Dictionary of Arguments

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Experiment: artificial bringing about of an event or artificial creation of a state for testing a hypothesis. Experiments can lead to the reformulation of the initial hypotheses and the reformulation of theories. See also theories, measuring, science, hypotheses, Bayesianism, confirmation, events, paradigm change, reference systems.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 159
Experiments/tests/computer/PC/Zittrain: Harvard University’s Berkman Center and the Oxford Internet Institute– multidisciplinary academic enterprises dedicated to charting the future of the Net and improving it—have begun a project called StopBadware, designed to assist rank-and-file Internet users in identifying and avoiding bad code. The idea is not to replicate the work of security vendors like Symantec and McAfee, which seek to bail new viruses out of our PCs faster than they pour in. Rather, it is to provide a common technical and institutional framework for users to devote some bandwidth and processing power for better measurement: to let us know what new code is having what effect amid the many machines taking it up. Not every PC owner is an expert, but each PC is a precious guinea pig– one that currently is experimented upon with no record of what works and what does not, or with the records hoarded by a single vendor. The first step in the toolkit is now available freely for download: “Herdict.” Herdict is a small piece of software that assembles the vital signs described above, and places them in a dashboard usable by mainstream PC owners. These efforts will test the hypothesis that solutions to generative problems at the social layer might be applicable to the technical layer—where help is desperately needed. Herdict is an experiment to test the durability of experiments. (1) And it is not alone. For example, Internet researchers Jean Camp and Allan Friedman have developed the “good neighbors” system to allow people to volunteer their PCs to detect and patch vulnerabilities among their designated friends’ PCs. (2)
I 160
When software crashes on many PC platforms, a box appears asking the user whether to send an error report to the operating system maker. If the user assents, and enough other users reported a similar problem, sometimes a solution to the problem is reported back from the vendor. (…)it. It is analogous to Encarta partially adopting the spirit of Wikipedia, soliciting suggestions from readers for changes to its articles, but not giving any sense of where those suggestions go, how they are used, or how many other suggestions have been received, what they say, or why they say it.

1. This distributed approach to resolving generative social problems has begun to see greater use and experimentation. One example is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed Cell-All program, which would outfit cell phones with sensors for biological and chemical weapons and report “hits” to a central database. See Mimi Hall, Phones Studied as Attack Detector, USA TODAY, May 3, 2007, http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2007-05-03-cellphone-attack-detector_N.htm?csp=34.
2. See L. Jean Camp & Allan Friedman, Good Neighbors Can Make Good Fences: A Peer-to-Peer User Security System (Sept. 24, 2005) (conference paper, presented at Research Conference on Comm’cn, Info. and Internet Pol’y), http://web.si.umich.edu/tprc/ papers /2005/453/tprc_GoodNeighbors.pdf

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Zittrain I
Jonathan Zittrain
The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It New Haven 2009

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