I’m going to recap yesterday and today’s Creative Commons living, and recap the experiment as a whole, but first a little tangent:
It’s fitting that today’s excursion at the Salvation Army netted me The Pet Shop Boys singles anthology. The Pet Shop Boys are one of my guilty pleasures as I like their music but haven’t delved too deeply into their back-catalogue. I hadn’t charged my phone up the night before so instead of using my phone to listen to CC music we listened to WRCJ’s classical music, and on the way home I popped in The Pet Shop Boys. Track 5 of the anthology is the classic Pet Shop Boys song “It’s a Sin” which talks about Neil Tennant’s Catholic upbringing. There’s a Latin passage near the end of the song. From Wikipedia:
The Latin passage near the end translates as, “I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, act, and omission, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”.
Unless something has radically changed in Classical and New-Wave music to make most classical and Pet Shop Boys music Creative Commons Licensed, then I have a confession to make.
Much like the dieter sitting slumped against the refrigerator sobbing into a half-devoured ice cream container, I too have found myself wanting to listen to my non-CC music, and read my non-CC books.
There’s no rational reason for it. Putting a CC-license on the material doesn’t change the quality of the underlying material any more than dieting changing the flavor of the ice cream. It’s still the same excellent material regardless of licensing.
But the main difference; the tipping point if you will is telling myself I shouldn’t listen to, or read, or otherwise consume something that isn’t CC-licensed. It’s that point where I tell myself “you can’t have it” that flips a little bit in my brain that makes me resent the initial decision. I can’t just hit “random album” on my Squeezebox because I might come across a non-CC-licensed album. I can’t read The Healthy Programmer because it’s not CC-licensed (even though it’s been firmly on my mind). I shouldn’t be watching Youtube videos of bands that aren’t CC-licensed, but because it’s verboten I quietly turn off the tracking and hope nobody is paying attention.
In short, denial can make even the most noble cause turn into resentment, and can bring out the late-night ghoul in all of us.
I’m fortunate to be living in a world with the Creative Commons License providing the balance between artistic intentions and corporate desires. I thoroughly enjoy every second of the music I’ve listened to on Last.fm. But I think it would be impossible for me to live 100% in a Creative Commons world, and I’m grateful for choice. Sure I wish more artists would release their music under a Creative Commons license – ideally all media would fit under a CC-license. But there is much work to be done to get there, and though I enjoyed my diet of consuming mostly Creative Commons material, I’m looking forward to Sunday where I can just enjoy what I’m listening to and not worry about it’s license purity. I’ll continue to highlight and encourage artists who release under a Creative Commons license. And I will prefer to spend my money and my time with Creative Commons material as much as possible. But living an exclusionary life because the material doesn’t meet my ideological choices for licensing is going a bit far (that said I’ll work to make sure I don’t actively support those who are hostile to Creative Commons, but that’ s another matter).
It just turned midnight, and the experiment is complete. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have, and will continue reading as I highlight some of the gems of the Creative Commons world.
Yesterday I listened to more electronic music like the Syntension Alpha / Beta albums, along with other Synthematika artists. Today saw more post-rock bands like Black Market Serotonin, Carthasy, Amity in Fame’s Dinner for One, and I:Scintilla’s Optics album.Complete listing as always is available on my Last.fm page.
Yesterday I was also working through the excellent Making Games with Python and Pygame book by Al Sweigart. Al makes the sorts of books I wish I could write: clear, witty, and amazingly fun to read. If you have any desire to create games using Python this is an excellent read. And it’s Creative Commons Licensed as well.
I was going to have some write-ups of other role playing games that are Creative Commons Licensed, but I’ll save those for later. Suffice to say the Creative Commons is very prevalent in the role-playing community and this is a good thing.
Most of the morning’s listening was back to the Jameno streams. I’d really like to find some different CC-only electronic music streams for the daily-programming-grind, but unfortunately I’ve not been able to find anything as high quality as Jamendo, nor as consistently available as Jamendo. Perhaps this is an opportunity for someone. I’d really like to see Soma.fm take up the challenge but I think they have their hands already full with their current streams. Hm.
