Richard Stallman

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Free as in Freedom by Sam Williams

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Asperger Syndrome, cognitive dissonance, Debian, East Village, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Isaac Newton, John Conway, Maui Hawaii, Murray Gell-Mann, profit motive, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, urban renewal, VA Linux, Y2K

Free As In Freedom Williams, Sam Published: 2002 Categorie(s): Non-Fiction, Biography & autobiography Source: http://www.faifzilla.org/ 1 About Williams: Sam Williams is an American journalist. He is perhaps best known as the author of a biography of software programmer Richard Stallman, Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software (2002). Copyright: Please read the legal notice included in this e-book and/or check the copyright status in your country. Note: This book is brought to you by Feedbooks http://www.feedbooks.com Strictly for personal use, do not use this file for commercial purposes. 2 Preface The work of Richard M. Stallman literally speaks for itself. From the documented source code to the published papers to the recorded speeches, few people have expressed as much willingness to lay their thoughts and their work on the line.

Thanks to all the first-draft reviewers: Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, Eric Allman, Jon Orwant, Julie and Gerald Jay Sussman, Hal Abelson, and Guy Steele. I hope you enjoy this typo-free version. Thanks to Alice Lippman for the interviews, cookies, and photographs. Thanks to my family, Steve, Jane, Tish, and Dave. And finally, last but not least: thanks to Richard Stallman for having the guts and endurance to "show us the code." - Sam Williams 4 Chapter 1 For Want of a Printer I fear the Greeks. Even when they bring gifts. —Virgil The Aeneid The new printer was jammed, again. Richard M. Stallman, a staff software programmer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AI Lab), discovered the malfunction the hard way. An hour after sending off a 50-page file to the office laser printer, Stallman, 27, broke off a productive work session to retrieve his documents.

Hearing Sarah describe what attracted her to Stallman and hearing Stallman himself describe the emotions that prompted him to take up the free software cause, I was reminded of my own reasons for writing this book. Since July, 2000, I have learned to appreciate both the seductive and the repellent sides of the Richard Stallman persona. Like Eben Moglen before me, I feel that dismissing that persona as epiphenomenal or distracting in relation to the overall free software movement would be a grievous mistake. In many ways the two are so mutually defining as to be indistinguishable. While I'm sure not every reader feels the same level of affinity for Stallman-indeed, after reading this book, some might feel zero affinityI'm sure most will agree. Few individuals offer as singular a human portrait as Richard M. Stallman. It is my sincere hope that, with this initial portrait complete and with the help of the GFDL, others will feel a similar urge to add their own perspective to that portrait. 170 Appendix A: Terminology For the most part, I have chosen to use the term GNU/Linux in reference to the free software operating system and Linux when referring specifically to the kernel that drives the operating system.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Samir Chopra and Scott Dexter, Decoding Liberation: A Philosophical Investigation of Free Software (London: Routledge, 2007), 81. The full text of the jury’s statement is archived on the Ars Electronica site, available at <http://90.146.8.18/en/archives/prix_archive/prix_projekt.asp?iProjectID=2183>. 25 . See <http://www.gnu.org/gnu/thegnuproject.html>. See also Richard M. Stallman, Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman 196 NOTES (Boston: Free Software Foundation, 2002); Sam Williams, Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman’s Crusade for Free Software (Boston: O’Reilly, 2002). 26 . See Linus Torvalds and David Diamond, Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary (New York: HarperCollins, 2001). 27 . Computer and social scientist Paul Dourish was the first to tell me the joke that “Linux is free only if the value of your time is zero.” 28 .

Eventually this proprietary software was seen by most people as the only kind of software there was: a commodity with restrictions against redistribution, an opaque entity that did not make its source code available, and a stable tool that users were not to modify. This shift made sense to the commercial software vendors, and without question created the (relatively) stable set of platforms and softwares that encouraged small businesses as well as individuals to follow the lead of large institutions in digitizing their work and lives. And of course, fortunes were made and lost. Yet throughout the 1970s and 1980s, a few key figures, such as Richard Stallman in particular, felt that the earlier ethos of open-source software was something worth building on. Stallman wanted to extend the sense of scientific collegiality and openness that he valued in the hacker community. So he developed a new operating system compatible with the UNIX family, 170 HOW THE COMPUTER BECAME OUR CULTURE MACHINE but distinct from it, and made it available to other like-minded programmers.


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

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AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, dark matter, disintermediation, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linked data, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs

Free software must have the freedom to copy, to modify, and to have the source code. So proprietary software is mutually exclusive with free software, but there can be commercial software that [is] free software.” Telephone interview by Hiroo Yamagata with Richard M. Stallman, August 8, 1997. 11 Peter Wayner, Free for All: How Linux and the Free Software Movement Undercut the High-Tech Titans (New York: HarperBusiness, 2000), 36. 12 For a discussion of Stallman and the history of GNU/Linux, see ibid., 9, 34-36, 67-68; Stallman, 53-66; Mark Leon, “Richard Stallman, GNU/Linux,” InfoWorld (October 9, 2000): 62. 13 See, e.g., Linus Torvalds and David Diamond, Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary (New York: HarperBusiness, 2001); Pekka Himanen, Manuel Castells (epilogue), and Linus Torvalds (prologue), The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age (New York: Random House, 2001); Paula Rooney, “No. 11: The Dark Horse,” Computer Reseller News, November 15, 1999. 14 Stallman: “Around 1992, combining Linux with the not-quite-complete GNU system resulted in a complete free operating system.

While the furor of many of those readers is sometimes hard to suffer, the insights and wisdom of many have been critical in re-forming the views I express here. Finally, there is a collection of people who figure throughout the story of this book, but who were more central to its writing than the text might reveal. These are the figures who are truly fighting for a cause. Some of them are quite well known—Richard Stallman, for example. Others are well known among lawyers, at least—Dennis Karjala, Jessica Litman, Marc Rotenberg, Pam Samuelson. But others inspire more through their simple and quiet perseverance. Eric Eldred, whom you will meet in the course of these pages, is the best example of this type. These ideas would never have been put into words without the inspiration from people like him. EARLY VERSIONS of this book were read by a number of people.

The question for us comes before: not whether the market or the state but, for any given resource, whether that resource should be controlled or free. “Free.” So deep is the rhetoric of control within our culture that whenever one says a resource is “free,” most believe that a price is being quoted—free, that is, as in zero cost. But “free” has a much more fundamental meaning—in French, libre rather than gratis, or for us non-French speakers, and as the philosopher of our age and founder of the Free Software Foundation Richard Stallman puts it, “free, not in the sense of free beer, but free in the sense of free speech.”12 A resource is “free” if (1) one can use it without the permission of anyone else; or (2) the permission one needs is granted neutrally. So understood, the question for our generation will be not whether the market or the state should control a resource, but whether that resource should remain free.13 This is not a new question, though we've been well trained to ignore it.


pages: 173 words: 14,313

Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-To-Peer Debates by John Logie

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1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, book scanning, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hacker Ethic, Isaac Newton, Marshall McLuhan, mutually assured destruction, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Richard Stallman, search inside the book, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog

Ruling in MP3.Com—Unofficial Version., 6 Sep. 2000. Nysd.uscourts. gov. 20 Apr. 2005 <http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/courtweb/pdf/ D02NYSC/00–09078.pdf>. Segaller, Stephen. Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet. New York: TV Books, 1998. Sony Corp. of Amer. v. Universal City Studios, Inc. Vol. 464 U.S. 417, 1984. Stallman, Richard M. (Cambridge Mass.). Free Software, Free Society : Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman. Ed. Joshua Gay. Boston, MA: Free Software Foundation, 2002. Stapp, Scott. “What Artists & Songwriters Say.” MusicUnited. 6 Nov. 2002. MusicUnited.org. 20 Aug. 2006 <http://www.musicunited.org/3_artists. html>. Strauss, Neil. “File-Sharing Battle Leaves Musicians Caught in the Middle.” New York Times 14 Sep. 2003. 1:1. Sullivan, Lorraine. “Statement of Lorriane Sullivan, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.” 30 Sep. 2003. senate.gov. 20 Aug. 2006 <http:// www.senate.gov/~govt-aff/index.cfm?

But the inference that such high jinks [sic] were the essence of hacking was not just wrong, it was offensive to true hackers, whose work had changed the world, and whose methods could change the way one viewed the world. (433) Levy’s argument is that the transgressions of the first generation of hackers should be understood (and implicitly, should be dismissed) because these actions were peripheral to the larger goals of “chang- Pa r l orPr e s s 28 wwwww. p a r l or p r e s s . c om Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion ing the world.” Again, the judgment hinges on a determination with respect to the hackers’ intent, but in place of Professor Tucker’s “boys will be boys” defense, we have Levy’s rather grandiose suggestion that the hackers’ visitation of others’ computers was participating in an expansive process of positive global transformation. One hacker who arguably deserves Levy’s hyperbole is Richard Stallman, whose has worked for two decades as the leader and inspiration for the “Free Software” movement and the chief developer of “GNU,” a resolutely free alternative to the proprietary UNIX operating system. Like Levy, Stallman cites “playfulness, cleverness, and exploration” as the signature elements of true hacking (15). Stallman’s own account of his efforts bespeaks an idealism rooted in the 1960s counterculture, and an overarching commitment to building community via electronic spaces.

Or perhaps it once did remain subservient to creativity, but it doesn’t anymore. The successful public branding of Michael Robertson as a “pirate,” raises a serious question as to just how much creativity and innovation will be lost because the U.S. is, apparently, incapable of conducting the debate over peer-to-peer technologies with simultaneous attention to nuance, civility, and basic fairness. True to his prescient form, Richard Stallman was among the first to identify and decry the content industries’ campaign to broaden the meaning of piracy. In his 1996 catalog of “21 Words to Avoid” (since expanded and more accurately retitled “Some Confusing or Loaded Words and Phrases That Are Worth Avoiding”) Stallman offers this clear, direct, and concise critique of a rhetorical shift that he lays at the doorstep of the content industries: Publishers often refer to prohibited copying as “piracy.”


pages: 297 words: 103,910

Free culture: how big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity by Lawrence Lessig

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Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, future of journalism, George Akerlof, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Louis Daguerre, new economy, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, software patent, transaction costs

Corrupting Citizens Part 4 - Balances Chapter 1 - Eldred Chapter 2 - Eldred II Part 5 - Conclusion Part 6 - Afterword Chapter 1 - Us, Now 1. Rebuilding Freedoms Previously Presumed: Examples 2. Rebuilding Free Culture: One Idea Chapter 2 - Them, Soon 1. More Formalities 2. Registration and Renewal 3. Marking 4. Shorter Terms 5. Free Use Vs. Fair Use 6. Liberate the Music—Again 7. Fire Lots of Lawyers Notes Acknowledgments [1] David Pogue, "Don't Just Chat, Do Something," New York Times, 30 January 2000. [2] Richard M. Stallman, Free Software, Free Societies 57 ( Joshua Gay, ed. 2002). [3] William Safire, "The Great Media Gulp," New York Times, 22 May 2003. [4] St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries 3 (South Hackensack, N.J.: Rothman Reprints, 1969), 18. [5] United States v. Causby, U.S. 328 (1946): 256, 261. The Court did find that there could be a "taking" if the government's use of its land effectively destroyed the value of the Causbys' land.

The diffusion of power through local control, thereby encouraging individual participation, is the essence of federalism and the greatest expression of democracy.[3] This idea is an element of the argument of Free Culture, though my focus is not just on the concentration of power produced by concentrations in ownership, but more importantly, if because less visibly, on the concentration of power produced by a radical change in the effective scope of the law. The law is changing; that change is altering the way our culture gets made; that change should worry you—whether or not you care about the Internet, and whether you're on Safire's left or on his right. The inspiration for the title and for much of the argument of this book comes from the work of Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation. Indeed, as I reread Stallman's own work, especially the essays in Free Software, Free Society, I realize that all of the theoretical insights I develop here are insights Stallman described decades ago. One could thus well argue that this work is "merely" derivative. I accept that criticism, if indeed it is a criticism. The work of a lawyer is always derivative, and I mean to do nothing more in this book than to remind a culture about a tradition that has always been its own.

