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**Learning about Information Technologies and Social Change: The
Contribution of Social Informatics
A very nice overview of social informatics, a research perspective and program based on understanding technology in its social context.
**The Real Stakes of Virtual Publishing
An interesting analysis of what happened to an online publishing initiative, "E-Biomed", and what the implications are for the future of online publishing.
**Website language stats
Andy Carvin's analysis of speakers of a language to the number of Web pages in a language
**The War in Afghanistan, by Noam Chomsky
Chomsy's most recent piece on Afghanistan (dated Dec. 30) His lead argument is that what is most important in evaluating the war is an assessment of what could have been presumed to happen rather than what actually did. And since it could have been presumed that US intervention would lead to millions of deaths, than the war should be morally condemned, regardless of the fact that this result didn't occur. (Does anybody else find this a rather strange argument?)
**Battling Islamic 'Puritans'
This piece describes the remarkable scholarship and activism of Khaled Abou El Fadl, a professor of Islamic law at UCLA and a former supporter of radical Islam. Abou El Fadl was born in Kuwait and grew up in both Kuwait and Egypt. The article portrays him as a prolific author, a brilliant scholar of Islamic law, and a courageous advocate and defender of women's rights, minority rights, and animal rights (!).
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