Web 2.1 or Internet 7.0?

Speaking of Web technologies getting together to create tomorrow’s Web. It’s all about puzzles.

It’s really not that hard to visualize the completed picture of a Web 2.1 puzzle merging most of the advantages from the main Web 2.0 players: Facebook meets YouTube, Wikipedia meets WordPress, PodShow meets Digg, Flickr meets SecondLife… Smaller players like Moodle and GarageBand are likely to have a huge impact in the long run, but the first steps have more to do with the biggest pieces of the puzzle.

In fact, if I were to take a bet on the near future of the user-driven Web, I’d say Google is the one institution with most of the important pieces of the puzzle. Google owns YouTube, JotSpot, MeasureMap, Writely, SketchUp, Blogger, etc. They have also developed important services and features like Gmail and Google Maps. In many ways, their management seems clueful enough. Their “do no evil” stance has helped them maintain much of the goodwill toward them on the part of geeks. They understand the value of the Web. And they have a fair amount of money on hand.

Because of all of this, Google is, IMHO, the most likely group to solve the puzzle of redesigning the Web. To pull it off, though, they might need to get their act together in terms of organizing their different services and features.

On the other hand, there’s an off-Web puzzle that might be more important. Internet 7.0 needs not be Web 3.0 and the Web may become less important in terms of digital life. Though I don’t own a cell phone myself, a lot of people are surely betting on cell phones for the future of digital life. AFAIK, there are more cell phone users than Internet users in the world and cell phones generate quite a bit of revenue to a lot of people. The connection between cell phones and the Net goes beyond moblogging, VoIP, IM, and music downloads. It’s not hard to envision a setup combining the advantages of a smartphone (à la Tréo or Blackberry) with those of a media device like the Apple iPod, Creative Zen, or Microsoft Zune. Sure, there’s the matter of the form factor difference between smartphones and portable media players. But the device could easily have two parts. The important thing here is not to have a single device doing everything but having a way to integrate all of these features together, without the use of a laptop or desktop computer.

There are other pieces to that second puzzle: MVNOs, voice navigation, flash memory, portable games, Linux, P2P, mesh networks, media outlets, DRM-freedom, etc. And it’s difficult to tell who has the most of those pieces. Sony would be a good bet but they have messed up on too many occasions recently to be trusted with such a thing as a digital life vision. Apple fans like myself would hope that the computer company has a good chance at shaking things up with its rumored phone, but it’s hard to tell if they are willing to listen to consumers instead of WIPO member corporations.

It’s also difficult to predict which scenario is likely to happen first, if both scenarios will merge, if we will instead see a Web 2.0 burst, etc.


Almost 30k

Seems like it was only yesterday that I posted about getting almost 10 000 views. 

Almost 10k « Disparate

That was on August 9, 2006. This blog started on January 9, 2006 (started blogging on March 28, 2005). We’re getting very close to 30 000 views here. Not that any of this really matters. But it’s fun to reflect on how our blogs change over time.

One thing that seems fairly stable for my blog is the few posts that get the most views. Some of my favourite posts rarely get read while some of my most boring posts (especially those about iPod recording and the eMachines power supply) regularly get a fair number of views. A bit sad, really.

One thing that isn’t clear, here on WordPress.com, is how many views are on the main page as opposed to specific blog entries. I tend not to use the “more” tag much so most of my posts can be read directly on the main page. My guess is that some of those posts that apparently get few views are still read from the main page.

Another thing that’s interesting to note is how people come to this blog. Because of my (probably annoying) tendency to over-label my posts with large numbers of keywords, quite a few visits come from searches for combinations of terms that appear in different posts. For instance, my blog entries on both food and polygyny get me a visit from someone searching for “food distribution in a polygyny marriage” (which is a nice anthropological topic that I didn’t tackle here). Quite often, looking at the search terms used to get here, I feel bad about people being misled into visiting this blog. In many respects, lower traffic numbers would be much better for me, especially if it got me more comments. Problem is, my blog is too disparate to get the kind of stable and focused/targeted readership I sometimes long for.

There really seems to be a tendency for older blogs to get more traffic, regardless of other factors like posting frequency or post quality. Well, part of that might have to do that meeting other bloggers tends to increase traffic. Which doesn’t mean that waiting for traffic to increase is a recipe for blogging success. For one thing, blogging, especially in English, will probably hit a plateau within the next few years. Newer blogs are unlikely to be noticed except for occasional visits from searchers.

