Author Archives: Caitlin Olson

Canceled: Rebecca Solnit in conversation with Andrew Sean Greer

Update, 3/10/20: We’re very sorry to announce that due to public health concerns around the coronavirus, Ms. Solnit has decided to cancel her tour. Consequently, we’ve been forced to cancel this event. Booksmith will refund all previously purchased tickets, and you may still purchase a copy of the memoir through their site. Thank you for your understanding.

Original article:

Please join us on Monday, March 16th for an evening with Rebecca Solnit as she reads from and discusses her new memoir, “Recollections of My Nonexistence”. In conversation with author Andrew Sean Greer, Solnit will explore her development as a writer and a feminist in San Francisco from the 1980s and beyond, as well as the lessons that our larger society can draw about women’s voices.

Rebecca Solnit has written fourteen books, including A Paradise Built in Hell, River of Shadows, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art (which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism), and Men Explain Things to Me. She received the Lannan Literary Award in 2003, and has published essays in a variety of well-known publications.

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In “Recollections of My Nonexistence”, Solnit describes her coming-of-age in 1980s San Francisco. She tells of the city in which she transformed herself; of how punk rock gave form to her raw emotions; of the spacious landscapes of the American West, of the gay men around her who offered alternative visions of gender and identity. She recounts the epidemic of violence against women around her, the disbelief of authority figures, the voicelessness that was and still is the condition of so many women. Solnit explores the forces that helped her find her own voice, liberating herself as she learned how to write. That voice has resonated with and empowered many others, shaping society-wide conversations about gender, respect, and equality.

Booksmith is hosting the reading and conversation at the Internet Archive on March 16th; doors will open at 6pm. The discussion will start at 7pm and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Afterwards there will be a signing by the author, with copies of the book available for sale. Come join us for an evening of dialogue and empowerment!

Date: Monday, March 16, 2020
Time: 6:00-9:00 pm
Where: Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118

GET YOUR TICKET HERE

Public Domain Day — January 30, 2020 in Washington DC

Please join us on January 30, 2020 for an evening celebration of the public domain! Presented by Internet Archive, Institute for Intellectual Property & Social Justice, Creative Commons, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, and SPARC, this event will bring together a diverse group of organizations, musicians, artists, activists, and thinkers to highlight the new works entering the public domain for the first time and discuss those elements of knowledge and creativity that are too important to a healthy society to lock down with copyright law. This celebration will take place at American University, Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. from 5:30pm-8:30pm ET. For those that can’t physically attend the event, there will also be a live stream of the afternoon programming beginning at 6:30pm Eastern Time. 

The public domain is our shared cultural heritage, a near limitless trove of creativity that’s been reused, remixed, and reimagined over centuries to create new works of art and science. The public domain forms the building blocks of culture because these works are not restricted by copyright law. Generally, works come into the public domain when their copyright term expires. This year, works first published in 1924 including such favorites as “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, the Dia de los Muertos Mural by Diego Rivera, and “The Man in the Brown Suit” by Agatha Christie, entered the public domain for all to share.

Join creative, legal, library, and advocacy communities to celebrate the public domain and our shared cultural heritage, and come network with an amazing lineup of people and organizations who will help us welcome a new class of public domain works. 

RSVP now 

Agenda

5:15 PM         Registration opens

5:30 PM    Public Interest Organization Showcase and Reception with live jazz by the Bob Schwartz Quartet

6:30 PM     Welcome Talk: Realizing Access to the Public Domain featuring Brewster Kahle

6:50 PM    Panel: Remixing the Public Domain – discussion with remix artists moderated by Kim Tignor

7:10 PM     Presentations and Lightning Talks featuring Peter Jazsi, Julia Reda, Leslie Street, Amanda Levendowsi, Jonathan Band, and Mike Carroll

8:30 PM     Reception with live jazz

The Lost Landscapes of San Francisco: A Benefit for the Internet Archive — Friday, January 24th

COMBINING a year of exciting archival discoveries with evergreen favorites from past years, this feature-length program shows San Francisco’s people, neighborhoods, infrastructures and celebrations from the early 20th century through the 1980s. New sequences this year run the gamut from the noirish streets of downtown San Francisco in the 1940s to life in the lively Mission, Richmond, Sunset, Bernal Heights and Ingleside Terrace districts.

