Tech and Liberty: Stratechery Quotations

According to Randall Munroe, the author, the “Right to Free Speech” is granted by the First Amendment, which was precisely the outcome Hamilton feared in Federalist No. 84:

I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.

Hamilton’s argument is that because the U.S. Constitution was created not as a shield from tyrannical kings and princes, but rather by independent states, all essential liberties were secured by the preamble (emphasis original):

WE, THE PEOPLE of the United States, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ORDAIN and ESTABLISH this Constitution for the United States of America.

Hamilton added:

Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing; and as they retain every thing they have no need of particular reservations.

Munroe, though, assumes the opposite: liberty, in this case the freedom of speech, is an artifact of law, only stretching as far as government action, and no further. Pat Kerr, who wrote a critique of this comic on Medium in 2016, argued that this was the exact wrong way to think about free speech:

Coherent definitions of free speech are actually rather hard to come by, but I would personally suggest that it’s something along the lines of “the ability to voluntarily express (and receive) opinions without suffering excessive penalties for doing so”. This is a liberal principle of tolerance towards others. It’s not an absolute, it isn’t comprehensive, it isn’t rigorously defined, and it isn’t a law.

What it is is a culture.

Good Programers Worry about Data Structures

“. . . unlike every single horror I’ve ever witnessed when looking closer at SCM products, git actually has a simple design, with stable and reasonably well-documented data structures. In fact, I’m a huge proponent of designing your code around the data, rather than the other way around, and I think it’s one of the reasons git has been fairly successful. . . .

“I will, in fact, claim that the difference between a bad programmer and a good one is whether he considers his code or his data structures more important. Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships.”

— Linus Torvalds, Quotation

This term is proposed for full integration into, pending implementation feedback and adoption from applications and websites.

