The four kinds of freedom of free knowledge

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #1, October 2003


I’ll surely write some more posts about this article: Connecting Learning Objects with RSS, Trackback and Weblogs. So far only a few reflexions.

First. About RSS and me

This has been a good start for me going into RSS stuff. A couple of weeks ago I wondered about having my own blog. Today I’m not (of course) an expert but think I’ve learnt a whole world unknown to me about real knowledge management in the most informal – but practical – way.

Second. About RSS and content management

I do have to explore all the implications of using RSS at the content management and the cooperation for development levels. Alan, Brian and D’Arcy‘s approach is easy to be reconsidered in a much wider scope.

Though it is said that the Internet eases information sharing, since now, you had to gather a bunch of links so all the content in the web seemed to be a continuum. Indeed, copy-pasting is yet a far to be abandoned technique to feed one’s site. This was information sharing (I won’t talk about real examples of information sharing… and selling).

RSS makes me think of the end of (simply) linking and the definitive end of copy-pasting. And the so awaited collusion of information (and knowledge) into a whole.

Third. RSS and development

Knowledge management is one of these words you happen to hear or read all of the time. Thus, let’s talk about it here: what about knowledge management here and development?

If free software gains from always adding up “content” (code, features, etc.) to the existing one, I guess that real syndication would make this real for web content. The core thing is really adding up content by syndication. The article’s example is quite simple but last slides show the door you should knock at to enter a new way of sharing knowledge: no more retyping, no more linking, no more crossnavigating. The navigator does not more travels to content but content to navigator… at his or her own request. And this is GREAT.

And this is the reason e-learning is not self-teaching: e-learner is active but it’s e-teacher’s commitment to ease his path to knowledge. In this framework I do believe RSS improves the e-learning system.

Hey, but wasn’t I talking about development? I am! Back to the free software example: I think that XML and RSS allow or empower the four kinds of free knowledge:

Fourth. The four kinds of free knowledge

Let me adapt the GNU project definition of the four kinds of freedom of free software:

  • The freedom to use the knowledge, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the knowledge applies, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source information is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute knowledge so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to improve the knowledge, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source information is a precondition for this.

And man, this is cooperation and this is development. Comments against will be grateful welcome ;)

Swear I’ll rethink about it…

I’ll surely be publishing about some of the very interesting links in the presentation.

BTW, the presentation is sooo well done… :O :)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2003) “The four kinds of freedom of free knowledge” In ICTlogy, #1, October 2003. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from

Customizing Admin layout

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #1, October 2003


I know it might be of no importance to noone, but as everything requires some effort, it is my commitment to track down all the steps I take in the setting up of the blog. If you ever happen to read this and find it of any value, I’ll consider me well payed back :)

I’ve customized the navigation bar of the admin layout so I can, apart of all the options set by default, access my webmail, my hosting admin shell and my hosting client account intranet. Too many sites to remember, don’t you agree? ;)

The file you have to edit is \wp-admin\b2menutop.txt (yo can see mine – all accesses protected with user/password, no wonder). The path I’ve had to follow to find it has been quite obscure, as there are three or four files embedded one into another until you reach the last (first?) one that matters.

Hope it helped.

Done with the migration

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #-24045,


Today I ended with all the migration tasks:

  • Copying post registers
  • Copying comment registers
  • Redirecting old site to new one
  • Post this post ;)

Now, the time of real work is nigh…

Pro shifting

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #1, October 2003


I finally set my mind and I will shift to a payment hosting service.

As I said before it was important to me not to depend on a random domain, with ads, pop-ups and so on and weird and not-site-related e-mail accounts.

The quest for the provider has been a real oddissey: too many parameters to take in consideration.

It looked quite clear that I only wanted one provider, i.e. domain management and hosting at the same place. loosed their train as they did not accept payment through credit card. So sorry for them: they were the first ones I saw and was decided to deal with them so I could end the whole thing as soon as possible.

As I wanted to do all the way on-line, I started again, this time in a deeper scope, running a little database I built in order to ease the comparison between all offers I could found regarding the maximum parameters possible.

