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Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In Two Bits, Christopher M. Kelty investigates the history and cultural significance of Free Software, revealing the people and practices that have transformed not only software but also music, film, science, and education. Free Software is a set of practices devoted to the collaborative creation of software source code that is made openly and freely available through an u ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 9th 2008 by Duke University Press Books (first published May 19th 2008)
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Apr 18, 2013 Joy rated it it was amazing
Kelty's book is brilliant, inspiring, and relevant. It's one of the best academic books I've read in a long time. Having just read Michael Warner's book about publics, I had a number of complaints about a lack of concern with technical media (which you can read about here). Kelty took them all up, and answered them (though he did so in a very gracious way with respect to Warner...reading Kelty you might think that he got his idea about the importance of medial variety from Warner, but that's no ...more
Walter Mitchell
Sep 07, 2014 Walter Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an extremely dense book, and often obtuse. The idea of the "recursive public," though, was so fascinating to me, so aptly described, chronicled, and praised, that it sparked an interest in collective technology and free software that has sustained my personal and professional work ever since, if at times indirectly. I owe quite a lot to this book.
Zbigniew Łukasiak
Feb 05, 2009 Zbigniew Łukasiak rated it liked it
Nice to read, but the concept of Recursive Public does not seem so useful at the defining level - the economic aspects connecting all the different 'Free' movements are more basic and more suitable for definition.
Murray Gunn
I'm reading this for my thesis on the culture of virtual teams. My research 'field' is the Ubuntu documentation team, so Kelty's work is highly relevant, but I've been mostly intrigued by his notion of recursive publics and the way open source communities set about defining their own identities.
Nov 05, 2008 Imam rated it really liked it
ada yang mau tau isu cultural industries dalam konteks lebih spesifik, isu tentang recursive public cocok buat mengkaji masyarakat kontemporer seperti sekarang.
Jan 13, 2013 Sebastian rated it it was amazing
Some of the best academic writing on free software/open source I've encountered so far. The "recursive public" idea is brilliant.
Sep 22, 2008 Andreas rated it really liked it
My review can be found here:
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From (as of 29 September 2013):


CV: 2012

Christopher M. Kelty is an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has a joint appointment in the Institute for Society and Genetics, the department of Information Studies and the Department of Anthropology. His research focuses on the cultural significance of information technology, especially in science and eng
More about Christopher M. Kelty...

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