requiem for certainty

Posts Tagged ‘net ethnography

New Book on Free and Open Source Software

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Just out.  Chris Kelty’s Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (Duke UP, 2008).  This is an important study of an important emerging practice: free and open source software.  I was at the release party for Mozilla’s Firefox 3 browser last week (thanks Nicole).  If Mozilla is any indication there is great strength and enormous potential for collaborative innovation in emerging open source practices.  The same could be said for Wikipedia.  And perhaps also for the OLPC. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Colin Koopman

June 26, 2008 at 3:32 am

‘Open Source Study’ now available

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I participated in a graduate seminar in anthropology offered by Paul Rabinow this past quarter. Part of my work there involved a collaborative research project on ‘open source’ and ‘open content’ initiatives. Though in many ways this research is still very much in progress, the seminar is now over, and we turned something in, and so we have also posted it to SSRN. You can find it here: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Colin Koopman

December 10, 2007 at 8:35 pm

Open Source Problematization

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I am currently looking at developing concepts adequate to the general problematization in which practices of ‘open source’ (by which I am broadly referring to open content, open source, open development, open platform techniques and practices). These concepts are probably most helpfully thought about in terms of inquiring into the ‘conditions of possibility’ of the emergent equipment in question. On this view, inquiry into problematization is meant to facilitate the development of general concepts which establish the conditions of possibility of the equipment at all. It is in virtue of these conditions of possibility that potential practices can come to be taken up as open source equipment. This is not yet to say, of course, whether or not these practices are as yet ‘valid’, ‘intelligent’, or ‘right’ uses of open source. It is only to specify that they are intelligible as open source equipmental practices. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Colin Koopman

November 26, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Emerging Digital Practices

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Another angle I have been looking at in recent work is a sort of half applied-philosophy half theoretical-ethnography project concerning contemporary digital/internet practices. I am only just now kicking this work off. And I certainly have many more questions than answers. I’m in need of collaborators of all sorts in this so please post comments or email me your thoughts. The basic idea of the research project is an inquiry into the new forms of public and private space that are emerging around and within contemporary digital practices. This is currently shaping up as… Read the rest of this entry »