9,997 research outputs found

    Homesteading the noosphere: The ethics of owning biological information

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    The idea of homesteading can be extended to the realm of biological entities, to the ownership of information wherein organisms perform artifactual functions as a result of human development. Can the information of biological entities be ethically “homesteaded”: should humans (or businesses) have ownership rights over this information from the basis of mere development and possession, as in Locke’s theory of private property? I offer three non-consequentialist arguments against such homesteading: the information makeup of biological entities is not commonly owned, and thus is not available for homesteading; the value of the individual biological entity extends to the information whereby it is constituted, and includes inalienable rights of an entity over itself and its information; and use of life as an information artifact makes an organism an unending means to an end rather than an end itself. I conclude that the information space of biological entities is not open for homesteading, not liable to private ownership, and should not be available for perpetual exploitation

    From Plows to Pliers - Urban Homesteading in America

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    The state homestead exemption is the most widely known form of homesteading and exists in the majority if American jurisdictions. A new form of this plan has been added by many east coast cities that allows families to receive a grant of a home at a minimum price on condition that it occupies the residence and improves it to satisfy all applicable codes. The property is then transferred to the homesteader and this benefits both the city and the individual. This urban homesteading plan is the most recent program designed to promote urban renewal and home ownership. Wilmington Delaware was the first city to implement an urban homesteading program and Philadelphia is attempting to extend home ownership using this tactic as well. Urban homesteading will likely work for neighborhood improvement when the program has the ability to attract middle and upper class families. When the program attracts families with insufficient resources, it will be less likely to succeed. However, funds from the federal and state governments will likely provide the needed services. These neighborhood services would tie a new community together and prevent deterioration that lead to the abandonment in the first place. If Urban Homesteading becomes another plan for subsidizing low income housing, it may add to the confusion and failure that already exists as a result of past urban renewal programs. It is best used in smaller cities as over-extension could lead to the complete abandonment of these programs

    Editor\u27s Note- Summer 2008

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    EDITOR\u27S NOTE In May 2007, the Center for Great Plains Studies held their 33rd Interdisciplinary Symposium. The topic was Homesteading Reconsidered. Chaired by Homestead National Monument Historian Todd Arrington, and organized by the staff of the Center, the conference examined homesteading and its legacy from many angles: reviewing recent and forthcoming scholarship, probing conflicting interpretations, and covering differing perspectives on the historical and ecological significance of homesteading. Competitive papers and invited presentations examined such diverse topics as: Native American views of homesteading; federal land policies in the U.S. and Canada; ecological impact on the natural environment of the Great Plains; the importance of technology to homesteading and westward expansion; the roles of homesteading and agriculture in the eventual onset of the Dust B0wl and droughts of the 1930s; the legacy of the Homestead Act/Dominion Lands Act; the importance of homesteading on modern farming and ranching operations on the Plains; and the future of homesteading and modern homesteading programs. Many excellent essays were submitted to Great Plains Quarterly for peer-review. In forthcoming issues of the journal we will publish a variety of these papers which extend our understanding and appreciation of the significant impact homesteading had, and continues to have, on the land and people of the Plains. This issue includes three such essays

    Preservation Frontiers: Adding Urban Homesteading to the Historic Preservation Toolkit

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    In the 1970s, cities across the country began implementing urban homesteading programs, in which they transferred surplus vacant housing units to hopeful homeowners for the low cost of $1 and a two-year commitment to rehabilitating and occupying the unit as a primary residence. The goals of these programs were varied, but typically included neighborhood stabilization, affordable housing, and incentivizing the return of wealthier households back to urban neighborhoods. This thesis argues that, while homesteading programs achieved mixed results in regards to these goals, they did achieve historic preservation outcomes. In order to support this proposition, this thesis examines the history of homesteading in Baltimore City, Maryland. Although Baltimore was not the first city to launch a program, it was the most influential and its program had long-lasting impact. Baltimore pursued two different approaches: scattered-site and neighborhood-wide homesteading. Based on archival research, interviews, and site visits, this thesis finds that the former often created home ownership opportunities for more moderate-income households, and that the latter achieved significant preservation outcomes. This thesis also argues that, given the ongoing loss of population in many Rust Belt cities; the nationwide abundance of housing abandoned following the foreclosure crisis; and the simultaneous shortage of affordable housing opportunities, the time is ripe for homesteading programs to be re-examined. Preservationists should recognize homesteading as a powerful tool for vernacular preservation, and join planners and affordable housing advocates in promoting the potential for homesteading to address many urban challenges at once