Yesterday I contracted Server-Spain, Server-United Spain’s division. Looks nice. Enough disk room, good transference quota and all services needed concerning domain asministration and site management. Notice their hotline service through chat: I did appreciate the kind attention I got yesterday afteernoon by user “Sales” :)

I guess I’d be migrating all the stuff in to the new server and domain ( as soon as everything is mirrored and I have a couple of minutes to sit on my desktop.

Thanks again to César Córcoles whose patiente is more than over due. Hugs! :)

Geneva matters

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #1, October 2003


[originally published in catalan in Línia Vallès, #53. Mollet del Vallès (Spain): 10/17/2003]

Elite israelian pilots not wanting to take part in selective killings in palestinian zones brings us an interesting debate. Is it moral objection? Or is it wanting things to be well done? Do they have the right of choice? Some of them, belonging to Courage to refuse, say they have been trained to protect the state of Israel and that “the missions of occupation and oppression do not serve this purpose”.

This is an opinion that, of course, is not shared by Ariel Sharon, who doesn’t see the attacks as selective killing but the protection of the israelian territory, the same way the three kings of the Azores saw Iraq’s invasion a defensive strategy. Thus, the accomplishment of the law is subjected to a few men’s arms that, taking some powers they ought not to, trial and sentence as illegal the commands of their Government.

A Democracy is based on a bunch of laws one has to follow uncompulsory, and the State can punish whoever does not follow them or force this command. The police is intended to do this. And so does the Army. It seems evident to think, then, that this Army regards doubtlessly the actions focused to maintain the correct application of the legal code.

Forever and ever, and yet far before the Geneve Agreement in 1863, we have set lots of “laws” to play war in a fair way and make it more human (ain’t it human enought to build doom machines with the only goal of self-destruction?). Thus, we have pilots with moral hazard when bombing cities, atomic countries preaching others against mass destruction weapons and right handed and government-friendly NGOs benefiting from official cooperation for developement (and Iraq reconstruction) funds. .

Stop cinism: correctspeech politics are the instrument of the most ancient propaganda in order to destroy the smallest dissidence with the Power with the minimum effort: the least one can do is not kneel and follow as lambs. Honesty will leave us time to other thoughts and pleasures. Though making love, not war, is becoming one simple thing to stay awake in some blackout nights.

About Me

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #-24045,


Right: this is not my resume, but I think you all deserve some explanation on who’s writing this blog and why.

My name is Ismael Peña and we struggle everyday trying to keep the Campus for Peace, the UOC’s programme for cooperation for development and solidarity, a useful thing for those engaged with development with the help of Information and Communication Technologies.

I landed in the Campus for Peace in 2001 and, since then:

  • we’ve set up e-learning projects in the fields of sensibilization, corporate training and capacitation for development, including the implementation of learning management systems (LMS) and all the training for (e-)trainers required to rule the projects
  • we’ve built up intranets that have been used by NGOs, foundations, etc. to manage their own organizations and projects, define strategic plans, discuss all kinds of subjects in the whole spectrum of depth
  • we’ve made (external) web projects dealing with non-profit projects fundraising, human rights sensibilization, etc.
  • and, all in all, actions with the aim of easing the use of ICTs for the third sector and spread the word ;) of how these technologies can change the way we work and see the world

As our corporate site just shows our final results (specially the catalan and spanish versions) and not what I have learnt in the way, this blog is intended to share with all of you the knowledge I might have gathered these last years and the thoughts this might have suggested.

I’ve done speeches about these subjects in some cities in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla…), Bonn (Germany, at the United Nations Volunteers headquarters – the people there were so G.R.E.A.T.!), San Pedro Sula (Honduras) and Olympia (Greece – in fact, this was before I entered the Campus for Peace).

I’ve also written some articles I’ll try to (re)publish here (translated or in the original language) and, so far, no books at all ;)

I live near Barcelona. I speak Catalan and Spanish (mother tongues – bilingual, yes), English, French, German (just a bit – ein bißchen Deutch, my favourite answer when asked ;) and now I’m into Arabic (wish me luck and patience – I really enjoy it!). I paraglide and play tenor sax – not at the same time (yet).

Of course, this blog expresses my opinion and not necessary Campus for Peace‘s nor UOC‘s.

ICTlogy Review

  • ISSN 1886-5208