• Links and Stuff

    Well, the time has come for me to provide some links for the various stuff you’ll need to prepare for this semester.

    The first half of semester is especially intense. You’ll be reading a lot, so you need to get on top of the reading as soon as possible. The two books we’ll examine before midterm exams are the following:

    • The Hacker Crackdown coverThe Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier, by Bruce Sterling, is available in many formats (including PDF, RTF, Mobipocket, and other file formats — maybe even one compatiable with your phone?) at Manybooks.net.

      If you’re getting together and printing a bunch of copies at a 복사 shop, I recommend using the RTF format, because there are some mistakes in the version available in PDF format.Also, if you are interested in the audiobook version, popular science fiction author Cory Doctorow (who is also one of the most famous bloggers in the world) has narrated the whole book and you can get it for free here (in both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis audio file formats.)Finally, as I noted, there was a Korean translation of this book publishedseveral years ago. I’ve never seen it, but Sterling has mentioned it at least once in an email to me. If you can find a copy, you might pick it up so that you can read through it in Korean first. However, I strongly recommend that if you do read it in Korean first, follow up with reading it in English, so that you have the vocabulary to follow and participate in our class discussions.

    • Lessig's Free Culture coverFree Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity by Lawrence Lessig.

      This book is also available at Manybooks.net in a wide variety of formats. You can download the MP3 by bittorrent or from one of these two audiobook versions (version 1, version 2). If you’re printing up copies at a 복사 shop, I recommend using the PDF version available at the book’s promotional site.You may also find this useful: it’s a flash slideshow/narration version of the lecture on which the book was based. In it, Lessig explains some of the ideas of the book very clearly and simply, with great illustrations. It’s not a replacement for reading the book, but it might give you a better idea what the man is writing about if you view the slideshow first.

    Finally, I’ll mention the name of the book you’ll be buying for this class: it’s actually a 2-volume set of the omnibus editions of the graphic novel Love as a Foreign Language, by J. Torres and Eric Kim. The story is about an intercultural romance in Seoul, and it’s interesting, odd, and will be a good break from the heavy reading of the first half of the semester. The comic books will be in the bookstore sometime in the next few weeks. Here’s a copy of the cover of each volume:

    Love as a Common Language Omnibus Edition, Volume 1 coverLove as a Common Language Omnibus Edition, Volume 2 cover

    I’ll let you know when these arrive at the bookstore. It should be a couple of weeks.

    Please note that unlike the two other books for the course, the Torres/Kim comics are not legally available online. At least one student has asked me whether he can photocopy or download these comics instead of buying them. The short answer is:

    No.

    These books were created by people who worked hard, and who have not decided to give their work away for free. When people do give their work away, as Bruce Sterling and Lawrence Lessig have done, that’s a wonderful thing. But when a creator decides not to do this, you should respect that choice and pay for their work. Otherwise, you’re not just stealing from them, but you’re also making it harder for them to keep working creatively.

    If you went to a restaurant and asked, “Do you have any food for free?” you would probably be kicked out. This is no different, except that it takes many more hours to write a book or illustrate a comic book than it takes to cook a meal.

    I know that copying textbooks is common in Korea, and that students expect it to be acceptable. I make every effort to find resources for you that are available online, for free, but will not tolerate illegal copying of books. If you come to class with an illegally copied book, I will ask you to leave, and not to come back until you have a legal copy. (If you want to understand why I will do this, you need to read the Lessig book all the way to the end. But just be warned: copying this comic book is not okay. Buy it, and be thankful the Sterling and the Lessig books are free.)

    However, remember: it’s completely legal to copy the Sterling and the Lessig books linked above. Copy them as much as you like! As long as you’re not selling your copies for a profit, you’re following the law!

    Anyway, for now, go ahead and start reading the introductory material and first section of The Hacker Crackdown.

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