ALSO IN THE WORKS: Bits of San Francisco bohemia, psychedelia and punk; newly discovered footage of the late, lamented Sky Tram and the unlamented Bayside Motel and Embarcadero Freeway; workers horsing around on the Rainier Beer loading dock in 1937; transit infrastructure; snowball fights; a hobo by the zoo; newly discovered amateur Cinemascope footage from the 1950s; the building of I-280; San Francisco’s publicly owned electrical generation system; San Francisco’s cemeteries emptied of their dead; and many intimate glimpses of family life in Latinx, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, African American, and European communities in San Francisco.

AS ALWAYS, the audience makes the soundtrack! Come prepared to identify places, people and events, to ask questions and to engage in spirited real-time repartee with fellow audience members

RSVP HERE

Doors Open and Reception Starts: 6:30pm
Show Begins: 7:30pm

No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Cult of the Dead Cow Book Reading and Discussion —Tuesday June 18 at 6pm

Watch a recording from the evening here!

Join us on June 18, 2019 at the the Internet Archive for a book reading and panel discussion about — and with — some of the original hacking supergroup, the Cult of the Dead Cow. Modern security owes much to this irreverent group, whose members pioneered both smart independent security research and hacking for human rights.

The event is in celebration of the new book by veteran technology reporter, Joseph Menn, entitled Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World. Light refreshments and small snacks will be provided, and books will be available for purchase. Tickets are free, but donations are greatly appreciated. The event will also be live-streamed on our YouTube channel.

RSVP HERE

EFF and the Internet Archive Present:
Cult of the Dead Cow Book Reading & Discussion

Date: Tuesday June 18, 2019
Time: 6:00-9:00 pm
Where: Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118

Schedule:
• Reception: 6:00-7:00 pm
• Reading by Joseph Menn: 7:00-7:15 pm
• Panel Discussion: 7:15-8:15 pm
• Post-Panel Mingling: 8:15-9:00 pm

Speaker:
Joseph Menn – author of Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World

Panel:
MC: Cindy Cohn – Executive Director of EFF
Chris Rioux – BO2k (Back Orifice 2000) author and Veracode founder
Window Snyder – cDc fellow traveler and former core security staffer at Microsoft and Apple and now Square
Omega – formerly anonymous cDc text file editor

GET YOUR FREE TICKETS HERE

The Lost Landscapes of San Francisco: A Benefit for the Internet Archive — Monday, January 7

Internet Archive is excited to present the 13th annual event in Rick Prelinger’s series of LOST LANDSCAPES OF SAN FRANCISCO, which just filled the Castro Theater for two nights in December.

Get Tickets Here

Combining favorites from past years with this year’s footage discoveries, this feature-length program shows San Francisco’s neighborhoods, infrastructures, celebrations and people from the early 20th century through the 1970s.

New sequences this year include a spoof of San Francisco’s advertising industry in 1953; Native activists riding a boat to the Alcatraz occupation; family life in the Crocker-Amazon district; a hilarious film promoting the new Union Square Garage; men walking cables on the unfinished Bay Bridge; African American tourists in 1970 SF; elementary-school students doing science projects in 1957, the Year of Sputnik; surreal parade floats on Market Street; the Human Be-In in 1966; a whirlwind ride down Geary Boulevard, 1968; model rockets in Ingleside Terrace; the Stoneson organization building houses in 1941; a 1930s Japanese American family living atop a semi-rural Rincon Hill; and much, much more.

AND, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER: a short subject precedes the show: the world theatrical premiere of a new high-resolution scan of the legendary pre-quake film A TRIP DOWN MARKET STREET BEFORE THE FIRE (filmed April 1906) made from the best existing material, showing detail that no audience has seen in over one hundred years. As always, the audience makes the soundtrack! Come prepared to identify places, people and events, to ask questions and to engage in spirited real-time repartee with fellow audience members.

Monday, January 7
Doors Open and Reception Starts: 6:30pm
Show Begins: 7:30pm

Tickets:  Sliding scale starting at $15,
but no one turned away for lack of funds.

Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Get Tickets Here

SAVE THE DATE! — Building a Better Web: Internet Archive’s Annual Bash

Please save the date and join us for our annual bash on October 3rd, 2018! This year we’re working to build a better web, one that is useful and reliable, and we hope you will come to celebrate with us!

Get Your Tickets Now!

Fake news, the rewriting of history, power that is too centralized — we know the problems. Now let’s build a better web, together.