A quotation. Often but not necessarily from some written work, attributable to a real world author and – if associated with a fictional character – to any fictional Person. Use isBasedOn to link to source/origin. The recordedIn property can be used to reference a Quotation from an Event.
PropertyExpected TypeDescription
Properties from Quotation
spokenByCharacterOrganization  or
The (e.g. fictional) character, Person or Organization to whom the quotation is attributed within the containing CreativeWork.
Properties from CreativeWork
aboutThingThe subject matter of the content.
Inverse property: subjectOf.
accessModeTextThe human sensory perceptual system or cognitive faculty through which a person may process or perceive information. Expected values include: auditory, tactile, textual, visual, colorDependent, chartOnVisual, chemOnVisual, diagramOnVisual, mathOnVisual, musicOnVisual, textOnVisual.
accessModeSufficientTextA list of single or combined accessModes that are sufficient to understand all the intellectual content of a resource. Expected values include: auditory, tactile, textual, visual.
accessibilityAPITextIndicates that the resource is compatible with the referenced accessibility API (WebSchemas wiki lists possible values).
accessibilityControlTextIdentifies input methods that are sufficient to fully control the described resource (WebSchemas wiki lists possible values).
accessibilityFeatureTextContent features of the resource, such as accessible media, alternatives and supported enhancements for accessibility (WebSchemas wiki lists possible values).
accessibilityHazardTextA characteristic of the described resource that is physiologically dangerous to some users. Related to WCAG 2.0 guideline 2.3 (WebSchemas wiki lists possible values).
accessibilitySummaryTextA human-readable summary of specific accessibility features or deficiencies, consistent with the other accessibility metadata but expressing subtleties such as “short descriptions are present but long descriptions will be needed for non-visual users” or “short descriptions are present and no long descriptions are needed.”
accountablePersonPersonSpecifies the Person that is legally accountable for the CreativeWork.
aggregateRatingAggregateRatingThe overall rating, based on a collection of reviews or ratings, of the item.
alternativeHeadlineTextA secondary title of the CreativeWork.
associatedMediaMediaObjectA media object that encodes this CreativeWork. This property is a synonym for encoding.
audienceAudienceAn intended audience, i.e. a group for whom something was created. Supersedes serviceAudience.
audioAudioObject  or
An embedded audio object.
authorOrganization  or
The author of this content or rating. Please note that author is special in that HTML 5 provides a special mechanism for indicating authorship via the rel tag. That is equivalent to this and may be used interchangeably.
awardTextAn award won by or for this item. Supersedes awards.
characterPersonFictional person connected with a creative work.
citationCreativeWork  or
A citation or reference to another creative work, such as another publication, web page, scholarly article, etc.
commentCommentComments, typically from users.
commentCountIntegerThe number of comments this CreativeWork (e.g. Article, Question or Answer) has received. This is most applicable to works published in Web sites with commenting system; additional comments may exist elsewhere.
contentLocationPlaceThe location depicted or described in the content. For example, the location in a photograph or painting.
contentRatingRating  or
Official rating of a piece of content—for example,’MPAA PG-13′.
contentReferenceTimeDateTimeThe specific time described by a creative work, for works (e.g. articles, video objects etc.) that emphasise a particular moment within an Event.
contributorOrganization  or
A secondary contributor to the CreativeWork or Event.
copyrightHolderOrganization  or
The party holding the legal copyright to the CreativeWork.
copyrightYearNumberThe year during which the claimed copyright for the CreativeWork was first asserted.
correctionCorrectionComment  or
Text  or
Indicates a correction to a CreativeWork, either via a CorrectionComment, textually or in another document.
creatorOrganization  or
The creator/author of this CreativeWork. This is the same as the Author property for CreativeWork.
dateCreatedDate  or
The date on which the CreativeWork was created or the item was added to a DataFeed.
dateModifiedDate  or
The date on which the CreativeWork was most recently modified or when the item’s entry was modified within a DataFeed.
datePublishedDateDate of first broadcast/publication.
discussionUrlURLA link to the page containing the comments of the CreativeWork.
editorPersonSpecifies the Person who edited the CreativeWork.
educationalAlignmentAlignmentObjectAn alignment to an established educational framework.
educationalUseTextThe purpose of a work in the context of education; for example, ‘assignment’, ‘group work’.
encodingMediaObjectA media object that encodes this CreativeWork. This property is a synonym for associatedMedia. Supersedes encodings.
Inverse property: encodesCreativeWork.
encodingFormatText  or
Media type typically expressed using a MIME format (see IANA siteand MDN reference) e.g. application/zip for a SoftwareApplication binary, audio/mpeg for .mp3 etc.).

In cases where a CreativeWork has several media type representations, encoding can be used to indicate each MediaObject alongside particular encodingFormat information.

Unregistered or niche encoding and file formats can be indicated instead via the most appropriate URL, e.g. defining Web page or a Wikipedia/Wikidata entry. Supersedes fileFormat.

