Tuesday Apr 03, 2007

Political Economy of Open Source Communities

Lots of people have said lots of things about open source communities.

Among the books I have seen on shelves and articles in books and online, I've been wanting to read Steven Weber's 2004 book The Success of Open Source but time has never allowed.

Finally, I've been able to start and finish the first 15 pages of Weber's book, and I can tell you that it has all the right elements and sources for its analysis of the political economy of open source communities. Mancur Olson's work, transaction cost economists', Chester Barnard's and others' are weaved together beautifully in those pages.

I look forward to reading more of it as time allows, and I'll be quoting from Weber, here.

Friday Jan 26, 2007

Payvand

Payvand, a Silicon Valley Persian community web site, has published a summary of "Answering the Charges Against Iran: Dispelling the Demonising Myths" report by U.K.'s Campaign Iran. You will need to scroll down through Payvand's introduction to see the list of charges and the summary debunks.

Another article on a roughly similar topic has been written by Edward Herman and David Peterson for Z Magazine. The latter article contains some misunderstandings regarding the social make-up of Iran although it does expose some of the other demonizing myths propagated by the mainstream mass media. In their article, Herman and Peterson have included a scholarly exposé, complete with references, of the realities hiding behind the rhetoric against Iran including those of the Democratic party leaders.

Less tersely, you can partake of a youthful skier's visit to Iran on YouTube. (It was the first video listed under Iran on YouTube.) You need to be patient through the introduction but I think recreational skier Jasin Nazim has done a much better job of reporting than many other professional journalists who have visited the country. I certainly learned quite a lot from the video. It motivates me to ski the same mountains!

 

Wednesday Jan 10, 2007

Modern Diplomacy

The "gunboat diplomacy" which was a constant feature of British Empire's 19th and 20th century dealings with Persia has been picked up for a dreamy revival by the new empire -- a dream that this time may prove ready to turn into a real nightmare! Other perspectives seeing recent developments in the U.S. occupation of Iraq can be found here, here, here and here. President Bush's speech can be found here. (Unfortunately, the latter speech blames others for the problems caused directly by the occupation and the consequent and gradual destruction of Iraq's civil society. It seems that Iraq must bleed more before it is left to its own account: "We must expect more American and Iraqi casualties"!) Financial Time's editorial about the same, can be found here. The Washington Post reports the story and some poll results here and elsewhere in an editorial. Unfortunately, the editorial, while advocating some pragmatism, accepts some of the fiction told earlier repeating several false mantras when it comes to the region.

The WP also carries Zbigniew Brzezinski's column analyzing the president's speech. Of the old guard of U.S. diplomacy, he has the keenest view of the trends in the region. He observes: "America is acting like a colonial power in Iraq. But the age of colonialism is over. Waging a colonial war in the post-colonial age is self-defeating. That is the fatal flaw of Bush's policy." [Some have produced evidence that Brzenzinski, who served in President Carter's administration, was the American diplomat who gave the green light to Saddam to attack Iran when Iran had disbanded its military after the revolution and the hostage crisis. See for example, Noam Chomsky's Towards a New Cold War: Essays on the Current Crisis and How We Got There (1982 edition). So, Brzezinski is no dove.]

Thursday Jan 04, 2007

President on YouTube

Jeff Pulver asks some questions regarding Senator John Edward's candidacy announcement on YouTube.

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