Where do people find the time [for free culture]?

Bogdan Bivolaru bogdan.bivolaru at gmail.com
Thu May 1 07:54:29 UTC 2008

Video: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/010186.html
(via Wade Olson, http://wadejolson.wordpress.com/)

" [...] I was having dinner with a group of friends about a month ago, 
and one of them was talking about sitting with his four-year-old 
daughter watching a DVD. And in the middle of the movie, apropos 
nothing, she jumps up off the couch and runs around behind the screen. 
That seems like a cute moment. Maybe she's going back there to see if 
Dora is really back there or whatever. But that wasn't what she was 
doing. She started rooting around in the cables. And her dad said, "What 
you doing?" And she stuck her head out from behind the screen and said, 
"Looking for the mouse."

Here's something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a 
mouse ships broken. Here's something four-year-olds know: Media that's 
targeted at you but doesn't include you may not be worth sitting still 
for. Those are things that make me believe that this is a one-way 
change. Because four year olds, the people who are soaking most deeply 
in the current environment, who won't have to go through the trauma that 
I have to go through of trying to unlearn a childhood spent watching 
/Gilligan's Island/, they just assume that media includes consuming, 
producing and sharing.

It's also become my motto, when people ask me what we're doing--and when 
I say "we" I mean the larger society trying to figure out how to deploy 
this cognitive surplus, but I also mean we, especially, the people in 
this room, the people who are working hammer and tongs at figuring out 
the next good idea. From now on, that's what I'm going to tell them: 
We're looking for the mouse. We're going to look at every place that a 
reader or a listener or a viewer or a user has been locked out, has been 
served up passive or a fixed or a canned experience, and ask ourselves, 
"If we carve out a little bit of the cognitive surplus and deploy it 
here, could we make a good thing happen?" And I'm betting the answer is 

People are starting to realise what freedom is... What free, 
collaborative (participatory) culture is.

Free software juggernauts are advancing full speed ahead... But there is 
still a long and hard battle ahead of us.


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