exampleOfWorkCreativeWorkA creative work that this work is an example/instance/realization/derivation of.
Inverse property: workExample.
expiresDateDate the content expires and is no longer useful or available. For example a VideoObject or NewsArticle whose availability or relevance is time-limited, or a ClaimReview fact check whose publisher wants to indicate that it may no longer be relevant (or helpful to highlight) after some date.
funderOrganization  or
A person or organization that supports (sponsors) something through some kind of financial contribution.
genreText  or
Genre of the creative work, broadcast channel or group.
hasPartCreativeWorkIndicates an item or CreativeWork that is part of this item, or CreativeWork (in some sense).
Inverse property: isPartOf.
headlineTextHeadline of the article.
inLanguageLanguage  or
The language of the content or performance or used in an action. Please use one of the language codes from the IETF BCP 47 standard. See also availableLanguage. Supersedes language.
interactionStatisticInteractionCounterThe number of interactions for the CreativeWork using the WebSite or SoftwareApplication. The most specific child type of InteractionCounter should be used. Supersedes interactionCount.
interactivityTypeTextThe predominant mode of learning supported by the learning resource. Acceptable values are ‘active’, ‘expositive’, or ‘mixed’.
isAccessibleForFreeBooleanA flag to signal that the item, event, or place is accessible for free. Supersedes free.
isBasedOnCreativeWork  or
Product  or
A resource that was used in the creation of this resource. This term can be repeated for multiple sources. For example, Supersedes isBasedOnUrl.
isFamilyFriendlyBooleanIndicates whether this content is family friendly.
isPartOfCreativeWorkIndicates an item or CreativeWork that this item, or CreativeWork (in some sense), is part of.
Inverse property: hasPart.
keywordsTextKeywords or tags used to describe this content. Multiple entries in a keywords list are typically delimited by commas.
learningResourceTypeTextThe predominant type or kind characterizing the learning resource. For example, ‘presentation’, ‘handout’.
licenseCreativeWork  or
A license document that applies to this content, typically indicated by URL.
locationCreatedPlaceThe location where the CreativeWork was created, which may not be the same as the location depicted in the CreativeWork.
mainEntityThingIndicates the primary entity described in some page or other CreativeWork.
Inverse property: mainEntityOfPage.
materialProduct  or
Text  or
A material that something is made from, e.g. leather, wool, cotton, paper.
materialExtentQuantitativeValue  or
The quantity of the materials being described or an expression of the physical space they occupy.
mentionsThingIndicates that the CreativeWork contains a reference to, but is not necessarily about a concept.
offersOfferAn offer to provide this item—for example, an offer to sell a product, rent the DVD of a movie, perform a service, or give away tickets to an event.
positionInteger  or
The position of an item in a series or sequence of items.
producerOrganization  or
The person or organization who produced the work (e.g. music album, movie, tv/radio series etc.).
providerOrganization  or
The service provider, service operator, or service performer; the goods producer. Another party (a seller) may offer those services or goods on behalf of the provider. A provider may also serve as the seller. Supersedes carrier.
publicationPublicationEventA publication event associated with the item.
publisherOrganization  or
The publisher of the creative work.
publisherImprintOrganizationThe publishing division which published the comic.
publishingPrinciplesCreativeWork  or
The publishingPrinciples property indicates (typically via URL) a document describing the editorial principles of an Organization(or individual e.g. a Person writing a blog) that relate to their activities as a publisher, e.g. ethics or diversity policies. When applied to a CreativeWork (e.g. NewsArticle) the principles are those of the party primarily responsible for the creation of the CreativeWork.

While such policies are most typically expressed in natural language, sometimes related information (e.g. indicating a funder) can be expressed using terminology.

recordedAtEventThe Event where the CreativeWork was recorded. The CreativeWork may capture all or part of the event.
Inverse property: recordedIn.
releasedEventPublicationEventThe place and time the release was issued, expressed as a PublicationEvent.
reviewReviewA review of the item. Supersedes reviews.
schemaVersionText  or
Indicates (by URL or string) a particular version of a schema used in some CreativeWork. For example, a document could declare a schemaVersion using an URL such as if precise indication of schema version was required by some application.
sdDatePublishedDateIndicates the date on which the current structured data was generated / published. Typically used alongside sdPublisher
sdLicenseCreativeWork  or
A license document that applies to this structured data, typically indicated by URL.
sdPublisherOrganization  or
Indicates the party responsible for generating and publishing the current structured data markup, typically in cases where the structured data is derived automatically from existing published content but published on a different site. For example, student projects and open data initiatives often re-publish existing content with more explicitly structured metadata. The sdPublisherproperty helps make such practices more explicit.
sourceOrganizationOrganizationThe Organization on whose behalf the creator was working.
spatialPlaceThe “spatial” property can be used in cases when more specific properties (e.g. locationCreatedspatialCoveragecontentLocation) are not known to be appropriate.
spatialCoveragePlaceThe spatialCoverage of a CreativeWork indicates the place(s) which are the focus of the content. It is a subproperty of contentLocation intended primarily for more technical and detailed materials. For example with a Dataset, it indicates areas that the dataset describes: a dataset of New York weather would have spatialCoverage which was the place: the state of New York.
sponsorOrganization  or
A person or organization that supports a thing through a pledge, promise, or financial contribution. e.g. a sponsor of a Medical Study or a corporate sponsor of an event.
temporalDateTime  or
The “temporal” property can be used in cases where more specific properties (e.g. temporalCoveragedateCreateddateModifieddatePublished) are not known to be appropriate.
temporalCoverageDateTime  or
Text  or
The temporalCoverage of a CreativeWork indicates the period that the content applies to, i.e. that it describes, either as a DateTime or as a textual string indicating a time period in ISO 8601 time interval format. In the case of a Dataset it will typically indicate the relevant time period in a precise notation (e.g. for a 2011 census dataset, the year 2011 would be written “2011/2012”). Other forms of content e.g. ScholarlyArticle, Book, TVSeries or TVEpisode may indicate their temporalCoverage in broader terms – textually or via well-known URL. Written works such as books may sometimes have precise temporal coverage too, e.g. a work set in 1939 – 1945 can be indicated in ISO 8601 interval format format via “1939/1945”.

