My summer reading plans veered off course in seconds flat—only a couple days after I posted them here, I checked out Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks from the library and thereafter have been happily submerged in its rich sea of ideas. So many elements of the book are proving provocative that I’ve had trouble adhering to my hopes of a weekly blog post, overwhelmed by too much to digest and repond to. Here’s a very meager and superficial start, which may or may not become part of a larger, more thorough essay in the long run.
As one who’s been swept up by the pro-openness/commons and anti-copyright-expansion rhetoric now in vogue in many liberal circles (see here and here and here), I’ve been jonesing on the “let’s begin at the beginning,” philosophically grounded, empirically argued approach of the Wealth of Networks. Especially exciting to me is the exploration of economic and political theory—realms of thought routinely ignored in the practical and scholarly literature I have been exposed to in my library and information science grad program and in my personal readings. Continue reading