Join us as we demonstrate how the Internet Archive is rising to this challenge. Meet others in the community who, like you, are trying to help.

We’ll kick off the evening with cocktails, tacos and hands-on demos.

Let’s bring everything online and make it accessible;
Let’s make what is digital permanent and reliable;
Let’s build a decentralized web that we can trust.

Bring your visions for a better web and your dancing shoes, and together let’s build a stronger and more reliable digital commons.

Wednesday, October 3rd
5pm: Drinks, food trucks, and hands-on demos
7pm: Program
8pm: Dessert and Dancing

Location:  Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco

Tickets start at $15. If you are moved to donate more in support of Universal Access to All Knowledge, we appreciate your support. We will provide tax receipts for all donations made.

Get Your Tickets Now!

The Lost Landscapes of New York: A Benefit for the Internet Archive — Friday, June 15

by Rick Prelinger

Since 2006, film historian and archivist Rick Prelinger has presented twenty participatory urban history events to enthusiastic audiences in San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles, Oakland, and at festivals throughout the world. Now, for the first time, LOST LANDSCAPES visits New York City.

Get Tickets Here

The 83-minute program, which is filled with rare and stunning views of the city shot on 35mm, 16mm, and 8mm film mixes home movies by New Yorkers, tourists, and semi-professional cinematographers with outtakes from feature films and background “process plates” picturing granular details of New York’s cityscape. The combination of intimate moments, memories from many New York neighborhoods, and a variety of rare cinematic perspectives forms a 21st-century city symphony whose soundtrack will be provided by the audience. Viewers will be invited to comment, to ask questions and to interact with one another as the screening unfolds.

Lost Landscapes of New York spans much of the twentieth century, covering daily life, work, celebration, social change, and the city’s changing streetscapes. Almost all of the footage in the film has never been shown publicly. Highlights include: the streets and people of the Lower East Side, Harlem, Brooklyn, and Queens; a 1930s train ride from the Bronx to Grand Central; a visit to pre-demolition Penn Station; street photographers in Times Square; 1931 Times Square scenes in color; Spanish Harlem in the 1960s; housing shortages and civil rights protests in 1940s Harlem; Manhattan’s exuberant neon signage; elevated trains in the 1920s and 1930s; garment strikes in the 1930s; Depression-era hoboes and “Hoovervilles”; crowds at Coney Island in the 1920s; “cutting the rug” at the 1939 New York World’s Fair; Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reading the comics over the radio during the 1945 newspaper strike; the lost Third Avenue “El”; and much, much more.

“Like an archaeologist, Mr. Prelinger has uncovered…different New Yorks — layer upon layer — and put them together for a singular, complex film experience. It’s an ideal project for this collector extraordinaire, who is one of the great, undersung historians of 20th century cinema.” (Manohla Dargis, New York Times)

Friday, June 15
Doors Open and Reception Starts: 6:30pm
Show Begins: 7:30pm

Tickets: $10-$25 suggested sliding scale,
but no one turned away for lack of funds.

Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Get Tickets Here

Highlights from the Tribute to Cyberspace Philosopher, John Perry Barlow

by Lisa Rein

On April 7, 2018, more than 500 people gathered at the Internet Archive for a symposium on the life and work of John Perry Barlow. The program included talks, discussions and Q & A sessions with many of Barlow’s closest friends and collaborators. Speakers included: Edward Snowden, Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the EFF, Cory Doctorow, science fiction author and activist, Mitch Kapor, Lotus 123 creator and EFF co-founder, Pam Samuelson, the Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law at the Berkeley Law School and co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, John Gilmore, co-founder of EFF, Shari Steele, Executive Director of Tor, Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab and Steven Levy, journalist and author of “Hackers.”

The complete video and transcript is located here.

Here are some highlights from each speaker:

Edward Snowden:

“What happens when we cast votes for politicians who claim certain campaign promises, and then, not only do they not deliver on them, they actually expand the surveillance programs that they pledged to terminate. And this, because I’ve gone on for a while here, is that part of John Perry Barlow’s sincerity that I admired. And this is the reason, ultimately, that led me to many of the choices in life that I have made.

When I was a young man. I was reading his “Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace,” and perhaps that may have been that first seed of radicalization. I’ve said before that I used to work for the government and now I work for the public. I’m not sure JPB ever had any other allegiance. His love was for all of us. This is why he spent that long life could have been so comfortable, so frictionless, constantly searching for the next battle. Constantly searching for the next struggle…

John Perry Barlow woke me up. He raised a message, sounded an alarm, that I think we all heard. He did not save the world. None of us can, but maybe he started the movement that will. I want to thank him for everything that he did for me, for us, for the United States, and for this world.”

