One of the reasons The Seattle Star exists is to keep the Commons alive, for without the commons what do we humans build upon?
One of most subtle ways the Commons is lost to the public is through the Internet. That probably sounds strange. But the Internet comes with certain innate problems. People tend to conceive of it as The Great Library Containing All* Human Knowledge. Instead it is more like The Great Card Catalog of Alexandria With All The Cards Scattered on the Floor.
Since there is no actual organizing rule to the Internet, people rely upon search engines and directories to provide connection through “links”. But these links are arbitrary. Search engines may change algorithms and these links will completely be ignored and remain inaccessible to even the most advanced searcher, unless they are specifically given that link by someone. And if there is no longer any “someone” that connection disappears.
Even when links exist and are recognized by various directories, those links disappear for various reasons. They are removed, permissions are changed, they are redirected, or they simply rot. Each loss is a loss for Commons.
We’ve decided to strike back. We dedicate to the Commons, and to you, a week of Free Things. Each of them has been the victim of link rot. We restore them to the Commons as a show of faith, and a reminder that the ecosystem of knowledge is far more fragile than you might think.
First up, we bring you this short 10 page comic from Matthew Ellison. Our publisher is personally a huge fan of African folktales, and Anansi the Spider tales in particular. But who isn’t? Anansi is one of the great trickster characters of the world, along with Raven, Br’er Rabbit, Loki, and Reynard the Fox.
All Stories Are Anansi’s is a retelling of one of those lovely Ashanti stories in which The Spider goes to buy all the stories of the world from the sky god. As you can guess, hilarity ensues.