Community-oriented features of blogging platforms (like the “tag surfer” and “friend surfer” on WordPress.com) are generating some interesting interactions but I personally find it time-consuming to have to go to those pages to connect with people. Having said that, my guess is that community-building and social-networking will become increasingly important with blogs. Tomorrow’s blogging platforms are likely to get increasingly like, say, Facebook. Interestingly, LiveJournal which has always been strong on the community-oriented features seems not to be capturing much of the newer crowds.

The Other Carlos Castañeda

USATODAY.com – Colombia unveils newest coffee ambassador

Apart from the homonymy with the well-known and very controversial writer, the new
Juan Valdez has the distinction of being a coffee farmer himself. In a context in which ethics are increasingly marketable, a brand-based persona may be so flexible.

The USA Today piece provides a short but useful summary of some economic issues behind the global coffee market. One thing that can be said is that Columbia’s Fedecafe has successfully achieved recognition for being a major force behind consistent quality in coffee production. Their coffee beans might not produce the most complex flavours or aromas, but they serve as a decent base in a blend because they’re usually clean-tasting.

With the Cup of Excellence program, Columbia could achieve recognition for superior quality coffee, along with other coffee producing regions of Central and South America (Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua).

Coupled with the controversial “Fair Trade” programs, these marketing and auction programs are changing the global coffee trade.


So, 2006 has been the Year of You. “You” as any individual, consumer, user, amateur, person, personality, etc. With a strong tendency toward netizens living in the U.S. and participating in the so-called “Web 2.0” phenomenon.

For instance, “You” are (is) TIME‘s person of the year.

TIME.com: Now It’s Your Turn — Dec. 25, 2006 — Page 1

TIME.com: Time’s Person of the Year: You — Dec. 25, 2006 — Page 1

To some occasional readers of U.S. mainstream magazines, TIME‘s decision sounds like a rehash of the July 1 issue of Business 2.0:

The 50 Who Matter Now – July 1, 2006

1 You! THE CONSUMER AS CREATOR WHY YOU MATTER: They’ve long said the customer is always right. But they never really meant it. Now they have no choice. You–or rather, the collaborative intelligence of tens of millions of people, the networked you–continually create and filter new forms of content, anointing the useful, the relevant, and the amusing and rejecting the rest. You do it on websites like Amazon, Flickr, and YouTube, via podcasts and SMS polling, and on millions of self-published blogs. In every case, you’ve become an integral part of the action as a member of the aggregated, interactive, self-organizing, auto-entertaining audience. But the You Revolution goes well beyond user-generated content. Companies as diverse as Delta Air Lines and T-Mobile are turning to you to create their ad slogans. Procter & Gamble and Lego are incorporating your ideas into new products. You constructed open-source and are its customer and its caretaker. None of this should be a surprise, since it was you–your crazy passions and hobbies and obsessions–that built out the Web in the first place. And somewhere out there, you’re building Web 3.0. We don’t yet know what that is, but one thing’s for sure: It will matter.

Quite insightful in both cases. But not as much as the Internet’s Six Cultures model.

Personally, I’d like to see more people discussing the concepts of individualism, self-determination, creativity, social change, mercantilism, democracy, egoticism, and global identities in this You-focused context.

Little Guy Winning

Gotta love it when normal people who were being bullied by large corporations maintain their ground until the big corporation gives up. Regardless of tort reform and any such country-specific issue, the fact that artisan David can win against corporate Goliath is reassuring to those of us who aren’t way up in the corporate ladder. Even those who are, in fact, CEOs of global corporations should take notice as smaller businesses adapt more quickly than the corporate equivalent of dinosaurs do.

Case in point: artisan roaster and Tulsa café DoubleShot Coffee Company in marketing/legal conflict with corporate giant Starbucks (*$, among CoffeeGeeks).

Result: DoubleShot Coffee Company won

Starbucks was using intimidation tactics (threat of a lawsuit) to get DoubleShot Coffee Company to change their name (because Starbucks has a coffee-based canned drink trademarked “Starbucks DoubleShot(tm)”). IMHO, that was a bad move for Starbucks, in terms of good will from the wide world of quality coffee. But now that Starbucks has backed down from the potentially suing DoubleShot, they definitely have some egg on their (corporate) face.

