two good reads

Things I spotted while putting off my real work:

Biella Coleman, talking about bringing free software perspectives to other domains. I used to get irritated when people said ‘oh, this is just like open source!’ but I’m getting more positive about it. Our discourse is so saturated with the notion of the market that an alternate framing for non-market or extra-market interactions isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even if it does use and abuse what free software is/was about.

Clay Shirky, talking about costs and benefits of new systems, in this case, wikipedia and expertise. I don’t think I’ve fully digested this post, but the gist of it is fairly thoughtful: what happens when the costs assumptions you take for granted are blown up? What does that mean for other aspects of your product, and for your competition? Shirky makes a pretty good argument that this does particularly nasty things to Britannica because the cost of certifying expertise and filtering out non-expertise is very high. Much more nuanced understanding of expertise and certification of expertise than the last link of his I posted.