[Air-L] Critical Writing on FOSS and Wikipedia

Nathaniel Poor natpoor at gmail.com
Mon Oct 3 08:56:29 PDT 2011

Hi Andrew-

For the FOSS side of things, I suggest one of two books of interviews-narratives-case studies:

The first is "Open Sources" from O'Reilly. It's from 1999.

There's a more recent follow-up which I haven't read from 2005, "Open Sources 2.0".

I could go on a long time about the importance of fun, play, and making things, but few people tend to respect these answers -- I suspect because people find them too simple. However I would point you towards Linus Torvald's "Just for Fun" ( http://www.amazon.com/Just-Fun-Story-Accidental-Revolutionary/dp/0066620724 ) and Stuart Brown's "Play" ( http://www.stuartbrownmd.com/ ). Homo sapiens is geared towards play and making things, and we find them fundamentally rewarding. I'll toss in this mention of prehistoric bone flutes from thousands of years ago, which we made so we could make/play music, because it's all the same thing.


On Oct 3, 2011, at 6:17 AM, Andrew Herman wrote:

> Dear Fellow Aoiristas!
> I have a master student who is contemplating doing an MA Thesis on the
> comparative political economy of FOSS and Wikipedia.  She definitely
> wants to approach the topic through a Marxist lens so I underscore the
> salience of "political economy" here.  My first take on her proposal is
> that she is awfully naive about the incipient "info communism" of
> Wiikipedia but really needs some good critical empirical work to lift
> the histomat scales from her eyes.
> Any suggestions you might have our comrade, however deviant or
> deviationist, would be most appreciated.
> IR 12 is coming!
> AH
> Andrew Herman, Ph. D.
> Associate Professor and Chairperson
> Department of Communication Studies
> Graduate Program in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory
> Wilfrid Laurier University
> Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
> 519 884-1970 x3693
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Nathaniel Poor, Ph.D.

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