Whether or not anyone agrees with anything Starbucks does, whether or not you think that Starbucks had a leg to stand on, in a court of law, you might agree that local cafés and coffee roasters serve an important purpose on the global stage.

Discovering CanLit

As a Francophone born and raised in Montreal, I could have been exposed to (Anglophone) Canadian literature early on. But it took until a few years ago for CanLit to enter my life.

Here’s how it happened.

In November 2000, my wife and I were staying at a friend’s place in the Richmond Hill suburb of Toronto, while I was attending an academic conference. For several reasons, I wanted to take advantage of our time there as much as possible. We passed by a small bookstore and decided to go in. I think the book caught my eye before we went in. I had seen the author’s name before. Probably in something by or about John Irving, one of the few Anglophone authors that I had read (along with Douglas Adams and a few other things). The book’s cover or title might have caught my eye for other reasons. Reading the book’s blurb, I was intrigued by mentions of psychology (many members of my family are psychologists). So I decided to buy that book. My first item of literary Canadiana.

Those of you who know Canadian literature have probably figured out what it was. The Manticore, second volume of Robertson Davies’s Deptford Trilogy. Not that the book was really a revelation to me, but it was a pleasant discovery nonetheless. Robertson Davies’s humour, narrative style and, most importantly, use of language all titillated my literary sensitivity. Among Francophone authors, playfulness with language is quite prominent. At least, for those authors I’ve appreciated the most, the plot usually matters very little and emphasis is put on what we might call “mind games,” as they encourage active reading. Robertson Davies’s literary style wasn’t at all similar to what I had been used to, with Francophone authors, but it was compatible with my reading habits.

Robertson Davies was an important figure in John Irving’s life and it is little surprise that my appreciation for Irving would carry over to Robertson Davies. In fact, with all due respect to Irving, I find Robertson Davies to be a more satisfying writer than Irving precisely because Robertson Davies emphasises language over plot while Irving tends to focus on plot development. Frankly, I’ve grown tired of plot-based works, whether in literature or in film. To a musician, a storyline is just one of many devices that can be used. This is partly a matter of personal preference but it does translate into academic interests of mine.

Robertson Davies died a while ago and his place in CanLit is set in stone. I’m sure many Canadians had to read some of his work in school and despise anything related to him because of compulsory reading. Contrary to what many schoolteachers seem to assume, forcing someone to read an author’s writing is not the best way to get that person to like that author. In fact, I’m sure many people find Robertson Davies stuffy, old-fashioned, old-school. His trilogies have been relegated to the Canadian Classics collections. A mere example of Canadiana.

It is therefore no surprise that those who have read Roberton Davies’s books choose not to discuss them and that those who have not read anything by him have little inclination to do so. I was just lucky in “discovering” his work for myself and have enjoyed, out of my own reasons, everything he has written. Not to fulfill a CanLit or CanCon quota, but to simply have fun with literature.

More recently, my relationship to CanLit took a new direction as I was exposed to LibriVox through an entry on YulBlogger Patrick Tanguay’s i never knew blog. LibriVox is a website dedicated to audio recordings of Public Domain works. Thankfully, the site has a podcast through which MP3 version of the audio recordings of complete works are being distributed. A bit like “books on tape” but in “free as in beer” and “free as in speech” form. Ideal for the commuter.

The first work to which I listened was Oscar Wilde’s three act The Importance of Being Earnest. Obviously, I knew of Wilde’s work. I did expect that, one day, I would read some of his work. But I never did. Too busy. Books are inconvenient to carry if you’re not sure you will read them. I have other things to read anyway. Electronic books can be really neat and I did read complete works on a PalmOS device, but I wouldn’t really have thought of reading Wilde like that. Listening to some of Wilde’s work while commuting or working turned out to be ideal. The voices themselves made the experience even more enjoyable. The time-shifting nature of the podcast meant that I was free to listen to those recordings as I chose while the shuffle function of my Digital Audio Jukebox meant that those recordings would come at unscheduled intervals. All in all, my LibriVox experience has been a very pleasurable one, in the past few weeks.

What does it have to do with CanLit, you ask? Or maybe you guessed it. The subsequent work to be distributed in the LibriVox podcast was an admirable piece of CanLit that is having a rather positive effect on me: Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock.

