Tag Archives: Alternative Economy

Looking for accomodation in Pittsburgh and for travel support

A paper of mine got accepted for the AAAI conference (see previous post). So I need (1) to go to Pittsburgh on July 9, 2005, (2) to find an accomodation in Pittsburgh from July 9 to July 13, 2005, and (3) to pay for conference registration. Since my institute is not sailing in the gold (this is probably not an English expression, it is an Italian one, “non sta navigando nell’oro” and i liked to write it here), I’m going to ask you if you can help in some way.
I tried to enroll for the Student Scholar and Volunteer Program, some volunteering and being a student can maybe help with (1) and (3), however if you know of any grant for students for travelling from Italy to USA for example, please let me know. About (2), I’m going to check on couchsurfing and on hospitalityclub. However if you live in Pittsburg and are dying of wish to host me (again it is an Italian expression “muori dalla voglia di…”), let me know. I’ll be happy to be hosted … and I promise I’ll not use Italianish expressions ;-)
UPDATE: i got a suggestion to put here a PayPal button, at first I thought it was a unreasonable suggestion but then “hey maybe it can work”. Just 2 notable examples: Kottke becomed a full-time blogger and the authors of the randomly generated paper accepted for conference will give a random-presentation thanks to received donations.
So, before I spend time (sort of money, no?) in setting up a PayPal account, would you donate? … Never thought I could write something like this. The Web is an expected socially created strange creature, isn’t it?

“Serpica naro” is “San Precario”

san_precario.jpgThis is pure genius! News from Repubblica.it (in Italian).
Serpica Naro, young anglojapanese artist and fashion-maker, was supposed to close the Milano fashion week (Settimana Della Moda) today. BUT (suspence …) Serpica Naro does not exist!
The organizers were fouled by the creative Italian collective Chainworkers. Serpica Naro is in fact an acronym of San Precario (depicted in picture), the newest of a long list of saints but this time with a reason.
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Capitalism-enthusiasts should go for Open Source

The Emerging Economic Paradigm of Open Source by Bruce Perens: recommended! Open source and capitalism are really more similar than what you think.
It’s not immediately obvious how Open Source[1] works economically. Probably the worst consequence of this lack of understanding is that many people don’t understand how Open Source could be economically sustainable, and some may even feel that its potential negative effect upon the proprietary software industry is an overall economic detriment. Fortunately, if you look more deeply into the economic function of software in general, it’s easy to establish that Open Source is both sustainable and of tremendous benefit to the overall economy.
Open Source can be explained entirely within the context of conventional open-market economics. Indeed, it turns out that it has much stronger ties to the phenomenon of capitalism than you may have appreciated.

My first couchsurfing host

During past week I hosted in my house a russian girl I didn’t know before. Why? She asked hospitality through CouchSurfing. I subscribed few months ago to CouchSurfing when I was looking for free hosting in Cyprus. In the meantime I also arranged to find hospitality in Paris. And of course I was very happy to host her (Anna is her name and here is her couchsurfing profile). Feel free to contact me if you pass near Trento, Italy (here is my CouchSurfing profile and it should be easy to find my email address around).
And as an example of how much information you leave behind yourself surfing the web, here you can see a map of places Anna has logged in from.
One evening she asked me to use Internet and I saw she was typing livejournal.com, and yes, she has a blog, though it is in Russian and I cannot understand it.
[CouchSurfing can be interesting also from a research point of view, see much below in the following text]
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Ubuntu and Stallman

Today I received a package from Ubuntu. It contains 50 cardboard folders containing both an UbuntuLinux Install CD and an UbuntuLinux LiveCD. And Ubuntu sends it for free. This is very timely since there will be Stallman (father of GNU and Free Software Foundation, the one who started it all) in Trento on February 28, 2005 and the intention is to give away hundreds of CDs with free software (ubuntu GNU/Linux, mandrake Linux, but also free software for Windows such as theopencd and gnuwin2) and creative-commons-licenced music. Most people still don’t understand that copying and giving away free software is totally legal, actually it is what people creating that software want you to do! Anyway, I want to thank Ubuntu, to invite you to order some free Ubuntu CDs as well and, if you feel like, to donate to Ubuntu.

For billgates, Free Culture advocates are Commies

From BoingBoing, I come to know that billgates consider people that believe in free culture as communists. Such a comparison is so deeply wrong, I’m almost speechless. Free culture and communism are 2 completely different topics.
“There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don’t think that those incentives should exist.”
Anyway I had a small glimpe of what americans on average think about communists (should I say “they don’t think”?) when I was there for some months. I guess billgates’strategy is simple: call them communists, have your media broadcast the idea and let televisions-truths-swallowers get the concept and burn the communists.
Making fun of this nonsense sentence, some people have created wallpapers, t-shirts and other gadgets with this “creative commies” propaganda. Check some of them on BoingBoing.
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There IS an alternative!

SpreadFirefox team has chosen a key phrase I terribly like: “There is an alternative“. Actually, my preferred one is TIAAA (There Is Always An Alternative) as opposed to TINA (There Is No Alternative), often used by Thatcher and neoliberists in general to argue how capitalism is the only possible choice and you should be mad in trying to think and build something different. However this post is not about slogans but about the 2 full pages ad promoting Firefox in The New York Times (image). On the left page, the Firefox logo is built with all the names of the people who have contributed (PDF). Cool!

But nothing day

Buy Nothing Day Tomorrow, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26 2004 IS BUY NOTHING DAY.
“For 24 hours, millions of people around the world do not participate — in the doomsday economy, the marketing mind-games, and the frantic consumer-binge that’s become our culture. We pause. We make a small choice not to shop. We shrink our footprint and gain some calm. Together we say to Exxon, Nike, Coke and the rest: enough is enough. And we help build this movement to rethink our unsustainable course.”

And since it is almost time, I support the Buy nothing Christmas and the xmas resistance movement. If you know me, please buy nothing for me for Christmas but stop, relax and think. Thanks!

The Wired CD: Fight for your right to copy

The WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share.. First example of creative commons cd, I hope many will follow this bright example. You can listen to the songs streaming the related WebJay compilation (once there, just click on “play page”).
Songs are released under 2 creative commons licences:
Sampling Plus: Songs under this license allow noncommercial sharing and commercial sampling, but advertising uses are restricted.
Noncommercial Sampling Plus: Songs under this license allow noncommerical sharing and noncommercial sampling.

Buy Wired if you want the cd. The front cover says: “Fight for your right to copy”.
UPDATE: I started reading Wired and found this great article: We pledge allegiance to the penguin, and the intellectual property regime for which he stands. One nation, under Linux, with free music and open source software for all. Welcome to Brazil!. Every day I found one more reason to move to Brazil, when I’ll finish my PhD.