The Toomey Challenge

At the Duke Public Domain conference, Jennifer
Toomey from the Future of Music Coalition
challenged the many academics present to take their best work and turn it into two sides of
A4, so that activists could actually digest it. Needless to say, that isn’t happening any time soon,
since academics have better things to do with their time.

Activists, however, can take up the challenge and that’s what I propose to do: create a
2 A4 page precis of all the good papers out there on the digital environment.

Here’s how she put it:

There are many ways to lock people out of systems.
We’ve talked about technical ones; we’ve talked about money.
Information is a way that people are locked out of a system.

(I really appreciate what you said about getting it right; musicians
do this all the time; you don’t know how many times we write a song
that maybe no-one else will hear, maybe one we won’t even play for
someone, but we’re getting it right for ourselves and there’s a value
in that)

That said, I would put a challenge to all the academics here, within
the next year, to take the most important information [that they’ve
produced], their favourite paper, whatever they’re most proud of, and
translate it into something that’s two pages long, and make it
available maybe through your site, maybe through ours.

Because we need more ramps.

That’s an open challenge to create the ramps that’ll bring more people
who aren’t in this area up to speed.

If you could bear reading this far, you should follow me on Twitter:

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