[Discuss] Community-based creation of Open Hardware Knowledge

Nancy Ouyang nancy.ouyang at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 05:37:18 UTC 2015

re:pruning, simpler solution: anyone can Flag for obsolete. if enough
flags, answer automatically deprecated and archived.

another issue: eventually the flaws of this system will become obvious,
like with stackoverflow. we must support migration of still-relevant
content to whatever newer and better system develops. i think all content
*must* be CC0, not CC-SA, which http://stackexchange.com/legal uses.

that way if someone wants to curate and summarize and snapshot and
translate and add pictures/video/gifs to the content and form a textbook
for their country or make a slideshow for their 4th grade science class in
Ukraine or whatever, *they aren't ever stopped because they're afraid of
getting sued*. [1]

as a *community*, we must convince people to release their Mashup/Editor
contributions back to public domain if possible ("share-alike"). we want to
benefit from their work too! but it's fine (though not ideal) if they print
the textbook and then some reader gets around to scanning it and uploading
it back into the community...

obviously, at some point, if they are raking in cold hard cash for their
derived work, contributing content back shifts from "if possible" to
"definitely possible, should be a priority", but I personally don't think
the solution is to license it so that we can punish people via the legal
system... dunno.

for instance, take the way stackexchange is legally worded

   1. You will ensure that any such use of Subscriber Content visually
   display or otherwise clearly indicate the author names* for every
   question and answer so used.*

I mean, if some poor person sits there massaging stackoverflow answers into
an elegant and beautiful textbook, to legally comply with CC-SA, they're
going to have to spend weeks just making sure every piece of text they
smashed around is somehow properly attributed to wherever it started out
from. what if they pulled content from three different answers for a single
paragraph. you can easily see the attributions taking up more space than
the textbook itself. =/ wut.

also, this could easily lead to its own problem, an explosion of
half-finished derivatives that can't find each other, because there's no
clear way to link derivatives except hope google-bot does it for us... so
for instance two people in India start separate translations into hindi...
we get duplication of human effort again, and worst-case we get two
half-finished projects instead of one finished project... and the internet
is flooded with yet more rough, barely usable content...

you actually see this somewhat with wikipedia, but at least derivative
projects are clearly linked. for instance, sometimes i will flip through
two or three languages to try to pick up more of the story.


   - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_flesh_search_engine
   - Term translated from Chinese:
   - Chinese article has more in-depth examples that aren't translated into
   English, for instance:

okay, that's as far as i'm willing to think it through, writing this many
long speculative emails in a week is ridiculous.

*tl;dr all content should be cc0 on this site.*

thought: can we monetarily support contributions and linking back to the
original site somehow. "bounties"?

thought: mmm, look at stackexchange brainstorming about specific site
usability issues
their community explodes... todo: checkout this http://www.invisionapp.com/
thing they are using


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#Fair_use_under_United_States_law

> The four factors of analysis for fair use set forth above derive from the
> opinion of Joseph Story <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Story> in*Folsom
> v. Marsh <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folsom_v._Marsh>*,[6]
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#cite_note-6> in which the
> defendant had copied 353 pages from the plaintiff's 12-volume biography of George
> Washington <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington> in order to
> produce a separate two-volume work of his own.[7]
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#cite_note-Folsom-7> The court
> rejected the defendant's fair use defense.

On Mar 12, 2015 11:59 PM, "Nancy Ouyang" <nancy.ouyang at gmail.com> wrote:

