Top 5 P2P Books of the Month

1) Web Search: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, by Amanda Spink (Editor), Michael Zimmer (Editor) [via]

Web search engines are not just indispensable tools for finding and accessing information online, but have become a defining component of the human condition and can be conceptualized as a complex behavior embedded within an individual’s everyday social, cultural, political, and information-seeking activities.

This book investigates Web search from the non-technical perspective, bringing together chapters that represent a range of multidisciplinary theories, models, and ideas. It examines the various roles and impacts of Web searching on the social, cultural, political, legal, and informational spheres of our lives, such as the impact on individuals, social groups, modern and postmodern ways of knowing, and public and private life. By critically examining the issues, theories, and formations arising from, and surrounding, Web searching, this book represents an important contribution to the emerging multidisciplinary body of research on Web search engines.

The new ideas and novel perspectives gathered in this volume will prove valuable for research and curricula in social sciences, communication studies, cultural studies, information science, and related disciplines.

2) WE THINK: mass innovation not mass production, by Charles Leadbeater [from his website]

We Think explores how the web is changing our world, creating a culture in which more people than ever can participate, share and collaborate, ideas and information.

Ideas take life when they are shared. That is why the web is such a potent platform for creativity and innovation.

It’s also at the heart of why the web should be good for : democracy, by giving more people a voice and the ability to organise themselves; freedom, by giving more people the opportunity to be creative and equality, by allowing knowledge to be set free.

But sharing also brings with it dilemmas.

It leaves us more open to abus and invasions of privacy.

Participation is not always a good thing: it can just create a cacophony.

Collaboration is sustained and reliable only under conditions which allow for self organisation.

Everywhere we turn there will be struggles between people who want to freely share – music, films, ideas, information – and those who want to control this activity, either corporations who want to make money or governments who fear debate and democracy. This conflict between the rising surge of mass collaboration and attempts to retain top down control will be one of the defining battles of our time, from Communist China, to Microsoft’s battle with open source and the music industry’s desperate rearguard action against the web.

Download the first three chapters of We Think.  There’s also a short animation explaining the book on Charles’ YouTube Channel:

3) Music2.0, by Gerd Leonhard [from Gerd’s email]

I just wanted to let  you know that my new book “Music2.0″  is finally ready and can now be ordered at 

“Music2.0” is available both as a ‘real’ printed product, as well as a ‘pay what you want’ – pdf (I have heard this referred to do as ‘doing a Radio Head’ a few times… but whatever, that’s just the way I wanted to release this book); licensed under the 3.0 non-commercial use / attribution / share alike Creative Commons license. “Music2.0” is kind of like a ‘Best of Gerd Leonhard’ compilation – if I may say so myself ;- , 227 pages filled with the best blog posts and juiciest essays from the past 4 years, slightly remixed and tweaked, riffing on that good old subject of the ‘Next generation of the Music Industry’.

The book continues and expands on some of the ideas and models I cooked up in my first book “The Future of Music” (co-written with my colleague Dave Kusek). It describes what the next generation of music companies will look and feel like, and gets even deeper into some of my favorite buzz-phrases such as Music Like Water and the Flat Rate for Music, Feels Like Free (FLF), the Usator, Friction is Fiction, and the People Formerly Known As Consumers.  Oooops, yes, sorry for that geek-speak!

To get your copy of the book or to retrieve the ‘pay what you want’ pdf download link, hurry up (we don’t actually have that many copies with this first print run) and go straight to the site (no, it’s not very pretty but it works).
If you are ready to shell out some cash (yeah, we’ll take any currency, $, too;) and order the real thing, please note that we will accept Paypal (and credit cards, via paypal) and will ship anywhere in the world. The book is in a pocket-book format (perfect for those airplane seat pockets;).

I hope you’ll enjoy Music2.0 (printed or pdf’ed, feels-like-free or indeed… paid!)


Gerd Leonhard
[email protected]

4) From Exchange to Contributions: Generalizing Peer Production into the Physical World, Edition C. Siefkes

A new mode of production has emerged in the areas of software and content production. This mode, which is based on sharing and cooperation, has spawned whole mature operating systems such as GNU/Linux as well as innumerable other free software applications; giant knowledge bases such as the Wikipedia; a large free culture movement; and a new, wholly decentralized medium for spreading, analyzing and discussing news and knowledge, the so-called blogosphere.

So far, this new mode of production—peer production—has been limited to certain niches of production, such as information goods. This book discusses whether this limitation is necessary or whether the potential of peer production extends farther. In other words: Is a society possible in which peer production is the primary mode of production? If so, how could such a society be organized?

Is a society possible where production is driven by demand and not by profit? Where there is no need to sell anything and hence no unemployment? Where competition is more a game than a struggle for survival? Where there is no distinction between people with capital and those without? A society where it would be silly to keep your ideas and knowledge secret instead of sharing them; and where scarcity is no longer a precondition of economic success, but a problem to be worked around?

It is, and this book describes how.

5) Digital Dharma. A User’s Guide to Expanding Consciousness in the Infosphere, by Steven R. Vedro

Steven Vedro’s book, which we announced previously, is now out and available on the web and at bookstores. It tackles the inter-related development of personal and social development, with their enabling technologies. Vedro uses the seven-chakra metaphor to propose a “yoga of teleconsciousness”.

You will find various excerpts in his blog.  Here is a taste of Steven’s “Digital Dharma”:

We live in the age of instant communications. An electronic web surrounds the planet. Our ideas travel instantaneously to all points of the globe on electromagnetic waves and pulses of light. Emerging from what French philosopher-priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin called the shared noosphere of collective human thought, invention and spiritual seeking, the Infosphere – the totality of our electromagnetic systems for sharing knowledge, is now a field that engulfs our physical, mental and etheric bodies; it affects our dreaming and our cultural life. The evolving human nervous system has been “outered” as media sage Marshal McLuhan predicted in the early 1960’s, into a global embrace that for all its wonder, has overwhelmed our senses and created new forms of media addiction. In the dire view philosopher William Irwin Thompson, our bodies are cooking “in a global mulligan stew of electromagnetic noise.”

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