open culture

Global Village Construction Set

Title: Global Village Construction Set
Source: Open Source Ecology
Date (accessed): 08/02/2011
Type of information:
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"he GVCS is a set of 50 tools / technologies for building post-scarcity, resilient communities.
This page is about the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) and the plan for how it will be built by Open Source Ecology.
The Global Village Construction Set - Products and services for a self-sufficient economy
HABITAT: CEB Press - Sawmill - Living Machines - Modular Housing Units
AGROECOLOGY: LifeTrac Multi Purpose Tractor - MicroTrac - Power Cube - Agricultural Spader - Agricultural Microcombine - Hammer Mill - Well Drilling Rig - Organoponic Raised Bed Gardening - Orchard and Nursery - Modular Greenhouse Units - Bakery - Dairy - Energy Food Bars - Freeze Dried Fruit Powders
ENERGY: Pyrolysis Oil - Babington Burner - Solar Combined Heat Power System - Steam Engine Construction Set - Solar Turbine - Electric Motors/Generators - Inverters & Grid Intertie - Batteries
FLEXIBLE INDUSTRY: Lathe - Torch Table - Multimachine & Flex Fab - Plastic Extrusion & Molding - Metal Casting and Extrusion
MATERIALS: Bioplastics
In effect, the products serve as a sufficient, but incomplete, basis for a Global Village Construction Set (GVCS). We are talking about resettling land to become its stewards - whether in locations already settled or on frontiers.
Economy creates culture and culture creates politics. Politics sought are ones of freedom, voluntary contract, and human evolution in harmony with life support systems. Note that resource conflicts and overpopulation are eliminated by design. We are after the creation of new society, one which has learned from the past and moves forward with ancient wisdom and modern technology.
Furthermore, it should be noted that this is a real experiment, and product selection is based on us living with the given technologies. First, it is the development of real, economically significant hardware, product, and engineering. Second, this entire set is being compiled into one setting, and land is being populated with the respective productive agents. The aim is to define a new form of social organization where it is possible to create advanced culture, thriving in abundance and largely autonomous, on the scale of a village, not nation or state."

Open Access and Open knowledge production processes: Lessons from CODESRIA

Title: Open Access and Open knowledge production processes: Lessons from CODESRIA
Author: Francis B. Nyamnjoh
Pages: 6 pp.
ISSN: 2077-7205
e-ISSN: 2077-7213
Source: The African Journal of Information and Communication, Issue No 10 (2009/2010)
Publisher: Learning Information Networking and Knowledge (LINK) Centre, Graduate School of Public and Development Management, University of the Witwatersrand
Date (published): 25/02/2010
Date (accessed): 28/04/2010
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
It is common in discussions of open access to limit the issue to publications and dissemination. This conflates accessibility with recognition and representation, and supposes that competing and conflicting knowledge systems and ideas would be equally available and affordable if room were created for multiple channels of accessibility. Such enthusiasm and euphoria, while understandable, do not adequately account for the prevalent power relations that structure knowledge production into interconnecting hierarchies at local and global levels.
CODESRIA has some lessons to draw on from its experience of the past 37 years – lessons about the need to privilege and prioritise recognition and representation of the perspectives, epistemologies, and contextual and methodological diversity that inform knowledge production globally and locally; and lessons about the need to widen our understanding and discussion of ‘open access’ to go beyond just enabling access to knowledge and research results through a multiplicity of dissemination possibilities. It is important to discuss opening access up to different races, places, spaces, cultures, classes, generations, disciplines and fields of study.
This review presents CODESRIA, and its ever-evolving publications and dissemination policy, as a possible model to inform and inspire institutions interested in a comprehensive idea of open access in an interconnected world of local and global hierarchies, where producing and consuming difference is part and parcel of everyday life.

