Makers

29 10 2009

Cory DoctorowFor those that don’t know, I love the fiction that Cory Doctorow writes and he has a brand new book out today! Woo!

I wasn’t able to make the signing, but I did the next best thing; downloaded a copy of the book.

Before you gasp in shock, be assured that I have done this legally with the author’s consent. You see Mr. Doctorow is an awesome guy and a copyfighter, he releases books under a Creative Commons US Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license so I can read this book, remix it and do awesome things like tell you to go read it here now!

Now this might not make a lot of sense, but hear me out. I’m about a third of the way though this book, but I’ve only downloaded a txt file of it. Instead of buying a physical copy for myself, I’ve donated a copy to the Institute of Technology Carlow. Now you see, Mr. Doctorow’s book will be read by at least two people. If you read it now like you should then that’s three. If the hard copy gets passed around the Institute of Technology, that’s a shed load more. If just a few of those people buy a book for themselves or a friend then the system has worked. That’s marketing and sales all in one.

I’ll leave you with my favourite passage from the book so far:

“They need the tools to make any other tools,” is what Perry said when he returned from the hospital, the side of his head still swaddled in bandages that draped over his injured eye. They’d shaved his head at his insistence, saying that he wasn’t going to try to keep his hair clean with all the bandages. It made him look younger, and his fine skull-bones stood out through his thin scalp when he finally came home. Before he’d looked like a outdoorsman engineer: now he looked like a radical, a pirate.

“They need the tools that will let them build anything else, for free, and use it or sell it.” He gestured at the rapid prototyping machines they had, the three-dee printer and scanner setups. “I mean something like that, but I want it to be capable of printing out the parts necessary to assemble another one. Machines that can reproduce themselves.”

Francis shifted in his seat. “What are they supposed to do with those?”

“Everything,” Perry said, his eye glinting. “Make your kitchen fixtures. Make your shoes and hat. Make your kids’ toys — if it’s in the stores, it should be a downloadable too. Make toolchests and tools. Make it and build it and sell it. Make other printers and sell them. Make machines that make the goop we feed into the printers. Teach a man to fish, Francis, teach a man to fucking *fish*. No top-down ‘solutions’ driven by ‘market research’” — his finger-quotes oozed sarcasm — “the thing that we need to do is make these people the authors of their own destiny.”

Photo by eschipul

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Thursday, October 29th, 2009 Neil

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