A change in technology now forces those who believe in privacy to affirmatively act where, before, privacy was given by default. A similar story could be told about the birth of the free software movement. When computers with software were first made available commercially, the software—both the source code and the binaries— was free. You couldn't run a program written for a Data General machine on an IBM machine, so Data General and IBM didn't care much about controlling their software. That was the world Richard Stallman was born into, and while he was a researcher at MIT, he grew to love the community that developed when one was free to explore and tinker with the software that ran on machines. Being a smart sort himself, and a talented programmer, Stallman grew to depend upon the freedom to add to or modify other people's work. In an academic setting, at least, that's not a terribly radical idea. In a math department, anyone would be free to tinker with a proof that someone offered.


pages: 678 words: 159,840

The Debian Administrator's Handbook, Debian Wheezy From Discovery to Mastery by Raphaal Hertzog, Roland Mas

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bash_history, Debian, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Jono Bacon, NP-complete, QWERTY keyboard, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Skype, SpamAssassin, Valgrind, web application, x509 certificate, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

This double ambition would, in his eyes, only be achieved by opening the Debian development process just like that of Linux and the GNU project. Thus, peer review would continuously improve the product. CULTURE GNU, the project of the FSF The GNU project is a range of free software developed, or sponsored, by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), originated by its iconic leader, Dr. Richard M. Stallman. GNU is a recursive acronym, standing for “GNU is Not Unix”. CULTURE Richard Stallman FSF's founder and author of the GPL license, Richard M. Stallman (often referred to by his initials, RMS) is a charismatic leader of the Free Software movement. Due to his uncompromising positions, he's not unanimously admired, but his non-technical contributions to Free Software (in particular at the legal and philosophical level) are respected by everybody. 1.1.1. A Multi-Platform Operating System COMMUNITY Ian Murdock's journey Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian project, was its first leader, from 1993 to 1996.

The non-free archive is different because it contains software which does not (entirely) conform to these principles but which can nevertheless be distributed without restrictions. This archive, which is not officially part of Debian, is a service for users who could need some of those programs — however Debian always recommends giving priority to free software. The existence of this section represents a considerable problem for Richard M. Stallman and keeps the Free Software Foundation from recommending Debian to users. Contrib (contributions) is a set of open source software which cannot function without some non-free elements. These elements can be software from the non-free section, or non-free files such as game ROMs, BIOS of consoles, etc. Contrib also includes free software whose compilation requires proprietary elements.

For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be free software. BACK TO BASICS Copyleft Copyleft is a principle that consists in using copyrights to guarantee the freedom of a work and its derivatives, rather than restrict the rights of uses, as is the case with proprietary software. It is, also, a play of words on the term “copyright”. Richard Stallman discovered the idea when a friend of his, fond of puns, wrote on an envelope addressed to him: “copyleft: all rights reversed”. Copyleft imposes preservation of all initial liberties upon distribution of an original or modified version of a work (usually a program). It is, thus, not possible to distribute a program as proprietary software if it is derived from code from a copyleft released program.


pages: 400 words: 94,847

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen

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Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, 2006. http://www.ted.com/talks/cameron_sinclair_on_open_source_architecture. html. [199] Simon Singh. Beware the spinal trap. Guardian, April 19, 2008. [200] Lee Smolin. The Trouble with Physics. London: Allen Lane, 2006. [201] Ron Solomon. On finite simple groups and their classification. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 42(2):231–239, February 1995. http://www.ams.org/notices/199502/solomon.pdf. [202] Richard M. Stallman. Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman. Boston: Free Software Foundation, 2002. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/fsfs/rms-essays.pdf. [203] Garol Stasser and William Titus. Hidden profiles: A brief history. Psychological Inquiry, 14(3&4):304–313, 2003. [204] Garold Stasser and William Titus. Pooling of unshared information in group decision making: Biased information sampling during discussion.

For instance, it was in part through their lobbying that the NIH open access policy described in chapter 7 came about. Other organizations working toward open science include Science Commons (http://sciencecommon.sorg), which is part of the Creative Commons organization, and the Open Knowledge Foundation (http://okfn.org). The challenge of creating a more open culture is not limited to science. It’s also being confronted in general culture. People such as Richard Stallman [202], Lawrence Lessig [122], and many others have described the benefits openness brings in a networked world. They’ve developed tools such as Creative Commons licensing (http://creativecommons.org) and “copyleft” licenses to help bring about a more open culture. My thinking has been especially strongly influenced by Lessig [122]. However, although open science has many parallels to the open culture movement, science faces a unique set of forces that inhibit open sharing.

Multitool Linux: Practical Uses for Open Source Software by Michael Schwarz, Jeremy Anderson, Peter Curtis

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business process, Debian, defense in depth, GnuPG, index card, indoor plumbing, optical character recognition, publish or perish, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, slashdot, web application, x509 certificate

All of that said, don't be too paranoid if all you want to do is use the program yourself or give away copies. All of the licenses we cover here give you at least those rights. If you plan to use the source code in a program of your own, be more alert. This is where these licenses differ wildly. The GPL GPL stands for GNU Public License. GNU stands for "GNU's not Unix." GNU is a project launched by the founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), one Richard M. Stallman, or RMS, as he is often called. He believes that all software should be free. He does not mean that all software should be gratis, but rather that all software should be "liberated." The phrase Stallman uses is "Think free speech, not free beer." Stallman is often denounced as at best naive, at worst communist. This arises from a misunderstanding of Stallman's philosophy. To Stallman, the notion of "owning" an algorithm is as bizzare as the notion of "owning" the Pythagorean theorem.

The Great Schism As with any field, leaders tend to become iconoclasts. Some are born iconoclasts. Some have iconoclasism thrust upon 'em. There is a single major split in the philosophies of free software. (Note the lowercase letters: When we use lowercase, we mean software that is free and for which you get the source code.) The split is between Richard Stallman and his "Free Software" philosophy and Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens with their "Open Source" philosophy. Richard Stallman We have already talked about RMS, the father of the GPL and the first to codify a philosophy of "liberated" software. People had shared source code in the past; he certainly did not invent that. What he did was to articulate what it means for software to be "Free." It boils down to the two main thrusts of the GPL. First, you have the right to get all the source code with any software, whether it is "gratis" or not.

You can do that with the commercial software. This is called "piracy," and it is, quite rightly, against the law. It turns out, however, that those of us who write software also would like to get software for free. So some of us started writing code and giving it away. We get paid back in the form of the other free software written by other programmers. At this point, thanks to people like Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation and Linus Torvalds (author of the Linux kernel), you can now have a complete multiuser network server operating system and a whole slew of applications for free. You can also, if you are a programmer, get all the source code for all of it and add features or fix bugs yourself, if you are so inclined. Even if you are not a programmer, you benefit from this openness because bugs get found and fixed much more rapidly in this model than in the closed, commercial, distributed media model.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Zipcar

The hobby-hacker cultures at university tech hubs like MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Stanford, which had enjoyed a collegial and collaborative sharing of computing and software in a more relaxed, playful, and creative academic milieu, were faced with new actors in their midst, who were determined to take this new communications revolution into the marketplace. Gates was the first to draw the line in the sand. Another young hacker, Richard M. Stallman, who worked at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, took the challenge and crossed the line. Rallying around Free Software Stallman argued that software code was quickly becoming the language of communication between people, and between people and things, and that it was immoral and unethical to enclose and privatize the new communications media, allowing a few corporate players to determine the conditions of access while imposing rent.

Although I don’t know Boyle personally, his essay refers to the work done by the Foundation on Economic Trends and other environmental and genetic activists to keep the genetic Commons open—referring to our claim that the human genome, and all other genomes, are the “common heritage” of evolution and therefore cannot be enclosed as private property.29 Boyle sensed that while the new field of “bioinformatics blurs the line between computer modeling and biological research,” it might be possible that open-source genomics could liberate biological research from narrow corporate interests, making the stewardship of Earth’s genetic resources the “common” responsibility of the human race.30 With this example in mind, Boyle stepped outside the day-to-day struggle between free-culture activists and traditional market defenders to muse on the prospect of an alternative future for the human race—one utterly different from the current course we find ourselves on. His thoughts were more contemplative than declarative—and put forth in the form of an observation. He wrote: At the very least, there is some possibility, even hope, that we could have a world in which much more of intellectual and inventive production is free. “‘Free’ as in ‘free speech,’” Richard Stallman says, not “‘free’ as in ‘free beer.’” But we could hope that much of it would be both free of centralized control and low cost or no cost. When the marginal cost of production is zero, the marginal cost of transmission and storage approaches zero, the process of creation is additive, and much of the labor doesn’t charge—well, the world looks a little different. This is at least a possible future, or part of a possible future, and one that we should not foreclose without thinking twice.31 How do we get to that future?

Vaughan-Nichols, “Fast, Faster, Fastest: Linux Rules Supercomputing,” ZD Net, June 19, 2012, http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/fast-faster-fastest-linux-rules-supercomputing/ 11263 (accessed June 13, 2013); Roger Parloff, “How Linux Conquered the Fortune 500,” CNN Money, May 6, 2013, http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/06/technology/linux-500.pr.fortune/ (accessed November 13, 2013). 8. Moglen, “Anarchism Triumphant.” 9. Ibid. 10. “History of the OSI,” Open Source Initiative, September 2012, http://opensource.org/history (accessed June 13, 2013). 11. Richard Stallman, “Why ‘Open Source’ Misses the Point of Free Software,” Communications of the ACM 52(6) (2009): 31. 12. Ibid. 13. Ibid., 33. 14. Eric Steven Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” UnderStone.net, August 22, 2001 http://www.unterstein.net/su/docs/CathBaz.pdf (accessed June 13, 2013). 15. Jeremy Rifkin, The Empathic Civilization (New York: Penguin Books, 2009), 266. 16.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

A quarter of a century later, I’m not sure we’d care what Andy Hertzfelt, Robert Woodhead or Bill Budge had to say if it weren’t for Richard Stallman. His free software project effectively sewed a piece of the MIT hacker past into the worldwide web future, ensuring there was always a section of the global software codebase that could be developed and shared by anyone who cared enough to fire up a command line. Without him, the world of computers might still be 8-bit parlour games and Microsoft Paint. And there isn’t much revolutionary in that. Today, the GNU/Linux operating system runs on more than half of the computers that serve the World Wide Web, and all the many hundreds of thousands of computers that run Google’s search engine. Early on in my career as a tech journalist, I met Richard Stallman at a meeting of free software enthusiasts held in the Postal Workers Union in Edinburgh.

Others protest that without sharing code, the development of the computer will stagnate, and the freedom of a hacker to do what he loves best – hack – will be impinged upon. And then there is the question of how to make money. Although a number of hackers detail how they are still making a good living despite sharing their code with other hackers, everyone agrees those royalty cheques will get smaller if code was routinely given away for free. Enter a 31-year-old Richard Stallman, captioned by the filmmakers as “MITs last hacker”, because, they say, of his decision to remain at the scholarly Massachusetts Institute of Technology despite the temptations of the commercial world. “My project is to make all software free,” he announces at the beginning of the film in a high-pitched, nasal, New York accent. Later on, he describes for the filmmakers his objections to code that is not shared: Imagine if you bought a house, and the basement was locked, and only the original building contractor had the key.

That’s what happens when the blueprints to a computer program are kept secret by the organisation that sells it, and that’s the usual way things are done. “Free as in freedom”, then, not “free as in beer” – Stallman might perhaps have felt more at home among the public-spirited hackers at the 1984 Chaos Communication Congress than amongst Brands happy hippy millionaires. By the time he had arrived at Marin County, Richard Stallman was less than a year into a project that would significantly shape the next twenty, and not just in the world of computing. That project was the GNU operating system, and Stallman’s ambition was to create a complete computer software package that could be shared and modified freely by its users in perpetuity. By reverse engineering the copyright system that was making millionaires of his fellow Marin County hackers, Stallman created “copyleft”, a watertight legal safeguard against digital enclosure that basically says, “here, you can take a copy of this, but only if you always share what you do with it with other people like I shared this with you”.


pages: 398 words: 86,023

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih

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Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Marshall McLuhan, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K

The idea of generating free content was pretty new for the public as well. As the Internet was blossoming, many entrepreneurs and developers were inspired by the free software movement, which had become incredibly popular in tech circles. Free software had as its patron saint a quirky and brilliant man named Richard Stallman, and he was about to make an impact well beyond the small hovel of computer geekdom. 24_The_Wikipedia_Revolution RMS You can’t understand the “free” movement on the Internet without understanding Richard Stallman. A heavily bearded, iconoclastic computer programmer, Stallman became a hacking legend at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1980s for his programming chops. His experiences as a freewheeling software developer, stifled by corporate usurping of his work, would lead him on a crusade he would pursue the rest of his life: a mission to free up software and content for the masses.

