Everybody has a share

How the focus on security and the culture of fear has real negative effects and hurts our social integrity.

The term ‘doublethink’ comes from the book ‘1984’ of course. Big Brother’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ -specializing in fabricating lies- uses slogans like ‘War is peace’ and ‘Freedom is slavery’.

There is another classic book in which the state creates paradoxical rules to keep her citizens in check. It is one of my favourites: ‘Catch-22’ by Joseph Heller.


Yossarian is the protagonist, a Captain in the American Airforce during World War Two. When, during a mission, his buddy Snowden (yes, you can’t make it up) dies, something breaks inside of him. He decides he needs to escape. He tells the doctor that the war is making him insane and that he wants to go home. The doctor tells him that there is a rule that says that anybody who wants to go home because of the war can’t be insane. Yossarian has to stay because of rule 22, the infamous ‘Catch-22’.

One of the most interesting characters in the book is the profiteer Milo Minderbinder, responsible for the canteen at the army base.

Milo Minderbinder

Minderbinder runs a ‘syndicate’, M&M Enterprises, of which everybody (according to him) is a member. I can’t explain precisely how Milo buys fresh eggs for 1 cent in Sicily, sells them for 4-and-a-quarter cents in Malta, buys them back from there for 7 cents and sells them to the base for 5 cents, while still making a profit. Milo himself is clear about where the profit goes:

"Of course, I don’t make the profit, the syndicate makes the profit. And everybody has a share."

As soon as anybody questions his intentions, he literally hands them ‘a share’. Minderbinder sells anything and everything that he can find on the base. For example, when their plane has to make an emergency landing on the water, the crew finds out that he has removed the CO2-cannisters from the life jackets to make icecream to sell in the canteen. He has replaced them with a note with the following text:

"What’s good for M & M Enterprises is good for the country."

The Minderbinder character is Heller’s razor-sharp critique of the military-industrial complex. "What was good for the country was good for General Motors, and vice versa" said the former CEO of General Motors in 1953 when he became the American Minister of Defense.

Nowadays companies still use this type of of ‘doublespeak’.


Commercial interests are then equated to public interests. We now call outsourcing public tasks and risks to the business world (in exchange for a profit of course) ‘public-private partnerships’.

Proponents of this concept are often allowed to appear in the public eye as an ‘independent’ technical expert, to give their opinion on safety and the Internet. For me that feels a bit like you are asking a locksmith whether she thinks that the number of break-ins will increase, or that you create space for the thoughts of the CEO of Durex on the population explosion on the African continent.

Record holder in this rhetoric of (internet)safety as a market is ‘The Hague Security Delta’. A group of private companies, governmental organizations and knowledge institutes with a shared goal. I cite: "more business activity, more jobs and a secure world". Let’s take a look at the way in which The Hague Security Delta recruits students for their campus…

It is important of course to be a frontrunner in the cybersecurity domain. However, this bombastic piece of ‘safety-porn’ has a very damaging side to it. It scares us.

At Bits of Freedom we often talk about the ‘chilling effect’: not daring to do certain things anymore because you think you might be listened in on or looked at. The current focus on more and more security has another negative effect. The effect of the false positive: we see dangers that don’t exist.

You’ve probably read about Ahmed Mohamed, the 14 year old from Texas who was put in handcuffs and was arrested after he had shown his self-made clock to his teacher at school.

Ahmed Mohamed

Or about the 30 hipsters who had to answer to two police officers after a passer-by had gotten a bit nervous after seeing their black flag.

Beard club

It isn’t only Muslims and men with beards who are the victim of our urge to profile.

'Bomb' shoe

This shoe is owned by Peter Schaap. The laser helps him to walk with his Parkinson’s. Last month, he was sitting in the bus waiting for it to leave. The bus driver refused to get in. Before Peter knew what was happening he was taken off the bus by two police officers. They had been called by one of his fellow passengers who, rather than asking him why he needs those special shoes, had just dialed the emergency number.

Although we can probably also laugh about this, it is very sad story too. Apparently, deviant behavior is immediately seen as suspect. It is symptomatic for what I’ll call a ‘Culture of Fear’. And these are only the examples that make the news. How often does this happen to people without us getting to know about it?