I’ve been working my way through the Fate Core rulebook. Fate is a role playing game that traces it’s roots back to one of the earliest (and IMHO best) Internet-born Role Playing Games called Fudge. Fudge was unique in that it used special dice called “Fudge Dice” consisting of two + sides, two – sides, and two blank sides. So rolling four Fudge Dice could net you four + signs, four – signs, or anything in between (with – signs canceling out + signs and vice versa). So if I rolled + + – and blank, the total would be +1, which would then be compared against a “ladder” of adjectives for how well I did (anywhere from poor to legendary). Fudge is excellent as a toolkit for building Fudge-like RPG systems, preferring to give guidelines rather than strict interpretations of rules. What makes Fate great is it’s a solid Fudge build that takes the great parts of Fudge and codifies them for a very collaborative and immersive gaming session. Fate recently had a Kickstarter for the core books, and one of the stretch goals was to make the textual rules of Fate available under a Creative Commons license. So now you too can create your own Fate-derived works using the Creative Commons BY attribution license (the most liberal of CC licenses next to Public Domain). And you can download the Fate Core rules in PDF, ePub, or mobi format from Evil Hat’s Downloads section. Fate and Fudge dice are available from either Evil Hat’s webstore or via Grey Ghost’s shop. Take Fate for a spin and let me know how you like it!
Today I tried listening to some of the Jamendo streams instead of my usual Soma.FM Defcon Radio stream. I listened to the Metal and Electronic music stations for a bit until I started hearing repeats and then moved to my normal music collection. For most of the day I listened to Cloudkicker’s Beacons / Let Yourself Be Huge / Fade / Subsume albums, and them moved to a mix of Khadaver, Killwire, Neurotech, Sekshun 8 and Drop Alive. The complete list of my day’s listening is available on http://www.last.fm/user/squeekyhoho/tracks.
In the evening I looked in on an HTML5 course (sadly not CC-Licensed) but that reminded me that I want to finish reading Al Sweigart’s fabulous books on Making Games with Python and Pygame. I’ll probably start that tomorrow.
One of the games that I’ve been meaning to get better at is probably older than everyone that has ever read this blog, combined. It’s also surprisingly one of the few games of that lineage that is still actively (and voraciously) played. I’m talking of course about the game Go which has a 19×19 grid board, and two sets of white and black pieces fighting one of the longest battles of history. What’s neat about Go is the game is public domain in the truest sense of the word. Sure there are organizations who define the rules for tournament play, but there’s nothing stopping you from rewriting your own rules for the game, or coming up with a completely new set of rules.
While the creators of Go are lost to history Go is likely the oldest CC-0 game known to exist.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about some of my favorite Role Playing Games and some recently Creative Commons Licensed games that make me extremely happy for their release.
If you can’t possibly live without knowing what I’m listening to on a moment-by-moment basis then slide your mouse over to my Last.fm profile where you can see the tracks I’m listening to being scrobbled in practically real-time from my Logitech Squeezebox server.
Yesterday I deleted all of the non-CC music from my phone and added a few CC artists. Currently I have Dopestars Inc. Bounte, Professor Kliq, Machina, Toumai, OYABUN, Hela, Goliat / Dead in Montana, elevii, Santo Rostro, Lowshake, Leka, Project Roenwolfe, and Risha. I’ve played most if not all of these bands on my various podcasts so they’re familiar ground. During the day I decided to give Jamendo’s streaming radio a try (you knew they had streaming radio didn’t you? Yeah, me either. Apparently you can find the streams here). I put my normal fiction on hold and started reading a collection of H.P. Lovecraft that I’ve been itching to read. I’m not sure Lovecraft would have been a firm believer in the CC license, but I’m glad CthulhuChick is, and the collection is quite good.
One thing I wondered is if there were any board games out there that were CC Licensed. I found a listing on Board Game Geek but it felt like there should be more out there, including the ones that James Ernest of CheapAss Games released. Maybe that’s a niche that needs filling.
