Links on Knitting, Emacs, Free Software, Cultural Studies, and the Future of Media

I have an absurd number of tabs open, and I'd like to present some interesting reading that I've had on my plate for a while. Nothing incredibly current, but all of it's good stuff. For your consideration:

  • Interlaced Knitting Chart from Kim Salazar who is a master knitter/crafter. I've enjoyed her blog for years, and I keep coming back to this pattern and I'm interested in figuring out how to integrate it best into the project I'm thinking of working on next/soon.
  • This Thread about Package Management in Emacs, which is an incredibly essoteric subject, but I think it's a useful conversation, and I think something that will--if its implemented--make emacs even more awesome, and make it easy to spin off specialized instances of "emacs distributions," which I think will help emacs be more helpful to more people. I'd like multi-threaded support though.
  • I've had this article about Open Source Business Models open in my browser for weeks, and my mind boggles at it. I tend to think that Free Software and Open Source have pretty much the same business models as all software businesses. There are companies that make money on licencing free software (i.e. Red Hat, Novell), there are a bunch of companies that provide services and custom development around open source software (too numerous to cite,) and there are scads of companies that have businesses offering services that are enabled by open source software (i.e. every Internet company, but Amazon is a great example of this.) So I'm not really sure how to respond to this. But it's there, and now I'm closing that tab.
  • Open Source: The War is Over or so one blogger thinks. I actually think there's some truth to the idea that proprietary software is mostly a failed project, and most people realize that--moving forward--open source methods and practices are ideal for technology. But I think "winning the argument and beginning to move toward open source," and "the war being over," are two different things. Furthermore, I'm not sure I'm comfortable equating "enterprise adoption of open source," as the singular marker of success for Open Source (let alone Free Software).
  • Michael Berube on Cultural Studies in the Chronicle
  • I guess it's hard to really take me out of the academy. I'm a huge geek for this kind of stuff still. I guess my thoughts are:
    1. Michael Berube might be a great blogger, and I think the thigns he's thinking about in this peice are quire useful and worthwhile, but as a piece of writing, this article is too short to really get into a lot of depth about anything, and too long to be easily read
    2. American Academic Marxism is a mostly failed project, and I think the "inter-discipline" of Cultural studies has been a poor steward of said.
    3. While Cultural Studies is a liberating interdisciplinary proposition, it's pretty unbalanced (English+Sociology) and I think a bit more economics and anthropology would be helpful. Berube is on the right side of this argument but I think he's too kind to CS on this point.
  • Gina Trapani's Smarterware got a new look and it's both amazing and I think points out the importance of leaving design to the professionals. Good stuff.
  • Against Micropayments and the Media Industry Interesting post, that gets it right. The future of media and publishing of all forms is something that I think about more than a little bit. If people are ever going to pay for content again, it's going to have to be tied into the way that people pay for connectivity, which is also a non-scarce resource, but one that we've grown used to paying for. There's some unpacking and investigating to be done here, for sure.
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