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by Stephen Downes
June 20, 2007

Everyone'S Tripping and It'S All Free
Bryan Alexander states, accurately, "The Chronicle's stance of reporting against, er, about technology is one of the biggest, least appreciated problems in academic computing and instructional technology." I have long wondered about this. What motivates such partisan reporting, biased to the point of parody? This latest coverage - a breathless endorsement of the Gorman stance in the Britannica blog. "Academic bloggers have savaged Mr. Gorman's treatises," reports the Chronicle, without the slightest hint that the bloggers may have a point. "Do you have the sense that Wikipedians, 'citizen journalists,' and other Web 2.0 enthusiasts seek to devalue your published work?" Um... what? Brock Read, Chronicle of Higher Education June 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Open Source Publishing
A wiki has been launched on the concept of open source publishing. "Open source publishing refers to the openness of the authoring and reviewing process while open access refers to the openness to the reader." Via Peter Suber. Eric Mock, iMechanica June 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Required Reading: the Next 10 Years
Lawrence Lessig is shifting his focus. He writes, "the real problem here was (what I will call a 'corruption' of) the political process... our government can't understand basic facts when strong interests have an interest in its misunderstanding." It's this sort of thing that has prevented, he writes, progress in the copyright arena. "No public regarding justification could justify the extraordinary deadweight loss that such extensions impose. Yet governments continue to push ahead with this idiot idea -- both Britain and Japan for example are considering extending existing terms. Why? The answer is a kind of corruption of the political process."

In support of this, Lessig has also released a disclosure statement describing his "non-corruption" principles. "Lawyers at one time had a professional ethic that permitted them to say what they believe. Now the concept of "business conflicts" -- meaning, a conflict with the commercial interests of actual or potential clients -- silences many from saying what they believe. Doctors too are hired into jobs where they are not allowed to discuss certain medical procedures (See, e.g., Rust v. Sullivan). Researchers at 'think tanks' learn who the funders are as a first step to deciding what questions will be pursued. And finally, and most obviously, the same is true of politicians." Lawrence Lessig, Lessig Blog June 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Changing an Epistemological System
An interesting red-blue diagram describing shifting epistemological systems. I mostly agree with this, though question some of the wording (for example, I probably read "common ground" to mean something different that what the author intends). Anyhow, "Red oceans are bloodied by rivalries. The epistemological system in an industry dictates competition and costly battles to prove superiority.... A blue ocean is uncontested market space -- providing access to untapped demand. It seems impossible to miss at revenue growth, market penetration, customer loyalty, brand development and continued innovations." Tom Haskins, growing changing learning creating June 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Universities Strike Back in Battle Over Illegal Downloads
It's hard for me to imagine that anyone who wants free online music hasn't already downloaded everything available. After all, downloading has been going on for years. The people being caught today are the people who are careless with the music they already have. Keep it on the USB stick, people! Meanwhile, this story in the Christian Science Monitor begins with a set of unsubstantiated statistics and never looks back: "college students illegally obtained two-thirds of their music and accounted for 1.3 billion illegal downloads in 2006 alone - in what the RIAA estimates as millions of dollars in losses directly attributed to college students." Yeah, well, don't forget, the RIAA thinks you should have to purchase your entire music collection every time your MP3 player dies on you. Via EDUCAUSE Connect. Amy Brittain, Christian Science Monitor June 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Informatology: Blended Learning
Scott Wilson also presented to the British Council the other day and gave a talk that was very similar to my own (the examples differ, in some cases, though, and there was more emphasis on mobile communications). These are his slides. He notes, "I was also looking at some mobile technologies, and hoped to be able to demo some things, but time and again came face to face with mobile platform lock-in, whether by the phone OS or network provider, which is a real shame!" It is, and it's one of the major reasons I'm not a really fan of mobile (I say that, but you can't separate me from my MP3 player, so maybe it's in the emphasis...). Scott Wilson, Scott's Workblog June 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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