Archive for ‘The return of the commons’

September 21, 2007

If You Can’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: The New York Times Shuts Down Times Select

The Times has killed the subscription based Times Select. It’s columnists and the last 20 years of its archives are now free. Given the Times’s cultural position, this is a mildly historical marker for both Internet journalism and the Creative Commons intellectual property movements.

For the Times’s announcement, click here.

For Dan Gilmor’s commentary on this move, click here.

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August 22, 2007

On Politicians, Lobbyists and Money

The post at the link below gives the best succinct explanation of the relationship between lobbyists, politicians and legislative (and administrative) outcomes that I’ve seen. It’s by Larry Lessig of Creative Commons. One quote:

…if there were a way to fund campaigns that wouldn’t create the stain of corruption, we would still need (and want) lobbyists. Their job would be simply to make policymakers aware of the interests they represent. But just because your job is to educate politicians, it doesn’t mean you have to be able to give politicians money.

Click here for the full post.

June 23, 2007

A Good Introduction to Creative Commons Licensing

I’ve read a fair amount about this, but a good, brief (8 minutes) introduction can be had in the video below, “Prof. Lawrence Lessig Explains Creative Commons Licensing.” Lessig has been the leading speaker and one of the key inventors of the Creative Commons movement that is challenging the current copyright regime.

Don’t be put off by the closeup. This is a good introduction to the basic distinctions of of an important facet of “the return of the commons.”

April 19, 2007

The (Bio) DaVersity Code

That we as a society are now aware of our interconnectedness with the environment (the “tipping point” being Al Gore’s Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth”) goes hand in hand with the rise of video. Young “boomers” raised on television began the environmental movement; “generation next” holds the promise of fulfilling it.

April 1, 2007

The Return of the Commons

This is the first post in a new category, “the return of the commons.” What this phrase exactly is intended to mean, I am not yet sure. I use it to point to the global cultural transformation that started with the advent of electronic media (a tip of the cap to Marshall McLuhan) and has been exploding with the penetration of ever less expensive, mobile, networked, and easy to use personal computers.

Some signs of the times visible to boomers – The Open Source software movement. The Creative Commons intellectual property movement. Web 2.0 and social media.

Along with this come changes in the structures of the self and personal and public identity. What looks to me like foolish personal exposure (not to say overexposure) is more common than commonplace on MySpace, etc.

One example in the realm of public identity: In response to the advice to be careful because employers research candidates on Google, etc., I have heard college students remark that they wouldn’t want to work for someone who couldn’t tolerate their MySpace lives. One part an arrogance of youth, two parts the new generation gap.

“The return of the commons” is very much a work in progress. More later. For now I close with an acknowledgment (should I say, “shout out?”) to Guillermo Wechsler whose passionate speaking about Open Source triggered me to explore and now to wonder at what is befalling the world.