6983Re: [decentralization] Generalizing Peer Production into the Physical World
- Nov 10, 2007Julian 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 theHere is an example of seeping --
> original ideas. The point being that the virtual world of the internet
> keeps seeping out into the real world.
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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