Rob Bertholee

That is why I was so disappointed when the boss of the Dutch secret service, Rob Bertholee, told a room full of readers of ‘De Correspondent’ that he wants to flip around the standard question about the so-called balance between privacy and security. "How much security do you want to give up for privacy?", he asked. This shows that he doesn’t see how fear has a deleterious effect on how we relate to each other. The question that has to be asked instead —by him too— is: How much societal integrity do we want to give up for a one-sided and anxious focus on security?

The earlier examples of false positives show a human failing. But more and more future decisions about us will be taken by computer algorithms using profiling data. On the basis of the collected data about us (where do we live, what is our ‘sentiment’ on social media, what have we bought recently) we are pigeonholed by the system.

Last summer, Google’s image recognition algorithm categorized Jacky Alciné’s black friend as a gorilla…

My friend is not a gorilla

Not only does this say something about the lack of diversity of the Google team, it also shows the current limitations of technology. The exact same machine learning techniques —including its preprogrammed biases— will make a guess whether you should be allowed to order at a web shop, whether you are eligible for a deduction on your insurance premium, if you aren’t being fraudulent with the mileage of your company car, and whether you are intending to travel to Syria of course. If you start looking for that one dangerous exception in massive amounts of data, you will by definition mostly find false positives. These wrongly profiled people are therefore the victim of our craving for more (false) security and for bigger data.

We have to keep resisting the fact that we are constantly being reduced to our profiles. We can really say that in the case of the digital civil rights movement everybody does have a share. So let us keep fighting together for an internet on which human rights are truly meaningful and for a society in which we can truly be free.

This is a slightly shortened version of a speech I gave at the 2016 edition of the Dutch Big Brother Awards. Sources and image credits.

Guest editor for a day

Maurits Martijn from the Dutch online news medium De Correspondent asked me to be a guest editor for his newsletter. He asked me which sources I wouldn’t want to miss and would recommend to others. Below my Dutch reply to his questions (without the mailing list tracking codes…):

1. Cory Doctorow op Boing Boing

Zoals ik nu voor jullie dit lijstje samenstel, zijn er mensen die dat al jaren voor mij doen. Een van mijn helden is de sciencefictionauteur en activist Cory Doctorow. Bijna elke dag plaatst link naar interessante artikelen op Boing Boing. Het is een meesterlijke mix van digitale rechten, internetcultuur en politiek commentaar. Hij weet daarbij zaken vaak fantastisch te framen. Als Bill Gates de FBI steunt in plaats van Apple dan zet hij daar ‘Bill Gates: Microsoft would backdoor its products in a heartbeat’ boven. Doctorow schrijft ongelooflijk veel. Lees hier hoe hij dat voor mekaar krijgt: Writing in the Age of Distraction.

2. Evgeny Morozov

Evgeny Morozov is een vlijmscherpe criticaster van het libertarische, publieke ruimte vretende, innovatie-über-alles gedachtegoed zoals dat vaak uit Silicon Valley komt. Vorige week fileerde hij bijvoorbeeld hun perspectief op het basisinkomen. Zijn stukken zijn niet altijd even vindbaar, maar hier vind je de stukken die hij voor The Guardian schrijft. Zin in meer? Lees dan vooral zijn boek To Save Everything, Click Here waarin hij de heilige huisjes van maakbaarheid 2.0 (denk aan open data, de Quantified Self, netwerkdemocratie, en natuurlijk Big Data) één voor één omver schopt.

3. Bruce Schneier

Als je snel een overzicht wilt hebben van wat er nu op het gebied van digitale rechten speelt, dan kun je het beste beginnen met het lezen van het boek Data and Goliath van Bruce Schneier. Ik ken niemand die zo helder kan schrijven over hoe technologie onze rechten kan beperken en wat wij daaraan kunnen doen als hij. In dit boek legt hij bijvoorbeeld uit waarom het feit dat terroristische aanvallen zo extreem weinig voorkomen ervoor zorgt dat je in het bestrijden van terreur vooral false positives tegenkomt én waarom bedrijven nooit hun eigen verzamelwoede zullen reguleren en dat dus is wat je als overheid moet doen. Schneier heeft ook een zeer lezenswaardig blog.

