Zero marginal cost

The next page I found in the notebook (after the last one) is my own view of the problem of information goods having zero marginal cost, so not functioning within capitalism. Paul Mason describes this in Postcapitalism. Walking through the diagram… “Zero marginal cost newtech” is the starting point. A “marginal cost” is a business […]

Sea. Sunlight. Calm. Trees. Laughter.

I found another oldish notebook. It’s about the edge of chaos. The more lightly shaded left hand edge is absence, null, non existence. The dark shaded right hand side is total chaos, randomness. The sharp line down the middle is the edge of chaos – where things are balanced, interest lies, life grows. There are […]

On finding political axes using maths

Drifting in the sea of political beliefs, left and right don’t seem to have any meaning any more. It’s possible to make up new axes. Alas, these aren’t grounded in real views of the population, instead they’re distorted by the politics of their creators. Luckily, there is a way of finding actual axes by experiment, […]

History of libraries

Thanks to the excellent Thinking Liverpool [1], a lunchtime talk about the history of libraries caught my eye. I mention the history of public libraries worryingly often. I make an analogy between libraries in the age of the printing pres and the modern need for equivalently novel public institutions in the age of the networked […]

Don’t play the game, mutate the board

I found some notes I’d written at the start of this notebook, a few months old. I used to campaign in Cambridge for more Fairtrade coffee and chocolate. That was a “closed” tactic, as opposed to an “open” tactic like open source software or open data. It worked – even the best selling chocolate bar […]

Sync/Backup workshop at Redecentralize Conference

The fabulous Redecentralize Conference was organised by Ira and a bunch of other volunteers. Its subject – how do we make the net resilient, private and fun again? It was an unconference, so I decided to do a session on a personal itch I’ve had for the last few years – file synchronisation and backup. […]

Making our information society safe and fair

The topic of how to make our information society safe and fair regularly comes up in conversations. I think we need some quite big, radical things. They’ll need new public service Internet organisations to implement. This is my high level view list. 1. Access to culture “People have too much knowledge already: it was much […]

Those brief moments when winning seems possible

This mad dash bad mixen fun up down world. Forces smash hither and fither, 7 billion of us strange qualia, doing, being human. Web culture, open source culture… sucked out of academia, hacking, sharing, making, funning, building. Just late enough for usability to be just there just cheap enough. Smashed with. Political culture… burnt out, […]

Why I’m collecting every MP candidate’s CV

My side project for the last month is to try and collect the Curriculum Vitae of everyone standing for Parliament. It’s called Democracy Club CVs. I’ve been working every spare hour – mainly around midnight and on Sundays. Partly it is technically interesting, partly the other Democracy Club volunteers are fun to hang out with… […]