Tag Archives: 1996

Battelle, J. (2005). The birth of Google. Wired, 13.08. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.08/battelle.html

Google was the brainchild of Sanford graduate students Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who named the software googol, the name for the number one followed by 100 zeroes.

Unlike search engines that ranked results by keyword, Page and Brin’s system ranked results by the amount of links at each site. This mechanism privileged sites with more links, making them more “important” in search. The students cobbled equipment together in their dorm rooms and offices to service Stanford with PageRank, which regularly brought down Stanford’s internet connection in the fall of 1996.

Barlow, J.P. (1996, February 8). A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. Retrieved from https://projects.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html

John Perry Barlow was a libertarian who helped write lyrics for the Grateful Dead and who was involved in shaping the political identity of cyberspace in the early 90s. He published an essay titled “The Economy of Ideas” in a 1994 issue of Wired magazine and his declaration of independence in 1996. The Declaration, which was widely distributed after its publication and was both celebrated and strongly critiqued, is described about a decade later as Barlow’s “Thomas Jefferson moment” in a 2004 interview with Brian Doherty of Reason Magazine.

In this interview, he explains that his political philosophy was one of passivity; that his beliefs centered around the idea that taking care of oneself and raising consciousness was better than confronting authority directly. He changed his mind at the beginning of the 2000s, saying in this interview that civil liberties were in grave danger. He joined the Democratic party in hopes of confronting what he saw as issues very damaging to intellectual property and a free society.

Copyright and intellectual property are the most important issues now. If you don’t have something that assures fair use, then you don’t have a free society.

If all ideas have to be bought, then you have an intellectually regressive system that will ensure you have a highly knowledgable elite and an ignorant mass.

In explaining his comments on how Microsoft was operating an information monopoly, he said,

Anytime you engage with information, the reality that you extract from that information is shaped bu the tools that deliver it.”

This statement supports what I am trying to demonstrate and articulate in these exams.

Barlow’s Declaration was hailed by many triumphantly, but it was also called “hogwash” by critics who viewed Barlow with skepticism as an idealogical hippie who was out of touch with the economic and political realities of the internet. His lifelong fight for the freedom of information online, however, has played an important role in helping define (and relax) boundaries around the free exchange of knowledge on the internet.

Bloom, Lynn Z. “Freshman Composition as a Middle-Class Enterprise.” College English 58.6 (1996): 654-675. Print.

Lynn Bloom elucidates why and how Freshman Composition is a solidly middle class enterprise, functioning to validate the middle class values to which teachers of this curriculum mostly inevitably subscribe and to cement them into the next generations of students to pass through the university, sanitizing them before they can go along with the real business of the academy.

In this – as perhaps in any – middle class enterprise, the students’ vices must be eradicated and they must be indoctrinated against further transgressions before they, now pristine and proper, can proceed to the real business of the university (656).

Here are the hallmarks of first year composition, as they correspond to Benjamin Franklin’s exhortations about the proper way to conduct oneself, which have become cemented into the national ideology of what it means to be a proper, respectable member of society. These hallmarks largely define what it means to be middle class:

  • self reliance, responsibility
  • respectability
  • decorum, propriety
  • moderation and temperence
  • thrift
  • efficiency
  • order
  • cleanliness
  • punctuality
  • delayed gratification

Because of our fanatical adherence to these virtues, when first year writers dare to transgress them in their writing, teachers penalize them, albeit in increasingly diplomatic ways which better adhere to the narrative of diversity, political correctness, inclusion, and liberal, progressive thinking. Despite the language our critiques may be framed within, the proscriptions of student work which does not obey the parameters of these virtues are relatively consistent and predictable.

Aguinis, Herman et al. “Power Bases of Faculty Supervisors and Educational Outcomes for Graduate Students.” The Journal of Higher Education 67.3 (1996): 267-297. Print.

Power between graduate students has been examined, but the investigation of power between graduate students and faculty has not been rigorously explored. The authors explain that in the limited studies that do exist, power and influence are often conflated, and that almost no empirical research has been done on this topic. Toward contributing to this body of knowledge, they undertook the present study, which is a quantitative evaluation of how perceived power of faculty members influences graduate students and how that influence impacts graduate students’ experiences. The authors distributed nearly a thousand surveys to graduate assistants with teaching duties at one northern university and collected responses from about 35%.

They use the French and Raven power taxonomy, which distinguishes “five bases of power, which contribute to the agent’s overall ability to alter a target:

  • 1) referent (based on the target’s desire to be associated with the agent),
  • (2) coercive (based on the target’s belief that the agent has the ability to punish him or her),
  • (3) expert (based on the target’s belief that the agent can provide him or her with special knowledge),
  • (4) legitimate (based on the target’s perception that the agent has the legitimate right to influence the target and that he or she is obligated to comply), and
  • (5) reward (based on the target’s belief that the agent has the ability to provide him or her with desired tangible or in- tangible benefit. (271).

The results of this study demonstrate how “the power relationship between students and faculty members can have a profound impact on students’ experiences in graduate school and their research productivity” (289). “French and Raven defined power as the ability or potential of an agent (e.g., supervising professor) to alter a target’s (e.g., graduate student) behavior, intentions, attitudes, beliefs, emotions, or values” (271). The authors found that faculty with “expert” power were more sought after by graduate students and inspired more compliance with faculty demands. “Coercive” power was also trait that achieved grad student compliance, but was associated with lower levels of student confidence and productivity overall. Aguinis and his colleagues follow the discussion of their results with suggestions for the greater consideration of power structures between graduate students and the faculty who supervise them.


Aguinis, Herman et al. “Power Bases of Faculty Supervisors and Educational Outcomes for Graduate Students.” The Journal of Higher Education67.3 (1996): 267-297. Print.