Wiki_Introduced_79 It’s this industrial-strength caching solution, and a clever crew of volunteer programmers, that allowed Wikipedia to scale to become a top ten Web site, with a budget of less than a million dollars.27 It should be noted, as a historical footnote, that Richard Stallman, who inspired the free software and free content movement, also proposed his own encyclopedia in 1999, and attempted to launch it the same year that Wikipedia took off. Called GNUpedia, it coexisted confusingly in the same space as Bomis’s Nupedia, a completely separate product. Keeping with tradition, Stallman renamed his project GNE—GNU’s Not an Encyclopedia. But in the end, Wikipedia’s lead and enthusiastic community was already well established, and Richard Stallman put the GNE project into inactive status and put his support behind Wikipedia. Chapter 5_ COMMUNITY AT WORK (THE PIRANHA EFFECT) “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”

As this GNU/Linux combination started to rise in quality, it also started to challenge the commercial industry heavyweights—Sun, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and others who sold “closed source” operating systems for hundreds or 30_The_Wikipedia_Revolution thousands of dollars. Linux wasn’t just a free (as in beer) alternative; it was actually a favorite with hard-core programmers because individuals or businesses could take Linux apart and add new functionality, something they could not do very easily with commercial operating systems. Remember DMOZ So the long story of Richard Stallman, free software, Linus, Minix, and Linux brings us all the way back to DMOZ. What did this mean for the DMOZ project? By 1998 open source software had shown it was a viable competitor to commercial software in terms of quality, something people had not expected from a widely distributed band of volunteers. This inspired people to try the same “free” licensing not just with computer code, but with actual Internet content.


pages: 598 words: 183,531

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy

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air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

The Last of the True Hackers Around the time of Ken Williams’ housewarming party, twenty-five years after the MIT Tech Model Railroad Club discovered the TX-0, a man who called himself the last true hacker sat in a room on the ninth floor of Tech Square—a room cluttered with printouts, manuals, a bedroll, and a blinking computer terminal connected to a direct descendant of the PDP-6, a DEC-20 computer. His name was Richard Stallman, and he spoke in a tense, high-pitched voice that did not attempt to veil the emotion with which he described, in his words, “the rape of the artificial intelligence lab.” He was thirty years old. His pale complexion and scraggly dark hair contrasted vividly with the intense luminescence of his deep green eyes. The eyes moistened as he described the decay of the Hacker Ethic at Tech Square. Richard Stallman had come to MIT twelve years before, in 1971, and had experienced the epiphany that others had enjoyed when they discovered that pure hacker paradise, the Tech Square monastery where one lived to hack, and hacked to live.

For a while we were setting an example for the rest of the world. Now that this is gone, where am I going to begin from? I read a book the other day. It’s called Ishi, the Last Yahi. It’s a book about the last survivor of a tribe of Indians, initially with his family, and then gradually they died out one by one.” That was the way Richard Stallman felt. Like Ishi. “I’m the last survivor of a dead culture,” said RMS. “And I don’t really belong in the world anymore. And in some ways I feel I ought to be dead.” Richard Stallman did leave MIT, but he left with a plan: to write a version of the popular proprietary computer operating system called UNIX and give it away to anyone who wanted it. Working on this GNU (which stood for “Gnu’s Not Unix”) program meant that he could “continue to use computers without violating [his] principles.”

Helped “liberate” Altair BASIC program on paper tape. Sol Computer. Lee Felsenstein’s terminal-and-computer, built in two frantic months, almost the computer that turned things around. Almost wasn’t enough. Les Solomon. Editor of Popular Electronics, the puller of strings who set the computer revolution into motion. Marty Spergel. The Junk Man, the Homebrew member who supplied circuits and cables and could make you a deal for anything. Richard Stallman. The Last of the Hackers, he vowed to defend the principles of hackerism to the bitter end. Remained at MIT until there was no one to eat Chinese food with. Jeff Stephenson. Thirty-year-old martial arts veteran and hacker who was astounded that joining Sierra On-Line meant enrolling in Summer Camp. Jay Sullivan. Maddeningly calm wizard-level programmer at Informatics who impressed Ken Williams by knowing the meaning of the word “any.”


pages: 397 words: 102,910

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

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4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Lean Startup, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

The actual line, from Blake’s Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion, reads, “I must Create a System, or be enslav’d by another Mans.” 36 Hart to Book People mailing list, January 12, 2006. 37 Hart Papers, Box 6, Folder “Brainstorming Names for P.G. c. 1971.” 38 Putnam, “Great Libraries.” 39 Michael Hart, “The Cult of the Amateur,” http://hart.pglaf.org/cult.of.the.amateur.txt. 40 Hart Papers, Box 1, Folder “Essays.” 41 Hafner and Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late, 34. 42 Licklider, Libraries of the Future, 6. 43 Williams, Free as in Freedom (2.0), 78. 44 20 GOTO 10. 45 Williams, Free as in Freedom (2.0), 54–55. 46 Hart Papers, Box 1, Folder “Journals, folder 1 of 2, 1979, 2000, undated.” 47 Richard Stallman, “The GNU Project,” www.gnu.org, http://www.gnu.org/gnu/thegnuproject.html. 48 Ibid. 49 Richard Stallman, “Copyleft: Pragmatic Idealism,” www.gnu.org, https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/pragmatic.html. 50 Michael Hart, “Introduction to Michael Hart’s blog,” http://hart.pglaf.org/myblog.int.txt. 51 Hart Papers, Box 7, Folder “Project Gutenberg—Newsletters 1991–92.” 52 Ibid., Box 1, Folder “Essays.” 53 Ibid., Box 3, Folder “Correspondence 1974–1985.” 54 Ibid., Box 9, Folder “Hymen Hart and Alice Woodby, c. 1975.” 55 Ibid., Box 1, Folder “Life Review 1990.” 56 Ibid., Box 8, Folder “Duncan Research—Correspondence 1987–90.” 57 Ibid. 58 Ibid., Folder “Geof Pawlicki Folder 1 of 2 1987–88, 1992.” 59 Ibid., Box 1, Folder “Life Review 1990.” 60 Ibid., Box 2, Folder “American Library Association Midwinter.” 61 Gillies and Cailliau, How the Web Was Born, 209. 62 Hart Papers, Box 6, Folder “Project Gutenberg—Correspondence 1992, 2 of 2.” 63 Ibid., Folder “Project Gutenberg—Correspondence 1993.” 64 Ibid., Box 3, Folder “Correspondence 1995.” 65 Ibid., Box 8, Folder “Electronic Networking 1991.” 66 Elizabeth Weise, “Project Gutenberg Puts Great Literature on the Internet,” Associated Press, 1995. 67 Michael Hart, A Brief History of the Internet, http://archive.org/stream/abriefhistoryoft00250gut/pg250.txt. 68 Ibid. 69 US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Copyright Term Extension Act of 1995, 44. 70 Ibid., 57. 71 Ibid., 55. 72 Ibid., 41. 73 Ibid., 42. 74 Ibid., 71. 75 Michael Hart, “PG Newsletter March 1995,” March 1, 1995, http://www.gutenbergnews.org/19950301/pg-monthly-newsletter-1995-03/. 76 Michael Hart, “Why I started [sic] My Blog,” http://hart.pglaf.org/whyblog.txt. 77 Hart Papers, Box 6, Folder “Project Gutenberg—Correspondence 1985–89.” 78 Ibid., Box 7, Folder “Letters of Support for Project Gutenberg, Folder 2 of 3.” 79 Michael Hart, “Project Gutenberg #500,” March 1996, http://www.ub.uni-dortmund.de/listen/inetbib/msg04134.html. 80 Hart Papers, Box 7, Folder “Letters of Support for Project Gutenberg, Folder 1 of 3, 1996.” 81 Ibid. 82 Ibid., Folder “Letters of Support for Project Gutenberg, Folder 2 of 3.” 83 Michael Hart, “PG Newsletter June 1996,” June 9, 1996, http://www.gutenbergnews.org/19960609/pg-monthly-newsletter-1996-06-09/. 84 Michael Hart to Book People mailing list, September 4, 1997, http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/bparchive?

These computers were programmed and otherwise tended to by a crew of young hackers, some of whom were paid employees, others just enthusiasts who congregated at the lab to be close to the objects of their desire. The hackers wrote code and maintained the lab’s computers with radical transparency. Any hacker could access another’s files to study or improve them. The computer terminals had no passwords; few locks were on the doors. For many of the hackers, the lab functioned as a surrogate dormitory. In 1986, a former AI Lab hacker named Richard Stallman recalled how he and other programmers would “stay up as long as you can hacking, because you just don’t want to stop. And then when you’re completely exhausted, you climb over to the nearest soft horizontal surface.”43 The next day, they would do it all over again.44 An intense, mischievous man who sported a dark beard, studied folk dancing, and sometimes wore a button reading IMPEACH GOD,45 Stallman was dubbed “The Last of the True Hackers” by Levy.

There, he vowed, “There will be 10,000 Machine-Readable-Texts available by Dec. 31, 2000, even if I had to make them all myself.”60 * * * IN 1990, a British computer scientist named Tim Berners-Lee wrote an article for a house newsletter at CERN, a particle-physics laboratory in Switzerland. Berners-Lee programmed software at CERN, and, like many idealistic coders before him, he had become enamored of the Gospel of Richard Stallman. “A source of much debate over recent years has been whether to write software in-house or buy it from commercial suppliers. Now, a third alternative is becoming significant in what some see as a revolution in software supply,” he wrote, referring to the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project. Berners-Lee wondered whether Stallman’s ideas might not be applied to the work he was doing for CERN.

Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge by Cass R. Sunstein

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affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, availability heuristic, Build a better mousetrap, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, framing effect, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market design, minimum wage unemployment, prediction markets, profit motive, rent control, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, slashdot, stem cell, The Wisdom of Crowds, winner-take-all economy

Those who celebrate open source software, and believe that it has major advantages over alternative methods, emphasize this point above all. Note here Eric Raymond’s suggestion: “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”26 A Movement / Open source software has an extremely colorful history; it even involves a kind of social movement, with vivid personalities and a great deal of passion and commitment.27 The Free Software Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was started by Richard Stallman in 1985, the same year that Stallman invented the copyleft license; and Stallman, to 168 / Infotopia whom I shall return, has been a foundational figure for over two decades. An important moment in the movement occurred in 1991, when Linus Torvalds, a computer science graduate student at the University of Helsinki, started to do some interesting work on his personal computer. Torvalds was adding features to Minix, a miniaturized version of the operating system Unix; Minix had been written for pedagogical purposes by programmer Andrew Tanenbaum.

“A hugely complex and sophisticated operating system had been built out of the voluntary contributions of thousands of developers spread Many Working Minds / 169 around the world. By the middle of 2000, Linux ran more than a third of the servers that make up the web.”29 As of this writing, only about 2 percent of the Linux “kernel,” or core, is written by Torvalds himself, but he continues to exercise ultimate authority over the decision whether to incorporate new code.30 I have referred to Richard Stallman, a famous hacker and near celebrity who originated the GNU project; GNU is a free software operating system for which Stallman wrote the GNU General Public License, now the most public free software license. With his multiple achievements, Stallman has become a legendary figure within the movement. (Personal note: I went to college with Stallman in the mid-1970s and lived in the same dormitory with him.

As in the cases of wikis, we will undoubtedly find many surprises here, and they are likely to be good ones. With open source projects, human creativity will continue to ensure exciting and even barely imaginable innovations. A Brief Note on Copyright / There is an obvious relationship between the ideas that underlie open source software and the broader debates over the restrictions imposed by the copyright laws.50 The whole idea of copyleft, invented by Richard Stallman, is an effort to reduce people’s ability to limit the distribution and modification of software. We could easily imagine more general efforts to reduce the effects of the copyright laws; such efforts are in fact easy to find. Copyright laws create monopolies; they diminish access by many minds. As in the context of software, legal restrictions may also spur innovation; if copyright restrictions are available, perhaps more people will produce valuable work in the first place.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

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Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux

It might be a guideline or it might be something that we go around and try to encourage people to do. But you can’t get in trouble for not doing it.48 Finally, there was a norm about ownership: nobody owned Wikipedia exclusively. The content of Wikipedia got created under a copyright license that guaranteed it was always free for anyone to copy, and that any modifications had to be free as well. This “copyleft” license—the brainchild of Richard Stallman—set the final founding norm for this extraordinary experiment in collaboration. If you’re one of the seven people in the world who have not yet used Wikipedia, you might well wonder whether this experiment in collaboration can work. The answer is that it does, and surpris- 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 157 8/12/08 1:55:27 AM REMI X 158 ingly well—surprising even for Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales.

Consider just a few: 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 162 8/12/08 1:55:29 AM T W O EC O NO MIE S: C O MMERC I A L A ND SH A RING 163 • The code that built the Net came from a sharing economy. The software that built the original Internet was the product of free collaboration. Open-source, or free, software was distributed broadly to enable the servers and Internet protocols to function. The most famous of these projects was the GNU Project, which in 1983 was launched by Richard Stallman to build a free operating system, modeled upon the then dominant UNIX. For the first six years or so, Stallman and his loyal followers worked away at building the infrastructure that would make an operating system run. By the beginning of the 1990s, the essential part missing was the kernel of the operating system, without which the operating system as a whole could not run. A Finnish undergraduate decided to try to build that kernel.