Anna Barlow:

“…he felt it was important to stand up for what they were doing, but more importantly to stand up for the people’s right to know the truth. To have access to that truth; to protect the availability that the Internet offered in a way that was more raw and accessible to information than ever before. He knew that this was an imperative thing to fight for, and it was second nature for him to fight as hard as he could…The right to access it and the pioneering of the Internet as we know it. So thank you, dad, for all of those important things of vital importance now more than ever to my generation, as well as to every generation to come.”
 
 
 
Cindy Cohn:

“To me, what Barlow did for the Internet was to articulate more, and more beautifully than almost anyone, that this new network had the possibility of connecting us all. He saw that the Internet would not be just a geeky hobby or a toy or only a place of the military or of the academics, which is what a lot of people at that time believed…Barlow saw the Internet as a chance for all of us to kind of start over with a clean slate and use this moment of evolution to build the layer of the mind and through that build the kind of world we wanted to live in, as opposed to the one that we had all inherited. That fit well in the mindset of the 1960s where, in the midst of terrible strife and death and war, a set of people including Barlow, were actively searching for a better way.”

Mitch Kapor:

“We were invited into the CIA, this is early days, to just talk about the issues that we were working on…I’d never been there. I don’t think John had ever been at that point. And it’s this big fortress, and there are lots of signs about no recording devices and turn everything in. And John and I conferred and we devised a plan. We said, “well, can we bring in our laptops?” This is in the early 1990s. Yes, actually if you check the laptop, (they said), you can bring your laptop.

Our laptops were recording devices. This was brand new at that point that our Macs had mics in them an audio capture software and this wasn’t a common thing, and we said to each other “I wonder if the CIA knows this?”

Steven Levy:

“Barlow used cyberspace as a metaphor that wound up becoming the way we all thought of the Internet, and as a matter of fact, the way we did all of our digital activities. Not just in the VR world, where you make up a world like Gibson wrote about, though that too, but occurring in a venue where you went somewhere, everywhere. Every time you made a phone call. Made an ATM transaction, or did an online chat.

So when Barlow wrote about it, he took cyberspace and our digital activities from something you did – what you did online – to where you were online. And we needed this.”

Pam Samuelson:

“Barlow’s major contribution in the field of copyright, and he really did, was “The Economy of Ideas” article that was published in 1994 in Wired magazine. And honestly, it’s been cited 742 times in the law review literature. Which, I’m telling you; there are people in my field who would just die to get that many citations, ok? So, Barlow made an impact on my field, but the wider impact of that article was really to galvanize a lot of people in the community who kind of came to understand that copyright – this obscure thing that we didn’t really like to think about – actually had some impact on our lives, especially on the Internet.”

John Gilmore:

“Now, as we build and use the Internet, Barlow cautioned us to distinguish “data,” “information,” and “experience” in ways that are often forgotten today. And he had a 1990s conversation with John Brockman that later Brockman put in a book, and he explained, “data differs from information.” You can gather infinite sets of data with machines. But in order to convert data into information, the human mind has to process that dataset and find it meaningful.

That’s the important difference between information and other kinds of products. Products of the physical world are generally themselves regardless of the context. A toaster is a toaster is a toaster. In the informational world, however, each piece of information draws value from its direct relevance to the area of mind that is finding it meaningful or not meaningful. So then the next layer is “experience,” which also differs from “information.” Experience is the real-time interactive relationship between the sensorium and all the phenomena that the sensorium has available to it.”

Joi Ito:
“But one of the things that for me was really important was the “Declaration of Independence for Cyberspace.” That was like a battle cry for us to rally around and it took this kind of fashion movement of the cyberpunks and turned it into a political, social movement that tied a bunch of things together. But today we look around, and it seems like kind of a distant dream…

And I still remember in the early days when we thought “we just connect everybody together and we’d have world peace” ya know, and the Internet would just solve everything. And that technology can be political. We can design it in a way that the bad guys couldn’t use it. Well turns out; it’s wrong. But I think he was aware. He was aware of this winding path, and I think the manifesto was a compass heading. This is where we’re going.”

