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6983Re: [decentralization] Generalizing Peer Production into the Physical World

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  • Lucas Gonze
    Nov 10, 2007
      Julian Bond wrote:
      > Err, what? The World of Ideas certainly does exist.

      EG, pi is implicit in every circular object. That makes it even more
      durable than the objects.

      > But I'm twisting the
      > original ideas. The point being that the virtual world of the internet
      > keeps seeping out into the real world.

      Here is an example of seeping --

      I have been playing historical American music on guitar*. I learn it
      from scans of sheet music in historical archives at sites like the
      Library of Congress' and Duke University's. These archives contain
      primary sources intended for professional historians of music. They
      aren't for musicians to use in an everyday context, they are for the
      same people who also travel to go to specialized music libraries. I'm
      not one of those people. I'm using these resources to make music in
      places like bars and coffeehouses.

      I wouldn't go to a specialized music library to find stuff to play. I
      did try a couple times, but both times the work was way out of line with
      the goal. You need a series of appointments in-person, plus permission
      and equipment to make copies.

      There's nothing about my playing which is digital. It's as analog as I
      can make it. But this real world activity is only possible because of
      the internet. The compositions were long forgotten, usually lost to
      non-historians for at least a hundred years, and they showed few signs
      of life. And even if the sheet music were still in circulation in book
      stores, the practice of reading music is not very common.

      It only becomes possible for this music to be reanimated when the
      internet makes the archives available to enough eyeballs that they meet
      up with ordinary musicians who are able to read music and willing to
      play hopelessly obscure material. It's an internet solution to a
      physical problem. The stuff on either end is physical; there's
      historical sheet music on one side, and guitar players at open mic
      nights on the other side. But in the middle is the internet.

      And it's not an internet solution in the sense in which email is an
      incremental improvement on snail mail. The internet created the
      critical mass to enable peer production.


      * see http://blog.gonze.com/category/mymusic/ for examples
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