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Gordon Hull
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There is an interesting copyright case before the Supreme Court this term, Georgia v. Public Resource.org. It is settled law that official edicts of the government – statutory texts, judicial opinions, agency rules – are not copyrightable. More about that in a moment. In this case, Georgia entered into a... Continue reading
Per an investigative report in the Washington Post, growing numbers of colleges are using cookies and other website tracking devices to profile potential students and selectively recruit, including sometimes by income level (there’s a long discussion of how Mississippi State appears to be doing this). And of course they do... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Last time, following a new paper by Andrea Rossi, I suggested that Hobbes’s reformulation of the Stoic “security” in terms that we would recognize as biopolitical – oriented toward human flourishing, and not just survival – enables him to reformulate the Ciceronian salus populi suprema lex (“the... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Foucault aligns Hobbes with juridical power, not biopower. Juridical power is repressive and takes life away; it is epitomized by monarchy. Biopower, in contrast, is power that “exerts a positive influence on life, that endeavors to administer, optimize, and multiply it, subjecting it to precise controls and... Continue reading
That's right, the party of flag and God and country found something more important to do today than remembering 9/11: making sure that poor North Carolinians don't get health insurance. The current state budget does not include Medicaid expansion because the GOP so hates Obama that insuring 600,000+ people and... Continue reading
The awful NC legislature, largely the product of breathtakingly effective partisan gerrymandering, may finally be about to get more competitive. A lower Court in NC just unanimously ruled that the GOP maps violated the state constitution (which keeps it out of federal courts), and the state GOP apparently does not... Continue reading
It appears that HUD, as part of the general initiative to stop enforcing the housing laws it’s supposed to enforce, is poised to allow landlords to hide behind computer algorithms as they discriminate against minority tenants. As Andrew Selbst – who co-authored one of the foundational pieces on exactly this... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull A couple of weeks ago, I noted my newly discovered appreciation for Philip Agre’s “Surveillance and Capture” and outlined why I think his development of capture (and retreat from surveillance) is particularly applicable to the privacy concerns surrounding big data. Here, I’d like to suggest that Agre’s... Continue reading
North Carolina took a small step today towards undoing its disgraceful HB2 legislation passed by the state’s Republican legislature back in 2016 as an effort to stop Charlotte’s attempt to allow trans people to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. Per a consent decree today, the state has agreed... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull A current paper by Mireille Hildebrandt sent me to a paper from 1994 that I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t read before: Philip Agre’s “Surveillance and Capture.” Agre’s paper has been cited over 300 times, but it’s missing in a lot of the privacy literature I know.... Continue reading
The Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census is a farce attempting to be a tragedy. The initial claim – that the question was needed to enforce the Voting rights Act – was so obviously pretextual that Justice Roberts had to join the Court’s liberals... Continue reading
One of the standard talking points about data gets summed up in the “data imperative:” that the drive to accumulate data seems insatiable, and that firms will pursue accumulating it well beyond and definable economic end. There’s a lot of literature on why this might be; I’ve tended to approach... Continue reading
I'm very pleased to be able to say that my new book, The Biopolitics of Intellectual Property, now has a publisher's webpage on Cambridge UP! It's currently in production, and should be coming out this winter. Here's the blurb from the site: "As a central part of the regulation of... Continue reading
A week ago, two people were killed in a mass shooting at UNC Charlotte that was only one of several shootings in Charlotte that week. Yesterday, one student was killed and several injured in a mass shooting at a high school in the Denver suburbs. As of now (5/8), there... Continue reading
On April 30, a man shot and killed two students in a classroom at my university, UNC Charlotte. He injured four others. On May 1, the day after the mass shooting at UNC Charlotte, a man was shot and killed in an apartment complex near the university. On April 30,... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull In the New York Times last week, Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger underscore the importance of obscurity to privacy. They begin with an easy example: most of us do not remember the faces or names of those who stood in line with us the last time we... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull Surely one of the more striking features of the rise of data science is how readily it can be incorporated into processes of capitalist valuation, to the point that data may not just be a commodity - it may also be capital. At one level, this sounds... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull In a new paper in Big Data and Society, Jathan Sadowski argues for a shift in how we conceive data. Typically, it’s viewed as a commodity. Better, Sadowski argues, to view it as capital. Following Marx (who offers a basic formula for capital) and Bourdieu (who extends... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull As is well-known, Foucault pretty-much detested orthodox Marxism and the PCF. At the same time, his relation to Marx’s own thought, and that of Marx’s better commentators, is more complex. One way to approach this topic is via primitive accumulation (recall here). Another is by way of... Continue reading
If you're raising kids now, this won't surprise you. But it's still depressing. Basically, the more income inequality a country has, the more intensive parenting is - the more kids are taught that "hard work" is important, and the less that they are taught that "imagination" is. This holds true... Continue reading
Let’s say the state passes a law that says that restaurants may not put worms in hamburgers, and that customers can sue those that do. Your kids eat at the local Annelids franchise on the way home from school, and you later discover that the burgers contain worms. You sue... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull The Supreme Court just granted cert in an important trademark case, in re Brunetti. The case concerns whether Eric Brunetti can get federal trademark registration for his FUCT line of clothing. Although Brunetti can of course market the clothing in any case, and can claim common law... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull I pass along the following with minimal additional comment, as it fills in a historical detail that I’d not known. It’s from Peter Goodrich, a very prominent critical legal theorist at Cardozo Law School, on “the role that Derrida played at Cardozo, and less expectedly the part... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull The Washington Post has a disturbing story about how “lies become truth in online America.” It narrates the story of two individuals. One spends his time in Maine, dishing out deliberately fake news stories designed to troll those on the right by saying completely absurd things and... Continue reading
By Gordon Hull In what seems like a distant, more innocent time in surveillance (viz. 2003), Andy Clark was able to use as an example in his Natural Born Cyborgs an implanted tracking chip for pets. Does your cat tend to wander off? Now you can know where Whiskers is... Continue reading