A fantastic piece by David Weinberger on the changing uses of the internet—apparently in contradiction of the internet’s original architecture.
Some folks invented the Internet for some set of purposes. They gave it a name, pointed to some prototypical examples—sharing scientific papers and engaging in email about them—shaping the way the early adopters domesticated it.
But over time, the Internet escaped from its creators’ intentions. It became a way to communicate person-to-person via email and many-to-many via Usenet. The web came along and the prototypical example became home pages. Social networking came along and the prototype became Facebook.
There’s more than a whiff of Indie Web thinking in this sequel to the Cluetrain Manifesto from Doc Searls and Dave Weinberger.
The Net’s super-power is connection without permission. Its almighty power is that we can make of it whatever we want.
It’s quite lawn-off-getty …but I also happen to agree with pretty much all of it.
Although it’s kind of weird that it’s published on somebody else’s website.
The Aaron Swartz film is available on the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike license.
A great little piece by Russell Davies on the Indie Web movement.
Well, this is pretty bloody brilliant—Dan Gillmor has published an article on Slate about the Indie Web movement …but the canonical URL is on his own site.
We’re in danger of losing what’s made the Internet the most important medium in history – a decentralized platform where the people at the edges of the networks – that would be you and me – don’t need permission to communicate, create and innovate.
This isn’t a knock on social networks’ legitimacy, or their considerable utility. But when we use centralized services like social media sites, however helpful and convenient they may be, we are handing over ultimate control to third parties that profit from our work, material that exists on their sites only as long as they allow.
This is a wonderful piece by Maciej—a magnificent historical narrative that leads to a thunderous rant. Superb!
We were struggling, whether we knew it or not, to found a more fluid society. A place where everyone, not just appointed apologists for the status quo, could be heard. That dream need not die. It matters more now than ever.
This gives me a warm fuzzy glow. The Mefites are using Radio Free Earth to find out which stars are receiving the number one hits from their birthdays.
The apparent difficulty of living in my head, freelancing, working for large organisations and then descending in to paranoia.
I have a lot of admiration for Reverend Dan Catt.
I don’t want to be in a position where I say “Hey, I’m working at Google, no no, don’t worry, the good bit of Google”, because goodness knows I did enough of that at Yahoo.
You can download the PDF of Anton’s graphic novel Gather for free.
We have lost an ally in the fight to maintain net neutrality. I wonder how Vint Cerf feels about his employer’s backtracking.
The specific issue here is with using a home computer as a server. It’s common for ISPs to ban this activity, but that doesn’t change the fact that it flies in the face of the fundamental nature of the internet as a dumb network.
I think the natural end point to owning your own data is serving your own data—something that Steven Pemberton talked about in his fateful talk.
We must fight these attempts to turn the internet into controlled system of producers and consumers.
This is a really well-written and worrying piece that pokes at that oft-cited truism about kids today being “digital natives”:
The causes of this lack of digital literacy can be traced back to school:
We’ve mirrored corporate networks, preventing kids and teachers access to system settings, the command line and requiring admin rights to do almost anything. They’re sitting at a general purpose computer without the ability to do any general purpose computing.
Also, this article has the best “TL;DR” description ever.
I’m going to miss having Harry around at Clearleft. Sounds like he might miss Clearleft too:
What I’ve loved about Clearleft is that it’s just so different to any other agency I’ve worked at. There’s no company process – everyone’s encouraged to experiment and try different techniques to suit the client’s needs. There’s hardly any internal meetings. I’ve never once had a conversation about my billing efficiency. The focus is on quality, and profitability is almost seen as a by-product. You’re encouraged to share your learnings externally rather than keep them in-house. Everyone’s trusted and given a lot of independence.
My short talk from Aral’s Update conference in Brighton last September. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. If I only I had a handheld mic—then I could’ve done a microphone drop at the end.
Another satisfied convert to the world of huffduffing, Joel has written some very kind words about the site.
Interestingly, the fact that Huffduffer is free worries him. In this case his fears are unwarranted but it’s a legitimate worry with free services: what if it gets bought out and shut down?
Maciej delivers a rant worthy of Paul Robert Lloyd.
Having just seen Anna Debenham’s superb but scary presentation at Update about the shocking state of UK schools, this is a timely piece of journalism.
An inspiring State Of The Web address by Tim Berners-Lee. He can't resist pitching linked data at the end, but it's mostly a stirring call to arms.
Download Calexico live in Nuremburg, licensed under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike license.
Jonathan Stark's book is available online, in HTML, for free.
A free-as-in-beer book on jQuery from Rebecca Murphey, released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.
One of Brighton's best music venues is under threat of closure. Sign the petition to save it.
Mark's superb book is available in HTML for free. Read it now but be warned: it will only make you want to buy the real deal.
A treasure trove of music from Archive.org.
It turns out that the brain is a scale-free small-world network in a state of self-organised criticality. Just like the internet.
Miso is rather nice; compact but legible.
Cory Doctorow: We must ensure ISPs don't stop the next Google getting out of the garage | Technology | guardian.co.uk
A superb call to arms on the importance of "fat pipe, always on, get out of my way."
Small interactions that serve no useful purpose but are nonetheless satisfying. "Design this interaction such that: It's “free,” i.e. having no significance to the task or content, It's discoverable in ordinary use of the product, It's quick and repeatable (Less than half a second.), It's pleasant"
An excellent article that explodes the ludicrous myth that terrorists like to go around taking pictures of potential targets so therefore photographers are dangerous.
They never taught this in my school.
Duncan Watts works at Yahoo Research? I had no idea! Ironically, it was Gladwell's Tipping Point that first led me to Watts' work.
Science-fiction author Lews Shiner is releasing many of his short stories online for free (HTML or PDF).
Peter Saville is releasing some of his fonts for free. I'm grabbing the beautiful serif typeface used on the front of Joy Division's "Closer"; it's gorgeous.
Add this date to your iCal: April 25th is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's.
Playing with Lego Mindstorms on a train can get you arrested in Germany.
As in beer.