A Sunday stroll

Larry Lessig and Rishab Aiyer Ghosh have both spent a great deal of time trying to get all of us to understand one thing: that the law as it stands is completely inappropriate for today’s culture, especially today’s digital culture.

If you’re not into mashups and your music isn’t a smorgasbord of samples and you don’t think authors should plagiarise (even if you do like your Shakespeare), phrases like “digital culture” may leave you unmoved. This is understandable, but it gets harder if you have Generation M children. They won’t let you be that tolerant.

Take a look at this site, for example: When Graphic Artists Get Bored. In fact go to Glumbert every now and then, just to make sure you don’t get too staid.

Incidentally, I was thinking of putting up WTFs for terms like Generation M, The Because Effect, Cluetrain and so on. Any views?

beetle nut

The democratisation of creativity

One of the key points made by Larry Lessig in his 23C3 speech is how code, once used solely to make things work, is now being used to make culture; as he says “the tools of creativity have become the tool of speech”.

When we hear statements like this, it’s important to experience them, not just read them. Take a look at the image on the right. It’s part of a wonderful set of creative digital works by someone called Chema Madoz. You can find it, as well as many more, at haha.nu.

How did I find out about Chema Madoz? Via StumbleUpon. Why did I do something about it? Because I spoke to my 15-year old son about it, and realised that for him, Chema, and for that matter haha.nu, were as familiar, almost old hat, as Line Rider. As the saying goes, I should stay in more often.

If we do the wrong thing about DRM and IPR:

  • the wood in Chema’s background will have its own exclusive image rights
  • the matchstick will be copyrighted
  • Chema would have no tools to use
  • and even if there were tools to use, it would depend on the compatibility with someone’s particular content provider/connect provider/device manufacturer walled garden

So let’s keep on trying to do the right thing.

When they were asked what they wanted, the people said �Uglier horses�!

Ugly sells? Take a look at this post from Commission Networks (I couldn’t be bothered trying to find out who the person was, the site was too ugly for me and I couldn’t find an “about”). But it made me think.

I wonder if the Henry Ford “faster horses” statements can be made to apply to design. Is it possible that ugly sites are more attractive to the generations before M, because that’s what they’re used to? Brought up on green-screens and blue-screens-of-death anything looks beautiful. That generation loves looking at Excel screens on a BlackBerry, remember?

I wonder if I can extend that supposition. If a site is NOT ugly and yet IS popular, can I assume that it is used by Generation M?

Just thinking.

Four pillars: More on Generation M

I shall spend some time next week building out the foundation of the four pillars, which is comprised of platform independence, device agnosticism and opensource. Once that is established, I want to place the pillars in one further context, the construction industry: the role of the opensource movement, hardware and software vendors and “in-house IT”. (Yes Doc, it’s time to revisit D-I-Y IT :-) )

But in the meantime…. I want to be able to share all the reading I do, in true blogs-are-opensource-idea-markets style. So….

In the context of the behaviours and habits of Generation M, I have found some of the research done by the Kaiser Family Foundation invaluable. You can find their latest report on Generation M here. Well worth a read, both the 1999 version as well as the 2005 one I reference here.

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