Overall today was pretty-well CC-licensed, with some exceptions (had to finish up the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff episode that I started on Saturday). Am a little disheartened that the 5by5 network isn’t CC-licensed, but remembered that the TWiT was CC-licensed, so I’ll be able to get my podcasting fix that way.
More to come!
OK, here’s another one of my hair-brained, crazy little ideas that I’ve had that I’ll need your support to make work.
Well, this is the second of them. The first one I’ll start posting about once I have a little more under my belt, but bear with me.
So I run this podcast that you may or may not have heard me talk about called Open Metalcast. It’s a show featuring nothing but Creative Commons metal music, and I enjoy putting it together. Recently there was an episode of
Lugradio Shot of Jaq er, Bad Voltage where they talked about Cards Against Humanity. One of the strong points they mentioned of Cards Against Humanity was that it was a Creative Commons Licensed game. I mentioned a few games that I know of that are Creative Commons Licensed and that got me thinking:
Would it be possible to live consuming nothing but Creative Commons Licensed content.
The short answer is “probably not” because there are plenty of things that don’t fall under the Creative Commons (NPR broadcasts, Google Plus posts, Television and Radio as a whole, etc.). But there are plenty of things that do fall under the Creative Commons license. Would it be possible to consume mostly Creative Commons Licensed material. That’s more of an interesting question, and it got me thinking about performing another of my patented experiments. You know: the ones that look good on paper, but are more difficult to implement?
What I intend to do:
My intention is to limit my consumption of media to prefer Creative Commons Material as much as I possibly can. I will record what I watch, listen to, and so forth and if given a choice I will prefer the Creative Commons versions over the more traditionally licensed material. Every day during the experiment I’ll blog my progress (yep, another one of my “blog all the things” experiments).
Rules of engagement:
First, this is only for me, not the rest of my family. JoDee and I have been watching Babylon 5 for the past few months and I intend to finish what I started there. Again, this is mostly Creative Commons.
Second, anything that I need to read for work will still be something that I will read for work regardless of license. As much as I love the CC license I really love getting a paycheck.
Thirdly this isn’t just a one-man show. I’ll be looking for pointers and help with this experiment, so in the true spirit of collaboration: patches welcome.
I’ll be starting this on Sunday, November 3rd and completing this on the following Saturday.
Wish me luck!
If you wanted to measure how much I couldn’t care less about Football (college or otherwise) do this simple mental exercise:
Take all of the stadiums ever built (past, present and soon to be built) and lay them end-to-end. Then take every player ever to don a uniform or soon to don the uniform and place them end-to-end with the stadiums. Take every ball, every uniform, every helmet, every piece of football-related merchandise and likewise lay them end-to-end. Then take every video game, every magazine, every newspaper article, and every person who has ever spoken or penned a word related to football and place them end-to-end with the rest. Then take all the video footage for the games ever played and tack them on.
Now, once you’ve assembled every single bit related to football, kindly shove it all up your ass.
That is how much I couldn’t care less about football.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
Every chip bag has a story. Whether it’s to tell you about how the founders sold chips out of their 1967 Dodge Dart, or how they’ve sourced only the finest ingredients for their chips, you’ll sit there with a feel-good attitude about whatever snack you’re putting inside your chip-hole. At Craig’s Chip Company we have a story too. It’s about how we dumpster-dive through other companies trash to source our ingredients. That’s why our chips have that unique slightly-off taste in every chip. And our commitment to quality control extends as far as making sure there’s a bag with something chip-like in there that’s approximately whatever ounces are printed on the front. Our employees don’t wash their hands. The FDA would shut us down if our entire operation wasn’t a tent-city employing hobos and vagabonds who can barely stand up,let alone make coherent sentences about our working conditions. But when you wrap your gums around our patented chip-making process, and your money is whisked away into one of three Swiss Bank Accounts you’ll know that it was all worth it. Because every chip bag has a story.
If you’re a member of the Ubuntu Michigan group you likely received a message about our group’s verification lapsing.
First: Don’t panic!
Second: Head to the mailing list and read this message explaining what’s going in.
Hopefully this clears things up. If you have any additional questions please feel free to let us know.