Welcome to the Institute

A collage style image of a garbage heap with several trash cans and a burning dumpster, with a computer inside.

Welcome to the Institute! The Garbage Institute!

The Institute is a wholly independent project, tracking the strange, the absurd, and the unfortunate parts of the internet. We exist largely at the intersection of privacy, policy and cybersecurity. The hope is that my work here strikes a careful balance, being able to be an explainer for nontechnical individuals while still offering depth along with further readings or resources for a more technical audience. Additionally, I want to cover items in a way that challenges commonly held notions or develops our collective understanding.

What does the Institute cover? Well, an example of stories I think are interesting and perhaps underserved, not getting a more thorough analysis, would include:

  • eBay's mistreatment of a couple that wrote a blog tracking the company, along with other corporate malpractice, mismanagement or flat out incompetence.
  • Social media, surveillance capitalism, and the complete disregard for children online.
  • A connection of the dots between nation state actors and the real world. What does it mean that the US & Israel hacked Iranian nuclear generators?

As you can see, some of this is going to be a bit lofty and may digress into more technical speak, but I like to imagine that I'd also be able to include some explainers, helping the uninitiated. Much of our world exists online. Even the bits we don't believe to be are interconnected are impacted by these computers. We're carrying it with us everywhere. We're sharing troves of sensitive information with third-parties that have a storied history of dropping the ball.

What this all means to say is that there's no shortage of things that are interesting, and I believe deserve to be conveyed to a broader audience. There's much to research, much to share, and much to discuss!

For now, you can follow me on multiple social media avenues and share any thoughts for future topics, feedback or other random interests. See all of that on the full about page.

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