Posts tagged ‘libre culture’

July 9, 2012


Changed my license to WTFPL, thought it would be more fun.

January 19, 2012

Free Culture: Potentially Going Overboard

I might just point this out before everything sacred turns profane. Ideas are free. Especially in the libre sense of the word. Today, this point of view is getting more popular and more acceptable for laypeople; those outside the academic and professional sector. I’ve been supporting — in spirit at least — this movement for the past two years and not planning to abandoning it in the near future. This blog even uses a free license.

But here’s the catch: like everything that was designed to educate the masses, it will not go well, not at all perfect. The vast flow of information — in this case amateur information — has actually caused an informational tsunami in where there are no longer filters that help us validate what are urgent, important, or plain crap (some old bullshit). If corporate media was criticized for disinformation, this leads to misinformation.

A sort of accidental disinformation.

Which can be far worse.

Because this is The Internet.

Where the reach of information is way beyond anything imagined before.

So, why is this a problem? Surely you would believe that you’re smart enough to apply your own filters, of course you are, who isn’t? Andrew Keen pointed out nicely in his book The Cult of The Amateur: How Internet is Killing Our Culture that on the internet the amateur sometimes outweighs the academics and professional. Like IRL (“in real life” for those non-geeks) the mass popular wins over the educated few, this becomes true in forums that tend to misguide or even defy laws of logic and are held true by these mass popular fundamentalists. Keen himself has been portrayed as an idiot by some people, yes i agree he is hyperbolic, but still he has a very good point.

What differs between corporate media and open knowledge is that one misguides for a purpose (either political, financial, religious, etc.) and the other misguides for the sake of misguidance. Plain and stupid misguidance in which the misguider (i don’t think this is a word) himself has no idea that he is misguiding.

I am not saying that SOPA or PIPA is a good idea, internet censorship is actually a hilarious concept. A tired concept put forth by Orwell about six decades ago: the monitoring of the world. Even if SOPA and PIPA were made for that exact reason, it wont be long until people make independent hubs that evade monitored network, a sort of pirate connection outside the system. (i would point out how US policy affects most of the “civilized” world, but that would be pointless)

But that is besides the point, most users on the internet are consumers, and the content producers are often not more knowledgeable — sometimes less — than the consumers themselves. Which will make open knowledge unreliable, prone to misinformation, and just poorly made. The reason this becomes a problem is that free culture/open knowledge has the potential to become a worthy adversary to a. formal education b. corporate media c. mainstream entertainment. The bloated properties of user content only dismisses this potential.

In the spirit of maintaining the continuity of free culture/open knowledge this should be the basis of content creation:

1. seek professional assistance (not implying to go to a shrink, but if you feel you must….)

2. read a book (pirated books if you live in a third world country)

3. refer to whatever contains truism and validity

4. end hunger

5. world peace

#freeculture #libreculture #openknowledge