If people think of Robertson Davies as an oldie, Leacock is an ancestor. Which doesn’t mean that he should be dismissed, of course. My immediate reaction to hearing Leacock’s preface, with all its cynicism about academia, was similar to that of someone meeting an estranged cousin.

Further on through the book, I noticed very significant connections between Leacock’s writing and that of Robertson Davies. I started thinking that either Robertson Davies was deeply influenced by Leacock or that both of them were displaying something common to CanLit in general. Given the fact that Robertson Davies wrote about Stephen Leacock, the direct influence hypothesis seems to hold. But given the fact that many Canadian writers , including Robertson Davies, have received the Stephen Leacock Memorial Award for Humour, there might be some broader connection throughout Canadian literature, at least in the part that has to do with humour.

Nice that there is still such a thing as the Public Domain.

Success and Gender (Impostor Edition)

Recently blogged about gender and success in the context of my friend Vali’s movie about Tupperware ladies being shown at the trendy Ex-Centris movie theater. This movie is now being broadcast on both cable and network television, in French and English. Vali’s is a successful story, whether or not she realizes it.

Gender and success are also associated in what is commonly called the “impostor syndrome” (also spelled “imposter syndrome,” henceforth “IS”).

Introduction of the Imposter Syndrome

People in different professions such as teachers, people in the social sciences, people in academia, actresses and actors, may all have imposter feelings. It was originally associated with women but recent research indicated that men suffer in similar numbers.

This phenomenon affects achievers and successful people of either gender but the original 1978 study was done by women with women as a target group. As is often the case (for instance, in “hedging” speech patterns), it seems that academics (both men and women) behave in a way reminiscent of socially mobile women.
There surely are research papers on the parallels between academia and gender in relation to IS. But IS is felt in daily life, which academics tend to keep secret.

As with the gender revolution a while ago, the time for academics to speak out is now.

Grapho-fétichistes et discrimination

Les nostalgiques s’emballent, les romantiques se renfrognent, les alarmistes s’exclament, les sentimentalistes se morfondent. Mais ceux d’entre nous qui préfèrent regarder vers l’avenir se réjouissent. Optimistes, idéalistes, naïfs, jeunes, enthousiastes, amants du renouveau. Nous vivrons heureux.

J’écris mal. Très mal. C’est ce qu’on m’a dit toute ma vie. Ma «main d’écriture» est atroce. Ma caligraphie est horrible. «Tu écris comme un médecin», se moque-t-on. La honte. L’opprobre. L’insatisfaction. La discrimination.

Sérieux. Mon séjour aux écoles primaires et secondaires fut dominé par mes problèmes de caligraphie. À l’époque (de la fin des années 1970 à la fin des années 1980), c’était presqu’une condamnation, de la part du milieu scolaire (encore sclérosé). Non, on ne m’a pas tapé sur les doigts. Oui, on m’a «laissé faire». Mais on m’a jugé. On a utilisé mon écriture, ma caligraphie, contre moi.

Tel ce prof de français «enrichi», en Secondaire III qui m’a avoué, après que je me sois lié d’amitié avec lui, que la première fois qu’il a vu mon écriture, il me croyait avoir été mal classé, souffrant peut-être de déficience intellectuelle. Pour quelqu’un qui a officiellement été désigné comme «débile» à la naissance, c’est frappant comme commentaire.

On a cherché à expliquer mon manque d’aptitude pour l’écriture cursive. D’aucuns blâment mes yeux. Soit mon manque d’acuité visuelle (presbytie, myopie, astigmatisme). Ou mon strabisme. Ou ma latéralisation puisque, selon mon optométriste préféré, je suis gaucher (même si j’écris de la main droite). Quoi qu’il en soit, mon écriture manuscripte a été l’objet de nombreuses discussions. Évidemment, faut s’y attendre quand on a une mère ergothérapeute spécialisée en stimulation précoce, un père psycho-pédagogue spécialisé en dyslexie et une certaine facilité dans les matières scolaires…

J’ai parlé de «discrimination». Le mot est fort. Je l’assume, mais avec réserve. Je n’essaie pas de comparer l’attitude des gens face à mon écriture à de véritables actes discriminatoires. Je n’essaie même pas de dire qu’on ne m’a «donné aucune chance dans la vie», à cause de mon écriture ou quelque autre caractéristique. Mais j’ai longtemps été ostracisé par mes pairs.

