Monthly Archive for September, 2005

SONGWITHTALKJAMAICA

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The Jah Cure Saga

The Victim
You
heard what she had to say

The Charged, Convicted, Sentenced and Serving

Now
hear what he has to say.

This is Jah Cure. He’s recording in the computer lab at Tower Street.

The Issues are Jamaica’s.

CyberStrategy Jamaica will invent open process to allow Jamaica to consider and resolve issues that divide it. This is CyberStrategy.

Jimbo Wales — High Mountains Free Culture Will Climb

He opens with reference to Hilbert’s list and offers his own. For each of these items I imagined a link to the audio of Jimbo speaking, but my battery ran out. Were this a wiki not a blog I could invite others to fill in.

free encyclopedia:
free dictionary:
free curriculum:
free music
free map
free art
free file format
free product identifiers
free search engine

Jimbo lays out these ways in which free culture will express itself. He asserts this predictively, He feels it, knows it’s true. He speaks for a growing circle of people, expanding in number over time as waves of spreading understanding. With each push the wave gets stronger. More people come to see that yes, we are in new reality. Core insight about the structure of the net comes clear. We can connect with whom we want, if only they want to connect with us. We can build structures in the net out of softwares that make connection productive and fun.

People who like to connect like to share. People who like to share like to trust. The net provides us interesting and powerful ways of doing this. In the battle of good and evil rhetoric structures the game. It’s poker, with rhetorical chips, stacked in story strength.

The force that will draw us forward toward the expressions of free culture Jimbo describes is evolution determined by the architecture of cyberspace. In an environment that facilitates sharing, those who learn to do it well will have competitive advantage. We are building self-sustaining software structures that facilitate aggregation of shared value. We can build more, with near boundless aspiration.

Jimbo likened his list to Hilbert’s. Ponder the Goldbach Conjecture. Jimbo’s list is not the same. He’s more engineer than mathematician. He knows he could create the technology and organization toaccomplish any one of the items on his list, and probably would if he did not already have his hands full. Who will take on the task?

One point he perked up on. Bill McGeveran observes that librarians resonate to recognition of the problem of reading and translating material recorded in formats of the past. Yes, we could see that to scholars of the past that problem would loom huge. I perked up too at this powerful example from the library world of the potential utility of open format standards.

Kevin’s Message: Can Jamaica be Saved?

In the year 2000 I went into the prison to partake in what has evolved into an upward movement of the minds of those incarcerated. I had no idea as to where we would end up. All I knew is that I wanted to do something positive. It was with that intention that I went to the prison each and every time. There were times when there was no place for us to meet and we met anyway. Sometimes it was under a tree other times it was in some little corner of the prison. I never gave up on the program and it’s possibilities. I saw very quickly the difference it made in the lives of those were participating, and that included me. Each time we met I walked away knowing that something amazing just happened. For those of us who were present we were never to be the same again that to me was enough to keep going back.

How can jamaica be saved? Can it be saved? And can SET play a role?

The answer is yes to all the above. Imagine for a moment a Jamaica that has adopted the principals of SET. A Jamaica that has decided that in order to move forward all it’s citizens must be given a voice and an opportunity to play a role in the development of there communities. Imagine a Jamaica where the people realize that they are the government and stop thinking of the government as being something that exists outside of them. What a Jamaica that would be. The idea of getting into politics is one way of getting this done however I do not think we should even think along the lines of politics, reason being the ignorance that seems to follow that seems to follow that word might just follow us aground too. But what about this idea:

What if we could get people to buy into the SET concept as a way of life and, just like the church, SET could become a movement, and just like we have our weekly meetings with the different SET groups in the prisons, the same way we cold have meetings with the individuals involved in the SET movement. And then slowly but surely we could create waves that would take Jamaica by storm.

Think about it. Those among us that can’t read and write, we would get them up to speed. Those who can read and write would teach those who can’t.

Charley think for moment what we do in the prisons now and imagine for a moment using that same concept to change Jamaica, one community at a time.

Non-denominational non-threatening absolutely powerful.

You had a vision of me being the pastor of the church, well here is how I see it happening.

