Monday, February 25, 2008

Lawrence Lessig and the Power of Free Culture

"This is cross posted from an old blog I used to keep, and I found it to be an interesting piece I wrote. Take a look."

Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford University and an advocate for an idea called "Free Culture." Here is a lecture he gave on October 5, 2006.



Lessig is the mind behind 'Creative Commons' licenses and the idea of free culture. His view on the open source and the copyright laws plaguing the internet today match up with quite a few other people's. He argues for two major economies and basically how they can intertwine. These are some of his ideas:

  • The Commercial and Sharing economy and distinctly different. One is out to make money and one is out to create a community.
  • These economies can intertwine to create what Lessig calls a "hybrid" economy, so long as the values of the sharing culture are not poisoned by the commercial, corporate culture.
After thinking about these ideas, I have begun to agree. In an age in which the creation of media is so simple, and relatively cheap, the publishing of these works creates many obstacles. While it takes little money any more to make a short movie, it costs tons of money to put music in it, as you can see in an example from Lessig's presentation. Why not remove the laws behind the music so that the images can mesh with the audio freely and easily?

As a musician myself, I am open to the idea of sharing my own live music with others, for free. An album might be a different story, but to penalize an individual for listening to my live music, which might ultimately help me sell more records and have better concert attendance, is absurd.

Think about these points and maybe find your own views on Lessig and the 'free culture'.

-j

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Power of the Blog

For the last few years, I have struggled to keep a consistent blog of my thoughts on a consistent topic. But even through those struggles, I have realized that the blog is ultra powerful. More powerful than any other medium on the internet.

For those who run blogs, it can be said that it is an insanely difficult task. It is made out to be something it is, but isn't at the same time. It is a one click publisher, but it is a multi-thought publisher as well. It takes time to carefully craft a post that will entice a reader to continue visiting the blog. It can't be assumed that one off post won't hurt you.

But with that responsibility comes the power of the blog. The power of the blog lies in its ability to easily provide on with information, but its drawback is the perceived simplicity in creating in that information.

A double edged sword, you might say. I might call it a quadruple edged sword. Because not only is the ability/difficulty factor involved, but it is also the popularity/quality of the work. Do you pander to a certain group with details not always thought out, or do you suffer less popularity for the sake of more genuine material?

A thought to ponder as you prepare to embark on a blogger's journey.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Health Care Disaster

Bob Herbert has a wonderful column today about the Health Care disaster.

“They kept losing the paperwork,” Ms. Scott told me, her voice quivering with grief. She submitted new applications, made dozens of phone calls and sent off a blizzard of faxes. Despite her frantic efforts, the coverage was dropped.
That is the voice of someone in need. There are many others Ms. Scott, the focus of the piece, who are in desperate need of health care reform. Why in this country, does a mention of a universal health care program shock people, like America is becoming socialized? Yes, it is certainly a more progressive system, but every time someone mentions an idea that might help the less fortunate, well, you know, the powerful chime in. And it ends.

This is one reason I am supporting the Obama campaign, because of his direct call for covering ALL Americans.

A Green Zone Afternoon

The Green Zone was the target of insurgents latest attack in the mess of Iraq. As Tony Blair went to visit, the bombs began flying.

When we will realize that not even our own fortified base is not safe from the violent attacks of insurgents. When will we realize that if we are going to prolong our stay we will have to change our strategy. No, not a surge. A genuine change in policy that will protect AT LEAST the very basis of our mission there, the Green Zone.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Vote of No Confidence! Gonzales



Just as he thought he'd escape the wrath of the entire American public, aside from close allies in the Bush Administration, Alberto Gonzales will most likely lose official support of Congress next week, as the Democrats are arranging a vote.

Wonkette: is saying that he will resign tonight in the weekly Friday Night (sanctuary for corrupt liars) News spot.

Even if he doesn't resign tonight, things are boiling over for Alberto, and just as he thought he got off, he got owned. Owned by Patrick Leahy and owned by the American people.

OWNED!

Once you run out of lies, you can't run much further. And the rule of law is catching up with Gonzo, oh yes it is. Between the bedside Ashcroft chat and the U.S Attorney scandal, Alberto has little to no breathing room left.

Pray for resignation.

-j

*
thanks to SFGate.com for that photo*

Teens Talk About Racism

Today I visited the Teens Talk About Racism conference at Fairleigh Dickinson University. It was an incredibly rewarding experience, as we learned and discussed the race and class issues that face the young generation. Dr. Joseph Chuman, a professor at Columbia, gave the keynote address, and we were off. After 2 workshops and discussion, we had bonded as a group enough to discuss serious issues regarding race that face our world.

The tone of the conference was a mixture of seriousness and a little bit of fun, and we really all enjoyed ourselves.

For more information visit teens-talk-about-racism.org