16 October 2006

Upgrading the Economic Operating System

How can you not love a book whose author introduces it thus:

My latest book, Capitalism 3.0, is out this week. It’s about how to upgrade our economic operating system so that it protects the planet, shares income more equitably, and makes us happier, while preserving the strengths of capitalism as we know it. The key to my proposed upgrade is to rebuild the commons, that dwindling set of natural and social assets that benefit everyone.

In the spirit of enlivening the cultural commons, the book’s publisher, Berrett-Koehler, has agreed to an experiment. They are selling the book in the usual places — in bookstores and on-line — but they’re also allowing readers to download the book from this web site for free.

I've not read it yet, but will do: I'm sure it'll be worthwhile. Until then, I suggest everyone spread the word to reward the author and his enlightened publishers, and to fulfil the former's hopes - and help with that upgrade:

As the author, here’s what I hope will happen. I hope many of you will download and skim the book. If you’re intrigued, you’ll read the preface and first chapter either on the screen, or by printing just those pages. You’ll then decide you want to read the whole book, give a copy to a friend, or keep it on your bookshelf or coffee table. So you’ll go to your local bookstore, or to an on-line vendor, and buy the handy, long-lasting version, printed on acid-free paper.

2 comments:

Robert Morrison said...

Certainly laudable, but not pioneering. Prentice Hall's Professional Technical Reference imprint has had a policy of
making all the books in the Bruce Perens
Open Source series freely available in
PDF six months after their release.

http://www.phptr.com/promotions/promotion.asp?promo=1484&redir=1&rl=1

These are top notch books from a
first-rate technical publisher, and
they keep adding more, so they must
be making a profit.

I own three of the printed works in
this series. Curiously, I've rarely
referred to the PDFs, but it's
comforting to know that they're there
and that I can get to them without a
password in case I ever need to
(while on the road, for example).

glyn moody said...

Yes, I've written about the Perens books elsewhere - http://lwn.net/Articles/181374/.

Your comment about the PDFs is interesting, and suggests why this kind of approach works.