    Homesteading Areas

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    The Homesteading Rights of Deserted Wives: A History

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    During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the federal government of the United States distributed 270 million acres of land to homesteaders. The federal land-grant legislation allowed single women, but not married women, to partake in homesteading. Existing in a “legal netherworld” between single and married, deserted wives did not have clear rights under the federal legislation, much like deserted wives did not have clear rights in American marital law. During the homesteading period, many deserted wives litigated claims in front of the Department of the Interior, arguing they had the right to homestead. This is the first article to collect and analyze the administrative decisions regarding the homesteading rights of deserted wives, offering a unique view of American marriage. After documenting the history of homesteading rights of deserted wives, this Article explores how these unique administrative decisions adopted or rejected the prevailing marital norms in America and how understanding these administrative decisions can aid in our understanding of marriage in American history

    The Homesteading Rights of Deserted Wives: A History

    Get PDF
    During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the federal government of the United States distributed 270 million acres of land to homesteaders. The federal land-grant legislation allowed single women, but not married women, to partake in homesteading. Existing in a “legal netherworld” between single and married, deserted wives did not have clear rights under the federal legislation, much like deserted wives did not have clear rights in American marital law. During the homesteading period, many deserted wives litigated claims in front of the Department of the Interior, arguing they had the right to homestead. This is the first article to collect and analyze the administrative decisions regarding the homesteading rights of deserted wives, offering a unique view of American marriage. After documenting the history of homesteading rights of deserted wives, this Article explores how these unique administrative decisions adopted or rejected the prevailing marital norms in America and how understanding these administrative decisions can aid in our understanding of marriage in American history

    Slashdot, open news and informated media: exploring the intersection of imagined futures and web publishing technology

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    "In this essay, my interest is in how imagined media futures are implicated in the work of producing novel web publishing technology. I explore the issue through an account of the emergence of Slashdot, the tech news and discussion site that by 1999 had implemented a number of recommendation features now associated with social media and web 2.0 platforms. Specifically, I aim to understand the connection between the development of Slashdot’s influential content-management system (CMS) - an elaborate publishing infrastructure called “Slash” that allowed editors to choose reader submissions for publication and automatically distributed the work of moderating the comments sections among trusted users - and two distinct visions of a web-enabled transformation of media production.

    A Critical Commentary on Block 2011: "David Friedman and Libertarianism: a Critique" and a Comparison with Lester [2000] 2012's Responses to Friedman

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    David Friedman posed a number of libertarian philosophical problems (Friedman 1989). This essay criticizes Walter Block’s Rothbardian responses (Block 2011) and compares them with J C Lester’s critical-rationalist, libertarian-theory responses (Lester [2000] 2012). The main issues are as follows. 1. Critical rationalism and how it applies to libertarianism. 2.1. How libertarianism is not inherently about law and is inherently about morals. 2.2. How liberty relates to property and can be maximized: carbon dioxide and radio waves. 2.3. Applying the theory to flashlights. 2.4. Applying the theory to the probability of imposed risks. 2.5. “Homesteading” or initial acquisition. 2.6 What is “essential” for a “true libertarian.” 2.7. Crime and punishment. 2.8. Extent of punishment. 2.9. The libertarian response to a madman with a gun. 2.10. How contradictions in rights are possible. 2.11. The draft. 3.1. Utilitarian libertarianism and “nose counting”. 3.2. How interpersonal comparisons of utility are possible and utility monsters are not a threat. 3.3. Why it is not utilitarian in practice to kill an innocent prisoner to prevent a riot. 3.4. Why David Friedman should not be forced to give up one of his eyes. 3.5. How utilitarians can be libertarians. Conclusion: a proper theory of liberty combined with critical rationalism offers superior solutions to Friedman’s problems. Appendix: replies to two commentators

    African American Homesteader “Colonies” in the Settling of the Great Plains

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    African Americans participated in homesteading in the Great Plains primarily by establishing “colonies” or geographically concentrated homesteading communities. We studied Nicodemus, Kansas; DeWitty, Nebraska; Dearfield, Colorado; Empire, Wyoming; Sully County, South Dakota; and Blackdom, New Mexico, which were the largest and most important Black homesteading communities in their states. Black homesteaders, like their white counterparts, were mostly very poor, struggled to grow crops in a harsh climate, and used the land they gained to build new futures. But because of their previous experiences in the South and racism in some nearby communities, Black homesteaders developed a distinct understanding of their efforts, particularly of schooling and the “success” of their communities
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