Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hello there!
This is my first post in the blog world. It came about because of the convergence of three things.

The first is my interest in the open source model for doing things. Not just programming but anything. For example wikipedia, the internet encyclopaedia that allows users to edit its content, thereby creating a collaborative effort, which is greater than the sum of its parts.

The second is my interest in sustainability issues as another model for new ways of doing things. This does not have to be a luddite model of environmentalism, the idea is to use technology to bring about a sustainable future.

The third was re-reading Arthur C. Clarke's childhood's End to my son. In the chapter, the golden age, Clarke sets out his utopian view of the future, not conflicts or wars, no crime, total surveillance, an unlimited supply of consumer goods, secularism etc etc..

It's not that I agree with Clarke's ideals, what struck me when reading this was just how much the modernist paradigm of consumerism and industrialism (which Clarke was very much embedded in) is shifting, at least in terms of how society, technology and existence are conceived of.

Essentially what I am saying is that we already know now what the future will look like. And it will be a profound a shift as that between the agrarian age and the industrial age. For example I imagine that the concept of manufacturing anything for a single use will seem very alien to our descendents. What I am talking here is a paradigm shift. This suggest not the reworking of old knowledge, but the ongoing analysis of totally new knowledge. Hence the title of this blog.

What do I mean by new knowledge?

Well for example, read this article on sustainability. This article is polemical in tone and prompts more questions than it answers, but the important point is that I don't thing that we would have even be able to formulate such a polemic even five years ago.

What do I hope to do here?
This is my attempt at open source living. It is an experiment to open up certain parts of my life for others to browse critique and even alter if they want to. This 'opening up' is not in the sense of confessionals or a celebrity-style access to personal secrets. I do not want to live my life as an open book, but I do see the value in opening up those aspects which are in a sense public anyway.

These are some of the things I am interested in and which I want to make open source:

1/ I am about to embark on a PhD on immersive media

2/ I write songs

3/ I already curate a few websites on Stanley Kubrick

1/ What I want to do is share the research process of the PhD. I.e., post reports of what I am doing at every stage of the process. This work cannot obviously be a collective effort since ultimately I will have to be judged on my efforts as a individual scholar. But I hope to promote the collaborative aspect of academic study to its full capacity by offering an online diary of the writing of a PhD.

2/ I intend to make my songs available, complete with lyrics and guitar chords. I.e., an attempt at as open source songs.

3/ I'm very proud of the visual-memory sites, two of which I inherited from other people. The Kubrick Site from Geoffrey Alexander and Stanley Kubrick 1928-1999 from a guy who wished to remain anonymous. But they did most of the work on these sites, therefore these sites will largely remain as they are, as a much visited and appreciated resource on Stanley Kubrick. However I am toying with adding new sections about Kubrick scholarship, which I hope will use the open source model. I think that the Kubrick FAQ would especially benefit from open sourcing as it is was conceived through alt.movies.kubrick as a nascent form of open sourcing anyway.

That enough for now.

Any suggestions are of course welcome.

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