Rohrer Rocks On

The MUTE project is experimenting with a new fund-raising model based on project milestones. To read more about how creators can make a living post-copyright, read my essay, Free Distribution.

Here is how it works: I propose the next project milestone and set a corresponding fund-raising goal. The fund-raising goal is based on my estimate of the amount of money I will need to support myself and my family during the time it will take me to program the proposed features (we spend roughly $187 per week as part of our $10,000 yearly budget). If you think the features are worth it, you can donate a dollar to support my efforts. Once the fund-raising goal has been met, I will start work on the proposed features. As always, the results of my work will be released for free under the GNU GPL.

The first milestone was intended as a small-scale test, and the amazing success of the fund-raising effort (meeting the goal in only 9 days) demonstrated that this model can work. The next proposed milestone is more involved.

Nice bit here on another page:

Sure, I need to make a living, but I am idealistic enough to believe that there is more to life than just making a living. I feel that the means of making a living should be productive and helpful to society. There are many different ways to “make money.” Some of these methods focus just on making money (for example, playing the stock market), while others focus on helping people in exchange for money (for example, building houses). If everyone chose to work strictly at making money (for example, we all made our livings by playing the stock market), our entire society would collapse, since all true productivity would halt. On the other hand, if we all made our livings in productive ways, and none of us worked strictly at making money, our society would continue running smoothly and perhaps even flourish. Thus, all of those pure “money makers” are not necessary players in society—in fact, they are a parasitic burden.

UPDATE: Doh! I said “Tim Rohrer” instead of “Jason Rohrer.” Tim Rohrer worked on metaphor studies with philosopher Mark Johnson, and maintained for a while (maybe still does). Different Rohrer.

Mash the Planet

Mash The Planet:

citizen engineers,

each week i do a series of how-tos here and there about getting more out of the technology we all have, the content we all create and the ways we can use them, share them and learn from them.

now i need your help, you see, lots of record companies like emi, disney and many others are sending cease and desist letters when people take music they listen to and mash it up for their own pleasure, not selling this music, just mixing it, just listening it to they way they want to and creating new works.

awhile ago, dj danger mouse mashed up the beatles’ “white album” with jay-zee’s “black album” and called the result the “grey album.”

anyone who hosted the files, or even “wanted to” was threatened with legal action, now disney wants sent a cease and desist to for just linking to the kleptones – a night at the hip hopera – mash ups using music from queen and ton of other sources.

the solution to end this madness?

more mash ups. millions of them. a digital, creative protest.

this is where you come in, i’m going start a how-to series on making your own mash ups, so if you make these, please drop a note on how you do it, what software you use and all that.

let’s unleash a flood of millions of mash ups. with podcasting really taking off, p2p networks, mp3 players everywhere and the nature of music always wanting to be sample, mixed and heard it’ll be hard to stop everyone turning on, tuning in and mashing up.

Gosh, was I ahead of the curve or what?

Action Alert — Need Your Help

I know that even those people who kindly read my blog depsite disagreeing with me vehemently on most left-right political issues tend to agree with me on intellectual property issues.

There is yet another in a series of “gigantic expansion of industry intellectual property rights at the expense of the individual citizen consumer” bills being pushed through Congress right now.

PLEASE go to this page and read the text of the “please oppose this” letter and send it to your Senators if you agree with it.

There’s a war on our intellectual property rights, as consumers, going on in the legislature, and the huge media conglomerates have just fired another salvo and are hoping to catch us napping.

Best Summary Yet Of Election Anomalies

Via private email from Pferdzwackür, this paper gives the best summary yet of the reason this exit poll thing has to be looked into.

Basically it lays down the case that exit polls being this systematically flawed, on the face of it, is about a 1 in 250,000,000 longshot. It may be that the exit polls were that flawed for some reason, but in the absence of a complete demonstration of exactly how they were flawed and why (involving the complete release of their data), the notion that the election was stolen is actually the likeliest hypothesis, despite a lot of pooh-poohing by the media.

I’d quote more but I don’t feel like navigating my way around the annoying “copy and paste disabling” DRM mechanism in the PDF file, or typing it all out by hand. Stupid proprietary software.