4. Ta-Nehisi Coates

In de afgelopen jaren heb ik geen boek gelezen dat mij harder heeft geraakt dan Between the World and Me van Ta-Nehisi Coates. Met de digitale wereld heeft het weinig te maken, maar met mensenrechten des te meer. Coates schrijft namelijk over wat het betekent om zwart te zijn in Amerika. Ik was na het lezen letterlijk ziek van mijn white privilege.

5. Mijn favoriete technologiepodcast

Ik ben een fervent podcastluisteraar. Al bijna tien jaar staat This Week in Tech bovenaan mijn playlist. Gastheer Leo Laporte bespreekt met zijn gasten in anderhalf uur (door mij afgeluisterd op anderhalve snelheid) het technologienieuws van de week. Ik kan de grote Amerikaanse technologieblogs met een gerust hart overslaan en blijf op de hoogte van wat er gebeurt met Google’s Alphabet, Apple versus de FBI, Virtual Reality of de Blockchain.

6. Meer lezen?

Tot slot, vier nieuwsbrieven die ook een abonnement waard zijn:

Wait but Why, omdat Tim Urban als geen ander in staat is om complexe vraagstukken met humor en inzicht terug te brengen naar hun essentie. Audrey Watters, voor een hyperkritische kijk op onderwijstechnologie en Stephen Downes voor een filosofische kijk op hetzelfde onderwerp.

En niet te vergeten de nieuwsbrief van Bits of Freedom!

Shoshana Zuboff: Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

Over the past two years I have kept trying to explain to people that Google is appropriating the commons and is building value on something that isn’t theirs. Another way of saying the same thing is that Google is using you as a sensor to build knowledge about the world as a whole. The example I usually bring up is how any action you take on Google Maps furthers Google’s knowledge about what the world looks like and how people (want to) operate in it.

Zuboff has written an article that I wished I was capable of writing. She made the mechanism way more explicit and has called it: surveillance capitalism. I can’t wait to read her forthcoming book.

On the problem:

The equation: First, the push for more users and more channels, services, devices, places, and spaces is imperative for access to an ever-expanding range of behavioral surplus. Users are the human nature-al resource that provides this free raw material. Second, the application of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science for continuous algorithmic improvement constitutes an immensely expensive, sophisticated, and exclusive twenty-first century “means of production.” Third, the new manufacturing process converts behavioral surplus into prediction products designed to predict behavior now and soon. Fourth, these prediction products are sold into a new kind of meta-market that trades exclusively in future behavior. The better (more predictive) the product, the lower the risks for buyers, and the greater the volume of sales. Surveillance capitalism’s profits derive primarily, if not entirely, from such markets for future behavior.

On the solution:

In undertaking this challenge we must be mindful that contesting Google, or any other surveillance capitalist, on the grounds of monopoly is a 20th century solution to a 20th century problem that, while still vitally important, does not necessarily disrupt surveillance capitalism’s commercial equation. We need new interventions that interrupt, outlaw, or regulate 1) the initial capture of behavioral surplus, 2) the use of behavioral surplus as free raw material, 3) excessive and exclusive concentrations of the new means of production, 4) the manufacture of prediction products, 5) the sale of prediction products, 6) the use of prediction products for third-order operations of modification, influence, and control, and 5) the monetization of the results of these operations. This is necessary for society, for people, for the future, and it is also necessary to restore the healthy evolution of capitalism itself.

Source: Shoshana Zuboff: Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

The Books I Read in 2015

Covers of some of the books I've read in 2015

At the end of each year I list the books that I have read during that year. Earlier years were 2012, 2013 and 2014. Below you will find the list of books that I’ve read in 2015. Like last year I have also included my other media consumption (podcasts, RSS feeds and magazines).

My goal was to read 50 books of which at least half would be written by women and half by non-American authors. I managed to read 48 books (so close!) of which 12 were written by women (so far!) and 32 by authors that weren’t born in the US. Although I did read nearly twice as many women as last year, I really should do better. Here is the list of books and what I thought of them.

Digital Rights

I’ve read some wonderful books in this category. I now recommend Schneier’s book as a great introduction to current issues in digital rights. Brunton and Nissembaum published a beautiful little book with obfuscation tactics from many different domains. Van Gunsteren shows clearly how much damage a strong government focus on safety can do (and why we should always have a healthy distrust of our secret services). Levy’s history of the development of strong public crypto is a must-read to be able to understand the current crypto wars.

