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The European: In a recent report you co-authored with C.W. Anderson and Emily Bell you make the case that the biggest threat to journalism doesn’t come from declining revenues but from professional inertia.
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This paper that I wrote describes how to build a 3D scanner out of parts for less than 60 Euro and parts that were extracted from old printers, notebooks and so forth.
I write to you as a cultural Catholic moved by admiration for the Christian values and how they have been embodied by social change activists such as Ivan Illich, E.F. Schumacher, Paulo Freire, and profound and provocative thinkers such as Marshall McLuhan and Bruno Latour.
“You’re gonna start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and you’re going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don’t do that, and two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f*ckin’ education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!” – Will Hunting
“The Silicon Valley ecosystem, improved supercomputing and the rise of hacker culture have changed how individuals approach traditional monetary systems”, opine the research team at Sparks & Honey. “Today, existing systems are being critically evaluated, old ideas are being re-examined, and dreamers are imagining new alternative currencies to solve our current financial issues via low and high tech experimentation.”
Can you imagine a political party that requires no membership or dues, that crowd-sources its funding, publishes every expenditure online, invites all citizens to help amend its platform, loathes the cult of the candidate, provides a direct vote mechanism for all citizens to hold its candidates accountable if they break a campaign promise, and whose first sales pitch was to encourage voters to studiously distrust them? Neither could we until bumping into the X Party: A Citizen Network, a new political player on the Spanish electoral scene that is completely re-drawing what a political party looks like.
Less than a month after a New York customer returned home to find an orgy underway in the apartment he had rented out on the apartment-sharing website, the New York Post reported thatprostitutes are renting Airbnb apartments in the city and using them as pop-up brothels.Airbnb rentals are "more discreet and much cheaper than The Waldorf," quipped one anonymous sex worker quoted in the Post.
Running a business has inherent risks. A hotel guest falls asleep with the iron on, starting a fire that damages half the building. A baseball fan gets in his car after having several beers at the game and backs into another car in the garage, causing thousands in damage. A taxi driver swerves too late to avoid jaywalking pedestrians, and ends up killing one.
Netflix has spent years building and improving its recommendation engine, and even sponsored a $1 million contest to improve its algorithm. But now anyone can download and tinker with this kind of software, thanks to a new open source project.
The aim is a swarm of magnetically-controlled bugbots that could construct electronic devices, conduct chemistry for lab-on-a-chip applications, or do other micro scale manufacturing.
In the last few days a number of, more or less enjoyable, articles introducing the latest book by Jeremy Rifkin, released earlier in March, saw the light on all the most important online newspapers worldwide.
With students, designing the future of the education system. A fundamental action towards a shift to a participatory, inclusive knowledge society. This post describes the structure and methodology of our action.
The Sharing Economy: An old concept made new through the internet-based sharing of underutilized space, skills, and stuff for monetary and non-monetary benefits. Recently, a proliferation of start-ups have created digital platforms to connect owners with consumers. These companies encourage people—and businesses—to use resources more efficiently and to share non-product assets (like time) as well as conventional “stuff.” Citizens can share space in their homes (Airbnb), seats in their car (Lyft, Sidecar, UberX), places to park (Park Circa), used clothing (ThredUp), outdoor gear (gearcommons), time in the day (TaskRabbit, Instacart), and even capital (Zopa, Prosper). This trend has attracted significant attention from thought leaders (in 2011, Time Magazine crowned it one of ten ideas that will change the world), venture capital (Uber recently received $258M in funding from Google Ventures, and a recent round of financing for Airbnb would value it above $10B), the media, and, most recently, Congress. Nevertheless, regulatory mechanisms have not kept pace.
Always looking for a competitive edge, companies have begun to crowdsource using the collaborative power of the internet. Crowdsourcing is all about taping into the power of your consumers, acknowledging that many customers interested in an organization or a company are also going to be extremely knowledgeable about your products. Crowdsourcing also gives companies the opportunity to test products before they hit the mass market. From designing their own t-shirts, to measuring craters on Mars for NASA, this ability to harness our collective talents all over the world is one of the most powerful tool to bring about social change.
