May 16, 2008
I think I managed to make it out of the cocktail hour at the end of the day without any trouble. Now I get to relax and prepare for tomorrow’s schedule.
Today included a number of great talks. I also enjoyed my conversations with the other attendees.
This is the first conference I’ve been at with such intensive self-coverage: between the IRC backchannel, the twitter feed, the del.icio.us tags, and the live-question tool hosted by the amazing Berkman geek-cave crew (yeah Mike and Sebastian!) the information overload is pretty intense. Sorta like drinking from the firehose…
In case you’d like to follow the self-coverage, you can subscribe to the full feed of conference material (as tagged and submitted by the attendees)
May 15, 2008
Back at the Berkman@10 Conference after lunch and watching the Q&A following a discussion of networked cooperation between Yochai Benkler and Jimmy Wales.
Meanwhile, over on twitter & the conference backchannel, people seem to be getting bent out of shape about the fact that Wales made a comment implying that he thought “crowdsourcing” was a bad way to think about networked collaboration. It sounded to me that what Wales meant was that the way some folks in the private sector talk about crowdsourcing (hypothetical sample quote: it’s like outsourcing to India, only cheaper…) misses the point of cooperative social action entirely.
I’m sympathetic to that idea (for many reasons). First and foremost because the possibility of distributed peer-production of knowledge (like Wikipedia) raises a number of fundamental questions about the nature of business and markets. In theory, we’ve wound up developing markets to resolve a large scale collective action problem of goods distribution.
As Esther Dyson is currently clarifying in her comment, the big problem is that many folks in the private sector just don’t understand that networked collaboration offers an alternative to how we build social institutions of exchange. Instead, some folks think its just another tool for profit-making and (in the worst instances) rent-extraction.
What if networked cooperation made it so that scarcity were not a precondition of successful (i.e. profitable) exchange? What if we could do better than markets (as we currently know them)?
That’s the promise of the commons.
May 15, 2008
Watching Jonathan Zittrain do the short, stand-up version of his new book, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It here at Berkman@10, it strikes me that he’s been reading a lot of Phillip Pullman lately.
The Internet runs on “Dark Energy” (dust) and we need to watch out for attempts to capture, box, gut, undermine that energy.
A great, thought-provoking talk – points to a lot of critical questions about the questions of governance, cooperation and innovation that will determine the networked commons for decades to come.
I will definitely be picking up the book and I can’t recommend JZ’s public speaking talents highly enough