Summer Reading/Viewing List

Here is a summer reading/viewing list of books and documentaries relating to my internship at Creative Commons and to my ongoing personal interests.  It’s a self-assigned curriculum for summer self-improvement if you will.  The general themes include technology, the internet, copyright, culture, creativity, and food.  I haven’t actually read all the books yet, but I have seen all the movies.

At the time of writing, all of the works are available for free (legal) viewing or download online except for Food Inc., which is now in theaters around the US – and a must see for EVERY American.  I know I have kind of geeky interests, and not everybody cares to read 300+ page books about copyright, but everybody eats, so go see Food Inc already!


The Wealth of Networks
How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
Yochai Benkler

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace 2.0
Lawrence Lessig

Free Culture
How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity
Lawrence Lessig

Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy
Lawrence Lessig

The Pirates Dilemma
How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism
Matt Mason

The Public Domain
Enclosing the Commons of the Mind
James Boyle

Viral Spiral
How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own
David Bollier

The Future of the Internet And How to Stop It
Jonathan Zittrain

Music and It’s Reflection on Society
Catalan: La Música i el seu reflex en la societat
Spanish: La música y su reflejo en la sociedad
Edited by Indigestió
A collection of essays about the role of music in contemporary society. Only in Spanish and Catalan for now though.

Tales from the Public Domain: Bound By Law?
“Bound by Law translates law into plain English and abstract ideas into ‘visual metaphors.’ So the comic’s heroine, Akiko, brandishes a laser gun as she fends off a cyclopean ‘Rights Monster’ – all the while learning copyright law basics, including the line between fair use and copyright infringement.” -Brandt Goldstein, The Wall Street Journal online


Good Copy/Bad Copy
A Danish documentary about the current state of copyright and culture

Rip: A Remix Manifesto
A Canadian documentary film about copyright and remix culture.

The Future of Food
An in-depth look into the controversy over genetically modified foods.  Watch it online at Snagfilms.

Food, Inc.
Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA.

The Legend of Leigh Bowery
The Legend of Leigh Bowery explores a life lived as if it was a performance. Leigh Bowery was a costume/clothing designer, nightclub impresario, performer, and musician whose vision influenced many of today’s most important artists. He later became known to the world at large as the muse and subject of preeminent British painter Lucian Freud.

Noisy Idiots


My ITP classmate, Catherine White, has set up a community on Ning to discuss her ongoing project.  In her own words:

My research is primarily focused on how we work together in groups, particularly how to make collaboration more fruitful, and efficient (and less painful – because it sometimes is). Specifically, I am looking at groups we are part of online.

My thesis project came out of a midterm paper I wrote in March for Clay Shirky’s Social Facts class. I studied a forum online and discovered that there are some people who can be pretty disruptive in groups – even though they may not be violating the rules of the group. Its these people I’m interested in studying, to see how we can structure and govern groups to make collaboration enjoyable, not painful – and to ensure that group decisions reflect the group as a whole….

One small explanation about the term ‘Noisy Idiots’ – my main aim is to find ways to include people in debate and groups. The phrase came about in a playful manner due to sheer frustration at seeing some people dominate group discussion in a disruptive way. This paper tackles tricky issues such as balancing free speech and constructive conversation, but the aim is to get us all talking and listening to each other. I also understand the very important role that minority voices play in conversation – and am in no way suggesting that we shouldn’t listen to those with a view that is different to ours.

I’d be hugely grateful to hear your thoughts – and your ideas, thank you.

Read the the draft of Catherine’s paper and join the conversation at the Noisy Idiots Ning Community. Continue reading Noisy Idiots