In the mainstream, free culture is regarded with varying degrees of skepticism, disdain, and dewy-eyed optimism. It violates the rules by which we imagine our world works, and many people react badly to that which they don't understand.
If the system of rules that we have based our entire industrial civilization on is wrong, will we have to face the prospect of re-ordering that society from the ground up? Will that civilization now collapse (like Wile E. Coyote falling once he notices there's no ground underneath him)?
On the opposite extreme, for those who've given up on the rationalizations, preferring a "faith-based" approach, there is a great tendency to leap to magical thinking. Perhaps there are gods of freedom reordering the world to make it a happier place? If we shake our rattles hard enough, will all our dreams come true?
But where is genuine reason in all of this? In this book, I'll present six "impossible" acheivements of free culture, each representing a particular challenge to the old paradigm. Then I'll present a set of five basic rules to help understand "how the magic works", and give a more realistic framework for what can and can't be expected from free culture and the commons-based enterprises which spring from it.
With this knowledge, you will be able to set realistic goals for commons based projects and achieve them. You will learn to avoid common pitfalls, working with the community and not against it. In the end, you will know how to make efficient and constructive contributions to society, achieving your own goals and maximizing both the social benefit and the leverage of effort that comes from group projects.
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