Open ICT Ecosystems Transforming the Developing World

Title: Open ICT Ecosystems Transforming the Developing World
Authors: Matthew Smith, Laurent Elder
Pages: 7 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies and International Development; Vol 6, Issue 1 - Spring 2010, 65-71 pp.
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Date (published): 10/03/2010
Date (accessed): 15/03/2010
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
The hypothesis of this paper is that open social arrangements, enabled by ICTs, can help to catalyze the development impacts of ICTs. In other words, open ICT ecosystems provide the space for the ampliacation and transformation of social activities that can be powerful drivers of development. Note that an ICT ecosystem is understood to be more than just a technological system; rather, it is a social system within which ICTs are embedded.

E-Gov Versus Open Gov: The Evolution of E-Democracy

Title: E-Gov Versus Open Gov: The Evolution of E-Democracy
Author: Jenn Gustetic
Pages: 10 pp.
Publisher: Phase One Consulting Group
Date (published): 11/12/2009
Date (accessed): 12/12/2009
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
How is the Obama Administration’s Open Government (Open Gov) initiative different from the Bush Administration’s E-government (E-gov) initiative? There are many people who use the two terms interchangeably but this paper argues that although they are distinct initiatives in the United States, they are also part of the same E-democracy maturity continuum. Thus while they should not be handled totally separately, they should not be combined either. This paper provides a short history and terminology discussion and then compares and contrasts the two initiatives.

(via )

Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0

Title: Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0. Draft Report of the Government 2.0 Taskforce
Pages: 159 pp.
Source: Government 2.0 Taskforce blog
Publisher: Government 2.0 Taskforce Secretariat. Australian Government Information Management Office
Date (published): 07/12/2009
Date (accessed): 07/12/2009
Type of information: government document
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
The Taskforce was asked to provide advice on how government information can be made more accessible and usable in order to establish a pro-disclosure culture around public sector information.
Recommendation summary:
The Government should make a Declaration on Open Government that states:
• Public sector information is a national resource, and that releasing as much of it on as permissive terms as possible will maximise its economic and social value and reinforce a healthy democracy;
• Using technology to increase collaboration in making policy and providing services will help achieve a more consultative, participatory and transparent government;
• Online engagement by public servants should be enabled and encouraged. Robust professional discussion benefits their agencies, their professional development, and the Australian public; and
• Open engagement at all levels of government is integral to promoting an informed, connected and democratic community, to public sector reform, innovation and best use of the national investment in broadband.

The document also available in HTML, MS Word here.

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The Open Source Software "Ecosystem"

Title: The Open Source Software Ecosystem
Author: Charles M. Schweik
Pages: 49 pp.
Source: NCDG Working Paper No. 09-002
Publisher: National Center for Digital Government, Center for Public Policy and Administration, Department of Natural Resources Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Date (published): 29/11/2009
Date (accessed): 05/12/2009
Type of information: research paper, draft
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Open source research in the late 1990s and early 2000's described open source development projects as all-volunteer endeavors without the existence of monetary incentives (Chakravarty, Haruvy and Wu, 2007), and relatively recent empirical studies (Ghosh, 2005; Wolf {{243}}) confirm that a sizable percentage of open source developers are indeed volunteers.1 Open source development projects involving more than one developer were seen to follow a “hacker ethic” (Himanen, 2000; von Hippel and von Krogh, 2003) where individuals freely give away and exchange software they had written so that it could be modified and built upon, with an expectation of reciprocation. An early puzzle, of particular interest to economists, was why people would voluntarily contribute their ideas and time to these projects (Lerner and Tirole {{243}}. We'll focus on these fine-scale behavioral questions in Chapter 3, and will explain that there are clear reasons – such as distance learning, signaling, enjoyment, and “user-driven innovation” based on a need (von Hippel, 2005) – that motivate these volunteers to participate.

LexPublica: Open Sourcing the Legal Process

Title: LexPublica: Open Sourcing the Legal Process
Author: Glyn Moody
Source: open...
Date (published): 02/12/2009
Date (accessed): 04/12/2009
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"There is a crying need for access to legal help. No one can afford lawyers."...LexPublica aims to solve this problem by opening up the world of legal knowledge to everyone." It's plans are splendidly ambitious - nothing less than to create a global legal commons...

"LexPublica creates free contracts for small businesses, along with supporting information to help you use them. We're a community of lawyers and non-lawyers committed to making legal knowledge more accessible to businesses and the general public."