  • Bruce Schneier — Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World (link)
  • Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum — Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest (link)
  • Herman van Gunsteren — Gevaarlijk veilig (link)
  • Steven Levy — Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government — Saving Privacy in the Digital Age (link)
  • Hans Schnitzler — Het digitale proletariaat (link)
  • James Gleick — The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood (link)
  • Maurits Martijn and Cees Wiebes — Operatie leunstoel (link)
  • Mireille Hildebrandt — Smart Technologies And The End(s) Of Law, Novel Entanglements of Law and Technology (link)
  • Neil Richards — Intellectual Privacy: Rethinking Civil Liberties in the Digital Age (link)
  • Privacy in the Modern Age (link)

B00k C7ub 4 N3rd$

This year, like last year, we managed to read seven books in our book club. Brunton has shown me how every phase of the internet has its own version of spam, I can’t wait to read his forthcoming book on digital cash. Bostrom’s book was by far the most scary book that I’ve read all year, whereas Ronson’s was the funniest. Graeber’s book on bureaucracy wasn’t as strong as his book on debt.

  • Finn Brunton — Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet (link)
  • Nick Bostrom — Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (link)
  • Ashlee Vance — Elon Musk (link)
  • David Graeber — The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy (link)
  • Gabriella Coleman — Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous (link)
  • Jon Ronson — So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (link)
  • Edwin Giltay — De doofpotgeneraal (link)


Bulawayo’s book was the one that I couldn’t forget this year. Her first-person perspective of a little girl in Zimbabwe (and then later in the US) was soul crushing at times. Naipaul’s famous novel about the African interior was harrowing. I loved reading Van Leeuwen’s timeless children book to a young boy in my family. Houellebecq’s take on a near future France where a moderate Islamic party has come to power was thought provoking.

  • NoViolet Bulawayo — We Need New Names (link)
  • Joke van Leeuwen — Het verhaal van Bobbel die in een bakfiets woonde en rijk wilde worden (link)
  • V.S. Naipaul — A Bend in the River (link)
  • عاشقانه‌ها – اشعار عاشقانه ایرانی (link)
  • Jhumpa Lahiri — The Namesake (link)
  • Matthijs Ponte — Gemeenschap (link)
  • Michel Houellebecq — Onderworpen (link)


Krog was a witness at South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation commission and has written a masterpiece about the process. This is where you would start to try and understand South Africa I guess (and damn do I love Desmond Tutu). Most people will not have read Piketty’s book after buying it. They are wrong: it is a brilliant lesson in macro economics and the details are worth the effort. I’ve learned a few practical skills from books this year: Marie Kondo has changed my life with her distinctively Japanese take on organizing your house, Pro Git has taught me how to use Git productively and Practical Vim has finally managed to turn me into a decent Vim user. All men should read Solnit’s essay on ‘mansplaining’. Finally, Westerman has written a book with an insightful reflection on race. It is very meaningful voice in the current Dutch debates on racism.

  • Antjie Krog — Country Of My Skull (link)
  • Christopher McDougall — Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, The Ultra-runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (link)
  • Drew Neil — Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought (link)
  • Frank Westerman — El negro en ik (link)
  • Marie Kondo — The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (link)
  • Scott Chacon — Pro Git (link)
  • Thomas Piketty — Capital in the Twenty-First Century (link)
  • Bruce Sterling — Shaping Things (link)
  • Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown — A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change (link)
  • Haruki Murakami — What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (link)
  • Ineke Holtwijk — De mannen van de droomfabriek (link)
  • James Lovelock — The Revenge of Gaia (link)
  • Karen Armstrong — Islam: A Short History (link)
  • Marcel van Roosmalen — Op Pad Met Pim (link)
  • Miriam Sluis — Zoutrif (link)
  • Mortimer J. Adler — How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (link)
  • Naomi Wolf — The Beauty Myth (link)
  • Rebecca Solnit — Men Explain Things to Me (link)
  • Sandra Sprott and Janice Deul — Little black hair book (link)
  • Diederick Janse and Marco Bogers — Getting teams done (link)
  • Joan de Windt — Weg met Mental Slavery (link)
  • Simon Garfield — Just My Type: A Book about Fonts (link)
  • Roland Lazenby — Michael Jordan: The Life (link)

My consumption of other media

I had three subscriptions in 2015 and they were the same as the year before: Wired Magazine, The New York Review of Books and De Correspondent. The latter has really matured in the last year and I enjoy their pieces every single morning.