> Yea -- here's a proposal in more detail --
> noobuser: "what is CAD"
> expertA: "claims" the post.
> has five-minute window to write the skeleton for a well-designed answer.
> editing window immediately visible to world, but only expertA can write to
> it.
> meanwhile, other interested people "tag" onto the post.
> after five minutes, editing window becomes write-able to maximum 5 people
> who tagged onto the post.
> they flesh out a v0.1 of the answer together using a real-time
> collaborative text editor, like etherpad/google docs hybrid.
> editing window visible to world the whole time. [1]
> after one hour, v0.1 "published." when this happens,
> a) anyone can upvote the "published" post now. upvotes are distributed
> evenly to these 6 people.
> b) also now anyone in the world (randomexpertA) can contribute to v0.2 and
> also give +1/-1. if enough +1s accumulate, expertA is notified. if
> randomexpertA'a contributions are merged to "published" version by expertA
> (maybe "tag" editors also have admin power to prevent maintainer-leaving
> rot), randomexpertA gets to share in the upvotes on the answer.
> ---> we need to think about how to deal with answers becoming obsolete as
> technology changes. pruning? all answers older than 1 year are axed (users
> retain their upvotes) automatically, unless saved by a yearly review
> committee?
> [1] heehee, with all this real-time documentation going on, maybe one day
> we will have a "twitch" for documentation writing :P cheer on your favorite
> doc writer as he/she heroically distributes knowledge to the world!
> Re: timofonic, you might like this post
> http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/153964/explanatory-electromechnical-animations-what-software-used
>> What software exists to aid in explaining electromechanical concepts?
> this is like... we need another unconference to have people think about
> "software tools for documentation for hardware concepts"... ideally
> easily-available software tools, not MATLAB/Simulink... biostar, not
> stackoverflow...
> sigh. my brain is going to explode soon =/ but thanks everyone for
> thinking through these things and being excited with me
> ~~~
> narwhaledu.com, educational robots
> <http://gfycat.com/ExcitableLeanAkitainu> [[<(._.)>]] my personal blog
> <http://www.orangenarwhals.com>, orangenarwhals
> arvados.org (open source software for provenance, reproducing, and
> scaling your analyses)
> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 11:21 PM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> That's an interesting approach. So, somebody (preferably an expert) would
>> control the repo for the answer and then everyone else would contribute and
>> vote on changes. Is that accurate?
>> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 7:27 PM, Nancy Ouyang <nancy.ouyang at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> re: "how to mobilize a community to create knowledge"
>>> (Moving to new thread, this is a whole 'nother can of worms)...
>>> Some notes (from a discussion today with a friend)
>>>    - Yahoo answers is a steaming pile of -- err dung
>>>    - Stack Overflow is better, but is still shockingly bad
>>>       - their reward mechanism encourages participation, but does not
>>>       correlate with expertise and helpfulness well
>>>    - quora suffers from the same sickness as reddit
>>>       - it has turned into storytelling somewhat
>>>       - more like TED than expertise driven
>>>       - it creates a positive feedback of popularity
>>>       - a well-regarded story will dominate all others
>>>    - wikipedia does alright
>>>       - they compile knowledge into a single answer, rather than
>>>       selecting the best answer
>>> *Given that, here's an idea*
>>>    - *stackoverflow but with git merge of answers*
>>>    - the merged answer gives points to all contributors fairly somehow
>>>    - people upvote / downvote changes, ala Apache +1/-1 +0/-0
>>>    - See
>>>       https://github.com/ga4gh/schemas/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md#issue-resolution
>>>       for explanation
>>>       - and there's a mechanism to allow comments that are not part of
>>>    the answer
>>> Does this flag anyone as "this will fail for obvious reasons"?
>>> If not, we could flesh this out further and then feature request this on
>>> the Biostars github <https://github.com/ialbert/biostar-central> and
>>> maybe someone will actually build it... potentially on a fork or something,
>>> since there's something to be said for real-time help with a community
>>> welcoming to "beginner questions," instead of technical manual or textbook,
>>> no matter how well-written.
>>>> *Biostar: Software for building Scientific Communities*
>>> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 10:02 PM, timofonic timofonic <
>>> timofonic at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Hello, Nancy.
>>>> Wikibooks are great, but those documents aren't nearly as didactical
>>>> and easier to read than these copyrighted works. Despite they aren't
>>>> perfect and offer simplifications I don't get (I did read a free chapter
>>>> from the author on Usenet about getting LT3086 from Linear Technology to
>>>> make an adjustable power supply. Its okay, but those are expensive chips
>>>> and I would prefer to use discrete electronics), they are easy to read.
>>>> I understand writing proper books about electronics or any other
>>>> technical stuff without being boring, having good/excellent writing, proper
>>>> design and great explainings (so people without proper physics and/or maths
>>>> are able to understand it and learn that missing stuff) is a total
>>>> challenge and it would require a totally dedicated team of people. After
>>>> all Newnes, Cambridge Press and others have tons of money to invest in
>>>> writers, graphic artists (okay they are from India and cheap labor, but
>>>> still too much to pay) and scientific people fixing the texts. I'm still
>>>> not sure if the same QA could be done in a Wiki way, without a strong
>>>> project management.
>>>> Another idea I had is about didactical games for learning the core
>>>> concepts to practical exercises without getting boring. I would like some
>>>> kind of mix between "There are no electrons" from Kenn Amdahl, Cisco Binary
>>>> Game, the best humour from classic adventure games (Lucas Arts, Sierra and
>>>> such) with some kind of adult but not stupid twist, Forrest Mims way, from
>>>> basic to intermediate about electronics (like in Art of Electronics) and
>>>> interactive exercises from all topics. But that would require a big team of
>>>> very dedicated people, a
>>>> very-advanced-and-very-educational-classic-style-good-looking-good-playability-and-not-boring-at-all
>>>> game aimed to adults is a very difficult challenge, I think.
>>>>> Re: open books, http://en.wikibooks.org/
>>>>> ~~~
>>>>> narwhaledu.com, educational robots
>>>>> <http://gfycat.com/ExcitableLeanAkitainu> [[<(._.)>]] my personal blog
>>>>> <http://www.orangenarwhals.com>, orangenarwhals
>>>>> arvados.org (open source software for provenance, reproducing, and
>>>>> scaling your analyses)
>>>>> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM, Timofonic <timofonic at gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Hello.
>>>>>> I'm new at electronics, but I was thinking about it.
>>>>>> I have some questions about Free/Open Hardware, maybe even full of
>>>>>> radical thinking:
>>>>>> - What about Free/Open Hardware from the ground up? High quality open
>>>>>> learning material:
>>>>>> --Open Books: different levels from basic for children (no idea about
>>>>>> available material, sorry) and adults such as works from Forrest Mims to
>>>>>> complete (think of something like Art of Electronics and Practical
>>>>>> Electronics for Inventors) and advanced, organize translations , didactical
>>>>>> games even for adults but not dummy ones, practices, volunteering tutors
>>>>>> for learning aid to people interested on Free/Open hardware but having
>>>>>> issues with the learning process and collaboration with learning centers
>>>>>> (schools, colleges, vocational training schools, universities...).
>>>>>> Kind regards.
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