Get a free copy of "Share or Die" - strategies for a shared, post-austerity world

Share or Die is a new anthology from (whose mandate is to promote sharing in all its guises), written by 20-somethings struggling through austerity and econopocalypse, who find in sharing a solution to some of their problems. I was privileged to write the book's foreword, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You can buy a copy or get a PDF for free -- all the book's publishers ask is that you tweet the fact that you've gotten a copy yourself. Here's a snip of my foreword:

This was supposed to be the disconnected generation. Raised on video-games and networked communications, kept indoors by their parents' fear of predators and the erosion of public transit and public spaces, these were the kids who were supposed to be socially isolated, preferring the company of video-game sprites to their peers, preferring Facebook updates to real-life conversations.

The Internet's reputation for isolation is undeserved and one-dimensional. If the net makes it possible to choose to interact through an electronic remove from "the real world," it *also* affords the possibility of inhabiting the "real world" even when you've been shut away from it by your fearful parents or the tyranny of suburban geography.

Even as entertainment moguls were self-servingly declaring "content is king," they failed to notice that content without an audience was about as interesting as a tree that falls in the deserted woods. Conversation is king, not content. If we gather around forums to talk about TV shows or movies or games or bands, it's because we enjoy talking with each other, because "social" is the best content there is. Content is just something to talk about. That's why telcoms -- the industry that charges you to connect with other breathing humans -- is 100 times larger than entertainment.

Which is to say that our "disconnected" generation is more connected than any generation in history -- connected via a huge, technologically augmented peripheral nervous system of communications technologies that gives them continuous, low-level insight into their peers and the world they inhabit. Which is not to say that being wired up to the net's social radar is an unadulterated good: adding capacity and velocity to your nervous system can be a recipe for disaster, creating race-conditions in which minor disagreements snowball into vicious fights, where the bad as well as the good can find itself magnified through positive feedback loops that ratchet minor stimuli into feedback screams.

Download a Complete Copy of Share or Die


  1. I’ve received a DRM-locked PDF which requires an “owner password” to save to a different directory on my hard drive. Was this intentional?

  2. The download worked fine for me. You have to grant access to your twitter, seems a little spyware-y but you can opt out later.

    I skimmed 30 pgs. Reads like a blog anthology with pretty good comics. Not as entertaining as an episode of HBO Girls but I will give it a chance later.

      1. That show is SO BORING. :(

        I feel like a bad feminist admitting that but man.  I just don’t give a shit about those “girls” who are really women but who can’t stop whining. I keep forgetting that they graduated college. I feel like they just graduated high school.

        Except that one from London with the pretty blond hair. She’s the only interesting one on the show.

    1. You do have grant access to Twitter for the pay by tweet to work, but I doubt there’s anything spyware-y about it. 

      Pay with a Tweet was developed by some folks to promote their book.  They used the tool to give away their book, and then they offered the tool for everyone to use.  That gave their book even more exposure. 

      Check it out here:

      1.  Can someone explain to me why these types of authorizations always say the site can “Update your profile.” Given that sites don’t seem to do this, why bother? It just scares people off – it does me.

    2. Most of the content was commissioned for the book. We did publish everything on our site too, but more because we want as many people as possible to read the stories.  

  3. Hey peeps, sorry for any trouble getting the file.  It’s definitely not password protected.  And I just tested the download button, it worked for me.

    Here’s the direct download link in case you’re having problems getting the book:   Our publisher, New Society, has been really cool.  We wanted to share the book as widely as possible since the mission of our nonprofit is to promote sharing.After some discussion about how to release it, they agreed to offer the entire book by PDF through pay by tweet.  I really didn’t expect them to go for it, but they did.  Good on them.Thanks, Neal (co-editor of Share or Die)

    1. What was bugging me about it was that it had to be Twitter or Facebook (I don’t have an account on either of the two.) I looked at it and thought, well, if there was a way to use Google+ for it… Anyway thanks for sharing the link; posting the BB article to G+ now.

  4. “If we gather around forums to talk about TV shows or movies or games or bands, it’s because we enjoy talking with each other…”

    I thought forums around TV shows, movies, games or bands were mainly about who can insult the other one best. And, I guess, enjoying that.

  5. I don’t mind paying with a tweet, but I do mind handing over control of my Twitter account to an app, any app. I’m also not quite interested enough to pay a sawbuck for the Amazon version. If there were a method whereby I could tweet the tweet my own self and download a copy I’d be happy to do that, but I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with other people’s programs posting as me.

  6. As much as people try to make this sound new and innovative, it’s actually about people going back to traditional American working-class values. My father and grandfathers all belonged to fraternal organizations, whose very purpose was to band people together to support each other. That, dare I say socialist, principle is the foundation of all our traditional fraternal and ethnic social clubs. At their root, they exist to bury their dead members, and look after their kids. Widows and orphans being much more common before modern worker-safety laws.

    1.  I have to echo this post too, I don’t want to make a Twitter account just to get a book I might not even like. As for handing over my account details that would not be happening either. Maybe some alternative methods to get the book….

  7. How about if everybody just stops whining, download the book, read it and then tweet if you like it? And if you like it, buy hardcopy to support And yes, I liked it and bought hardcopy.

  8. I appreciate everyone’s feedback both negative and positive. This is a learning experience for our nonprofit, Shareable Magazine, who put together the book with New Society.

    I just want to point out that when you share the book with your friends, you help Shareable advance our mission to educate the public about the value of sharing (we write about everything from copyleft to open source to worker cooperatives to car sharing).   We see the book as form of public service, and you can see your sharing it like that too. 

    Also, it was a fairly big deal for the publisher, New Society, to release a complete PDF copy through pay with a tweet.  They had wanted to just release an excerpt, but agreed with me that sharing the whole book was appropriate given the topic.  And they thought that it might work out best for them too.  

    Note that New Society has never offered a complete book like this in their 30 year history.  I think this shows a rare open mindedness for a traditional book publisher.  Needless to say, I’m really happy with New Society.

    I just wanted y’all to know some of the context, which I hope sheds some light on our goals and intentions.

    BTW, Cory’s forward is perfect for the book, and he’s been amazingly generous and super cool to work with.  Thank you Cory!

    Neal Gorenflo
    Co-editor, Share or Die
    Publisher, Shareable Magazine

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