He was therefore keen to understand precisely what his customers would read. “I would ask all the members of the user groups, ‘What do you want to read about that isn’t already being covered in the major computer publications?’ The only thing they could think about at the time was free software.” So Young decided to learn something about free software. He took a train to Boston to sit down with Richard Stallman to “ask him where this stuff was coming from.” Young was astounded by what he found. “[Stallman] was using lines [like] ‘from engineers according to their skill to engineers according to their need.’ ” “I’m a capitalist,” Young recalls thinking, “and the Berlin wall had just fallen. I thought, I’m not sure this model is going to keep going.” Young decided to forget about free software. “Given there was no economic support [for this] free software stuff,” Young believed it all “was a blip.”


pages: 893 words: 199,542

Structure and interpretation of computer programs by Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, Julie Sussman

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Andrew Wiles, conceptual framework, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, Fermat's Last Theorem, Gödel, Escher, Bach, industrial robot, information retrieval, iterative process, loose coupling, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Richard Stallman, Turing machine

Common Lisp: The Language. 2nd edition. Digital Press. Steele, Guy Lewis, Jr., and Gerald Jay Sussman. 1975. Scheme: An interpreter for the extended lambda calculus. Memo 349, MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Steele, Guy Lewis, Jr., Donald R. Woods, Raphael A. Finkel, Mark R. Crispin, Richard M. Stallman, and Geoffrey S. Goodfellow. 1983. The Hacker's Dictionary. New York: Harper & Row. Stoy, Joseph E. 1977. Denotational Semantics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Sussman, Gerald Jay, and Richard M. Stallman. 1975. Heuristic techniques in computer-aided circuit analysis. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems CAS-22(11):857-865. Sussman, Gerald Jay, and Guy Lewis Steele Jr. 1980. Constraints – A language for expressing almost-hierachical descriptions. AI Journal 14:1-39. Sussman, Gerald Jay, and Jack Wisdom. 1992.

We do not know who produced the Chinese edition, but we consider it an honor to have been selected as the subject of an “unauthorized” translation. It is hard to enumerate all the people who have made technical contributions to the development of the Scheme systems we use for instructional purposes. In addition to Guy Steele, principal wizards have included Chris Hanson, Joe Bowbeer, Jim Miller, Guillermo Rozas, and Stephen Adams. Others who have put in significant time are Richard Stallman, Alan Bawden, Kent Pitman, Jon Taft, Neil Mayle, John Lamping, Gwyn Osnos, Tracy Larrabee, George Carrette, Soma Chaudhuri, Bill Chiarchiaro, Steven Kirsch, Leigh Klotz, Wayne Noss, Todd Cass, Patrick O'Donnell, Kevin Theobald, Daniel Weise, Kenneth Sinclair, Anthony Courtemanche, Henry M. Wu, Andrew Berlin, and Ruth Shyu. Beyond the MIT implementation, we would like to thank the many people who worked on the IEEE Scheme standard, including William Clinger and Jonathan Rees, who edited the R4RS, and Chris Haynes, David Bartley, Chris Hanson, and Jim Miller, who prepared the IEEE standard.


pages: 1,387 words: 202,295

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Second Edition by Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, Julie Sussman

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Andrew Wiles, conceptual framework, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, Gödel, Escher, Bach, industrial robot, information retrieval, iterative process, loose coupling, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Richard Stallman, Turing machine, wikimedia commons

Common Lisp: The Language. 2nd edition. Digital Press. –› Steele, Guy Lewis, Jr., and Gerald Jay Sussman. 1975. Scheme: An interpreter for the extended lambda calculus. Memo 349, MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. –› Steele, Guy Lewis, Jr., Donald R. Woods, Raphael A. Finkel, Mark R. Crispin, Richard M. Stallman, and Geoffrey S. Goodfellow. 1983. The Hacker’s Dictionary. New York: Harper & Row. –› Stoy, Joseph E. 1977. Denotational Semantics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Sussman, Gerald Jay, and Richard M. Stallman. 1975. Heuristic techniques in computer-aided circuit analysis. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems CAS-22(11): 857-865. –› Sussman, Gerald Jay, and Guy Lewis Steele Jr. 1980. Constraints—A language for expressing almost-hierachical descriptions. AI Journal 14: 1-39. –› Sussman, Gerald Jay, and Jack Wisdom. 1992.

We do not know who produced the Chinese edition, but we consider it an honor to have been selected as the subject of an “unauthorized” translation. It is hard to enumerate all the people who have made technical contributions to the development of the Scheme systems we use for instructional purposes. In addition to Guy Steele, principal wizards have included Chris Hanson, Joe Bowbeer, Jim Miller, Guillermo Rozas, and Stephen Adams. Others who have put in significant time are Richard Stallman, Alan Bawden, Kent Pitman, Jon Taft, Neil Mayle, John Lamping, Gwyn Osnos, Tracy Larrabee, George Carrette, Soma Chaudhuri, Bill Chiarchiaro, Steven Kirsch, Leigh Klotz, Wayne Noss, Todd Cass, Patrick O’Donnell, Kevin Theobald, Daniel Weise, Kenneth Sinclair, Anthony Courtemanche, Henry M. Wu, Andrew Berlin, and Ruth Shyu. Beyond the MIT implementation, we would like to thank the many people who worked on the IEEE Scheme standard, including William Clinger and Jonathan Rees, who edited the R⁴RS, and Chris Haynes, David Bartley, Chris Hanson, and Jim Miller, who prepared the IEEE standard.


pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg

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A Pattern Language, Berlin Wall, c2.com, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

That world—an environment of geekish enthusiasms and cooperative ideals—experienced a sort of waking to self-consciousness in the 1990s. Programmers looked at one another across the network they had built, blinked, and realized that they shared a set of practices and philosophies different from those of the Microsoft-dominated personal-computing mainstream. They took their inspiration and tools from two central figures: Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds. In 1985, Stallman, an eccentric MIT genius who was irate about the commercial software industry’s habit of locking up code, established the Free Software Foundation. It developed a special kind of software license that said you could have all the code you wanted, and reuse it, and incorporate it into new products—but anything you created with that code had to be covered, in turn, by the same licensing terms.

He had followed the rise of the open source movement in the late nineties; he found its ideas congenial, and even more important, he found its arguments persuasive. This was not an obvious or inevitable choice for someone whose career epitomized the triumph of the entrepreneurial software capitalist and whose fortune originated in the sale of shrink-wrapped programs. Back in the 1980s, in his Lotus days, Kapor had sat miserably in his office while Richard Stallman, the disheveled and cantankerous torchbearer of the free software movement, led a crowd of chanting picketers from the League for Programming Freedom in the street outside. They were protesting Lotus’s policies on software copyrights and “look-and-feel lawsuits” that tried to block other programmers from mimicking user interface features from Lotus programs. Kapor says he actually sympathized with the protest.

And being open source hadn’t prevented Chandler from ending up in the same agonizing time warp as countless other ambitious software projects. Maybe Eric Raymond’s “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” had been wrong, and Linus’s Law (“‘Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”) didn’t transcend Brooks’s Law after all. Or perhaps OSAF, for all its transparency, had so far failed to meet Raymond’s requirement for success with a bazaar-style open source project—that it must recognize, embrace, and reward good ideas from outsiders. Richard Stallman, the godfather of free software, liked to say, “When people ask me when something will be finished, I respond, ‘It will be ready sooner if you help.’” OSAF welcomed volunteers and external contributions, but Chandler’s grand design ambitions and sluggish pace of delivery had made it hard for outsiders to pitch in. In “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” Raymond wrote, It’s fairly clear that one cannot code from the ground up in bazaar style.


pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

CHAPTER 2: RISE OF THE DIGITAL COMMONS 17 In his book The Wealth of Networks: Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007), 472. 18 The World Wide Web, invented two decades after the Internet: For Berners-Lee’s firsthand account, see Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web (New York: HarperOne, 1999). 20 In 1989, the computer scientist Richard Stallman got the ball rolling: Though the distinction may seem arcane to nonprogrammers, there are important philosophical differences between developers of open-source software—a much broader set of people—and adherents of the free software movement. As Stallman puts it, “Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement.” See Richard Stallman, “Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software,” www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html. Also see the Linux Information Project’s definition of open-source software at www.linfo.org/open_source.html. 20 By 2008, 60 percent of the world’s computer servers ran on Linux, with a minority 40 percent using Microsoft’s proprietary Windows platform: James Niccolai, “Ballmer Still Searching for an Answer to Google,” IDG News, September 26, 2008, www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/151568/ballmer_still_searching_for_an_answer_to_google.html (accessed June 21, 2011). 21 since 2005 around 6,100 individual developers and six hundred companies have contributed to the Linux kernel: Jonathan Corbet et al., “Linux Kernel Development: How Fast It Is Going, Who Is Doing It, What They Are Doing, and Who Is Sponsoring It,” Linux Foundation, December 2010, www.linuxfoundation.org/docs/lf_linux_kernel_development_2010.pdf. 21 In a 2009 speech, Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, pointed out that every Internet user on the planet is a Linux user in some way: Steven J.

Most Internet users around the world are unaware of this increasingly high-stakes fight over the future of Internet governance, a geopolitical battle with implications for the future political freedoms of all citizens. The free-software and open-source software communities are also key to the expansion and growth of the digital commons, upon which a great deal of both commercial and noncommercial activity now depends. In 1989, the computer scientist Richard Stallman got the ball rolling when he created the General Public License (GPL), which authorizes anybody to use a GPL-licensed software program as long as any copies or derivatives are also made available on the same terms. This license enabled software programmers to contribute computer code with the express purpose of sharing it with others, who can in turn build and improve on it, on the condition that the modifications and improvements remain part of the commons.


pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

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Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, c2.com, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Kuiper Belt, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Yogi Berra

The alternate choice, of course, is to distribute only the software itself, without the source code, thus keeping the ability to read and modify the code with the original creators. Prior to the 1980s, software was something that generally came free with a computer, and much of it was distributed with the source code. As software sales become a business on its own, however, the economic logic shifted, and companies began distributing only the software. One of the first people to recognize this shift was Richard Stallman. In 1980 Stallman was working in an MIT lab that had access to Xerox’s first-ever laser printer, the 9700. The lab wanted to modify the printer to send a message to users when their document had finished printing. Xerox, however, had not sent the source code for the 9700, so no one at MIT could make the improvement. Recognizing a broader trend in the industry, Stallman started advocating for free software (“free as in speech,” as he puts it).

One surprising ramification of this “goodness of fit” argument is that when you improve the available tools, you expand the number of plausible promises in the world. Linus Torvalds’s original promise for Linux seems small in retrospect, but stated baldly—“Let’s get a bunch of people all over the world to write incredibly complex software without anyone getting paid”—the proposal would have seemed utterly mad. (Many people treated Linux that way for years, in fact.) Richard Stallman’s more managed methods of creating software seemed better than Torvalds’s, because up to that point they had been better. In the early 1990s Torvalds’s proposal hit the forward edge of what social tools made plausible, and as the tools got better, the size of what was plausible grew. The social tools that the Linux community adopted were like a trellis for vines—they didn’t make the growth possible, but they supported and extended that growth in ways that let them defy gravity.

All the current examples we have of large-scale, long-lived creativity, like Wikipedia or Linux, are in the realm of intellectual property; Wikipedia and Linux and a million other co-created projects are, in an almost literal way, frozen ideas. What makes most such collaborative efforts work is copyright law, where some form of license is created that allows people to come together and share their work freely, without fear of having that work taken from them later. There are dozens of such licenses, like Richard Stallman’s original GPL, currently used by Linux and a host of other collaborative projects, or Creative Commons licenses, which allow the sharing of written work in an analogous manner. In its twenty-five years of existence, the GPL and its cousins have transformed software development, precisely because they provided assurance to groups of programmers who wanted to pool their efforts, but they are also transforming much of the rest of the software industry as well, because GPL-licensed tools have become such a large part of the ecosystem.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

While we all know what “expensive” means, “free” has a fundamental ambiguity, an ambiguity central to the Internet. Free can mean something that no one can own, that belongs to all. It can also mean free in cost, like Socrates’s teachings in the streets of Athens for which he famously refused to take a fee. There’s “free” as in speech and “free” as in beer, as the famous software programmer Richard Stallman likes to say. In the digital world both kinds of free are heralded as the future. The Internet, as some techies point out, is nothing if not a copy-making machine, a place where replicating things and passing them along are effortless and essential, whether the file contains a short text message or a pornographic image or a movie that took me years to make. Every time you send an e-mail to a friend or refresh your Web browser, a facsimile is made.

And that to me is the very simple kind of thinking that’s getting lost. A factory farmer or a freegan are not the only two positions to take.” Cohen is highlighting a value that has long been central to any progressive movement: respect for labor. From this angle, it’s clear that “copyleft,” as the free culture position on copyright is sometimes called, is not “left” in the traditional sense. As Richard Stallman told me, he designed copyleft to ensure the freedom of users to redistribute and modify copies of software. Freedom to tinker is the paramount value it promotes, but a left worthy of the name has to balance that concern with the demand for equality, for parity of wealth and redistribution of power. Copyleft, with its narrow emphasis on software freedom, even when broadened to underscore the freedom of speech implications of such a position, offers a limited political response to entrenched systems of economic privilege, and it does not advance limits on profitability or promote fair compensation.