On my Podcast player I still had This American Life and This Week in Tech on the top two spots. New podcasts that I don’t skip are Note to Self and Reply All. I still listen religiously to 99% Invisible and RadioLab, check out an occasional Planet Money episode and enjoyed Kritische Massa, the only Dutch podcast that I listened to.

My favourite feeds in my RSS Reader (shout out to Tiny Tiny RSS) are Morozov in The Guardian, Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing and Prosthetic Knowledge on Tumblr. In the digital rights space I follow EDRi, the EFF, Open Rights Group, Slashdot’s Your Rights Online, Privacy Nieuws, Privacy Barometer, Tactical Tech, Greenhost, Jaap-Henk Hoepman, Hans Schnitzler, Bruce Schneier, the Privacy Surgeon and Axel Arnbak. To see what evil they are up to I check out Facebook’s newsroom and the Google Blog. I also make sure I keep up to date with the self-hosted open source projects I use like Owncloud, Lychee, Yourls and Wallabag. The NRC decided to wall their garden and kill their RSS feeds. That meant I stopped reading Bas Heijne and Marcel van Roosmalen and that I switched to Trouw as my regular source of news.

As long as they keep writing newsletters I will keep reading Stephen Downes and Audrey Watters.

A goodbye to Goodreads

For quite a few years I have used Goodreads to keep track of what books I read and wanted to read. I was increasingly uncomfortable with feeding Amazon’s algorithms and databases so decided to code my own book management system with the features that I like. With a little help from PHP, Bootstrap and SQLite you can see the result at books.hansdezwart.nl. It isn’t completely finished yet (RSS feeds are the most important missing feature), but it is getting close and already is making me very happy.

What will I be reading in 2016?

I want to make even more conscious decisions about what I read in the coming year. I want to read more female, more non-Western and more non-white authors. I also want to read more books that are at least 30 years old. I’ve written it two times before, but next year should now really be a year in which I’ll read more McLuhan. One book a week is the quantitive goal.

The Books I Read in 2014


At the end of each year I try to list the books that I’ve read during that year. I’ve done this in 2012 and in 2013. Below you’ll find the list of books that I’ve read in 2014. This year I’ve also added the other media that I regularly consume: what magazines and newspapers do I read, what are some notable RSS feeds that look at and what podcasts have been on my playlist?

Covers and ratings of the books I've read in 2014

Covers and ratings of the books I’ve read in 2014

I’ve read 39 books in 2014. That is, once again, significantly less than in earlier years. It has been a busy year at work and I have occasionally struggled to find the time to read. Here is what I did manage to read this year and what I thought of it.

Digital Rights

Menner’s book with pictures from the Stasi archives is another way to powerfully visualise the banality of evil. Malamud Smith’s book is already a bit older but very valuable in how it frames the ability to have a personal life as something that is essential for humanity. Greenwald was a bit too full of bluster for my taste and Pariser’s book is very much worth the effort, even if you have seen his TED talk.

  • Simon Menner — Top Secret: Images from the Stasi Archives (link)
  • Janna Malamud Smith — Private Matters: In Defense Of The Personal Life (link)
  • Katja Franko Aas — Technologies of InSecurity: The Surveillance of Everyday Life (link)
  • Glenn Greenwald — No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State (link)
  • Eli Pariser — The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You (link)

B00k C7ub 4 N3rd$

We’ve read seven books in our book club this year. Dow Schüll and Scott both managed to blow my mind. Dow Schüll’s work is very impressive because she manages to tie 10 years of observation of slot machines in Vegas to philosophy of technology. Scott has given me a key concept in understanding the state: legibility. Rushkoff’s book disappointed as his concepts (like ‘narrative collapse’) didn’t stick. Garton Ash going back to East Germany to read his 300+ pages of Stasi files and confronting his informants was enlightening.