Amelia Barlow:

“I want to say thank you for embodying these ideas that were shared today; Continuing his legacy in the way that you work, in the way that you live your lives. Also, thank you for being the immune system, and protecting us from tyranny.

When he passed he entrusted us with the most valuable asset that I could possibly imagine, which is you. All of the people in this room. All of the people around the world who he cared about and cared about him.

This vast web of infinitely interesting and radical human beings he gave to us, and I really appreciate that.”

Cory Doctorow:

“There’s a moment at which your tactics change, if you’re an activist. It’s the “moment of peak indifference.” When the number of people who care about your issue only goes up forever more. I mean, yeah, we spectacularly failed to get people to care about privacy and the destiny of the Internet for 25 years, and that is a catastrophe. We have carbonized our atmosphere with personal information that will never go away and whose effects will be felt for decades to come and the only thing worse than that, would be to let it go to waste. To let this moment in which people realize that there’s a problem slip away from us, instead of saying not only did we know this stuff was going to happen but we can do something about it.

And so for EFF, for Barlow, for the people I see here today, old friends and people who I recognize from so many different contexts, I feel like this is our mission. It’s to make the world safe for technology but more importantly to make the technology safe for the world. To seize the means of information the way Barlow taught us to.”

To view photos from the event click here.

To watch the video and for a full speaker transcript, click here.

Artificial General Intelligences & Corporations — April 8, 2018

Check out the Live Stream Here

Even if we don’t know yet how to align Artificial General Intelligences with our goals, we do have experience in aligning organizations with our goals. Some argue corporations are in fact Artificial Intelligences – legally at least we treat them as persons already.

The Foresight Institute, along with the Internet Archive, invite you to spend an afternoon examining AI alignment, especially whether our interactions with different types of organizations, e.g. our treatment of corporations as persons, allow insights into how to align AI goals with human goals.

While this meeting focuses on AI safety, it merges AI safety, philosophy, computer security, and law and should be highly relevant for anyone working in or interested in those areas.

Buy Tickets Here

Discussions on the day include:

Overview of AI Safety & definitions by Allison Duettmann, AI Safety Researcher at Foresight Institute, Advisor to EthicsNet

Corporations as Artificial General Intelligences (based on this literature review for a grant given by Paul Christiano on the legal aspects of AGI as corporations) by Peter Scheyer, Foresight Institute Fellow in Cybersecurity & Corporate AGI, Cybersecurity Veteran

Overview of the traditional field of AI alignment, with focus on CHAI’s approach to AI alignment, by Mark Nitzberg, Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Human Compatible AI

Aligning long-term projects with incentives in governmental institutions, by Tom Kalil, former Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, Senior Advisor at the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Group

Building a 501c3 organization and similarities to AI alignment, by Brewster Kahle, Founder of the Internet Archive, Digital Librarian, and Philanthropist

Civilizations as relevant superintelligence (based on this paper co-authored with Christine Peterson, and Allison Duettmann for the First UCLA Risk Colloquium), by Mark Miller, Senior Fellow of the Foresight Institute, pioneer of agoric computing, designer of several object-capability programming languages

This seminar will be highly interactive – we welcome your engagement throughout the session. If you have something valuable to add to the discussion contact Allison at a@foresight.org.

John Perry Barlow Symposium — Saturday, April 7

Watch The Video Here

Please join us for a celebration of the life and leadership of the recently departed founder of EFF, John Perry Barlow. His friends and compatriots in the fight for civil liberties, a fair and open internet, and voices for open culture will discuss what his ideas mean to them, and how we can follow his example as we continue our fight.

Speakers Lineup:

Edward Snowden, noted whistleblower and President of Freedom of the Press Foundation
Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Cory Doctorow, celebrated scifi author and Editor in Chief of Boing Boing
Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab
John Gilmore, EFF Co-founder, Board Member, entrepreneur and technologist
Trevor Timm, Executive Director of Freedom of the Press
Shari Steele, Executive Director of the Tor Foundation and former EFF Executive Director
Mitch Kapor, Co-founder of EFF and Co-chair of the Kapor Center for Social Impact
Pam Samuelson, Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California, Berkeley
Steven Levy, Wired Senior Writer, and author of Hackers, In the Plex, and other books
Amelia Barlow, daughter of John Perry Barlow

 

We suggest a $20 donation for admission to the Symposium, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

John Perry Barlow Symposium
Saturday, April 7, 2018
2 PM to 6 PM

Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

RSVP Here