It's not very often that I read something that I think ought to be shared with the world. Even if "sharing" only means spreading to the <100 people per day that come here. This book...or perhaps "novella", is one of the few.
The author is Cory Doctorow, known to most nerds as one of the few authors who releases texts under a liberal license, and makes payment optional.
The other author that releases under that type of license (that I know of) is Charles Stross. I'm currently reading "Accelerando" for my UWO English class.
Oops, I'm getting side-tracked.
Cory. We read his story before Accelerando, and for a novella, "The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" it was pretty fantastic. And I don't mean 'unicorns and wizards' fantastic. I mean 'lol' and 'omfg' fantastic. I find Cory's ability to make me empathize with his characters is second to none. The only other authors who write like that (imho) are Orsen Scott Card (Ender's Game) and Timothy Findley (A Prayer for Owen Meany).
I first came across Cory Doctorow's work in about 2005 when I read "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom", which was also released for free on the internet. That was when I was just beginning to dig deep in to the philosophy of FOSS, and an authors like Cory stood out in contrast to the commercialized literature that was available.
Can you imagine walking in to a store, and having the proprietor say "take what you'd like, and pay me what you can"? That is essentially what Cory and a few others are beginning to do, and they seem to be succeding. Does this mean that what he and (few) others promulgate could possibly be true?
Could it be possible that humanity is "good" enough to allow an artist to thrive without the intervention of the legal system? Is there enough tradable value in lax monetization? Only time will tell. If the quality of Cory's work is any indication, not withstanding the fact that he hasn't yet starved to death, I think he might just be on to something.
What do you think? Would we be better off without a media empire telling us what is "hot" this week?