Thoughts on My Research to Close Out the Year

“If you copy from one author, it’s plagiarism, but if you copy from many, it’s research.” — Wilson Mizner

Friends, I’ve been working on writing a book, and I’d like your insight. For the last several years, I’ve been compiling and constructing a vast library of materials on a range of interrelated subjects. These include but are not limited to the following: 

Privacy Rights, Copyright Reform, Copyleft, Open-Source, Creative Commons, Consumer Culture, Propaganda, Social Engineering, Gift Economics, various forms of Anarchism, Digital Abundance, Kopimism, the Access to Knowledge Movement, Mutual Aid, the Moral Economy, Antimarketism, the Free Culture Movement, Open Culture and Remix Culture, the Open Content Project, Free Music Philosophy, File-Sharing (a consumer gift system), Post-scarcity Economics / Digital Abundance, the Information Society / Knowledge Economy, Digital Rights, Crypto-Anarchism / Cypherpunks, as well as Mass-Surveillance and its Impacts on Journalism. 

I’ve constructed a library of several hundred books, essays, documentary films, articles, periodicals, and other resources, and then organized the content with a network of spreadsheets, folder systems, and a notebook of rich-formatted documents linking directly to all content cited in my archive. My organizational strategies have proven useful to aid me in navigating the material. 

I’ve employed a master spreadsheet to track which content I have in physical or digital formats, which ones I’ve consumed and which I have yet to explore, and I’ve used Google Books to dynamically extract critical content I’ve highlighted from those texts into a series of documents with cited excerpts for future reference. I endeavored to secure digital counterparts for all physical materials where available to facilitate content extraction and to automate progress tracking.

This research is supplemental to the work I perform managing my own media library. During the pandemic I produced a media workbook on the cloud comprising over 200 spreadsheets dynamically organizing over 26,000 of my favorite albums and published a year-end survey of metrics from 13,000 albums representing the top 1% of the artists in my archive. Perhaps I can incorporate some of those infographics and analytics into related areas of my research on the aforementioned topics and themes.

Early on in the project, I found myself disheartened that the majority of the published material on these subjects trailed off after the first decade of the new millennium, with little content examining the critical new era where streaming digital media has become the norm. Perhaps to that end I might be the one to write a book to fill that void. I just fear that my efforts as a cultural custodian are rendered moot in this age of on-demand content and that there will be no one left with any interest in my work. There are also the socio-political aspects of the subject matter which might be unwise to publish and associate with my name, so I’ve considered employing a nom de plume. I’d appreciate the insight and perspectives of my readers regarding these considerations. Is this content still relevant? Is it safe? Is there an audience who might find my work to be of merit?

I’ll continue to curate and refine my notes on these materials in the years ahead. It’ll be an engaging and enlightening journey.

Published in: on December 5, 2021 at 7:51 am  Leave a Comment  

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