“…has each one of us signed with the blood of his human nature a compact with some such spiritual power, with the demonic element within him, with that spirit of negation, of cynicism, of cold unideal utilitarian worldly-wisdom which mocks at faith and love and every high and tender impulse…?” – H.B. Cotterill In our consideration as to whether the floodgates of informational resources owned by universities should be made available to the public, we would do well to take a moment to reflect on a few things we know to be certain regarding the policies, practices and precedence held by these corporate entities/institutions ofRead More →

As these readings go on, I find myself learning more and more about what open access really means and how the digital world copes with a controversial idea. The full text of “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” and “Science’s Pirate Queen” are two different pieces of writing but each of them tackle the issue of offering scholarly material on the web for free. A couple of weeks before I would have cheered wholeheartedly about Aaron Swartz’s manifesto that practically screamed its call to rally people in the cause of Open Access. But now as I read “Science’s Pirate Queen,” I can see how the concept canRead More →

What happens when we corporatize knowledge? I picture a dystopia where all the fat cats at the top hold all of the wealth of knowledge discovered by scientists and researchers, while all of the folks at the bottom scramble and claw to find information about the world they live in. Oh wait, we’re already living this! Capitalism has created an environment where it is okay to harbor ideas in order to gain a profit, and eventually the gap between the informed and misinformed is going to grow so exponentially wide that it will be impossible to fill. The information being sold by publishing companies (ofRead More →

In Men in Black, Tommy Lee Jones’ character makes a comment that is dishearteningly, universally true: “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.” This is at the core of mob mentality and why idealistic social structures like socialism and anarchy—the lack of government kind—are impractical. With that in mind, the conversation around free and open access (OA) to academic literature via the internet smacks of the same kind of starry-eyed arguments that happen to leave out the more pragmatic and logistical concerns that come with OA implementation. This isn’t to say that I’m opposed to making academic andRead More →

Hello friends! This was sent to me and I figured I should definitely share it with all of you! 6th Annual Aaron Swartz Day & International Hackathon at the Internet Archive I don’t know how I forgot to mention The Internet Archive in any of our meetings, especially considering the fact that they have been laying the foundation for traversing the digital-highway by providing a means of archiving websites, (over 279 billion) videos, news, books and texts (11 million) and tons more stuff, effectively leading the toward the same goal of a world where Access to Knowledge is (digitally) Universal. I highly recommend you guys checkRead More →

When I finished reading “Science’s Pirate Queen” my one thought was. I think the reason why giant publications are so threatened by “Sci Hub” is not the fact that they are stealing, but the fact that they showed paid publication that they have nothing to offer. Let me explain right now I could theoretically download any movie I wanted through piracy, but I still rather use Netflix, and it is not because I could get caught stealing, but because Netflix aside from the content, it also has something else to offer, commodity. To download something for free I will have to install a VPN, lookRead More →

Reflecting on Kathleen Fitzgerald’s work, I find myself struck by her views on how the barrier to access academic material in an increasingly digital world isn’t reliant on one factor-it’s reliant on a multitude. Her writings explore how, why, and what happens when the academic knowledge interacts with the public as well. But to focus on one thing, I would say I am especially drawn to the section on “Public Intellectuals” were she argues about writing for a broader audience. There is section where she talks about how there’s a perception that the public should not have access because they would not understand or care.Read More →

Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s “Working in Public”  lays out my dream world! All I have ever wanted is to merge the academic world with the every day one, because they are not as separate from each other as we tend to think, and in fact both would flourish even more if there were more spaces for them to listen, learn and grow from one another. This article resonated with me a great deal because I am the only one to have entered the world of higher education in my family, and only a few of my friends go or have gone to community college and experienced beingRead More →

I enjoyed Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s, Generous Thinking: The University and the Public Good and find it interesting how her text was utilized in several ways, the first of which being the platform through which she introduced the community of Western scholars and their civilian counterparts to the potential benefits to be had should the universities embrace the ideology of open access platforms, and open their vaults of research, unknown gems and innovative ideas that we might find. The thought of all of the effort and endless hours of mind power students and professors have put into their work only for it to be locked away in some archive,Read More →