Blog Archives

Open science and the environmental movement


By Shannon Dosemagen, co-founder and Executive Director of Public Lab.

Historically, environmental monitoring in the U.S. is by industrial polluters and those responsible for regulating and enforcing environmental laws. This leaves little room for engagement with those who are affected by the environmental health decisions being made about their communities.

The vision behind Public Lab is a community driven collaborative model that creates the physical means for independent people and organizations to engage in environmental data collection and the scientific research process.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Lessons from Linux: the future is collaboration


By Jim Zemlin, executive director, the Linux Foundation1.

Linus Torvalds was named the 17th most influential person of the century by Time magazine. Maybe you’ve never heard of him but you’ve probably heard of the software he created, the world’s most successful software, Linux. It runs everything, I am not kidding. It is in your phone, you car, your TV; it runs your bank, most of the global economy, air traffic control systems, nuclear submarines, most of the Internet. You use Linux every single day, multiple times a day, and you don’t even notice.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Union is strength, but not necessarily success


By Gregory Newby, Director and CEO of the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation

People are naturally collaborative, social and cooperative. One of the great things about today’s globally connected networks, and the devices we use to connect to each other, is that it allows communities to form based on common interests, regardless of physical locations.

This is a major and recent change from what it previously meant to be part of a community. Although telecommunication has been a part of human life since ancient times, it is only recently that telecommunication has become nearly free: we can communicate electronically with individuals and groups without incremental costs for increased distance, or increased numbers of messages or recipients.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014
About the Question
How many peers does it take to change a light bulb?

Systems like Linux and websites like Wikipedia are paradigmatic of a particular way of open collaboration known as peer production. Peer producers choose their tasks freely and coordinate their work using open digital platforms. They share the fruits of their labour as part of a global commons, and everyone works according to their abilities and benefits according to their needs.

Is this an emerging form of communism? Or the future of liberal capitalism? Or is it simply a new mode of production? In this blog we want to explore both the benefits and the downsides of such way of working.

UOC/IN3 degrees