Category Archives: culture

Sharing Creative Works

Last week Creative Commons published Sharing Creative Works, the comic I’ve been working on for the past month or so.

Sharing Creative Works Banner

Originally intended as documentation for our OLPC collaboration, we settled for trying to come up with something American kids (and adults) would understand, as we realized we were pretty unqualified to educate children in the developing world. So in true collaborative form, the comic is on the wiki (admittedly, a poor presentation format) and all the SVG artwork is online, in the hopes that people who have a stronger knowledge of the different cultures the laptops are going to will give us feedback or make improvements.

Sharing Creative Works Storyboard

I wrote the bulk of the script (with lots of help from Jon, Alex, and Asheesh). This is the product of 4ish years of trying to explain CC to friends, family, and whoever else would listen. I’m really curious about how successful it is. Its definitely the approach I’ve found work best in conversation, but this is a comic. Of course I’ve been working on it for too long to have any sense if it works or not (but Valleywag twice blogged us).

As far as the artwork goes, I storyboarded it and then passed it on to our awesome graphic designer, Alex Roberts. He did most of the panels in Inkscape until he got bored of it, and threw it back to me. The art is kinda tricky because of how abstract the ideas are, leading to an over reliance on arrows and such. I had fun with the facial expressions towards the end though.

Sharing Creative Works 17

This is my first real project using vector graphics and its made me a lot more savvy with Inkscape, which is great. I definitely miss ink & bristol, and hopefully will have something new in that medium up here soon. On the other hand, SVG makes it so easy to revise and mess around, like with this final panel that didn’t make the cut:

Sharing Creative Works cut panel

thank god for hippie boys & coconut oil

At 67, Hochschild has noticed the way these treatments have gone from being “a luxury to a tentative necessity; it’s a redefinition of needs.” And she wonders aloud about what all this means. “Are we subtracting intimacy from other areas of life, in order to get it in this controlled and titrated, professionalized way?” asks Hochschild. “Is there a subtraction, as well as an addition? That would be the question I would ask. Are the women who go to salons just not getting it anywhere, in which case, they’re getting it here? I think we all need a kind of a connection, we need to be touched. But that we’re getting touched for money, in a medicalized, spiritualized way, seems to me something as a culture we could be thinking about. I don’t want to go the route of moralizing this; I think it’s good to be touched, to relax, to be stress free. But it does seem like a symptom that something’s amiss that people actually pay for this.”

[Emily Nussbaum – A Stranger’s Touch. New York Magazine.]

Letter To My Sister On Her Bat Mitzvah

A more serious reflection on being a middle-schooler & the awesomeness of my kid sis. I read this to my sister in front of a small collection of family members the night before her Bat Mitzvah. Gets a little corny at the end, but I’m entitled.

Dearest A.,

Congratulations on your Bat Mitzvah. Though I hold much ambivalence towards organized religion (and this coming-of-age ceremony in particular), I am so proud of you and so happy to return home to share this day with you. You have thus far maneuvered through puberty with a grace I find remarkable, especially in light of my own memories of that time, and I am confident that you will continue to mature with the same elegance. You are an intelligent, beautiful and loving young woman, not to mention much cooler than a 12 year old has any right to be.

But as much as I, along with the rest of your family and friends, want to celebrate you, the Amazing A. Relkin Rojer, princess of November 3rd, I’d like to pause first, amidst the festivities, and meditate a bit on this notion of “coming-of-age.” First, lets examine the ritual you are just about to complete, and call it out on what it is.
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rolfcon!!1!

Tim, Christina & co are up to some craziness back in Cambridge. On April 25-27, they will attempt to open the hellmouth:

This is the ongoing record of an effort to assemble every famous internet meme or celebrity to come to Harvard in the spring of 2008 to attend a conference.

Presumably, they’re going to talk about fame online.

:::ROFLCon:::

So far the guest list includes xkcd, dinosaur comics, the oneredpaperclip guy, and others. They get goatse and I’m buying a plane ticket.

To get you psyched:

Internet People


Internet People

Animation by Dan Meth
Music by Dan Meth & Micah Frank
From MethMinute39, CC-BY-NC-SA

Suggested Reading: The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos

October Update: California, Lampoon, Creative Commons…

Its been a while since my last post, but not for lack of things to say. Instead, my bandwidth for online activity has been consumed by two other endeavors. First, I gave the Harvard Lampoon website a complete redesign using Drupal. Its still very much a work in progress, and considering my attention span, it may stay as such for a while. But check it out, as we plan to update the content quite frequently (including comics illustrated by yours truly).

However, despite what my recent contributions to the Lampoon may seem, I am not back in Cambridge. My love affair with California is still going strong and I’ve decided to stay in Berkeley for the semester. Peace out, Puritans. Hello, beautiful hippie people.

And what have I been doing out here? Besides making lots of friends, art, and sourdough, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been hired as a Business Development Assistant for Creative Commons, the awesome organization I interned with over the summer. I blog for them a couple times a week, so that’s definitely been eating into the energy I have for this site. More to come on what else I’ve been working on there, but for now I should mention that we just launched our Annual Fall Fundraising Campaign, and along with it, a slick site redesign. Those of you already familiar with the great work CC is doing, consider making a donation!

Support CC - 2007

For the uninitiated, this video is a pretty good introduction to what Creative Commons is all about:

mystics & messiahs

A genuine first-hand religious experience like this is bound to be a heterodoxy to its witnesses, the prophet appearing as a mere lonely madman. If his doctrine prove contagious enough to spread to any others, it becomes a definite and labeled heresy. But if it then still prove contagious enough to triumph over persecution, it becomes itself an orthodoxy; and when a religion has become an orthodoxy, its day of inwardness is over: the spring is dry; the faithful live at second hand exclusively and stone the prophets in their turn. The new church, in spite of whatever human goodness it may foster, can be henceforth counted on as a staunch ally in every attempt to stifle the spontaneous religious spirit, and to stop all later bubblings of the fountain from which in purer days it drew its own supply of inspiration. Unless, indeed, by adopting new movements of the spirit it can make capital out of them and use them for its selfish corporate designs!

-William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience

(via Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History by Philip Jenkins. A good read if you get the chance.)