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[News] Freedom Spreads to Content and Economies

  • Subject: [News] Freedom Spreads to Content and Economies
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 21:22:15 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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Free Texts: Sources

,----[ Quote ]
| There are a few interesting things to talk 
| about surrounding free and open textbooks. 
| Quality is one. Usability is another. Why 
| to write one (and/or, why not) is certainly 
| critical. But where can you find these 
| disruptive, open texts?


The Tragedy of the Antibiotics Commons 

,----[ Quote ]
| What this emphasises is that antibiotics 
| form a kind of global commons - a resource 
| whose benefits we all share. But if one 
| party overexploits that commons - in this 
| case, by recklessly handing out antibiotics 
| as the article suggests - then the commons 
| is ruined for *all* of us.


Why some smart people are reluctant to share?

,----[ Quote ]
| You might think the reasons for this may 
| be:
|     * they donât have time
|     * they are selfish
|     * they donât care
|     * they donât have an incentive to do it
| I was perplexed on this and over the last 
| six weeks I spent some time talking to many 
| of these smart people to understand what 
| could be the reason. The results were very 
| interesting. The rest of the article is 
| based on those findings.


Can Gifting Economies Scale?

,----[ Quote ]
| It's pretty clear that the societal drivers 
| of tribal gifting economics and the 
| mechanisms of enforcement didn't survive 
| the transition to a global social system 
| composed of billions of members.   Simply, 
| the connections between any two individuals 
| (outside of immediate familial 
| relationships) are too abstract for these 
| drivers and enforcement mechanisms to be 
| relevant.   As a result, market based 
| mechanisms for economic interaction have 
| gained dominance.


The future of web publishing, part seventeen million and six.

,----[ Quote ]
| As of the end of this month, I have 
| published sixteen novels, a handful of 
| novellas, and almost a hundred pieces of 
| short fiction. It's been critically well 
| received, garnered me some praise and a 
| handful of awards, and has performed 
| modestly well in terms of what the 
| publishing industry refers to as "the 
| numbers."
| Like every other narrative-prose writer on 
| the planet who does not have the covers 
| pulled up over her head (and believe me, 
| the temptation is enormous) I am trying to 
| figure out how the heck to continue doing 
| what I am good at--what I have spent twenty 
| years learning how to do at a professional 
| level--in the face of developing 
| technology.


Of Open Science and Open Source 

,----[ Quote ]
| I'd go further: if you won't release them 
| and *share* them, then you're not really a 
| scientist, because science is inherently 
| about sharing, not hoarding knowledge, 
| whatever kind that may be. The fact that 
| some of it may be in the form of computer 
| code is a reflection of the fact that 
| research is increasingly resting on digital 
| foundations, nothing more.


Peer review: What is it good for?

,----[ Quote ]
| Whatever value it might have we largely 
| throw away. Few journals make refereeâs 
| reports available, virtually none track the 
| changes made in response to refereeâs 
| comments enabling a reader to make their 
| own judgement as to whether a paper was 
| improved or made worse. Referees get no 
| public credit for good work, and no public 
| opprobrium for poor or even malicious work. 
| And in most cases a paper rejected from one 
| journal starts completely afresh when 
| submitted to a new journal, the work of the 
| previous referees simply thrown out of the 
| window.
| Much of the commentary around the open 
| letter has suggested that the peer review 
| process should be made public. But only for 
| published papers. This goes nowhere near 
| far enough. One of the key points where we 
| lose value is in the transfer from one 
| journal to another. The authors lose out 
| because theyâve lost their priority date 
| (in the worse case giving the malicious 
| referees the chance to get their paper in 
| first). The referees miss out because their 
| work is rendered worthless. Even the 
| journals are losing an opportunity to 
| demonstrate the high standards they apply 
| in terms of quality and rigor â and indeed 
| the high expectations they have of their 
| referees.


University finds free online classes don't hurt enrollment

,----[ Quote ]
| The university's Independent Study 
| offerings have been attractive to students 
| who are unable to make class regularly, 
| either due to geographic distance or 
| because of scheduling conflicts. Its Open 
| CourseWare section offers the general 
| public six classesâthree university courses 
| and three high school coursesâthat anyone 
| on the Web can step through. (May I 
| personally recommend the Financial Planning 
| course? A lot of people could use it these 
| days.) Of course, you won't get any credit 
| for taking the course for free, and that's 
| why BYU hopes you'll pony up the cash and 
| enroll.



The Indispensable Man of Open Science: A Talk with Cameron Neylon

,----[ Quote ]
| Could you please tell us a bit of your
| background? What kind of scientist are you,
| for instance?
| I started off in what was at the time fairly
| conventional metabolic biochemistry doing an
| undergraduate project looking at what food
| molecules platelets selected from plasma
| when given the choice. Then I moved more
| towards biophysics and biotechnology during
| my PhD, looking at ways to manipulate DNA to
| make what were then large libraries of
| variants of the gene specific protein,
| trying to figure out how to make protein
| copies of all of those genes and then select
| the one or two out the billions that did
| what we want. The theme since then has
| really been about developing new ways of
| applying physical techniques from physics
| and chemistry to looking at protein
| structure and function.
| My current job at the Science and Technology
| Facilities Council in the UK is an
| interesting mix of developing new
| techniques, using these to tackle specific
| structural problems, and working with the
| scientists who come in to use our facilities
| to help them solve problems. I enjoy working
| with other people and this job gives me a
| good opportunity to do that and for that to
| be valued, something that is often missing
| in university settings.

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