Don't miss new Big Think videos! Subscribe by clicking here: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5 Economic theorist and author Jeremy Rifkin explains his concept of The Int...
In 1970, when Earth Day began, business was the enemy. The previous year, a blowout in a Union Oil platform had dumped more than 80,000 barrels of black stuff into the Santa Barbara Channel. Students and activists loudly protested pollution from factories and power plants. Today, business often is still the enemy. But it is sometimes a force for good--or at least a mouthpiece for good, as evidenced by the nearly 2,000 titles in Amazon's "Green Business" category. The best of these books combine concrete practices and provocative proposals with personal vision and a sense of urgency. Most argue that it makes good business sense to be a responsible citizen of our blue marble.
Michel Bauwens, Founder of the P2P Foundation, has recorded four short videos describing the FLOK Society’s pioneering research project in Ecuador. FLOK stands for “Free, Libre, Open Knowledge,” and the FLOK Society is a government-sponsored project to imagine how Ecuador might make a strategic transition to a workable post-capitalist knowledge economy. As Research Director of the project, Michel and his team are exploring the practical challenges of making commons-based peer production a widespread, feasible reality as a matter of national policy and law.
JoatU is a transitional application that allows us to smoothly transition into a post-capitalist, heavily (and happily) unemployed world. There may be fewer jobs, but that isn’t to say there isn’t work. We are trading financial capital for social capital (Jeremy Rifkin) and JoatU allows us to begin measuring and rewarding the people who work hardest for our communities. No longer is a good deed just its own reward. You get a reward on top of that! And if you don’t think you ought to receive such a reward? Pass it along to someone else as a gift!
Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) talks to David Harvey about capitalism, crisis and social movements.
Across the nation, so-called “peer production businesses” have become a common feature of the urban landscape, and cities are scrambling to figure out how to tax and regulate them. From the short-term housing provided through services such as Airbnb and Breather to Lyft and Sidecar’s “ridesharing” services, new companies founded on elegant new business models are disrupting some of the most highly regulated and highly taxed companies in American cities.
Everyone could use a little more money at Christmas. In Vancouver, a new firm is offering people the chance to make some by making local deliveries on their way to work, or elsewhere. They're dropping off anything from gift baskets to water bottles to chocolates - and they're all part of the new, shared economy.
If you go looking for any info about “teens” and “social media,” you’ll likely find a collection of alarmism and guesswork that will make your head spin. Luckily, there’s now a book that isn’t just well researched, but insightful, accessible and makes no attempt to box away your concerns with easy answers.
Deborah Quazzo: I think the school of the future needs to prepare students to have an appreciation for computer coding as just another language and as an extension of logic. In addition, critical thinking/Socratic learning and project based/peer learning are key elements that help develop independent thinking and presentation skills. Core writing capabilities need to complement all of this. It's about fluency in new languages of technology, being able to articulate verbally and in writing, and working well in collaborative teams.
"Water has always been considered either a public good (in most cases) or a private one when it is appropriated to generate economic value, for instance in bottled water. Only at very local scales, water users communities have created institutions that manage water as a common pool resource as has been extensively documented by the work of Elinor Ostrom. The basic problem with water is that it is, by nature, a multi-scale resource: water is used for many purposes and managed at many different levels (local, regional, national, international). It is also multidimensional, its management requires dealing with social, economic, hydrological and climatic data, which is difficult to collect and usually not shared and coordinated among different institutions and scales.
Today we are delighted to launch a project that has long been in the making. We have called the project Ciudad Escuela and have rather ambitiously dubbed it the first open-source urban pedagogy in the world. It is the outcome of a most fruitful and exciting collaboration with Domenico di Siena, Alfonso Sánchez Uzábal,Basurama and Zuloark.