Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous

Hacker Hoaxer Whistleblower Spy

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

HV 6773 .C646 2014

“Here is the ultimate book on the worldwide movement of hackers, pranksters, and activists that operates under the non-name Anonymous, by the writer the Huffington Post says ‘knows all of Anonymous’ deepest, darkest secrets.’

Half a dozen years ago, anthropologist Gabriella Coleman set out to study the rise of this global phenomenon just as some of its members were turning to political protest and dangerous disruption (before Anonymous shot to fame as a key player in the battles over WikiLeaks, the Arab Spring, and Occupy Wall Street). She ended up becoming so closely connected to Anonymous that the tricky story of her inside-outside status as Anon confidante, interpreter, and erstwhile mouthpiece forms one of the themes of this witty and entirely engrossing book.

The narrative brims with details unearthed from within a notoriously mysterious subculture, whose semi-legendary tricksters – such as Topiary, tflow, Anachaos, and Sabu – emerge as complex, diverse, politically and culturally sophisticated people. Propelled by years of chats and encounters with a multitude of hackers, including imprisoned activist Jeremy Hammond and the double agent who helped put him away, Hector Monsegur, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy is filled with insights into the meaning of digital activism and little understood facets of culture in the Internet age, including the history of “trolling,” the ethics and metaphysics of hacking, and the origins and manifold meanings of “the lulz.””
– publisher description

Beyond X & Y: Inside the Science of Gender

Beyond X & Y

Beyond X & Y: Inside the Science and Gender by Jane McCredie

HQ 1075 .M4175 2012

“Is gender really as straightforward as we would all like to think? What is it that makes anyone a man or woman? A female athlete is the subject of international controversy surrounding her right to compete as a woman; a pre-pubescent girl demands medical treatment to prevent the onset of female puberty; a school-age boy lives his life as a girl with his parents’ support. Questions about gender and identity are confusing and often generate controversy.

More and more, stories about children “identifying” as the opposite sex, and parents allowing them to live their lives as the alternate, or even undergo medical interventions to prevent development as one gender or the other, raise questions about ethics, values, and science. Beyond X and Y looks at the science of gender identity and offers the personal stories of some of those affected by these questions.

Leading us on a journey from chromosomes through evolutionary psychology and what makes us who we are, Jane McCredie includes stories of people from all walks of life and explores the science that is helping us answer these questions. She shows that we are far from “opposite” sexes and challenges everything you thought you knew about men and women.” – publisher description

Dial M for Murdoch

Dial M for Murdoch

Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain
by Thomas Watson & Martin Hickman

PN 4734.5 .N48 W38 2012

Dial M for Murdoch uncovers the inner workings of one of the most powerful companies in the world: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain; how it has used its huge power to bully, intimidate, and cover up; and how its exposure has changed the way we look at our politicians, our police service, and our press.

Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers had been hacking phones and casually destroying people’s lives for years, but it was only after a seemingly trivial report in 2005 about Prince William’s knee that detectives stumbled on a criminal conspiracy. A five-year cover-up then concealed and muddied the truth. Dial M for Murdoch gives the first comprehensive account of the extraordinary lengths to which the Murdoch-controlled New Corporation went to “put the problem in a box” (in James Murdoch’s words), and of how its efforts to maintain and extend its power were aided by its political and police friends, and how it was finally exposed.

The book details the smears and threats against politicians, journalists, and lawyers. It reveals the existence of brave insiders who pointed those pursuing the investigation toward pieces of secret information that cracked open the case.

Seeing the story whole, as it is presented here for the first time, allows the character of the Murdoch-run News Corporation to emerge unmistakably. You will hardly believe it.” – publisher description

With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give

With Charity for AllWith Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give by Ken Stern

HV 91 .S649 2013

“Each year, two thirds of American households donate to charities, with charitable revenues exceeding one trillion dollars. Yet while the mutual-fund industry employs more than 150,000 people to rate and evaluate for-profit companies, nothing remotely comparable exists to monitor the nonprofit world. Instead, each individual is on his or her own, writing checks for the cause and going on faith. Ken Stern, former head of NPR and a long-time nonprofit executive, set out to investigate the vast world of U.S. charities and discovered a sector hobbled by deep structural flaws. Unlike private corporations that respond to market signals and go out of business when they fail, nonprofit organizations have a very low barrier to entry (the IRS approves 99.5 percent of applications), answer to often naive and far-removed donors, and once established rarely die. From water charities aimed at improving life in Africa to drug education programs run by police officers in thousands of U.S. schools, and including American charitable icons such as the Red Cross, Stern tells devastating stories of organizations that raise and spend millions of dollars without ever cracking the problems they set out to solve.

But he also discovered some good news: a growing movement toward accountability and effectiveness in the nonprofit world. With Charity for All is compulsively readable, driven in its early pages by the plight of millions of Americans donating to good causes to no good end, and in its last chapters by an inspiring prescription for individual giving and widespread reform.” – publisher description

The Ethics of Reality TV

The Ethics of Reality TVThe Ethics of Reality TV: A Philosophical Examination
edited by Wendy N. Wyatt and Kristie Bunton

PN 1992.8 .R43 E84 2012

“Reality television is flourishing, both in the number of new shows and its ability to continually entice new audiences. The scholarship on reality TV is beginning to catch up, but one of the most enduring questions about the genre – Is it ethical? – has yet to be addressed in any systematic and comprehensive way.

Through investigating issues ranging from deception and privacy breaches to community building and democratization of TV, The Ethics of Reality TV explores the ways in which reality TV may both benefit and harm society. This collection features the work of leading scholars in the field of media ethics and provides a comprehensive assessment of key issues surrounding the genre.” – publisher description

Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality

Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality by Patricia S. Churchland

QP 430 .C58 2011

“What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the “neurobiological platform of bonding” that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality.

Moral values, Churchland argues, are rooted in a behavior common to all mammals – the caring for offspring. The evolved structure, processes, and chemistry of the brain incline humans to strive not only for self-preservation but for the well-being of allied selves – first offspring, then mates, kin, and so on, in wider and wider “caring” circles. Separation and exclusion cause pain, and the company of loved ones causes pleasure; responding to feelings of social pain and pleasure, brains adjust their circuitry to local customs. In this way, caring is apportioned, conscience molded, and moral intuitions instilled. A key part of the story is oxytocin, an ancient body-and-brain molecule that, by decreasing the stress response, allows humans to develop the trust in one another necessary for the development of close-knit ties, social institutions, and morality.

A major new account of what really makes us moral, Braintrust challenges us to reconsider the origins of some of our most cherished values.” – publisher description