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Drôle de guerre: Hachette, Amazon and authors. Something needs to be fixed, but looking ahead

A commercial dispute between Amazon and Hachette has led quite a few authors to take a stand. On which side? Well, they surely are against Amazon. But are they also with Hachette? Authors United sent a letter to their readers through an advertisment. They claim Amazon has boycotted Hachette and made the works of some authors more difficult to find at the right price. Amazon answered by accusing Hachette to impose the wrong price on their books (adding a little gaffe about Orwell). Hachette just said that they want to go on negotiating. John Kay suggests that the real problem is in publisher’s...

english (sort of) partecipazione

Internet as commons. Comments about the end of “the tragedy of the commons” in Edge

In a very interesting set of twitts, Sharper shows some doubts about the notion of the internet as commons. The discussion started from a post that I wronte on Edge suggesting the retirement of “the tragedy of the commons”. In that post I wrote about the internet as a commons. And Sharper doesn’t agree. Sharper: “Read w/interest your piece re: Tragedy of the Commons. However, the Internet isn’t a Commons, every piece/connection is owned.” Me: “But the internet protocol is commons, isn’t it?” Sharper: “I think I see what you’re getting at, but internet...

english (sort of) partecipazione

Grande su Medium

(A new article has been published two days ago on Medium, about Italy.)
In Italy’s political scene, comedy and tragedy blur. And today, an historical moment became a show
History always comes some other day, in Italy. Today, Italians expected history to be written. Enrico Letta, the prime minister, was due to explain his policy at the Senate. And a vote was to be casted that would have decided if the government was going to stay or go. Europe was waiting in stress. Stock exchanges where betting. Citizens were worried. (continue reading)

english (sort of) partecipazione

RKF Training Institute – Activists teach us to love our democracy

At the Training Institute set up by the Robert Kennedy Foundation in Florence, activists for human rights from all over the world come and learn how to smartly use the internet as a tool to get their job done. It takes courage to work for spreading the ideas that are needed to help people in some countries in growing a society that respects human rights. But it also takes an intelligent ability in using the network: how to campanign, how to communicate in a secure way, how to be conscious about the tactics that authoritarian governments can use against those that fight for human rights:...

Attenzione media english (sort of) media

Publishing is a sort of dating platform

The old ways of book publishing are fading away, maybe. But the new ones are still to be found, unless you are Amazon. And one of the problems is finding out an identity for publishers. The idea that publishing is a sort of dating platform may seem banal. Of course, publishers have always been there so that authors and readers would find each other to establish a successful relationship. At least for the time that is needed for reading a book. But it used to be that in those relationships, publishers had a lot of power. Controlling the analog technologies, they also controlled the copyright...

english (sort of) innovazione

The fascinating history of Olivetti

Many have seen the short movie about the history of the Programma 101, the first personal computer in history. It was released in 1965 and became a huge success, especially in the U.S: 44,000 units were sold. The group of engineers led by Pier Giorgio Perotto at Olivetti entered the history of computing. The beauty of the documentary is in its cheerful and light-hearted tone. Devoid of that tragic affliction typical of Italians who look to the past regretting old glories and successes. Rather it is an educational documentary that shows how the invention came out of a precise mix of...

english (sort of) visioni

Imagination and innovation. Edge and Economist

The Economist has published an important feature about the possible slowing down of innovation: Has the ideas machine broken down? The article puts up a set of questions about productivity growth and technology innovation. But the title is very meaningful: there is such a thing as a machine for the production of ideas? Well, in a sense, yes. There is a system – science, technology remixing practices, venture capital, media relations, market – that is meant to create ideas and innovations. But it makes ideas that are sort of expected. Which is why, in a way, that kind of innovation...

english (sort of) media

Twitter and the Italian political élite

Twitter is booming in the Italian élite milieu. Politicians, journalists, men of the church, writers, are joining the conversation. And newspapers are busy covering what the all lot says online, in a way that starts to seem quite awsome. In the meantime, Facebook stays very much more popular. Facebook has been the evolution of the Internet ability to actively involve everybody in the mediasphere, in a time in which the passive relationship with television had stopped to be sustainable for those “formerly known as the audience”. But Facebook is not much about “pages”...

english (sort of) partecipazione

Cosmopolitan professionals looking for opportunities

There is a kind of workers who live in a cosmopolitan international dimension. There used to be a cosmopolitan élite, mostly European or American, maybe linked to a colonial past or to a multinational company present. But it seems to me that there is something new in this space. This is not about people that need to go away from home to look for a job. The great migrations have not stopped, of course. And they are more and more important: that’s an epic set of stories, with the painful lives of those who leave the place where they are born to try to rebuild something somewhere else. They stay...

english (sort of)

Regret and move on. Italian strategy to cope

There is a lot to say about Italy, these days. It is not a country that seems to count very much in terms of what’s happening to the world. But we have found out that even a place like Italy can be far more problematic at a global scale than we thought: everything is linked, even an Italian crisis can be a global crisis. Well, it is not exactly flattering to be a country that matters only because it can be a source of trouble. And Italians seem to be having some new thinking about this. Usually we are good at complaining about our faults, but we are quite scarce at working united on a long...

Luca De Biase

Knowledge and happiness economy Media and information ecology