I recently read Paulina Borsook’s book Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High Tech. It was published in 2000, so yes I’m a little behind the times.
It’s a fun read, unless you’re a very thin-skinned techie — check out the reviews on Amazon for a sampling of nasty reactions to the book, and of the culture of which she writes. I hadn’t thought that closely about libertarianism in high tech before, but her analysis does explain a lot.
Has much changed since 2000? I’d suspect that 4 years of Bush junior have turned at least a few technolibertarians into lefties, but I may be wrong.
The official site for the book is still up — cyberselfish.com, as is a fan site with many of Borsook’s articles. Neither looks to have been updated since about 2001, though, and I haven’t found any more recent writings of hers on the web. (If you know of anything, on-line or off, please let me know.)
This page: Freedom Through Technology (part of the "Critiques of Libertarianism" site) has some interesting articles on technolibertarianism from around the same time period.
Here is an amusing exchange between Paulina Borsook and Eric Raymond on Salon (his review of the book, and her response).
Raymond wrote (in 2000),
"Ultimately, it appears to me that what Borsook and Kakutani and their punditocracy ilk truly fear about hacker culture is in fact its libertarianism and what’s behind that, the liberating power of technology and free markets. Beneath that, I think they fear freedom itself …"
There you have it! These critics of technology fear freedom! I hope King George doesn’t hear about this.