Reflective Summary (The Origins Of The Internet)

freeinformation
(Source: Google Images)

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Comment 1: Andrea Mensono
Comment 2: Jasmine Tan

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In my previous post, I discussed the need for information to be freely available in order to advance
the impartation of education and societal progress. I also wrote on the various reasons why content
producers need to establish a paywall. I came to the conclusion that we can’t have the best of both
worlds in the current times. For marketers, the availability of information are the fundamentals towards
the development of a successful marketing strategy.

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Andrea brought up the topic of how grants are now possible to fund further research work.
Going back to the stance on how information should be freely shared,
I can’t help it but think that perhaps “grants” might be the way to go in the future. It might even pave
the way towards free information as funding will no longer be a problem.
In fact, the Obama Administration took that step towards open access information in 2013.
(The White House)

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(Source: The White House)

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Jasmine emphasized on the need for paywalls to be established as a means for economical growth.
It got me thinking about how “money for information” is a necessary system and the lack of it might
lead to a breakdown in terms of how the “producer-distributor-user” structure works.
It is exactly what the ACTA stated on how effective enforcement of IP rights is related to economic
growth. (ACTA) Hence, indiscriminate abolition of paywalls could lead to dire consequences.

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(Source: ACTA)

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Coming back to the issue of whether information should be shared or controlled,
both their posts had changed my thoughts slightly on the strangely symbiotic relationship
between information and money. There is no such a thing as “free information”.

To get one, the other must be given up.

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My research on open access while doing this post also revealed flaws in the open access
system to me. There is the presence of “predatory publishers” and they seemed to have found
a loophole in the system and exploited it. If this exploitation of the researchers were to continue
unabated, the legitimacy and quality of their manuscripts will be the one to suffer. (Nature)

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(Source: Nature)

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Our current information access system might be imperfect but time has proved its worth.
So for now, let us embrace it.

There’s no telling what the future holds.

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(370 Words)

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References

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. (2012, October 1).
Retrieved November 12, 2015,
from http://www.laquadrature.net/files/tradoc_147937.pdf

Stebbins, M. (2013, February 22). Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research.
Retrieved November 12, 2015,
from https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/22/expanding-public-access-results-federally-funded-research
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Beall, J. (2012, September 12). Predatory publishers are corrupting open access.
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The Origins Of The Internet

Sir_Tim_Berners-Lee2
(Source: Edited by Edward Ting)

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An open and free web was the basis for transfer and creation of knowledge.
-Tim Berners-Lee

The inventor of the internet stated the above line at the inaugural Knowledge Conference
in Dubai last year. (The National)
Before we delve deeper into the implications of having free information online, we need to
understand that the Internet was created based on the idea that it was to be open and free.
So if the original idea was for the free sharing of information,
why is it that we have to pay for online content? (The Drum)

In my previous post, I wrote about the dangers of information censorship and restriction.

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(Source: Topic 4)

If we want society to progress, then information needs to be freely shared. (Daily Reckoning)
I strongly believe that one of the key success factors for human progress is education.
Yet a high percentage of online knowledge content are locked behind paywalls. (The Drum)
With that being the case, progression will come to a halt if we were to allow that to continue.
For educators and students, the availability of information is of the utmost importance.
Education at its core is sharing. (Wiley, D., Green, C., & Soares, L. 2012)
When content producers freely share information, they are indirectly advancing progress.

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What we see these days though, is that we have to pay for information and knowledge.
It is an odd observation as distribution cost had gone down with the advent of
the internet and digitization. (Shockey, N., & Eisen, J. 2012)


(Source: YouTube)

While the video above is purely satirical, it does hold some truth.
It speaks of how capitalism had resulted in the control of knowledge and information.
But is capitalism evil?

Without monetary investments, academics and researchers will have a harder time advancing
the progress of knowledge and the sciences. (Shockey, N., & Eisen, J. 2012)
Without monetary profits, it will be a challenge for content producers and distributors to
continue with the production and distribution process.

What will happen if there is free sharing of Intellectual Property?
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) states that “effective enforcement of
intellectual property rights is critical to sustaining economic growth across all industries and globally”.
This means that lack of enforcement might actually result in adverse economic implications.

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To decide if information should be controlled or shared is an issue not so easily resolved.
Even though information is critical to societal progression,
we cannot expect it to be free and yet progress further while facing the lack of funds.
The two are closely interlinked and not mutually exclusive.

Maybe someday, we’ll be able to fulfil the original purpose of the Internet.
And until that utopic day comes, we’ll just have to make do with the status quo.

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(446 Words)

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References

Shockey, N., & Eisen, J. (2012, October 25). Open Access Explained!
Retrieved November 11, 2015,
from https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L5rVH1KGBCY

Lepitak, S. (2013, April 12). 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests.
Retrieved November 11, 2015,
from http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/04/12/90-online-content-be-held-behind-paywalls-three-years-media-company-survey-suggests

Wiley, D., Green, C., & Soares, L. (2012, February 1). ERIC – Dramatically Bringing down the Cost of Education with OER: How Open Education Resources Unlock the Door to Free Learning, Center for American Progress, 2012-Feb.
Retrieved November 11, 2015,
from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED535639

Badam, R. (2014, December 7). World Wide Web inventor makes plea to keep internet free and open.
Retrieved November 11, 2015,
from http://www.thenational.ae/uae/technology/world-wide-web-inventor-makes-plea-to-keep-internet-free-and-open

Bowman, J. (2012, April 3). How the Speed of Information Has Affected Human Progress – Daily Reckoning.
Retrieved November 11, 2015,
from http://dailyreckoning.com/how-the-speed-of-information-has-affected-human-progress/

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. (2012, October 1).
Retrieved November 11, 2015,
from http://www.laquadrature.net/files/tradoc_147937.pdf