Archive for the 'radioberkman' Category

RB 206: Unlocking Research

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Disseminating knowledge was once a costly undertaking. The expenses of printing, distributing, and housing the work of researchers and scholars left most research in the hands of publishers, journals, and institutions in a system that has evolved over centuries. And the licensing model that has arisen with that system butts heads with the quick, simple, and virtually free distribution system of the net.

The key to breaking free of the traditional licensing model locking up research is the promise of the “Open Access” movement. And the movement has already made significant strides. Over the summer the United Kingdom was enticed enough by the potential for greater innovation and growth of knowledge to propose Open Access for any research supported by government funds.

But Open Access still remains a wonky, hard to understand subject.

Today, Peter Suber — Director of the Harvard Open Access Project — shares insights with David Weinberger from his new guide to distilling Open Access, called simply Open Access.

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RB205: Remembering Elinor Ostrom

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Nobel Laureate and Economist Elinor Ostrom passed away last month at the age of 78.

Best recognized for her research into the management of common pool resources, Ostrom broke new ground with her findings that Commons were not inherently tragic, as previous generations of economists believed. In fact, Ostrom found examples of communities that could effectively manage limited resources, like agricultural land or open space, to prevent resource depletion.

Her work paved the way for researchers studying internet communities to explore how norms are established and cooperation is achieved.

On today’s show Berkman researchers and affiliates Benjamin Mako Hill, Judith Donath, Mayo Fuster Morell, and Oliver Goodenough discuss how Ostrom’s work impacted their lives.

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RB204: The Art and Science of Working Together

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If you’ve ever experienced the problem of a dead cell phone battery and only incompatible chargers within reach, you’ve experienced one of the minor frustrations of a non-interoperable system. This frustration — not to mention the environmental waste of having dozens of different charger types for the same class of device — has led some countries to institute regulations for cell phone manufacturers to use a single common standard.

Such a structure is an example of an Interoperable System. And interoperable systems can range anywhere from relatively minor markets like mobile phone chargers, to massive infrastructures like smart energy grids or air traffic systems.

Friends of the show John Palfrey and Urs Gasser are the authors of the newly released Interop: The Promise and Perils of Highly Interconnected Systems. They spoke with David Weinberger about how Interoperability works, and how interoperable systems can lead to greater innovation, greater efficiency, and better functioning societies.

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RB203: From Digital Uprising to Digital Society

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Lots of digital ink has been spilled about how and whether digital technology played a critical role in bringing about the Arab Spring. But it’s been 18 months since the spark of revolution was first lit in Tunisia, way back in December of 2010.

How has digital technology played a role in laying the foundation for a stable Tunisia? Today’s guests were tasked with finding an answer to that question. And it turns out to be a very complex and interesting one, leading them to explore Tunisia’s communications infrastructure, Tunisia’s digital economy, and an increasingly technology-enabled civil society.

Zack Brisson and Kate Krontiris of Reboot are the authors of the recently completed TUNISIA: FROM REVOLUTIONS TO INSTITUTIONS.

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RB202: Memeology

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ROFLCon III

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Two weeks ago, the Berkman Center co-sponsored the third –  and, we learned, final! –  ROFLCon. For the n00bz, ROFLCon is a conference named after the acronym for “rolling on the floor, laughing” and devoted to celebrating internet culture. Friend of the Show Tim Hwang co-founded the event in 2008 when he and Christina Xu invited Tron Guy to Cambridge.

Both ROFLCon and internet culture have evolved since then, so we sent producer Frances Harlow on location to ask attendees, “What are memes, and do they really matter?”

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RB 201: The 42 Streams (Rethinking Music X)

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T mobile, Karoke, 30th April 2009 - Trafalgar Square

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In today’s episode we wrap up our coverage of last week’s Rethink Music conference with a conversation between guest host Chris Bavitz and Kristin Thomson.

