Welcome to the Open Peer Review platform for The Good Drone. This manuscript draft was open for a two-month review period that ended on May 1, 2019. It has now been trundled off to the editors, copyeditors, indexers, graphic designers, printers, and distributors who will transform this into a book you can buy at your local independent bookstore, as well as an Open Access PDF. A thousand thanks to everyone who gave me their two cents about this book. It’s a good deal better for their insights.
I am very excited about Open Review platform for reasons that are both practical as well as philosophical.
I wrote this book out of a frustration that assessments of social movements, my home turf, had less to say about technologies like drones than they aught. Colleagues focused on technology, media, and society spent all kinds of time thinking about contentious politics, protests, revolutions, and social movements, but my colleagues in contentious politics have spent less time thinking about science, technology, and media. This book is an attempt to pass notes between these two camps.
Open Peer Review gives me a chance to improve on this note-passing. Have I done a good job introducing what it is that social movements do, and how they use technology? In what ways could I better interlace the lessons from science and technology studies with the kinds of questions that keep social movement folks up at night?
This clarity is additionally important since I’m hoping this volume is of interest to those working to both use and regulate drones—policymakers, entrepreneurs, and activists. This book will only be as useful as it is sharp, clear, and focused.
Data should be open. The source data that represents the evidenciary basis for this book is freely available from the library of one of my home institutions.
Knowledge should be free. Upon publication, this book will be available in traditional forms (physical book and e-copy), but it will also be a free, downloadable, open access PDF. Open Access is about democratizing dissemination.
Free knowledge should be well-informed. This project has been through peer review @MITPress, and has benefitted from input from dozens of other readers. Open Peer Review is an opportunity to hear from an even broader range of voices. In other words, Open Peer Review goes some way toward democratizing knowledge production.
I am considering launching a “living version” of this book after it is published in fixed physical and digital form (as bound book or static PDF). What would happen if subsequent technological developments, theoretical insights, random heckling, and informed critique could be concentrated around the body of the text itself? What if the online version of the manuscript is opened to user contributions of video, datasets, supporting and contradicting evidence, Github links, source-files for 3D printed drones, and the like.
What does the future of publishing look like? I’m not sure, but am happy to be part of an experiment along the way.