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[ossig] Asia Commons, Day 2



Asia Commons, Day 2

So the second day started off with yours truly getting up to birds
chirping and the Thai women speaking in the sweet dulcet tones that all
men have come to recognize as heaven on Earth.

The second day was all about knowledge sharing and discussions. There
was a session on speed sharing. It is a twist on lightning talks which
are fairly common in geek and/or FOSS conferences. Each table is
designated a speed sharer who talks on a particular issue/theme for 10
minutes. The participants move from table to table and are encouraged to
discuss issues and opportunities at the table.

A particular table I found interesting was a project by a Bangladeshi
group that used their expertise in radio communications to allow for the
youth to broadcast their own programs. Among the ways the youths
communicated their message to the public was narrow casting
(loudspeakers), burning their programs on to a DVD and  settings up TV's
with their program playing in coffeeshops, and patching into the cable
system and broadcasting their information.

What excited me about this was the subversion of an information flow
channel of state controlled media in a country where Internet access is
not necessarily available. A fantastic idea and a great way to ensure
equitable access to information and knowledge.

We also had the open space session whereby every participant was
encouraged to put up a topic to speak on for 45 minutes. My session is
tomorrow and I'll be speaking on the US free trade agreements and how it
affects the commons. There was a session on countering IP propaganda led
by the ineffable Lawrence Liang and Indymedia's Sasha. It was fairly
informative.

Evening was a night out with Sam, Khairil, Anita with Chinarat as our
tourguide. It was fun, other then a drunk Thai deciding to take on an
unsolicited role of a tour guide to me (why oh why does my path always
cross those of the strangest people?) :-)

I got to speak to James Love (of CPTech fame) about his suggestion to
introduce an alternative IPR chapter in the US-MY free trade agreement
negotiations. He sent me the following links that may be of interest to
those who are following this issue:

      * http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-love/the-usmalaysia-trade-pac_b_19584.html 
      * http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-love/globalization-in-a-good-w_b_17974.html 
      * http://www.cptech.org/ip/health/rndtf/bridges042004.pdf 

I needed to get some work done later in the night, and headed down to
the conference room for some late night Internet surfing. Turns out, I
was not the only midnight owl as Sasha, James, Linda, Jac and a couple
of other froods I forgot the names of, were happily getting work done
over a bottle of Scotch. Had a long conversation with a friend over some
Scotch, got sleepy and headed back :-)

It's day 3 now and unfortunately most participants have left. Will post
day 3 observations in a day or so.

Ditesh



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