«J’écris pas pour me plaindre, j’avais juste le goût de parler.» L’attention qu’on a portée à mon problème d’écriture n’était pas vraiment néfaste. En fait, elle m’a probablement permis de développer divers éléments de ma personalité. Au Cégep, l’illisibilité d’une de mes copies d’examen de philo m’a valu une faveur déguisée. Puisque le prof ne pouvait lire mon écriture, il m’a demandé de la lire moi-même. Ce faisant, j’ai pu donner à mes mots l’intonation qu’ils semblaient mériter. Je déteste le favoritisme, surtout quand j’en suis l’objet. Mais je crois qu’en cette circonstance, le privilège qui m’a été accordé était approprié. D’ailleurs, je crois bien que le prof m’aurait donné la même note s’il avait pu lire ma copie par lui-même.

Encore là, on me mettait à part. J’ai l’habitude, vous savez. Surtout à l’école.

De l’ostracisme contre le «maudit français» qu’on percevait en moi (mon père est Suisse et mon français parlé était plus européen que québécois) à la difficulté de me lier d’amitié avec qui que ce soit en raison de mon isolement constant. En passant par le fait que, n’ayant pas été baptisé, j’étais exclus de tous les sacrements catholiques qui unissaient les élèves de mon école. J’étais aussi le seul «enfant du divorce», dans cette école. Du moins, durant les premières années (mes parents se sont séparés au cours de ma première année scolaire). Par la suite, le divorce est devenu chose courante mais on ne m’a pas accordé plus d’intérêt pour autant. Mon strabisme, que certains peuvent aujourd’hui trouver «charmant» m’a longtemps convaincu de l’inesthétisme de mon visage. Jusqu’à ce jour, je me réjouis en voyant le strabisme accepté (à l’occasion) par le public télévisuel.

En contraste avec ma position en milieu scolaire, je jouissais d’une place de choix dans un milieu familial et social qui comptait surtout des adultes. Un peu l’animal de cirque d’un cercle de gens intéressés par l’apprentissage (y compris plusieurs profs). Dès mon plus jeune âge, j’ai eu la chance d’avoir de longues discussions avec des personnes fascinantes, généralement beaucoup plus âgées que moi. C’est sans doute ce qui m’a fait passer pour un type intéressant, pendant un temps.

Toujours est-il que je n’ai jamais été comme les autres. Et mon écriture le prouvait. Il y a fort à parier que mon écriture soit devenue, pour moi, une façon de m’approprier mon individualité. Pas vraiment une révolte contre l’autorité. Une négotiation avec elle. Une représentation frappante de mon amour du désordre.

Par ailleurs, mon manque de «talent» pour la calligraphie m’a clairement poussé dans une direction inverse à celle de l’artiste visuel. Pas tellement surprenant pour quelqu’un qui porte des lunettes depuis l’âge de deux ans mais je me suis jamais senti poussé vers le visuel. J’admire bien certains objets mais ma sensibilité visuelle est quasi-nulle. J’aime écouter et parler. C’est en m’éloignant des «arts plastiques» au début du secondaire que je suis devenu saxophoniste. C’est en devenant musicien que je suis devenu anthropologue. C’est en devenant anthropologue que j’ai commencé à être accepté. Tout ça à cause de mes yeux, diraient certains. Ils ont peut-être raison.

Ma motivation à écrire ce billet provient d’une discussion plutôt dérangeante pour moi, au cours d’un épisode de la balado-diffusion Open Source animée par Christopher Lydon. Toujours friands d’actualité (!), l’équipe de Lydon a décidé de sonner le signal d’alarme: l’écriture cursive disparaît et, avec elle, toute trace de «civilisation». Comme dit l’autre: «tout fout l’camp!». J’exagère à peine.

Invités lors de cet épisode, deux spécialistes de caligraphie (qui ont toutes deux échoué lors de leurs cours de caligraphie à l’école primaire), un graphologue et un graphiste. Les deux premières fétichisent les lettres manuscriptes, les associant à toutes sortes de valeurs sociales (une d’entre elles compare d’ailleurs la caligraphie à un complet veston d’homme d’affaires). Le troisième défend son travail en expliquant que des entreprises françaises, des joalliers et des services secrets utilisent la graphologie pour distinguer des candidats à divers postes. Profond?