Open-ended date ranges can be written with “..” in place of the end date. For example, “2015-11/..” indicates a range beginning in November 2015 and with no specified final date. This is tentative and might be updated in future when ISO 8601 is officially updated. Supersedes datasetTimeInterval.

textTextThe textual content of this CreativeWork.
thumbnailUrlURLA thumbnail image relevant to the Thing.
timeRequiredDurationApproximate or typical time it takes to work with or through this learning resource for the typical intended target audience, e.g. ‘PT30M’, ‘PT1H25M’.
translationOfWorkCreativeWorkThe work that this work has been translated from. e.g. 物种起源 is a translationOf “On the Origin of Species”
Inverse property: workTranslation.
translatorOrganization  or
Organization or person who adapts a creative work to different languages, regional differences and technical requirements of a target market, or that translates during some event.
typicalAgeRangeTextThe typical expected age range, e.g. ‘7-9’, ’11-‘.
versionNumber  or
The version of the CreativeWork embodied by a specified resource.
videoClip  or
An embedded video object.
workExampleCreativeWorkExample/instance/realization/derivation of the concept of this creative work. eg. The paperback edition, first edition, or eBook.
Inverse property: exampleOfWork.
workTranslationCreativeWorkA work that is a translation of the content of this work. e.g. 西遊記 has an English workTranslation “Journey to the West”,a German workTranslation “Monkeys Pilgerfahrt” and a Vietnamese translation Tây du ký bình khảo.
Inverse property: translationOfWork.
Properties from Thing
additionalTypeURLAn additional type for the item, typically used for adding more specific types from external vocabularies in microdata syntax. This is a relationship between something and a class that the thing is in. In RDFa syntax, it is better to use the native RDFa syntax – the ‘typeof’ attribute – for multiple types. tools may have only weaker understanding of extra types, in particular those defined externally.
alternateNameTextAn alias for the item.
descriptionTextA description of the item.
disambiguatingDescriptionTextA sub property of description. A short description of the item used to disambiguate from other, similar items. Information from other properties (in particular, name) may be necessary for the description to be useful for disambiguation.
identifierPropertyValue  or
Text  or
The identifier property represents any kind of identifier for any kind of Thing, such as ISBNs, GTIN codes, UUIDs etc. provides dedicated properties for representing many of these, either as textual strings or as URL (URI) links. See background notes for more details.
imageImageObject  or
An image of the item. This can be a URL or a fully described ImageObject.
mainEntityOfPageCreativeWork  or
Indicates a page (or other CreativeWork) for which this thing is the main entity being described. See background notes for details.
Inverse property: mainEntity.
nameTextThe name of the item.
potentialActionActionIndicates a potential Action, which describes an idealized action in which this thing would play an ‘object’ role.
sameAsURLURL of a reference Web page that unambiguously indicates the item’s identity. E.g. the URL of the item’s Wikipedia page, Wikidata entry, or official website.
subjectOfCreativeWork  or
A CreativeWork or Event about this Thing..
Inverse property: about.
urlURLURL of the item.