Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Lawrence Lessig, as is well known, has shifted his interest from copyright to corruption. Fair enough; corruption is a serious issue. He announces today that he will be working at Harvard instead of Stanford because Harvard is willing to offer him more resources. Also fair enough. But, you know, it shows how easily commercial considerations slide into even the most noble of ventures.

Seth Finklestein channels himself in the comments. I offer some of his advice here: "If you really want to do anything significant about corruption besides being sucked into the machinery of converting public disaffection into private profit, stay away from the bubble of privilege where everyone is backscratching everyone else in the service of business deals.

"There, 'community' means audience eventually to be sold to a media conglomerate or rented out for fundraising. Instead, talk to union organisers, or lawyers who represent poor defendants, or academics who've studied social movements. Don't listen to anyone who has a book to hype, a conference speaking career, or most importantly, any involvement with start-up companies trying to get bought. Because what they sell is YOU."

Oh, hey, all of that applies to our business as well.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 06:36 a.m.