August 31, 2008

The making of

Category: Academic,Books/Articles,Chris_Kelty,F/OSS,IP Law,Politics,Tech — Biella @ 5:34 am

One of my favorite things to watch are the “making of [movie, documentary etc] segments that are now routinely included in any DVD. It is nice to look behind the curtain and see exactly what choices are made, what is excluded, and why they are made.

I wish that more books, especially academic ones, had a “making of” section, giving a window into these choices. We are not exactly encouraged to include this commentary in the book itself but one can find this type of insight in author interview. I recently read one such interview with the author of Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. The interview is on his site and the original is here.

There are a couple of things that I found particularly interesting, such as how to treat iconic figures such as RMS and ESR [not as researchers, for example :-) ] and the importance of letting your research and thinking brew over a fairly long period of time, despite the pressure of publishing fast, quick and dirty, which is especially strong with anything “digital.”

The book is hefty and long, but as is emphasized in the interview, it is also pragmatic and readable. If folks on Planet have not yet checked it out and are not ready to commit to a long book, I would checkout Chapter 6 on the creation of the copyleft. It is sure to please academics and geeks alike.

1 Comment »

  1. Yay links! Yay full text! Yay Biella!

    Comment by Luis — August 31, 2008 @ 6:02 am

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