Even those artists who have written eloquently on the fallacy of intellectual property, the ubiquity of creative influence, and the myth of originality—figures like Lewis Hyde, Jonathan Lethem, Cory Doctorow, and David Shields—reserve some, if not all, of their rights. “Who owns the words? Who owns the music and the rest of our culture?” asks Shields. “Reality cannot be copyrighted,” yet the book I quote from is. Though Richard Stallman encourages copying, he releases his writing under a no-derivatives license; he believes people should be allowed to modify all software, but he is not convinced the same holds for expressive works. While there are exceptions, most people whose creativity depends on being able to incorporate outside material tend to be sensitive to conflicting perspectives, intuitively aware of the “bargain” copyright is supposed to provide in its ideal form.34 Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we have lost sight of this equilibrium in recent decades.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons

The free software philosophy emphasizes the value of sharing not only a tool’s functionality, but also knowledge about how the tool works so as to help others become builders themselves. Put into our terms, accessibility is a core value. When the free software approach works, it helps to expand the audiences capable of building software, and it increases the range of outputs the system generates. While generativity has some things in common with the free software approach, it is not the same. Free software satisfies Richard Stallman’s benchmark “four freedoms”: freedom to run the program, freedom to study how it works, freedom to change it, and freedom to share the results with the public at large.9 These freedoms overlap with generativity’s four factors, but they depart in several important respects. First, some highly generative platforms may not meet all of free software’s four freedoms. While proprietary operating systems like Windows may not be directly changeable—the Windows source code is not regularly available to outside programmers—the flexibility that software authors have to build on top of the Windows OS allows a programmer to revise nearly any behavior of a Windows PC to suit specific tastes.

If any of the posted material is objectionable or inaccurate, people can either ignore it, request for it to be taken down, or find a theory on which to sue over it, perhaps imploring gatekeepers like site hosting companies to remove material that individual authors refuse to revise. More self-consciously encyclopedic models emerged nearly simultaneously from two rather different sources—one the founder of the dot-org Free Software Foundation, and the other an entrepreneur who had achieved dot-com success in part from the operation of a search engine focused on salacious images.19 Richard Stallman is the first. He believes in a world where software is shared, with its benefits freely available to all, where those who understand the code can modify and adapt it to new purposes, and then share it further. This was the natural environment for Stallman in the 1980s as he worked among graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and it parallels the environment in which the Internet and Web were invented.

There are thousands of software patents, and patent infringement, unlike copyright, does not require a copying of the original material: so long as someone else already came up with the idea, the new work is infringing. With copyright, if someone miraculously managed independently to come up with the tune to a Beatles song, that tune would not be infringing the Beatles’ copyright, since it did not copy the song—it was independently invented. It is this virtue of copyright law that allowed Richard Stallman to begin the free software movement’s effort to reproduce Unix’s functionality without infringing its copyright by simply creating new code from scratch that acts the same way that Unix’s code does. Not only does patent not have such a limitation, but it also applies to the abstract concepts expressed in code, rather than to a specific set of code.69 Thus, someone can sit down to write some software in an empty room and, by that act, infringe multiple patents.


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Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

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Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

Hacking 169 program, it was placed in the drawer for anyone to access, look at, and rewrite as they saw fit.”55 The limits of personal behavior become the limits of possibility to the hacker. Thus, it is obvious to the hacker that one’s personal investment in a specific piece of code can do nothing but hinder that code’s overall development. “Sharing of software . . . is as old as computers,” writes free software guru Richard Stallman, “just as sharing of recipes is as old as cooking.”56 Code does not reach its apotheosis for people, but exists within its own dimension of perfection. The hacker feels obligated to remove all impediments, all inefficiencies that might stunt this quasi-aesthetic growth. “In its basic assembly structure,” writes Andrew Ross, “information technology involves processing, copying, replication, and simulation, and therefore does not recognize the concept of private information property.”57 Commercial ownership of software is the primary impediment hated by all hackers because it means that code is limited—limited by intellectual property laws, limited by the profit motive, limited by corporate “lamers.”

Even Kevin Mitnick, a hacker maligned by some for his often unsavory motivations, admits that the code itself has a higher priority than any commercial motivation: You get a better understanding of the cyberspace, the computer systems, the operating systems, how the computer systems interact with one another, that basically, was my motivation behind my hacking activity in the past, it was just from the gain of knowledge and the thrill of adventure, nothing that was well and truly sinister such as trying to get any type of monetary gain or anything.58 55. Levy, Hackers, p. 53. In his 1972 Rolling Stone article on the game, Stewart Brand went so far as to publish Alan Kay’s source code for Spacewar right alongside his own article, a practice rarely seen in popular publications. See Brand, “SPACEWAR,” p. 58. 56. Richard Stallman, “The GNU Project,” available online at http://www.gnu.org/gnu/ thegnuproject.html and in Chris Dibona et al, eds., Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 1999). 57. Ross, Strange Weather, p. 80. 58. From a telephone interview with Kevin Mitnick, cited in Taylor, Hackers, p. 57. For more details on the Mitnick story, see the following texts: Katie Hafner and John Markoff, Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier (New York: Touchstone, 1991); Tsu- Chapter 5 170 A British hacker named Dr-K hardens this sentiment into an explicit anticommercialism when he writes that “[c]orporations and government cannot be trusted to use computer technology for the benefit of ordinary people.”59 It is for this reason that the Free Software Foundation was established in 1985.


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Using Open Source Platforms for Business Intelligence: Avoid Pitfalls and Maximize Roi by Lyndsay Wise

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barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, en.wikipedia.org, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, Richard Stallman, software as a service, statistical model, supply-chain management, the market place

The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a body that was created with the goal of peer production and collaboration through the ability to share free software, while preserving the rights of the user and not the creator.3 In essence, the key difference between this outlook and that of proprietary offerings is whose rights are protected. In his article, “Why Software Should Not Have Owners,”4 Richard Stallman, activist of free software and founder of the GNU Project, discusses the philosophy of providing developers with free software. Stallman looks at the concept of freedom and its importance in relation to information and the difference between OS and free software. But this distinction causes extra confusion; after all, in Chapter 1, one of the determinations of OS was the fact that it is free.

Within the camp of OSBI, although some developers may feel attached to the concept of free software, the reality is that most BI-related OS 1 http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t5proprietary1software&i549869,00.asp Developed by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Portland, Oregon. http://www.netc.org/openoptions/ background/history.html#overview 3 Developed by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Portland, Oregon. http://www.netc.org/opneoptions/ background/history.htm/#overview 4 Richard Stallman. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/why-free.html 2 16 CHAPTER 2 OS overview projects, from the developer perspective, are based on the premise of developing solutions with the goal of continuous improvement and developing the best possible BI. There is a focus on community development or vendors enhancing solutions based on use and customer feedback. Either way, although different in outlook, the output is similar.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

When we say that the Internet "removes borders," this will one day literally be true. Two generations from now, the political structure of nation-states will be as quaint as medieval city-states, shires, and dukedoms. Just as with the Corn Laws in nineteenth-century Britain, the injustices of the counter-revolution are driving a generation to political activism. Perhaps the first and most significant digital activist was Richard Stallman, who in 1989 nailed the GNU General Public License (GPL) to the church door. I'll come back to Stallman's story in “Magic Machines”. Today, activists across the world are occupying the squares and streets of our cities, demanding an end to crony politics. I started to decrypt and document the dynamics of the digital revolution and counter-revolution in 1999, and then in 2005 took over as president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), a European activist network that fought software patents.

So while Fred Brooks's IBM had to bring expert developers together in huge research facilities, the Internet allowed the same developers to work from anywhere, to create flexible ad hoc teams, and solve problems in much more intelligent ways. The second element is what I consider one of the key technological developments of the twentieth century digital revolution, which was a new private contract for collaborative development called the GNU General Public License, or GPL. It was this document, this license, that finally solved the software crisis. I doubt that Richard Stallman, the man behind it, had such lofty goals. As far as I can tell from his writings at the time, he simply wanted to prevent volunteer efforts -- quite common in the software sector since its first days -- from being converted into closed commercial products, locking out the original contributors. Stallman also inadvertently fixed the software crisis, spelled the end of the classic software industry, and laid the foundations for the twenty-first century software industry.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

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Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, wages for housework, women in the workforce

Now here is an excerpt from what I think is the most important document: If anything deserves a reward, it is social contribution. Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far as society is free to use the results. Extracting money from users of a program by restricting their use of it is destructive because the restrictions reduce the amount and the ways that the program can be used. This reduces the amount of wealth that humanity derives from the program.18 That was Richard Stallman in The GNU Manifesto, which launched the free software movement in 1985. Stallman had been irked not just by Microsoft but by the attempt by makers of much more powerful business computers to ‘own’ a rival operating system called Unix. His plan was to write a free version of Unix, called GNU, distribute it for free, and invite enthusiasts to collaborate on improving it – with the proviso that nobody could own or make money out of it.

Firefox, an Open Source browser, has currently around 24 per cent of the global browser market.19 A staggering 70 per cent of all smartphones run on Android, which is also technically Open Source.20 This is in part due to an overt strategy by Samsung and Google to use Open Source software to undermine Apple’s monopoly and maintain their own market position, but it does not alter the fact that the dominant smartphone on the planet runs on software nobody can own. The success of Open Source software is startling. It demonstrates that new forms of property ownership and management become not just possible but imperative in an information-rich economy. It shows there are things about information goods that even monopolies can’t monopolize. According to standard economics a person like Richard Stallman should not exist: he is not following his self-interest but suppressing it in favour of a collective interest that is not just economic but moral. According to market theory, it is those motivated by the pursuit of private property who should be the more efficient innovators. According to mainstream economics, large corporations such as Google should be doing what Bill Gates did: making a land-grab for everything and trying to destroy Open Source software.


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Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike by Eugene W. Holland

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capital controls, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, price mechanism, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, slashdot, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, wage slave, working poor

But such expertise is not an absolute require­ ment to participate: in principle, anyone could notice and report a problem with a FOSS program, thereby mobilizing any number of peer program­ mers to debug the program and solve the problem; moreover, someone without any expertise at all could propose the addition of some desirable feature to an existing program, or indeed the creation of an entirely new program, to which expert programmers would then respond (either by writing code for the new feature or program or declaring it impossible). Although Richard Stallman started programming elements of what would become the GNU-Linux system in the mid-1980s, his most im portant contribution was to devise and institute the system of cooperative peer production that would become the hallmark of the FOSS movement. (He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1990.) GNU-Linux would be free, open-source software, which meant that anyone could not only use the program for free but also freely access the source code to modify the program for their own purposes and/or improve it—with one crucial stipulation: the modified program would itself have to remain free and open source so that future collaborators could, in turn, make modifica­ tions and improvements of their own.91 By the end of the decade, an un­ dergraduate computer science student named Linus Torvald had started the process of programming an operating system kernel (derived from a teaching software program called MINIX) that would run GNU pro­ grams on any 386 processor (then the staple of the PC industry); he would gradually assume the task of coordinating contributions to GNU-Linux coming from programmers around the world.

Indeed, there is an important sense in which sharing information and ideas can increase the amount of information for both parties, as the FOSS movement clearly shows (and as Mary Parker Follett never tired of insisting). The third distinctive feature of the new system of production follows directly from the second: FOSS peer production is commons based, meaning that FOSS products cannot be privately owned; anyone can use then, and anyone can improve them. The General Public License (also known colloquially as copyleft), which was developed for the Free Software Foundation by Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen, assures that FOSS cannot become private property and remains instead a Common Good from which anyone may benefit and to which anyone may contribute (if she is able). This Internet-mediated intellectual commons is a key feature of the peer-production system, and we will return to it later. The final Im portant feature of the new system is that peer produc­ tion is based neither on incentives coming from the market nor on or­ ders coming from a boss or managing supervisor.


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Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, market design, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, Zipcar

And in some arenas, enhanced transparency, perhaps under government mandate, can powerfully supplement or even replace traditional forms of regulation, reducing the costs and inertia associated with government intervention and encouraging innovation.55 For example, mandated disclosures of food nutrition data, auto safety ratings, and the energy efficiency of appliances have helped millions of consumers to make wiser choices and encouraged companies to improve the quality of their products.56 Grossman’s emphasis on the power of transparency to enforce high community standards of behavior is particularly relevant in an age driven by information. An interesting analogy can be drawn with the ideas promulgated by Richard Stallman, the programmer–activist who is a leader of the “free software” movement. Stallman points out that one of the key virtues of free (or open source) software is that anyone can inspect the code and see what it does. Of course, only experts are likely to do this. But those who take the opportunity will be in a position to offer an informed judgment about the virtues and vices of the program, and, when necessary, to alert the general public to the problems they detect.

Tim O’Reilly, Government as a Platform (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010), 11–40. 56. The social impact of mandated transparency rules has been thoroughly analyzed by three experts from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; see Archon Fung, Mary Graham, and David Weil, Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007). 57. See, for example, Richard Stallman, “Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software,” GNU Operating System, Free Software Foundation, http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point .en.html. 58. Carlota Perez, Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2003). 59. Heli Koski and Tobias Kretschmer, “Entry, Standards and Competition: Firm Strategies and the Diffusion of Mobile Telephony,” Review of Industrial Organization 26, no. 1 (2005): 89–113. 60.


