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Philip discusses a paradox in her analysis of the pirate function:


“The discourse of network security, the anxiety about piracy, and the fear of terrorist hackers circulate around a perceived contradiction at the heart of technological and electronic progress. The very technologies that appear to embody post-Enlightenment modernity and progress seem to facilitate the destruction of Western civilization by those who ‘hate our values and freedoms.’” (Philip 201).


If we consider the proliferation of knowledge as an ideal of post-Enlightenment modernity and a prerequisite for progress, is not piracy necessary? What other discourses of progress might we connect the function of the pirate with? The progression of knowledge promised by the memex is reliant upon a form of piracy. Wouldn’t the creator of a memex need to break copyright laws in order to replicate articles, books, images, etc?