digital Market Manipulation by Ryan Calo :: SSRN.

The article is probably by now a classic. At any rate, worth reading and investigating the issues raised.

One code to rule them all: How big data could help the 1 percent and hurt the little guy – Salon.com

The essay by Andrew Leonard is worth reading, if only because of its synthesis. The familiar point, that we ought to proceed with eyes wide open and not look to “Big Data” analysis or any other seeming technological system as a panacea, bears repeating. Leonard quotes Morozov, who argues that the outcome will be less not more transparency, and also O’Reilly, who is rather more optimistic:

“The general lesson from algorithmic regulation systems is that you focus on the outcome and you continue to tweak the algorithm to achieve that outcome, precisely because people do try to game the system. At least with an algorithmic regulation system, you have a chance of adapting more quickly. With an old-fashioned paper regulatory system, people game the system too and they go on doing it for years.”

Fair enough. In a perfect world, we will always be tweaking the algorithm. But the nature of those tweaks will be just as contested as the writing of existing regulations is contested in Congress. And the same power law is likely to be as true in the black boxes of software as in the legislative sausage factory. Capital writes the rules. And the more we take humans out of the picture, the harder it will be for real people to fight the power.

I tend to believe that Leonard’s bleaker outlook is likelier to be the one most people encounter. But I also believe that in this case too the future will not be distributed equally, nor even using the same technologies. Here, as with other instances, there will be irruptions of differences that will prove disruptive. Different capital regimes in different polities alone will unmake hegemonic effects, or at least compromise them: there is no single capital market nor single consumer field.

 One code to rule them all: How big data could help the 1 percent and hurt the little guy – Salon.com.