Robert Link's blog

Revisiting Doctorow's "Metacrap"

By Robert Link, 11 years 32 weeks ago.

Cory Doctorow's acerbic essay, Metacrap: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia came up in conversation today, and I thought that a good excuse to revisit this short gem. Here's a pull quote which goes to the heart of the argument:

A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be a utopia. It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris and hysterically inflated market opportunities.

What does this kind of attitude mean for folks interested in cooperation?


By Robert Link, 11 years 32 weeks ago.

I found a text on line today, but it probably isn't authorized by the rights holder. I wrote a letter to the likely rights holder, notifying her of the existence of this on line version of the text, but pleading with her to not cause it to be removed.

Had I not blown the whistle it might have lived quietly for quite some time and would likely propagate beyond the rights holder's ability to prevent. My long term purposes would be well served by such propagation and thus perhaps I should have let the matter lie. Yet I felt a duty to the author, a man I never met, for I refer to this work incessantly. I've bought many copies over the years, mostly to give to others. But the ideas expressed in that work are arguably better advanced by my doing nothing.

My fall back answer to a quandary such as this is "concurrent games".

One Web Day 2008

By Robert Link, 11 years 32 weeks ago.

One Web Day is an initiative started in 2006 to create for the web something akin to what Earth Day is for the planet. As humans are doing things to the planet which in time (short time!) could destroy most of the life forms we cherish, starting with our own, likewise there are developments with the web which could undo all the wonderful things about the web that we love.

In support of One Web Day I committed to this blog post, which may seem a little short, but it’s backed up by the video below. So go look at the video, spread the word, tell your friends. It’s your web too, and it’s all about people.

The Darwin Project

By Robert Link, 11 years 34 weeks ago.

The Darwin Project describes "first-half Darwinism" the competition narrative derived by some from Darwin's "The Descent of Man". From their splash page:

In the Descent of Man Charles Darwin wrote only twice of "survival of the fittest" — but 95 times about love! 92 times about moral sensitivity. And 200 times about brain and mind.

Suppression over 100 years of the real Darwin has led to the social, political, economic, scientific, educational, moral and spiritual mess we are in today.

Undoing a century and more of unwarranted dominance of the competition narrative is very much part of the CoCo vision.

The Literacy of Cooperation, Video 1, entry 1

By Robert Link, 11 years 34 weeks ago.

I am starting the task of working my way through the Literacy of Cooperation videos. I will comment here as I can. If you haven't already viewed these then maybe you can be enticed to follow along with me, as these videos, arguably, represent the beginnings of the CoCo project, our foundational material if you will, on which we build and from which we grow.

The format I will take for these posts is:

  • Title: The Literacy of Cooperation, Video N, entry M
  • Unformatted text: Running summary of lecture

The Foundation for P2P Alternatives

By Robert Link, 11 years 35 weeks ago.

It is such a big world, I should perhaps not feel bad for not having found this resource sooner, but I am kicking myself for only getting there today. The Foundation for P2P Alternative is a tremendous resource for general information about Peer-to-peer ideology as well as specific p2p resources. The project is spearheaded by Michel Bauwens.

From the presentation P2P In a Nutshell:

Chilled by Respect?

By Robert Link, 11 years 35 weeks ago.

I find it has been almost half a year since I posted anything here. Why should that be?

Show Me the Fair-Use Money!

By Robert Link, 12 years 20 weeks ago.

Cutting to the chase, original here:

Fair Use exceptions to U.S. copyright laws are responsible for more than $4.5 trillion in annual revenue for the United States, according to the findings of an unprecedented economic study released today. According to the study commissioned by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and conducted in accordance with a World Intellectual Property Organization methodology, companies benefiting from limitations on copyright-holders’ exclusive rights, such as “fair use” – generate substantial revenue, employ millions of workers, and, in 2006, represented one-sixth of total U.S. GDP.(emphasis added)

SSRN on Cooperation, Commons

By Robert Link, 12 years 20 weeks ago.

If you are not yet acquainted with Social Science Research Network, take a moment to visit at From their FAQ:

What is the Social Science Research Network?

Commons/Enclosure: Opening up the American lawbooks

By Robert Link, 12 years 23 weeks ago.

Originally spotted at the inestimable, here:

The nation's laws are supposed to belong to the people, yet they are amazingly hard to get access to.

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