Red Rock Eater News Service

The Red Rock Eater News Service (RRE) is a mailing list organized by Phil Agre. Subscribers to the list receive about five messages a week. These messages have no single format; they simply contain whatever I find interesting. RRE is not a discussion list.

Topics. These days most of the messages concern the social and political aspects of computing and networking.

Disclaimer. Please note that neither Phil nor UCLA nor anyone else necessarily endorse anything that is sent to RRE, and that Phil's opinions are his own and not UCLA's or anyone else's.

FAQ. Here are some frequently asked questions about RRE. Topics include: subscribing and unsubscribing, changing addresses, submitting items to the list, the format I use when describing URL's, press releases (no thank you), the software we use, and how I find the time to read everything (I don't).

(Un)subscribe. To subscribe to RRE, send a message that looks like this:

  Subject: subscribe rre
You will receive a message explaining a little more about the list, including the fact that the way to end your subscription is to send a message like this:
  Subject: unsubscribe rre
Trouble. If you have trouble using the RRE News Service, send me a note at Describe your difficulty in as much detail as you can, and include the full text and all of the arcane headers of any message from the RRE server that doesn't seem right. We'll have a look and get back to you.

Archives. You can also read RRE on the web. Kee Hinckley <> maintained an archive of RRE messages that ran through June 2004. It's not complete, but it's pretty good.

There's another archive at Yahoo that starts in January 2001, though it may have fallen into disrepair. It continues an earlier archive at eGroups that broke off in October 2000. Its formatting is worse and its ads are more obnoxious, but its search engine is probably better.

Items of interest. Here are some other items from the list.

The Network Observer, which I edited from 1994 to 1996.

Notes and recommendations that I've sent out subsequently.

Numerous links about the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, ending in late March 2002 (1MB).

Essays. Here are some informal essays that I have written for RRE. (They will open in a separate window.)
The Access Guides and the Contradictions of Design (December 2001).

Designing a Wired Life (December 2000).

Imagining the Wired University (September 2000).

Imagining the Next War: Infrastructural Warfare and the Conditions of Democracy (September 2001).

Institutional Analysis for Design (January 2002).

Institutions and the Entrepreneurial Self (December 2001).

The Literature on Institutions (October 2000).

The Market and the Net (October 1998).

Minor Annoyances and What They Teach Us (November 2001).

New European Research on the Information Society (March 2001).

Notes on the New Design Space (May 2000).

The Self-Limiting Internet: Problems of Change in Networks and Institutions (September 1999).

Some Notes on War in a World Without Boundaries (September 2001).

The Wired Car in the Wired World (June 2001).

Wish List: Ten Inventions, Some More Serious Than Others (October 2001).

Here are some of the longer essays by others that have appeared on RRE:
Report from Ground Zero: Silicon Valley by Po Bronson (May 1998).

New Technologies and the Ontology of Places by Michael Curry (March 1999).

Technology and Social Change: The Effects on Family and Community by Jan English-Lueck (July 1998).

Distance Learning: Promise or Threat? by Andrew Feenberg (February 1999).

Risk Management Is Where the Money Is by Dan Geer (November 1998).

Radio and the Internet by Bruce Girard (March 2000).

Exposing the Global Surveillance System by Nicky Hager (December 1996).

Advanced Information Technology and Social Change: The Worksite Connection by David Hakken (June 1998).

Students' Frustrations with a Web-based Distance Education Course by Noriko Hara and Rob Kling (July 1999).

N30 (essay on the WTO protests in Seattle) by Paul Hawken (January 2000).

The Poachers and the Stormtroopers: Cultural Convergence in the Digital Age by Henry Jenkins (July 1998).

Virtual Landscapes by Chandra Mukerji (June 1999).

Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education by David Noble (October 1997).

Digital Diploma Mills, Part II: The Coming Battle Over Online Instruction by David Noble (March 1998).

Digital Diploma Mills, Part III: The Bloom Is Off the Rose by David Noble (December 1998).

Digital Diploma Mills, Part IV: Rehearsal for the Revolution by David Noble (November 1999).

Tragic Loss or Good Riddance? The Impending Demise of Traditional Scholarly Journals by Andrew Odlyzko (July 1994).

Copyright and Censorship: Past as Prologue? by Pamela Samuelson (April 1999).

Killer Applications by Dan Schiller (June 1997).

Cultures of Voting by Michael Schudson (March 1997).

Television and the Internet by Ellen Seiter (July 1997).

Community Level Socio-Economic Impacts of Electronic Commerce by Charles Steinfield (October 1999).

Cyberspace as the New Frontier? Mapping the Shifting Boundaries of the Network Society by Fred Turner (June 1999).

Participatory Design in Economic Terms: A Theoretical Discussion by Vivian Vimarlund and Toomas Timpka (September 1999).

Book Excerpts. Here are some of the book excerpts that have appeared on RRE:
Making the Case: Investigating Large Scale Human Rights Violations Using Information Systems and Data Analysis, edited by Patrick Ball, Herbert F. Spirer, and Louise Spirer (July 2000).

Edison's Front Page News by Charles Bazerman (October 1999).

Learning Sites: Social and Technological Resources for Learning, edited by Joan Bliss, Roger Saljo and Paul Light (October 2000).

From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in the Networked World by Christine L. Borgman (May 2000).

Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences by Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star (November 1999).

The Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid (February 2000).

Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction by Paul Dourish (October 2001).

The Information Society in Europe: Work and Life in an Age of Globalization, edited by Ken Ducatel, Juliet Webster, and Werner Herrmann (May 2001).

Society on the Line: Information Politics in the Digital Age by William H. Dutton (January 1999).

Transforming Technology: A Critical Theory Revisited by Andrew Feenberg (February 2002).

Human Values and Design of Computer Technology, edited by Batya Friedman (December 1997).

Database Nation by Simson Garfinkel (January 2000).

The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet, edited by Ken Goldberg (July 2000).

Telecommunications and the City: Parallel Transformations by Stephen Graham and Simon Marvin (October 1996).

The Internet and Everyone by John Chris Jones (September 2000).

Community Informatics: Shaping Computer-Mediated Social Relations edited by Leigh Keeble and Brian D. Loader (January 2002).

Digital Copyright by Jessica Litman (February 2001).

Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science by Philip Mirowski (June 2001).

Net Loss: Government, Technology and the Political Economy of Community in the Age of the Internet by Nathan Newman (July 1999).

On Shifting Ground: Earthquake Retrofit and Engineering Culture in California by Benjamin Sims (July 2000).

Ben Franklin's Web Site: Privacy and Curiosity from Plymouth Rock to the Internet by Robert Ellis Smith (March 2000).

Hubs and Spokes: A Telegeography Internet Reader (April 2000).

Telegeography 2001: Global Telecommunications Traffic Statistics and Commentary (January 2001).

"Red Rock Eater" The phrase "red rock eater" derives from Bennett Cerf's Book of Riddles:

Q: What is big and red and eats rocks?
A: A big red rock eater.
Here is an excellent variation on this joke, from the five-year-old son of an RRE reader in New Zealand:
Q: What is big and red and eats sand?
A: A big red rock eater on a diet.