  • Natasha Dow Schüll — Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (link)
  • James C. Scott — Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (link)
  • Douglas Rushkoff — Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now (link)
  • Timothy Garton Ash — The File : A Personal History (link)
  • Luke Harding — The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man (link)
  • Mai Jia — Decoded (link)


Chimamanda Adichie’s book had me captivated from the beginning to the end. It painfully exposes the perspective of the immigrant and shows how much race is still an issue in the US. I travelled through Iran in late October and read some related fiction. As always it was Kapuściński who impressed me the most. Few writers can demonstrate so much insight in so few words.

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — Americanah (link)
  • Ryszard Kapuściński — Shah of Shahs (link)
  • Dr. Seuss — The Lorax (link)
  • Marjane Satrapi — The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4) (link)
  • Kader Abdolah — Het huis van de moskee (link)
  • Sam Peeters — In de schaduw van mijn lul (link)
  • Aglaia Bouma — Niets te verbergen (link)
  • Jean-Yves Ferri — Asterix bij de Picten (Asterix, #35) (link)


I couldn’t really find any way to further categorise this diverse set of non-fiction books, so I’ve bundled them all together. Pollan’s short book is the first sensible thing I’ve seen about food in a long time. His strategy: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” is what I now live by. I’ve always been a bit hesitant to read De Bono (he seemed too much like a hyped-up American consultant). I was wrong. His six ‘thinking hats’ helped me tremendously in keeping meetings very productive. Pinker has written a seminal book about the historical decline of violence, the man writes like an angel. Munroe’s serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions were hilarious and managed to teach me a lot at the same time. Cillier, finally, found a way to succinctly explain complexity theory. Lakoff on metaphors was very worth my while and I love anything that gives us Ai Weiwei’s voice.

  • Michael Pollan — In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (link)
  • Edward De Bono — Six Thinking Hats (link)
  • Steven Pinker — The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity (link)
  • Randall Munroe — What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (link)
  • David Allen — Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life (link)
  • Richard Templar — The Rules Of Management: A Definitive Code For Managerial Success (link)
  • Paul Cilliers — Complexity and Postmodernism: Understanding Complex Systems (link)
  • Hans de Bruijn — Framing, Over de macht van taal in de politiek (link)
  • Hans Ulrich Obrist — Ai Wei Wei Speaks (link)
  • George Lakoff — Metaphors We Live By (link)
  • Zinnebeeld — Symboolpolitiek, letterproef van mooie woorden (link)
  • Steve Crawshaw — Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World (link)
  • Stuart Williams — Iran – Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture (link)
  • Paul Arden — It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be (link)
  • Jordi Puig — Dali: The Emporda Triangle (link)
  • Angela Wilkinson — The Essence of Scenarios: Learning from the Shell Experience (link)
  • Eefje Blankevoort — Te gast in Iran (link)
  • Antoine Vigne — Le Corbusier In His Own Words (link)
  • Barry C. Lynn — Cornered : The new monopoly capitalism and the economics of destruction (link)
  • Tony Buzan — How to Mind Map: The Ultimate Thinking Tool That Will Change Your Life (link)

My consumption of other media

In 2014 I continued my subscriptions of Wired (which I find barely tolerable at times) and the New York Review of Books (wonderful!). There were no other magazines that I read regularly. The only daily ‘newspaper’ that I subscribed to was De Correspondent.

The playlist of my podcast player included (in this order of preference): This American Live, This Week in Tech, 99% Invisible, WNYC’s Radiolab, Guardian Tech Weekly,Security Now, Triangulation and occasionally a part of Argos.

I subscribed to (and read) Stephen Downes’ Ol’Daily newsletter, Audrey Watter’s newsletter and Springwise Weekly.

The newsfeeds in my RSS reader that I made sure to read were: NRC, Tweakers, Ribbonfarm, Kars and Alper at Hubbub, Bruce Schneier, Freedom to Thinker, Prosthetic Knowledge, the EFF, the Guardian Tech, Privacynieuws, the Privacy Surgeon, XKCD, Adam Curtis, Zeynep Tufceki, Jevgeny Morozov, Slashdot’s Your Rights Online and of course everything that Bits of Freedom, my place of work, produces.

What will I be reading in 2015?

I am about halfway in Piketty’s ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ and want to make sure that I make the time to read some original McLuhan, some classics in cybernetics, the Club of Rome’s original ‘Limits to Growth’ and some more Žižek.

Update (21 february 2015): I’ve set a goal for my reading in 2015: