requiem for certainty

Posts Tagged ‘open source

Ars Synthetica Conference

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Ars Synthetica: The Anthropology of the Contemporary took place this past Friday at UC Santa Cruz.  I organized this event to bring Paul Rabinow, some of his students in UC Berkeley Anthropology, and other colleagues working in collaboration in recent years, down to UCSC to present their work.  At the center of the event as we envisioned it was Rabinow’s newest offerings under the auspices of the Ars Synthetica web forum.  My thanks to all participants (both presenters and audience) for making this such an engaging, inspiring, and generative event.  It is exactly what I needed as I prepare to dive into a solid two weeks of revision and polishing before I send my Foucault manuscript off to the publisher for review.  Following is a short summary of the day’s three sessions.

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Online Deliberation Conference

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I presented last week at a conference over at the Berkeley iSchool entitled ‘Tools for Participation’ on the subject of ‘Online Deliberation and Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing’ (DIAC/OD 2008).  There were a number of interesting projects, papers, and technologies presented, all of them focused around online participation, collaboration, and deliberation.  My experience at the conference reinforces my hunch that now is the time (for me) to take up cross-disciplinary collaborations in the context of internet research.  These should be collaborations amongst theorists and empirical inquirers (but also with practitioners, users, and developers).  One of the best ways of doing this is collaborative concept work – since concepts face both theory and practice at once.  Conceptualization need not aim for theoretical system-building nor empirical fact-collecting, but can rather aim for articulating our practices in the sense of both explicating their theoretical commitments (articulation as explication) and drawing out their empirical interconnections (articulation as linkage).  A guiding thought for me in this context is that we currently lack concepts adequate to the emerging internet practices that take an increasingly prominent place in our lives.  These practices demand the labor of conceptualization. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Colin Koopman

July 1, 2008 at 7:35 pm

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: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1069067. 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