Mon opinion des graphologues en tant que déterministes réductionnistes est supportée par plusieurs commentaires d’un d’entre eux, Roger Rubin, lors de cet épisode d’Open Source. Percevant une corrélation entre l’hyperactivité et la diminution de l’importance de la caligraphie, il assigne la causalité d’un phénomène psychique complexe à la simple écriture manuscrite. Fascinant! Même McLuhan était plus prudent!

D’ailleurs, d’autres invités parlent de ce que les études ont «démontré» («hors de tout doute») au sujet des rapports entre cognition et caligraphie. J’aimerais vraiment savoir ce que ça implique pour les non-voyants, les paraplégiques et tous ceux qui, comme moi, ont moins de facilité avec l’écriture manuscrite qu’avec d’autres moyens de communication.

La voix de la raison se fait entendre, vers la fin du programme, par la bouche du graphiste Chris Lozos. Plutôt que de lamenter la perte de l’écriture cursive si chère aux autres intervenants, il parle de l’écriture cursive comme d’un outil facilitant ou suppléant à certains types de communication. Toutefois, Lozos lui-même sombre à son tour dans l’extrapolation abusive, maugréant contre l’utilisation de la messagerie instantanée cause de la pensée mal formée. J’ai bien hâte que les membres de cette génération anxieuse aient fini de prendre ses opinions sur les générations plus jeunes comme des observations pertinentes.

Non, j’ai rien contre les générations qui nous ont précédé la nôtre. Et la nostalgie fait partie de mon quotidien. Simplement, ce dont je m’ennuie, ce n’est pas l’époque du cours classique et des religieuses autoritaires qui enjoignaient nos parents à s’asseoir dans la posture la plus droite possible (ce qui, soit dit en passant, n’est peut-être pas la meilleure posture).

L’animateur Lydon et Brendan Greeley (celui qui surveille le blogue) ont toutefois parlé de façon indirecte de différentiation sexuelle et d’écriture. Les jeunes filles qui «trippent» sur le papier, les vieilles dames que nous rappelle la notion d’écriture cursive. Personnellement, j’ai pas besoin de l’écriture cursive pour faire valoir mon côté féminin. Et, ne vous en déplaise, je ressens tout autant d’émotion à la lecture d’un message électronique bien senti qu’à la réception d’une lettre manuscrite.

C’est d’ailleurs le point central. Les nouvelles technologies de l’information et des communications nous éloignent de l’écriture cursive. Ça tombe bien pour moi.

World Intellectual Property Exploitation Organization Ultimately Threatened (WIPEOUT)

I do hope they realize it. The infamous, and famously exploitative, lobby group for “intellectual property” is ultimately going to lose.

Signs of their ultimate demise abound in the actions of both the RIAA and the MPAA (as well as equivalent lobby groups in other North America and Europe). These people just don’t get it.

Been laughing out loud at some comments about the recent debate over the alleged benefits of extending British copyright for performing artists over the fifty years that anyone in their right mind would think is fair. Even some musicians are revealing the lack of breadth in their argument: they just want to be able to live off the money from their recordings from the late 1950s and early 1960s. That would stimulate innovation how, exactly? The fact that it took these people that long to realize that copyrights are meant to be temporary is preciously funny. “Oh, wait! I thought I was supposed to keep my monopoly over these recordings forever.”

Also funny is the stance of Apple Corps. and the remaining Beatles over what should be done with their music. Their first recordings will come out of copyright in the UK (and several other places) in a few years. Instead of taking advantage of the situation by making sure that the last people who by their music get added value, they prevent online music stores from selling their tracks and release a set of anachronistic remixes. Weird.

Been thinking for a while about a type of “two cultures” theory. What Larry Lessig calls “Free Culture” on one side and “Commerical Culture” on the other. The meaning of “culture” used in those cases can be relatively close to anthropological concepts, though it’s also about “creative culture,” including arts and entertainments. In the U.S. of A., Lessig’s primary target, “free culture” seems to be under attack. Elsewhere, it florishes. In any way we think about it, “free culture” is more beneficial for the greater group than a “closed culture,” whether it’s based on commercial value, on jealousy, or both. If we think competitively, there is little doubt in my head that “free culture” will eventually win and that U.S. “commercial culture” (or “permission culture,” as Lessig calls it) will collapse, bringing down a large part of U.S. society.

That is, unless some people finally wake up.