[-empyre-] creating environmental conditions / creating teleological perspectives

Michael MacDonald halfsharpmusic at yahoo.ca
Mon Apr 5 04:51:22 EST 2010

"Disclaimer: I'm not being metaphorical. I don't immediately see how this
would work when dealing with creative material other than code."

Greetings to all from western Canada where I've been lurking while writing my dissertation of the industrialization of folk music and the development of the folk music industry into a non-centralized community based model of art commodity exchange. 

All that to chime in on marloes last post. 

I've been struggling with a model to address the application of commodity exchange to music cultures in different parts of the world which does not fall into the trap of linearity and all of the hierarchy that it implies. 

It seems, on first blush, that this approach to coding (forking) could be a useful metaphor. 

Has anyone attempted this? Applying coding (as metaphor) to economics? 


 Michael B. MacDonald 

University of Alberta 
Music Department 
PhD Candidate 
Website/Teaching/Podcast : 
Dissertation: http://westfolk.ca/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/halfsharpmusic

From: "marloes at goto10.org" <marloes at goto10.org>
To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
Sent: Sat, April 3, 2010 1:59:32 PM
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] creating environmental conditions / creating teleological perspectives

>>Peer to peer, decentralised ways of working together, where it is not
>>the rule to always feed your output back into a central repository,
>>where you can fork. (Marloes de Valk)
> Forking seems to be a most sensate horizon to limit a more fluid
> topology of manufacture, as it means the complete detachment from a
> series of iterations, equating a whole chain of development to a kind
> of prototype of a new series � though not a failed prototype,
just an
> inappropriate one. It is as if we were able to set not only the pace
> of production, but also of history. Maybe it is precisely this
> possibility of abandoning old rhythms and inaugurating new ones that
> enables people to be free from the localized roles (such as
> �prosumer�). However, this makes me wonder if forking
assures the
> emergence of new methods, or if it only represents a reorganization of
> political roles and the ownership/ responsibilities over a shared
> structure � or, in any case, what is preponderant in the
definition of
> new design cycles and their long-term perspectives.

Maybe I need to clarify. It seems you are referring to forking in the
traditional sense, when a development of a software project is split in
two, causing a split in the community of developers and users and in many
cases (but definitely not all) a destructive act. What I was referring to
is a constructive forking of code, as a result of the use of distributed
version control systems such as git, bazaar, darcs or mercurial. These
repositories let go of the centralized system where you check out a copy
and keep committing and updating to and from _the_ central copy. In the
decentralised repos you clone/fork an initial repository and you can push
your changes to some, pull from others, but you commit your changes to a
local copy. This is a very productive way of working, and not inappropriate
at all. It gives developers much more freedom to experiment and makes
collaborating easier and more flexible (you can have 100 developers working
on clones/forks of 1 project, but not everyone has to take over everyone
else's changes).

When looking at platforms such as Github, you can see another change, a
massive increase in skilled programmers (compared to 10 years ago), and a
practical attitude (that could be mistaken for a political one). If you
need software, there are similar projects but not quite what you were
looking for, you fork it, make customisations and that is it.

It's prototyping on a large and very flexible scale, initial code can spark
hundreds of forks that can generate changes in the prototype but can also
stay isolated and local.

Disclaimer: I'm not being metaphorical. I don't immediately see how this
would work when dealing with creative material other than code.


empyre forum
empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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