“Users”

Michael Caulfield, Hapgood, Jan 27, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Mike Caulfield writes a challenging paper on some of the debate that has swirled around recently on the relative values of 'making' and 'using'. As I read I found myself agreeing here, disagreeing there, seeing myself in one sentence, seeing someone else in another. "What would happen if we got over our love affair with creators? What would happen if we collapsed the distinction between maker and taker, consumer and producer, not by 'moving people from consumption to production', but by eliminating the distinction? What if we saw careful curation of material as better than unconsidered personal expression?" I don't know. If nobody creates, nothing gets built, and that's a bad thing. But if nobody criticizes, the wrong things get built, and that's also bad. And if nobody uses, then there was no point to building in the first lace, which is also bad. But you know, the more I think about it, the more I think the whole language of value is wrong here. The whole debate got started by some people saying some things, and some types of people, are valued more than others. And I think that's the wrong place to be.

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