I can see the headlines now: “ The SET movement takes Jamaica by storm.” There would be SET centres in every corner of Jamaica. That Charley I know is possible. If it can work in a prison, it can work in a school, if it can work in a school, it can work in a community, if it can work in a community it can work in a Nation.
Wow, Wow, Wow

Open Standards — Defensive Suspension

The day began yesterday with an email from Z enclosing Steve Lohr’s article in the New York Times:

Wow — what a great piece on the epolicy report!

Plan by 13 Nations Urges Open Technology Standards

By STEVE LOHR
Published: September 9, 2005
In a report to be presented at the World Bank today, a group that includes senior government officials from 13 countries will urge nations to adopt open-information technology standards as a vital step to accelerate economic growth, efficiency and innovation.

The 33-page report is a road map for creating national policies on open technology standards, and comes at a time when several countries – and some state governments – are pursuing plans to reduce their dependence on proprietary software makers, notably Microsoft, by using more free, open-source software.

The project, begun by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School, gathered government officials from China, India, Thailand, Denmark, Jordan, Brazil and elsewhere at a three-day meeting in Silicon Valley in February to discuss technology standards and economic development. The meeting was followed by e-mail exchanges, conference calls and postings on a shared Web site.

The group defines an open standard as technology that is not owned by a single company and is openly published. Still, there is a huge debate in industry and among policy makers about how far openness should go.

The report makes clear that government policy should “mandate technology choice, not software development models.”

It also points out that open technology standards – the digital equivalent of a common gauge for railroad tracks – are not the same thing as open-source software. Open source is a development model for software in which code is freely shared and improved by a cooperative network of programmers.

Even so, the spread of open-source software in recent years has probably been the most striking example of the benefits of openly sharing information technology to reduce costs and make it easier for users themselves to innovate.

“Open source does not define an open information and communications technology ecosystem, but it can be an important transformative element,” the report states. “To date, open source has been the most disruptive element of the entire open agenda, provoking re-examination of information and communications technology ecosystems and policies.”

Even though the report did not name any companies, Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, has been the prime target of open-source advocates. And the Berkman Center sought support from I.B.M. and Oracle, two Microsoft rivals, to help pay for the three-day conference. Both are champions of Linux, the popular open-source operating system that is an alternative to Windows from Microsoft. (Microsoft is a corporate sponsor of the Berkman Center.)

In the last few years, Microsoft has been an active participant in Internet and Web groups that have developed standards so that data can be shared by different software programs. That allows the information – about a person or bank account, say – to be exchanged, but the digital equivalent of the envelope carrying the information can be proprietary.

Some countries and states want to go further, promoting the adoption of open formats for documents, spreadsheets and presentations, which are alternatives to Microsoft’s formats for its dominant Office programs like Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

The state of Massachusetts, for example, recently proposed shifting to open-document formats in government offices. The comment period for its proposal ends today. Microsoft, in a statement, said that standards for data sharing are a good idea, but “we don’t believe that the proposed mandate for a single document format is the best solution for achieving these goals.”

Charles R. Nesson, a law professor at Harvard and a founder of the Berkman Center, said the group’s report was intended mainly to make a “rational business case for having a broad base of open technology standards” and that both proprietary and open-source software could work on top of that standards layer.

But as more standards are added, the layer gets thicker, moving into the markets for proprietary software. “It is a phenomenon that pushes up against Microsoft,” Mr. Nesson said.

At the World Bank, the interest in open standards mostly involves using them as a tool to help stimulate economic growth in developing countries. “If you’re using technology to alleviate poverty, then openness is a compelling alternative,” said David Satola, a senior counsel at the World Bank. “There are key elements in this report that could be used to shape national policies on technology standards.”

****

Next came the event at which I presented the Roadmap, at the World Bank under David Satola’s fine moderation, webcast and archived on the web at rtsp://streaming3.worldbank.org/ISGVideo…

Then Slashdot — here’s the linkhttp://it.slashdot.org/it/05/09/09/12282…
The comments are lots of fun and filled with intelligence.

Here’s the Roadmaphttp://cyber.law.harvard.edu/epolicy/roa…

Key is its definition of openness to include “defensive suspension”. This is the term to pick apart in order to deeply understand. This is where the rubber meets the road for one in possession of power in the form of legal right considering whether to contribute it to a community of trust. Hesitant holders of intellectual property claim need of Defensive Suspension to assure them that they won’t get fucked.

Now questions of next steps.