Ethical dilemma

Douglas Edric Stanley


I just noticed that an interview I conducted a few days ago has gone up on Weecast: Interview de Douglas Edric Stanley, professeur d’art numérique.


It’s in French (désolé pour ceux qui n’en parlent pas) and it handles the usual suspects (code, teaching, gaming, and on-line tutorials). As it turns out, a lot of people use my cours sur la programmation dans Processing. So Weecast wanted me to talk about them and tried to convince me to make some videos for their site which is all about online tutorials (en français, sorry). Just last week I had people from Brazil, Spain and two schools here in France describe how they use my online courses. All that’s great, but the classes are kinda old and really need some updating, and most of all, should be video tutorials. The problem is of course that I only have so many hours in the day and I’m in the middle of a gazillion other projects. For me to take time out right now I need some sort of context where I can get paid for the time taken away from other projects. So at first I was very interested at Weecast’s proposal: remaking my Processing tutorials into video webcasts that I can get paid for. Their model is pretty reasonable and the prices are low. But therein lies the rub, and the ethical dilemma. I personally would prefer either some sort of advertising model or some sort of sponsorship when it comes to making on-line classes on Processing, because Processing is ultimately free software (as in freedom as well as in beer). These are all old dilemmas, I know, but I still feel like they haven’t been resolved. As I mention in the interview, imagine having to pay a few bucks to learn how to use sound in Processing. As we say in French, c’est un peu vache (“it’s kinda cow”?). For the moment I’ve suggested to Weecast: hey, find some public funding or sponsorship so that we can make those specific classes free. But I’m not so sure that’s really a model. Hmmm.

I dunno, a sort of ambiguous issue for me. Anyone have any other ideas?

Original Comments:

2009-04-01 22:41:47


hi !
Please Douglas, don’t sell your mind to the devil !
On contrary, get ready to offer free courses in our école d’art. Give your wages to us, students, in order to buy some new mac pros with ATI 4870… Unfortunately huges processing sketches need that horsepower ! Blame you, you’re feeding our gearlust…
Also, give me your crappy bike and I will give you my much better Decathlon’s one :p

2009-03-08 09:09:16


Hi Douglas,

Having online processing video courses would be awesome. I’d even say most of the people learning/using processing would be willing to pay a few bucks for them, so maybe it’s the way to go. If you change your mind or find a way to make release them for free, that would be even better, but it’s a great idea.