Blog Post

"Saving the World from Failed Sharing"

In preparation for my West Coast trip, where I will be interviewing many of the most innovative open source thinkers and entrepreneurs, I've been noodling around on websites. This is also useful because HASTAC is in the final stages (I almost wrote "death throes") of migrating our content to our new site . . . and, well, some of our content is hopelessly outdated. When you start in 2002, and innovation and the "future of thinking" are your bywords, you can carret in a lot of new ideas and adjectives but, one day, you have to bite the bullet and rewrite the content. 2002 is not 2009. Wikipedia was barely a glimmer in Jimmy's eye in 2002. Time to start from scratch.


So I'm reading websites and watching web videos. There's a fantastic new video up on Creative Commons, for example. Here's the URL: Our beloved colleague James Boyle, of Duke's Center for the Study of the Public Domain and a Creative Commons leader, author most recently of The Public Domain, has a great phrase in the video: "Saving the World from Failed Sharing." [Are you listening, Chris Anderson?] Sharing is not borrowing without attribution. It's not cut-and-paste thinking. It's not plagiarism. It is finding a way to think together creatively while giving credit, and making sure that the law poses the fewest possible impediments to that process.


That leads to another great line in the video: Creative Commons licensing seeks to "enable the creative energy that new technology lets loose--and get the law out of the way."


HASTAC: seeks to enable the creative energy that new technology lets loose--and get educational bureaucracy out of the way. That's pretty close to what we aspire to!


On the Creative Commons website, the keywords are "Share, Remix, Reuse--Legally." On Mozilla the keywords are "Openness, Innovation, Opportunity."


HASTAC's keywords are new technology, collaborative learning, critical thinking . . . creative, critical, open, together. Learn. Share. Remix. Inspire. Create. Critique. Think. Dream. Design. Oh, yes, plus "Always historicize!" (--attribution, Fred Jameson, for anyone who doesn't recognize the reference.)

In the Creative Commons video, one of the very engaging talking heads says, that we need to help build a sharing culture, we need to move from an emphasis on content to an emphasis on community. Isn't that exactly what learning should be about?







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