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Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

Some have been around for centuries, others have risen in response to economic and environmental crises, and still others have been inspired by the distributive bias of digital networks. From the seed-sharing commons of India to the Potato Park of Peru, indigenous populations have been maintaining their lands and managing biodiversity through a highly articulated set of rules about sharing and preservation. From informal rationing of parking spaces in Boston to Richard Stallman’s General Public License (GPL) for software, new commons are serving to reinstate the value of land and labor, as well as the ability of people to manage them better than markets can. In the 1990s, Elinor Ostrom, the American political scientist most responsible for reviving serious thought about commoning, studied what specifically makes a commons successful. She concluded that a commons must have an evolving set of rules about access and usage and that it must have a way of punishing transgressions.

I am: http://rushkoff.com, douglas@rushkoff.com, and @rushkoff on Twitter. For implanting the dream of how a digital society and economy might function, I thank Internet cultural pioneers including Howard Rheingold, Mark Pesce, David Pescovitz, Mark Frauenfelder, Xeni Jardin, Cory Doctorow, John Barlow, Jaron Lanier, RU Sirius, Andrew Mayer, Richard Metzger, Evan Williams, everyone on the Well, Richard Stallman, George P’or, Neal Gorenflo, Marina Gorbis, and Michel Bauwens. For leading digital enterprises in ways worth writing about, thanks to Scott Heiferman, Ben Knight, Zach Sims, Slava Rubin, the Robin Hood Cooperative, Enspiral, and Jimmy Wales. For sharing with me some of the perils of growth-based business and being open to discuss alternative possibilities, I thank Frank Cooper, Gerry Laybourne, Sara Levinson, Bonin Bough, Jon Kinderlerer, William Lohse, Ken Miller, and Judson Green.


pages: 924 words: 241,081

The Art of Community by Jono Bacon

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barriers to entry, collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian, DevOps, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, software as a service, telemarketer, union organizing, VA Linux, web application

When you do screw up, see it as a learning process. Pick yourself up and objectively review what you did. All mistakes are acceptable under the premise that you learn from them. As you continue to build more and more buzz, you will make fewer mistakes and create more successes as you bring people to your community. * * * [3] No, he is not my uncle. [4] For an example of inflated speaking requirements, see Richard Stallman’s at https://secure.mysociety.org/admin/lists/pipermail/developers-public/2011-October/007647.html. Chapter 8. Measuring Community “Learning without thought is labor lost.” —Confucius Great community leadership requires accepting the volatility of community. Volunteer communities are a bubbling pot of varying personalities, commitments, skills, and experiences. This is why I often refer to the work of community leaders as “herding cats.”

In the Free Software world, one of the most notable cases of dictatorship was the choice of the third version of the GNU General Public License, perhaps the software license in most widespread use by Free Software projects (including Linux). Years of discussion went into this license, including intense meetings and negotiations with representatives of companies and software projects of all sizes. Yet in the end, someone had to make a decision, and that person was the illustrious president of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman. Although the dictators in these communities are typically the original founders of the community, this does not mean they don’t lean on the community for help and support in judging contributions to the project. Typically these leaders will handpick trusted and reliable members to lend a hand. In these communities there is often no open governance, no elections, and no community-discussed focus and direction.

When I organized the Freeware Summit (later known as the Open Source Summit) in 1998, it was because I recognized that there were multiple communities like that, that their leaders had never met in person, and would benefit from talking about common problems and shaping a common story. And being a media company, we organized a press conference at the end of the day to get that story out. And sure enough, two months later, Linus Torvalds was on the cover of Forbes, with full-page pictures inside of Larry Wall, Richard Stallman, Brian Behlendorf, and others. Social media is about community, about the stories that tie those communities together, and about tools to amplify the connections between them. I was doing that long before I got on Twitter or Facebook. Which social media networks really captured your interest first? It was Twitter that first pulled me in. I had signed up for Twitter and Facebook to try them out, but didn’t stick around.


pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

Two weeks later, AnonOps became ground zero for the single largest digital direct action campaign the Internet had—and still has—ever witnessed, at least when measured by number of participants. Over seven thousand individuals logged onto AnonOps’ IRC channel, #operationpayback, to lend a helping hand, cheer, or at the very least, simply spectate. Seven thousand users in one channel remains the largest single IRC human congregation ever.5 It was a “mass demo against control,” as free software hacker Richard Stallman described the event in a Guardian editorial.6 In the month of December alone, LOIC was downloaded 116,988 times, far more than the earlier DDoS campaigns.7 While only a fraction of those actually connected to the Anonymous hive, interest in the tool was undoubtedly fueled by reporting about Anonymous’s activities. Media attention was frenzied, catapulting this collective of collectives out of relative obscurity and into the international spotlight.

Justin Elliot, “The 10 Most Important Wikileaks Revelations,” salon.com, Nov. 29, 2010. 3. Martin Beckford, “Sarah Palin: Hunt WikiLeaks Founder like al-Qaeda and Taliban Leaders,” telegraph.co.uk, Nov. 30, 2010. 4. Kathryn Jean Lopez, “On This Sunday Outrage,” nationalreview.com, Nov. 28, 2010. 5. At the time, statistics were available at http://irc.netsplit.de/networks/top10.php and http://searchirc.com/channel-stats. 6. Richard Stallman, “The Anonymous WikiLeaks Protests Are a Mass Demo Against Control,” theguardian.com, Dec. 17, 2010. 7. For precise figures, see Molly Sauter, The Coming Swarm: DDOS Actions, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014). 8. Noam Cohen, “Web Attackers Find a Cause in WikiLeaks,” nytimes.com, Dec. 9, 2010. 9. Parmy Olson, We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of Lulz­Sec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency (New York: Back Bay Books, 2013), 109. 10.


pages: 475 words: 149,310

Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri

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affirmative action, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, conceptual framework, David Graeber, Defenestration of Prague, deskilling, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, global village, Howard Rheingold, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, land tenure, late capitalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, private military company, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Richard Stallman, Slavoj Žižek, The Chicago School, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, union organizing, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

WIPO began by focusing almost exclusively on protecting the intellectual property of the wealthiest countries, in the form of patents and copyrights, but has progressively devoted more attention to the “emerging issues” in intellectual property that are more important to the poor countries, such as the protection of traditional knowledges and genetic resources and access to affordable pharmaceutics. 102 See Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World (New York: Vintage, 2002); Richard Stallman, Free Software, Free Society, ed. by Joshua Gay (Cambridge: Free Software Society, 2002); and Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman, and Mark Stone, eds., Opensources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution (Cambridge: O’Reilly, 1999). 103 Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts in Early Writings, trans. Rodney Livingstone and Gregor Benton (London: Penguin, 1975), 351. 104 Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, book 2, proposition 13, postulate 1 in The Collected Works of Spinoza, ed.

., no. 13 (January--February 2002): 125-34. 100 See Joseph Stiglitz, “Dealing with Debt: How to Reform the Global Financial System,” Harvard International Review 25, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 54-59; Kunibert Raffer, “What’s Good for the United States Must Be Good for the World: Advocating an International Chapter 9 Insolvency,” in From Cancun to Vienna: International Development in a New World (Vienna: Bruno Kreisky Forum, 1993), 64-74; and Ann Pettifor, “Resolving International Debt Crises—The Jubilee Framework for International Insolvency,” http://www.jubilee2000uk.org/analysis/reports/jubilee=_framework.html. 101 Ignacio Ramonet, “Désarmer les marchés,” Le monde diplomatique (December 1997): 1. 102 See Heikki Patomäki, Teivo Teivainen, and Mika Rönkkö, Global Democracy Initiatives, 161-78. 103 Lawrence Lessig makes a similar recommendation in The Future of Ideas, 249-61. 104 See Jessica Litman, “War Stories,” Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal 20 (2002): 337-59. 105 See Richard Stallman, Free Software, Free Society (Cambridge, MA: Free Software Society, 2002). 106 “Copyleft” is a similar alternative in which the choices are fixed: works can be reproduced for noncommercial use on the condition that the author is credited. On the Creative Commons, see Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture (New York: Penguin, 2004). See also the organization’s Web site, www.creativecommons.org. 107 For a brief description of the creation of Indymedia at the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, see Eric Galatas, “Building Indymedia,” in Peter Philips, ed., Censored 2001, 331-35.


pages: 209 words: 54,638

Team Geek by Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman

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anti-pattern, barriers to entry, cognitive dissonance, Dean Kamen, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, Paul Graham, publish or perish, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application

Every player around the world wanted to be MJ. We watched him dance circles around other players. We watched him in television commercials. We went to see silly movies where he played basketball with cartoon characters. He was a star, and every kid on every court practicing hoops secretly wished to grow up and follow his path. Programmers have that same instinct—to find idols and worship them. Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bill Gates—all heroes who changed the world with heroic feats. Linus wrote Linux by himself, right? Beware of the natural instinct to idolize things. Actually, Linus just wrote the beginnings of a proof-of-concept Unix-like kernel, and showed it to an email list. That was no small task, and it was definitely an impressive achievement, but it was just the tip of the iceberg. Linux is hundreds of times bigger than that and was developed by hundreds of smart people.


pages: 188 words: 9,226

Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv

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4chan, Benjamin Mako Hill, British Empire, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative economy, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late capitalism, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, Network effects, optical character recognition, packet switching, postnationalism / post nation state, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, stealth mode startup, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application

Within the technological sphere, none is as cogent in informing and driving contemporary collaboration as the Free So ware movement, which provides much of the nuts and bolts immediate precedent for the kinds of collaborations we are talking about—and o en provides the virtual nuts and bolts of these collaborations! The story goes something like this: Once upon a time all so ware was open source. Users were sent the code, and the compiled version, or sometimes had to compile the code themselves to run on their own specific machine. In 1980 MIT researcher Richard Stallman was trying out one of the first laser printers, and decided that because it took so long to print, he would modify the printer driver so that it sent a notice to the user when their print job was finished. Except this so ware only came in its compiled version, without source code. Stallman got upset—Xerox would not let him have the source code. He founded the GNU project and in 1985 published the GNU Manifesto.


pages: 220 words: 73,451

Democratizing innovation by Eric von Hippel

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additive manufacturing, correlation coefficient, Debian, hacker house, informal economy, inventory management, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, placebo effect, principal–agent problem, Richard Stallman, software patent, transaction costs, Vickrey auction

In the 1980s this group received a major jolt when MIT licensed some of the code created by its hacker employees to a commercial firm. This firm, in accordance with normal commercial practice, then promptly restricted access to the “source code”3 of that software, and so prevented non-company personnel—including the MIT hackers who had been instrumental in developing it—from continuing to use it as a platform for further learning and development. Richard Stallman, a brilliant programmer in MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, was especially distressed by the loss of access to communally 98 Chapter 7 developed source code. He also was offended by a general trend in the software world toward development of proprietary software packages and the release of software in forms that could not be studied or modified by others. Stallman viewed these practices as morally wrong impingements on the rights of software users to freely learn and create.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

“I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since April, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike . . .”35 This hobby of Linus Torvalds’s would turn into Linux, the most prominent example of open-source software and the self-organizing power of the Internet. The roots of Linux can be traced back to Richard Stallman’s GNU Project at MIT to develop a comprehensive code that would be free and available around the world, but in 1981 a fundamental technological advancement was missing that made the difference between Stallman’s rebellious idea and Torvalds’s revolution: networked collaboration. When Torvalds announced his idea, he received thousands of responses from all over the world, even though the population of Internet was then less than 10 percent of its present size.36 Today, Linux is used by more than 18 million people around the globe37 and there continue to be more than 128,500 geographically dispersed volunteer programmers building and improving the software.38 These people are working together with a unified goal: to create the world’s best operating system.


pages: 224 words: 64,156

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

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1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

Rage I well recall the birth of the free software movement, which preceded and inspired the open culture variant. It started out as an act of rage more than a quarter of a century ago. Visualize, if you will, the most transcendently messy, hirsute, and otherwise eccentric pair of young nerds on the planet. They were in their early twenties. The scene was an uproariously messy hippie apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the vicinity of MIT. I was one of these men; the other was Richard Stallman. Why are so many of the more sophisticated examples of code in the online world—like the page-rank algorithms in the top search engines or like Adobe’s Flash—the results of proprietary development? Why did the adored iPhone come out of what many regard as the most closed, tyrannically managed software-development shop on Earth? An honest empiricist must conclude that while the open approach has been able to create lovely, polished copies, it hasn’t been so good at creating notable originals.


pages: 247 words: 71,698

Avogadro Corp by William Hertling

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, invisible hand, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, technological singularity, Turing test, web application

You know what I mean by social engineering?” Mike nodded his head yes, but David had a puzzled look on his face, and shook his head. “Social engineering is the name given to techniques for tricking people into giving you information or making changes to information systems,” Christine said. “Social engineering was popularized by hackers in the nineteen eighties. And by hackers, I don’t mean the good guy hackers like Richard Stallman. I’m thinking of folks like the Kevins.” Mike nodded his head again, but David looked even more puzzled, and turned around to look at his wife. “Honey, how can you be married to me, and not know this stuff? You know I was a total online geek as a kid, yes?” “What can I say?” David sighed. “Please go ahead.” “Okay, look. The eighties and nineties were the heyday of hacking. Folks like Kevin Mitnick and Kevin Poulsen were able to get access to all kinds of computer systems, phone company records, credit card company records.


pages: 361 words: 76,849

The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun

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barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route

I'm proud of myself for doing something that scared the crap out of me.2 WordPress did what good tools do: It stayed out of my way.3 It was simple and fast and did what I needed, a design ethos I liked. The fact that WordPress was open source meant little to me. I liked the idea of open source, but I didn't care enough for it to drive my decisions. I'd used open source software before when studying computer science in college, including countless caffeinated hours writing code in EMACS, a brilliant editing program made by Richard Stallman (who coined the term copyleft). I used other tools that were open, or free, or in the public domain, but that was rarely the reason I chose them. But for Mullenweg, open source was a central principle. He also cared how that principle attracted people with similar values. Programmers volunteered to write code for WordPress primarily because of the open philosophy work style he'd chosen. Every discussion WordPress contributors had was public: every discussion, decision, bug fix, and feature idea was listed out in the open.


pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler

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affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs

That growing literature, consistent with its own goals, has focused on software and the particulars of the free and open-source software development communities, although Eric von Hippel's notion of "user-driven innovation" has begun to expand that focus to thinking about how individual need and creativity drive innovation at the individual level, and its diffusion through networks of likeminded individuals. The political implications of free software have been central to the free software movement and its founder, Richard Stallman, and were developed provocatively and with great insight by Eben Moglen. Free software is but one salient example of a much broader phenomenon. Why can fifty thousand volunteers successfully coauthor Wikipedia, the most serious online alternative to the Encyclopedia Britannica, and then turn around and give it away for free? Why do 4.5 million volunteers contribute their leftover computer cycles to create the most powerful supercomputer on Earth, SETI@Home?

Companies like IBM and Hewlett Packard, consumer electronics manufacturers, as well as military and other mission-critical government agencies around the world have begun to adopt business and service strategies that rely and extend free software. They do this because it allows them to build better equipment, sell better services, or better fulfill their public role, even though they do not control the software development process and cannot claim proprietary rights of exclusion in the products of their contributions. 129 The story of free software begins in 1984, when Richard Stallman started working on a project of building a nonproprietary operating system he called GNU (GNU's Not Unix). Stallman, then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), operated from political conviction. He wanted a world in which software enabled people to use information freely, where no one would have to ask permission to change the software they use to fit their needs or to share it with a friend for whom it would be helpful.


pages: 636 words: 202,284

Piracy : The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates by Adrian Johns

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banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Corn Laws, demand response, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Marshall McLuhan, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, software patent, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Whole Earth Catalog

The bestknown exchange on these lines was a “conference” held in the WELL in 1989 under the aegis of Harper’s Magazine. Its immediate trigger was the panic over the first widely distributed worm but the exchange had time to develop broader themes, with participants arguing, changing their minds, and at length diverging irreconcilably. They included a number of veterans, Lee Felsenstein among them. Richard Stallman took part from MIT. Emmanuel Goldstein and two crackers going by the monikers Acid Phreak and Phiber Optik also contributed. The initial subject was the hacker ethic itself, which they variously construed, credited, and disdained. Most accepted that hacking was characterized by contempt for obstacles to technical progress. That was what lay behind its commitment to the free exchange of information, and hence its repudiation of intellectual property.

There were opportunities in this. Hackers could claim to be public agents. The corporate world, meanwhile, could make money by touting “trusted systems” and deploying claims about security. Another part of that world could develop businesses of prevention, detection, and policing. And at the same time, alternatives to proprietorial software proliferated, staking their own moral and economic claims. Richard Stallman at MIT became their bestknown and most forthright advocate. Stallman held that the creation and circulation of “free” software – that is, code independent of proprietary restrictions – was a matter of the constitution of communities. He complained that in the digital realm exclusive properties made “pirates” out of what otherwise would be merely good, helpful neighbors. That is, the question of property was, as always, a matter of political philosophy, with the “pirate” label indicating that this was the modern counterpart to debates about perpetual rights and freedom of speech in the Enlightenment.


pages: 471 words: 94,519

Managing Projects With GNU Make by Robert Mecklenburg, Andrew Oram

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bioinformatics, general-purpose programming language, Richard Stallman

Comments and Questions Please address comments and questions concerning this book to the publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc. 1005 Gravenstein Highway North Sebastopol, CA 95472 (800) 998-9938 (in the United States or Canada) (707) 829-0515 (international or local) (707) 829-0104 (fax) O'Reilly maintains a web page for this book, which lists errata, examples, and any additional information. You can access this page at: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/make3 To comment or ask technical questions about this book, send email to: bookquestions@oreilly.com For more information about O'Reilly books, conferences, Resource Centers, and the O'Reilly Network, see O'Reilly's web site at: http://www.oreilly.com Acknowledgments I'd like to thank Richard Stallman for providing a vision and the belief that it can come true. Of course, without Paul Smith, GNU make would not exist in its current form today. Thank you. I'd like to thank my editor, Andy Oram, for his unflagging support and enthusiasm. Cimarron Software deserves my thanks for providing an environment that encouraged me to begin this project. Realm Systems also deserves thanks for providing an environment that encouraged me to finish the project.


pages: 304 words: 125,363

Successful Lisp - About by Unknown

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AI winter, general-purpose programming language, Paul Graham, Richard Stallman

However, I'm hoping that what you've learned here will forever color your perceptions as to what is possible, and suggest both techniques and ways of thinking that will be helpful to you in building those "small" applications like word processors, spreadsheets, and OLTP systems. Meanwhile, I'd like to show you some of the more visible applications that people have developed using Lisp. • Emacs • G2 • AutoCAD • Igor Engraver • Yahoo Store • ... Emacs More programmers are familiar with Emacs than with any other Lisp application. Richard Stallman conceived Emacs as an extensible editor. He wrote his own Lisp interpreter (not a compiler) specifically for the tasks used in editing text - the low-level text manipulation functions are built-in functions of Emacs Lisp. Over the decades, Emacs has grown to accomodate windowing systems and has accumulated a vast library of code to support programming, writing and personal communications. G2 Gensym wrote their G2 real-time expert system in Lisp, and later (at greater cost and effort) ported it to C to meet customer expectations.


pages: 398 words: 107,788

Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman

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Benjamin Mako Hill, crowdsourcing, Debian, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, ghettoisation, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Paul Graham, pirate software, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, software patent, software studies, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, web application, web of trust

Most obviously, to do so is to overlook how ethical precepts take actual form and, more crucially, how they transform over time. For example, in the early 1980s, “the precepts of this revolutionary Hacker Ethic,” Levy (1984, 39; emphasis added) observes, “were not so much debated and discussed as silently agreed upon. No Manifestos were issued.” Yet (and somewhat ironically) a mere year after the publication of his book, MIT programmer Richard Stallman charted the Free Software Foundation (FSF) ([1996] 2010) and issued “The GNU Manifesto,” insisting “that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it.”12 Today, hacker manifestos are commonplace. If hackers did not discuss the intricacies of ethical questions when Levy first studied them, over the span of two decades they would come to argue about ethics, and sometimes as heatedly as they argue over technology.


pages: 353 words: 104,146

European Founders at Work by Pedro Gairifo Santos

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business intelligence, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, fear of failure, full text search, information retrieval, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, pattern recognition, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, technology bubble, web application, Y Combinator

But we paid an agency to actually build the web site. By February 2005 we launched that web site. The original name for the business was nothing like Moo, it was terrible. The idea that I had was to basically subvert business cards and create a personal alternative, so I wanted it to have the name that would be the opposite to a business card. And I was looking on the web for ideas and I saw that Richard Stallman, the software activist, had used the term “pleasure cards” before. I thought it was a funny name that clearly distinguished them from business cards. The same way when you go to an airport when you are traveling, and they say, “Are you here on business or on pleasure?”… so, I thought I would call them pleasure cards. It was my idea for the name, which was in retrospect a terrible idea. But I called the business Pleasure Cards.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

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1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar (O’Reilly, 2001) 3 Doc Searls, ‘Making a New World’, in Chris DiBona, Danese Cooper and Mark Stone (Eds), Open Sources 2.0 (O’Reilly, 2006) 4 Glyn Moody, Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution (Penguin, 2002) 5 Like many radical innovations Linux is not as revolutionary as it first seems. Computer scientists and engineers had been sharing equipment and code for decades. Richard Stallman, a computer scientist and hacker, had started work on an open-source operating system in the mid-1980s and created the General Public License (GPL) in 1985, which allowed users to copy a program, modify it and sell versions, so long as they made their modifications freely available to others. Linux is a version of Unix, a program created in the 1960s and built on Minix, a program designed to be a teaching aid.


pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

“A hack can be anything from a practical joke to a brilliant new computer program,” he wrote. “(VisiCalc was a great hack. Its imitators are not hacks.) But whatever it is, a good hack must be aesthetically perfect. If it’s a joke, it must be a complete one. If you decide to turn someone’s dorm room upside-down, it’s not enough to epoxy the furniture to the ceiling. You must also epoxy the pieces of paper to the desk.”11 And yet, he demurred that when Richard Stallman, one of MIT’s best-known hackers, stated that information should be free, Stallman’s ideal wasn’t based on the idea of property as theft—an ethical position—but instead on the understanding that keeping information secret is inefficient: “it leads to unaesthetic duplication of effort.”12 Anyone who has spent time around the computer community, particularly as it evolved, will recognize that both writers are correct.


pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

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affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor

For someone who thought they were donating their time to help the project, neither response is particularly encouraging. I’m not saying that we should change our policies or automatically keep everything a newcomer decides to add so we don’t hurt their feelings. But we do need to think more about how to enforce policies without turning valuable newcomers away, how we can educate them instead of alienating them. At Wikimania, no less an authority than Richard Stallman (who himself long ago suggested the idea of a free online encyclopedia) wandered around the conference complaining about a problem he’d discovered with a particular Wikipedia article. He could try to fix it himself, he noted, but it would take an enormous amount of his time and the word would probably just get reverted. He’s not the only one—I constantly hear tales from experts about problems they en counter on Wikipedia, but [which] are too complicated for them to fix alone.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

GPL AND CC: PROTECTING COMMUNITY-BUILT ASSETS FROM PRIVATE EXPLOITATION There are two examples of clever manipulation of existing patent and copyright laws that give us some interesting tools and ideas about how we might more fairly distribute the value created by peers in a Peers Inc organization. The first, General Public License (GPL), is an example of how innovative licensing can prevent the privatization of community-built assets in perpetuity, and sometimes expand them. In 1989, Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation invented the General Public License (GPL) for use with free and open-source software. According to Black Duck Software, the leading provider of systems to manage open-source software development, fully 54 percent of open-source projects in 2013 were associated with Stallman-created GPL licenses.12 GPL states that you can use a piece of open software any way you like, including improving upon it and selling it for profit.


pages: 394 words: 110,352

The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation by Jono Bacon

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barriers to entry, collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, Skype, social software, software as a service, telemarketer, web application

In the free software world, one of the most notable cases of dictatorship was the choice of the third version of the GNU General Public License, perhaps the software license in most widespread use by free software projects (including Linux). Years of discussion went into this license, including intense meetings and negotiations with representatives of companies and software projects of all sizes. Yet in the end, someone had to make a decision, and that person was the illustrious president of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman. Although the dictators in these communities are typically the original founders of the community, this does not mean that they don’t lean on the community for help and assistance in judging contributions to the project. Typically these leaders will handpick trusted and reliable members to lend a hand. In these communities there is often no open governance, no elections, and no community-discussed focus and direction. 222 CHAPTER EIGHT Download at Boykma.Com Despite these communities’ restrictive nature, time and time again contributors join up and enjoy their involvement.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

In particular, he suggested, they wanted to “witness or have the group articulate what the hacker ethic was.”63 Brand and Kelly aimed to explore via the conference whether hackers might constitute the sort of cultural vanguard for the 1980s that the back-to-the-land and ecology crowds had hoped to be for the decade before. Something like 150 hackers actually arrived. Among others, they included luminaries such as Steve Wozniak of Apple, Ted Nelson, free software pioneer Richard Stallman, and Ted Draper—known as Captain Crunch for his discovery that a toy whistle he found in a box of the cereal gave just the right tone to grant him free access to the phone system. Some of the hackers worked alone, part-time, at home; others represented such diverse institutions as MIT, Stanford, Lotus Development, and various software makers. Most had come to meet others like themselves. Their hosts offered them food, computers, audiovisual supplies, and places to sleep— and a regular round of facilitated conversations.


pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber

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AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, financial innovation, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Khan Academy, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra

That there were two companies that licensed the same technology from MIT at the same time was a testimonial to the inability of nerds to get along. LMI was founded by Rick Greenblatt, the machine’s inventor. He had a habit of leaving Nutty Buddies, wrapped vending machine ice cream cones with nuts, in his front pocket and forgetting about them. This made for a distinctive fashion statement. He was also an early avatar of the free software, open source movement, which later became GNU (Gnu’s Not Unix) and Linux. Richard Stallman11 founder of GNU was encamped at LMI. Symbolics, founded by an MIT AI Laboratory administrator (a guy who wore a suit with no food on it) was more businesslike. Both companies quickly fell victim to the fate of computer firms that make special purpose machines. If you ever want to start one of Intr oduction xxix these, do something with better prospects of success, like invading Russia in winter.


pages: 440 words: 117,978

Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll

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affirmative action, call centre, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley

Here was the Cuckoo’s nest: for five minutes, he would swap his egg for the system’s atrun program. For this attack, he needed to find a way to move his egg-program into the protected systems nest. The operating system’s barriers are built specifically to prevent this. Normal copy programs can’t bypass them; you can’t issue a command to “copy my program into systems space.” But there was a wildcard that we’d never noticed. Richard Stallman, a free-lance computer programmer, loudly proclaimed that information should be free. His software, which he gives away for free, is brilliantly conceived, elegantly written, and addictive. Over the past decade Stallman created a powerful editing program called Gnu-Emacs. But Gnu’s much more than just a text editor. It’s easy to customize to your personal preferences. It’s a foundation upon which other programs can be built.


pages: 398 words: 31,161

Gnuplot in Action: Understanding Data With Graphs by Philipp Janert

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bioinformatics, business intelligence, centre right, Debian, general-purpose programming language, iterative process, mandelbrot fractal, pattern recognition, random walk, Richard Stallman, six sigma

At home I had an early PC clone with a bootlegged copy of Lotus 123 that could graph data, but graphing a simple equation was a clumsy process to first fill a spreadsheet with data points and then plot them. And Lotus 123 was never going to work with the HP plotter or AED terminals we had right there. In the fall of 1986, I suggested to Tom that we write the program we really wanted. He agreed. We settled on calling it gnuplot as a pun on a lame program at school that predated ours called “newplot.” It wasn’t until a month xvii xviii FOREWORD later that we read Richard Stallman’s Gnu Manifesto. That resonated with us and matched our thinking perfectly. The common name was simply a lucky coincidence. Fortran and Pascal were the prevailing languages taught in school then, but neither was portable. C was clearly a better fit and Unix was the right OS to start with. Tom focused on writing the equation parser and P-code evaluator while I focused on the command-line processor and graphics drivers.


pages: 1,025 words: 150,187

ZeroMQ by Pieter Hintjens

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anti-pattern, carbon footprint, cloud computing, Debian, distributed revision control, domain-specific language, factory automation, fault tolerance, fear of failure, finite state, Internet of things, iterative process, premature optimization, profit motive, pull request, revision control, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Skype, smart transportation, software patent, Steve Jobs, Valgrind, WebSocket

Sometimes the patch is fixing a bad API that no one is using. It’s a freedom we need, but it should be based on consensus, not one person’s dogma. However, making random changes “just because” is not good. In ØMQ v3.x, did we benefit from renaming ZMQ_NOBLOCK to ZMQ_DONTWAIT? Sure, it’s closer to the POSIX socket recv() call, but is that worth breaking thousands of applications? No one ever reported it as an issue. To misquote Richard Stallman: “Your freedom to create an ideal world stops one inch from my application.” A patch that introduces new features to a Public Contract SHOULD do so using new names. We had the experience in ØMQ once or twice of new features using old names (or worse, using names that were still in use elsewhere). ØMQ v3.0 had a newly introduced “ROUTER” socket that was totally different from the existing ROUTER socket in ØMQ v2.x.


pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles

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call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K

While he was dancing the night away in Annette's arms, the global reputation market has gone nonlinear: People are putting their trust in the Christian Coalition and the Eurocommunist Alliance – always a sign that the times are bad – while perfectly sound trading enterprises have gone into free fall, as if a major bribery scandal has broken out. Manfred trades ideas for kudos via the Free Intellect Foundation, bastard child of George Soros and Richard Stallman. His reputation is cemented by donations to the public good that don't backfire. So he's offended and startled to discover that he's dropped twenty points in the past two hours – and frightened to see that this is by no means unusual. He was expecting a ten-point drop mediated via an options trade – payment for the use of the anonymous luggage remixer that routed his old suitcase to Mombasa and in return sent this new one to him via the left-luggage office in Luton – but this is more serious.


pages: 607 words: 133,452

Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, cognitive bias, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, financial innovation, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jean Tirole, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, market bubble, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, new economy, open economy, pirate software, placebo effect, price discrimination, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, the market place, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Y2K

P1: KNP head margin: 1/2 gutter margin: 7/8 CUUS245-02 cuus245 978 0 521 87928 6 May 28, 2008 10:35 20 Against Intellectual Monopoly Why has the software market worked so well under competition and without intellectual monopoly? The wide use of free software licenses has unleashed the great collaborative benefit of competition. Open-source software makes available the underlying source code from which the computer programs are compiled. Of particular importance is the free software movement, pioneered by Richard Stallman and others. Free software not only is open source but also is released under a license such as the GNU General Public License (GPL),which allows modifications and distribution only when the source code to those modifications is made available under the same license. It should be understood here that the word free here means (according to the motto of the GNU project) “free as in freedom, not free as in beer.”


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Anders Fernstedt delved into the archives for gems from Norbert Wiener that had been lost for far too long. He painstakingly went through several of my drafts, offering context and grammar tips. Finally, to Leslie Terzian Markoff for sharing it all with me. NOTES In cases where quotes are not attributed, they are based on the author’s interviews. PREFACE 1.This distinction was famously made by Richard Stallman, an iconoclastic software developer who pioneered the concept of freely shared software. 1|BETWEEN HUMAN AND MACHINE 1.John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (New York: Viking, 2005), 282. 2.Moshe Y. Vardi, “The Consequences of Machine Intelligence,” Atlantic, October 25, 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/10/the-consequences-of-machine-intelligence/264066. 3.Frank Levy and Richard J.


pages: 566 words: 122,184

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold

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Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Eratosthenes, Grace Hopper, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Daguerre, millennium bug, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture

As the multiple programs running concurrently need more memory, it's likely that the computer won't have enough memory to go around. The operating system might need to implement a technique called virtual memory, in which blocks of memory are stored in temporary files during periods when the memory blocks aren't needed and then read back into memory when they are needed. The most interesting development for UNIX in recent years has been the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU project, both founded by Richard Stallman. GNU (pronounced not like the animal but instead with a distinct G at the beginning) stands for "GNU's Not UNIX," which, of course, it's not. Instead, GNU is intended to be compatible with UNIX but distributed in a manner that prevents the software from becoming proprietary. The GNU project has resulted in many UNIX-compatible utilities and tools, and also Linux, which is the core (or kernel) of a UNIX-compatible operating system.

Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak

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Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, moral hazard, online collectivism, pirate software, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

In addition, his leadership, while clear and somewhat institutionalized, is not really authoritarian: One of the most noteworthy characteristics of Torvalds’s leadership style is how he goes to great lengths to document, explain, and justify his decisions about controversial matters, as well as to admit when he believes he has made a mistake or has changed his mind. . . . In the end, Torvalds is a benevolent dictator, but a peculiar kind of dictator—one whose power is accepted voluntarily and on a continuing basis by the developers he leads. (S. Weber, 2004, p. 90) Another F/LOSS community operating on a similar leadership model is the Emacs editors family, led by Richard Stallman (also the founder of GNU and the Free Software Foundation). According to some authors, the existence of a central authority figure is one of the essential ingredients in opencollaboration projects (Carr, 2007). As history shows, though, both of these philosophies work just fine in the open-collaboration environment. And both, possibly, could have taken shape on Wikipedia. In fact, the history of the evolution of Wales’s role in the 1 7 6    L e a d e r s h i p T r a n s f o r m e d community shows clear signs that it hovered between the two models.

How I Became a Quant: Insights From 25 of Wall Street's Elite by Richard R. Lindsey, Barry Schachter

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, implied volatility, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, John von Neumann, linear programming, Loma Prieta earthquake, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market friction, market microstructure, martingale, merger arbitrage, Nick Leeson, P = NP, pattern recognition, pensions crisis, performance metric, prediction markets, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, sorting algorithm, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, stochastic process, systematic trading, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, value at risk, volatility smile, Wiener process, yield curve, young professional

A Little Artificial Intelligence Goes a Long Way LMI was founded by Rick Greenblatt, the machine’s inventor. He had a habit of leaving Nutty Buddies (vending-machine ice cream cones topped with chocolate and nuts) in his front pocket and forgetting about them. This made for a distinctive fashion statement. He was also an early avatar of the free software, open-source movement, which later became GNU and Linux. Richard Stallman was encamped there. Symbolics, founded by the AI Lab administrator, who wore a suit with no food on it, was more businesslike. Both companies quickly fell victim to the fate of computer firms that make special-purpose machines. If you ever want to start one of JWPR007-Lindsey May 7, 2007 16:12 David Leinweber 19 these, do something with better prospects of success like invading Russia in winter.


pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell

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barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

The computer manufacturer Sun Microsystems, for example, built an open systems advertising strategy that promised to liberate customers from being painted into a corner and locked in to proprietary products that were unreliable and expensive to maintain. In 1998, a group of programmers led by Eric Raymond coined the term “open source” to gain support from engineers who sought alternatives to proprietary software but who perceived Richard Stallman’s crusade for “free software” as too radical. More recently, “open libraries” has emerged as a mantra for orienting the libraries of the twenty-first century around the virtues of open access, open data sets, open source software, and open government practices.39 At the same time, powerful incumbents such as IBM and American Express have learned to mobilize the rhetoric and technologies of openness to reify their positions as market leaders and advance their own proprietary ambitions.


pages: 634 words: 185,116

From eternity to here: the quest for the ultimate theory of time by Sean M. Carroll

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Columbine, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, gravity well, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, lone genius, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pets.com, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Schrödinger's Cat, Slavoj Žižek, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, the scientific method, wikimedia commons

One of the contributions of Josiah Willard Gibbs was to formalize these concepts, by introducing the concept of “free energy.” Schrödinger didn’t use that term in his lectures because he worried that the connotations were confusing: The energy isn’t really “free” in the sense that you can get it for nothing; it’s “free” in the sense that it’s available to be used for some purpose.161 (Think “free speech,” not “free beer,” as free-software guru Richard Stallman likes to say.) Gibbs realized that he could use the concept of entropy to cleanly divide the total amount of energy into the useful part, which he called “free,” and the useless part:162 total energy = free energy + useless (high-entropy) energy. When a physical process creates entropy in a system with a fixed total amount of energy, it uses up free energy; once all the free energy is gone, we’ve reached equilibrium.


pages: 1,201 words: 233,519

Coders at Work by Peter Seibel

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Ada Lovelace, bioinformatics, cloud computing, Conway's Game of Life, domain-specific language, fault tolerance, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, George Gilder, glass ceiling, HyperCard, information retrieval, loose coupling, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, premature optimization, publish or perish, random walk, revision control, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, side project, slashdot, speech recognition, the scientific method, Therac-25, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, type inference, Valgrind, web application

Different people had different ideas about how the key-bindings ought to be organized. As a systems-support guy for Lisp, I was often called to people's terminals and asked to help them. And I fairly quickly noticed that I couldn't sit down at their TECOs and help them modify their programs because I'd be faced with a set of key-bindings and I had no idea what they were going to do. Seibel: Was one of these guys Richard Stallman? Steele: No, Stallman was the implementer and supporter of TECO. And he provided the built-in real-time edit mode feature, although I think Carl Mikkelsen had worked on the early version of it. He provided the key-bindings feature that made all of this possible. Anyway, there were something like four different macro packages and they were incompatible, and I decided to play standards guy, or community reconciliation guy.


pages: 1,202 words: 144,667

The Linux kernel primer: a top-down approach for x86 and PowerPC architectures by Claudia Salzberg Rodriguez, Gordon Fischer, Steven Smolski

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Debian, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman

Step by step, you will learn about the different kernel components, how they work, and how they relate to each other. The authors are intimately familiar with the kernel, and this knowledge shows through; by the end of the book, you and the kernel will at least be good friends, with the prospect of a deeper relationship ahead of you. The Linux kernel is "Free" (as in freedom) Software. In The Free Software Definition,[1] Richard Stallman defines the freedoms that make software Free (with a capital F). Freedom 0 is the freedom to run the software. This is the most fundamental freedom. But immediately after that is Freedom 1, the freedom to study how a program works. This freedom is often overlooked. However, it is very important, because one of the best ways to learn how to do something is by watching other people do it. In the software world, that means reading other peoples' programs and seeing what they did well as well as what they did poorly.