Two bits : the cultural significance of free software / Christopher M. Kelty.Material type: TextSeries: JSTOR eBooksExperimental futures: Publisher: Durham : Duke University Press, 2008Description: 1 online resource (xvi, 378 pages)Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780822389002; 0822389002; 1283022753; 9781283022750; 9786613022752; 6613022756; 0822342421; 9780822342427Subject(s): Information society | Open source software -- Social aspects | COMPUTERS -- Information Technology | Information society | Open Source | Informationsgesellschaft | SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / CulturalGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: No titleDDC classification: 303.48/33 LOC classification: HM851 | K45 2008Other classification: LC 13000 | SR 850 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
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|Electronic Book||UT Tyler Online Online||HM851 K45 2008 (Browse shelf)||https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctv1198vx9||Available||ocn232639474|
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Part I. The Internet. Geeks and recursive publics. Protestant reformers, polymaths, transhumanists -- Part II. Free software. The movement. Sharing source code. Conceiving open systems. Writing copyright licenses. Coordinating collaborations -- Part III. Modulations. "If we succeed, we will disappear" Reuse, modification, and the nonexistence of norms. Conclusion: the cultural consequences of free software.
In Two Bits, Christopher M. Kelty investigates the history and cultural significance of Free Software, revealing the people and practices that have transformed not only software but also music, film, science, and education. Free Software is a set of practices devoted to the collaborative creation of software source code that is made openly and freely available through an unconventional use of copyright law. Kelty explains how these specific practices have reoriented the relations of power around the creation, dissemination, and authorization of all kinds of knowledge. He also makes an important contribution to discussions of public spheres and social imaginaries by demonstrating how Free Software is a "recursive public"--A public organized around the ability to build, modify, and maintain the very infrastructure that gives it life in the first place.
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Reviews provided by Syndetics
CHOICE ReviewArguably, this superb ethnography, conducted face to face and in Internet space, of the geeks (an endearing and not pejorative term) and groups who created free software is simultaneously the best anthropology monograph and the most important book on information technology of the year, if not the decade. It is probably the best history of the development of free software, from GNU/LINUX to Apache and Mozilla, yet written. Kelty (anthropology, Rice Univ.) casts the individuals, groups, and technology that comprise free software in the context of a "recursive public": a public open to all that has "built-in leveling mechanisms" that prevent any individual or faction from seizing power and hijacking the group and its fund of knowledge. This recursive public, which constantly makes and remakes itself, its moral framework, its position in the wider legal structure, and the technology (the Internet) that brought it into being and sustains it, expands to include other knowledges and includes the Connexions project and the Creative Commons, each of which is enabled by the Internet, but neither of which is a software project. True to its origins, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License and is available on the Web (http://twobits.net ). Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. C. S. Peebles Indiana University-Bloomington
Author notes provided by Syndetics
Christopher M. Kelty is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Rice University.