Open Translation Tools

Title: Open Translation Tools
Date (published): 2009
Date (accessed): 02/12/2009
Type of information: manual
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
...For the the internet to fulfill its most ambitious promises, we need to recognize translation as one of the core challenges to an open, shared and collectively governed internet. Many of us share a vision of the internet as a place where the good ideas of any person in any country can influence thought and opinion around the world. This vision can only be realized if we accept the challenge of a polyglot internet and build tools and systems to bridge and translate between the hundreds of languages represented online.

Machine translation will not solve all our problems. While machine translation systems continue to improve, they are well below the quality threshold necessary to enable readers to participate in conversations and debates with speakers of other languages. The best machine translation systems still have difficulty with colloquial and informal language, and are most reliable in translating between romance languages. The dream of a system that creates fully automated, high quality translations in important language pairs like English-Hindi still appears long off.

While there is profound need to continue improving machine translation, we also need to focus on enabling and empowering human translators. Professional translation continues to be the gold standard for the translation of critical documents. But these methods are too expensive to be used by web surfers simply interested in participating in discussions with peers in China or Colombia.

The polyglot internet demands that we explore the possibility and power of distributed human translation. Hundreds of millions of internet users speak multiple languages; some percentage of these users are capable of translating between these. These users could be the backbone of a powerful, distributed peer production system able to tackle the audacious task of translating the internet.

We are at the very early stages of the emergence of a new model for translation of online content - "peer production" models of translation. Yochai Benkler uses the term "peer production" to describe new ways of organizing collaborative projects beyond conventional arrangements like corporate firms. Individuals have a variety of motives for participation in translation projects, sometimes motivated by an explicit interest in building intercultural bridges, sometimes by fiscal reward or personal pride. In the same way that open source software is built by programmers fueled both by personal passion and by support from multinational corporations, we need a model for peer-produced translation that enables multiple actors and motivations.

To translate the internet, we need both tools and communities. Open source translation memories will allow translators to share work with collaborators around the world; translation marketplaces will let translators and readers find each other through a system like Mechanical Turk enhanced with reputation metrics; browser tools will let readers seamlessly translate pages into the highest-quality version available and request future human translations. Making these tools useful requires building large, passionate communities committed to bridging in a polyglot web, preserving smaller languages and making tools and knowledge accessible to a global audience.

See also:
Recommend an online collaborative translation tool
Metafilter, 01/12/2009

The Manchester Manifesto. Who Owns Science?

Title: The Manchester Manifesto
Publisher: Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation, University of Manchester
Date (published): 25/11/2009
Date (accessed): 26/11/2009
Type of information: manifesto
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract: is increasingly important to consider the question of “Who Owns Science?”. The answer to this question will have broad-ranging implications: for scientific progress, for equity of access to scientific knowledge and its fruits and for the fair distribution of the benefits and the burdens of science and innovation – in short, for global justice and human progress...It is clear that the dominant existing model of innovation, while serving some necessary purposes for the current operation of innovation, also impedes achievement of core scientific goals in a number of ways. In many cases it restricts access to scientific knowledge and products, thereby limiting the public benefits of science; it can restrict the flow of information, thereby inhibiting the progress of science; and it may hinder innovation through the costly and complicated nature of the system. Limited improvements may be achieved through modification of the current IP system, but consideration of alternative models isurgently required.

See also:
How science is shackled by intellectual property
John Sulston, Guardian, 26 November 2009
Who Owns Science? The Manchester Manifesto
open..., 26/11/2009

Commercial Publishers experiment with Open Access in Uganda

Title: Commercial Publishers experiment with Open Access
Source: National Book Trust of Uganda
Date (published): 17/112009
Date (accessed): 29/11/2009
Type of information: news release
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
The difficulty in accessing learning materials for cash strapped Ugandan students is the subject of a research investigation by NABOTU (National Book Trust of Uganda). The research is exploring ways through which content providers such as commercial publishers can make available online some of their content under a flexible license such as creative commons. The research is also looking at what business models would guarantee income streams for the publishers. The idea is to grow a body of content that students can freely access.

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