In addition to her work as community organizer, social policy researcher, entrepreneur and musician, Kristin is a consultant at the Future of Music Coalition, which recently unveiled the findings from its massive Artist Revenue Streams project designed to answer the question, “How are today’s musicians earning money?”

After interviewing more than eighty composers and performers, conducting a dozen financial case studies, and distributing an online survey to more than 5,000 musicians, the Future of Music Coalition has identified no less than 42 distinct revenue streams ranging from karaoke licensing to merchandise sales.

Friend of the show, Assistant Director of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, and lecturer at Harvard Law School Chris asked Kristin about her research and its implications for contemporary musicians.

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RB 200: The Library Of The Future

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Library Bookshelf

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The technological advancements of the past twenty years have rendered the future of the library as a physical space, at least, as uncertain as it has ever been.

The information that libraries were once built to house in the form of books and manuscripts can now be accessed in the purely digital realm, as evidenced by initiatives like the Digital Public Library of America, which convenes for the second time this Friday in San Francisco.

But libraries still have profound cultural significance, indicating that even if they are no longer necessary for storing books they will continue to exist in some altered form.

Radio Berkman host David Weinberger postulated in his book Too Big To Know that the book itself is no longer an appropriate knowledge container – it has been supplanted by the sprawling knowledge networks of the internet. The book’s subtitle is “Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room.”

Inspired by the work of Harvard Graduate School of Design students in Biblioteca 2: Library Test Kitchen – who spent the semester inventing and building library innovations ranging from nap carrels to curated collections displayed on book trucks to digital welcome mats – we turned the microphone around and had library expert Matthew Battles ask David, “When the smartest person in the room is the room, how do we design the room?”

Matthew Battles is the Managing Editor and Curatorial Practice Fellow at the Harvard metaLAB. He wrote Library: an Unquiet History and a biography of Harvard’s Widener Library.

David Weinberger is the author of Too Big To Know and a senior researcher at the Berkman Center. He is also the co-director of the Harvard Law School Library Lab.

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RB 199: Be Great. Go Viral. (Rethinking Music IX)

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RB199

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Dave Herlihy currently teaches music industry classes at Northeastern University and operates his own practice specializing in entertainment law, intellectual property, copyright, trademark, licensing, and new media.

But twenty-five years ago he was the lead singer of O Positive, a Boston-area band poised on the brink of a major label record deal.

Friend of the show, Assistant Director of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, and lecturer at Harvard Law School Chris Bavitz interviewed Dave about his band’s trajectory from being the “best band in the basement” to appearing on the Billboard charts (and what came after).

Dave also offers his insight into the role of record labels in the YouTube era, and how he would resolve media licensing issues if he were an enlightened despot, and how to get famous.

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RB 198: The Community Supported Musician (Rethinking Music VIII)

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Is there room in the music industry for middle-class musicians?

Friend of the show Nancy Baym brought together three career performer/songwriters who all stumbled on the same analogy for how musicians can “make it” in the digital age: that of Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). Kristin Hersh, Zoe Keating, and Erin McKeown discuss what models have worked for them, and the unorthodox ways they’ve learned to make a living as artists.

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RB 197: University 2.0

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University 2

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This week’s guest, Juan Carlos de Martin, readily admits that he is only the latest in a long line of thinkers to portend the end of the university as we know it. He almost gleefully cites Thomas Edison as one of his most notable predecessors. But Juan Carlos may be the first to be right.

When Juan Carlos began his research tracing the history of the university – an institution that has barely changed since the founding of the University of Bologna nearly a millennium ago – he was optimistic about the democratizing effects of digital technology. However, Juan Carlos now says he has identified several persuasive arguments against the University that together could topple the ivory tower.

David Weinberger interviewed Juan Carlos – a Berkman Fellow and co-founder of the NEXA Center for Internet and Society in Torino, Italy – about what Juan Carlos has called the “perfect storm” on the University’s horizon.

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