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LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 8000
Joined: September 26th, 2005, 4:14 am
Location: Montreal, QC

Post by hugh » October 25th, 2005, 1:16 pm

hey Mitchell, great idea, sorry it's taken me so long to respond... so:

I'm 31, a writer, and the "founder" of librivox... I put that in quotation marks because though I had what seems to be a neat idea, I was not the first to think of it, though I guess LibriVox was the first attempt to open up the process for any book to anyone. In addition, LibriVox would have died a quick death except for the enthusiasm of all the members who jumped on board & have made this so exciting to watch (and listen to).

But back to me, I live in Montreal, and I have been thinking about Open Source & Free Software. I have been pondering the huge potential of using those methodologies and the principles behind them (freedom, participation, open access to all) for things other than software. Project Gutenberg (and Distributed Proofreaders), Creative Commons, Wikipedia are all going in this direction; LibriVox joins them, along, I hope with many more projects in the future.

I've thought a fair bit about Public Domain as a very general concept, and it's my feeling that the richer and fuller the public domain is (whether that be in the form of parks, public art, blogs, public transport, libraries, free wifi, farmers markets, podcasts ... etc), the richer the society in general. Here's some more on this topic. This in a time where the trend is in the opposite direction -- ie commercialization and commodification of everything, from space to knowledge to the web. But new tools and new technologies are forcing things in the other direction - to the public again. I wanted to participate in that, and finally I had the idea -- on a long drive, listening to Jan from UAA Audiobooks do Lady Chatterley's Lover -- to start a open project to get people to read, record, and disseminate to the world.

I've worked in engineering/business development, mainly in alternative energy, and a stint in NYC developing financial products to finance greenhouse gas reduction projects & technologies, and I've long been frustrated at banging my head against a world that doesn't want to care about the things I care about. The Free Software movement though gave me hope. here was a revolutionary (to me) idea: don't worry about what others are doing, start your own thing in a parallel structure and invite others to join. They will come. And they have!

On the writing front, I just finished a novel, which I have sent to a number of publishers. Now I must wait! Here's Chapters 1 & 2, if you are interested (a audio version is coming, I think!):

Blind Spot, Chapters 1&2

If you know any publishers, feel free to put me in touch!

What else? I got married in August (12 days after LibriVox launch!) to the lovely Christine, I have degrees in Philosophy, and Mathematics & Engineering, from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, I enjoy cooking, wine, scotch, free jazz, and I play rugby with the Westmount Rugby Club (scrum half), and I am on the Board of a little community library, ... I have lived, for at least three months in: Diingle Ireland; Hong Kong; Toronto; Hinton, Alberta; New York City; Kingston, Ontario, but my favourite city is Montreal.

And apparently I like to write about myself!!
Last edited by hugh on October 28th, 2005, 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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