An unlikely group of social innovators: The Amish

Planet Money has a gem of a story on ‘the Business Secrets Of The Amish‘. The story zooms in on how the Amish, who have made their living through small plot farming for centuries, have adapted to an environment that does not allow for this lifestyle anymore: What you see in this hall is the transformation of Amish culture. Up until certainly the 1970s the vast vast majority of amish men were farmers. They lived at home, typical plot size would have been about a 130 acres, which is enough for a f…

Flying dutchman

On a recent trip to Mexico city (to attend a Creative Commons LatAm meeting) while we were waiting to be cleared for take-off, i overheard my neighbour in seat 21C (one of the best economy class seats on this type of plane, that is usually occupied by frequent flyers) talking on the phone to his family at home. Somewhat surprisingly he expressed astonishment about the size of the plane (‘there is a staircase next to me’) and curiosity about how he would handle a flight this long (12.5 hrs). Whil…

Using Creative Commons as a fig leaf

I have always had an unspecified strange feeling about Tribe of Noise. Tribe of Noise is an Amsterdam-based online music platform that allows musicians to upload and share their work as long as they agree to make it available under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license (CC-BY-SA). Simply put this license allows everybody to redistribute the songs on the platform, make remixes of them and redistribute these remixes under the same licensing terms. In all cases credit needs to be given…

Pirates vs ship-owners

Last friday’s edition (‘three baby camels‘) of the NPR planet money podcast contains a wonderful nugget about the economical aspects of how to determine the amount of ransom money that is to be paid to somalian pirates in order to get a hijacked ship back. The story is based on the negotiations a Danish shipping executive (Per Gullestrup) conducted with someone representing a gang of Somalian pirates (Mr. Ali). The problem both parties are facing is that there are no other buyers or sellers for…

Ups and Downs in english

The English translation of the Ups and Downs report on the Economic and cultural effects of file sharing on music, film and games is out [thanks Natali!]. You can download the 130 page report written by a research consortium formed by TNO, SEO & IvIR on the IVIR website [pdf]. I have mentioned the report (commissioned by the ministry of Economic Affairs, the Justice Department and the ministry of Education Culture and Science here before [first thoughts, popular science edition] and as far a…

The socio-economic impact of file sharing [popular science edition]

I just finished reading ‘Ups and Downs – the economic and cultural impact of file sharing for music, film and games’ (see my earlier post for context). All in all the full version does not contain a lot of surprises when compared to the executive summary (which my first post was based on): It is a well written report that, although it makes a lot of sense to someone familiar with the subject, does not really come up with much new insights either. The strength of the report is that it places file…

Why trying to become a guitar hero is bad for the music industry but good for the economy

Early last year the Dutch government (the ministry for Economic Affairs, the Justice Department and the ministry for Education Culture and Science to be precise) commissioned a research report on the socio economical aspects of (peer 2 peer) file sharing. Last week the research consortium formed by TNO, SEO & IvIR published the final version of the report titled ‘Ups and Downs – the economic and cultural impact of file sharing for music, film and games’. This 141 page report looks into the e…

Yay! a new bookstore....

I had a bit of a bad feeling when opening a package from amazon.co.uk on the day when i saw a sign in the window of my corner bookstore that announced that they would close within a month. The place has been empty for a while but since this summer there has been some activity inside which today has culminated in the opening of a new book store: INKT & OLIE Lets hope that i and others will value this place more than amazon. so far it looks like they are doing everything they can to make this…

From the comments (i am not a audio equipment salesperson)

Apparently there is a number of confused people reading this blog and checking my flicker account (or it some clever new form of comment spam that i am failing to understand). in any case these people seem to be (a) interested in audio equipment and (b) confusing me with the persons pictured in photos i have taken: Two weeks ago a certain Williams Robert from ‘Ghana West African’ left the following comment on a post containing this picture: Sir, Please let us know if you have any of these models…