Articles I'm Digesting 4/4/2010

Why Hasn’t Scientific Publishing Been Disrupted Already? by Michael Clark

A couple of months ago I gave a talk at the Regenstrief Institute about collaboration and open science. This article sums up one part of the talk – about the evils of closed publishing models in science. Clark writes everything I was thinking plus more, dissecting the problem in a manner that is far more concise that I dreamed of. It is a joy to read.

The challenge? That that making science more open is impossible because of the technology, it is cultural/economic. The entire reward system in science is based around getting published… so while there are ways to share scientific information that would be more efficient (and thus better for both science, scientists and humanity) we are stuck in the 20th (or 19th) century because the culture and institutions of science trap us there. A brilliant read.

Government and the Good Life by Doug Saunders

Saunders article is classic globe – the very reason why I try to get a different perspective on their website. It’s a good read, thought provoking but also, very 20th century. Saunders article is about our quest to reconcile the paradox of “Now we’re all for big government. Yet we do not trust government.” We are again embarking on a question to relearn the lessons of the Great Depression and trust the state once again.

I have my doubts.

Today we aren’t choosing between the market and the state. We recognize that both are essential. But we trust neither, and I suspect, will continue to trust neither. Rather than markets or governments, we are choosing between Open and Closed. Who are the villains of today? Swiss bankers who’ve ripped millions off of families, the Roman Catholic Church that hides and protects priests who molested small children, Government’s that refuse to disclose documents (even to parliament), companies that offer enormous bonuses to executives in confidential board meetings. Who are the heroes? The whistleblowers, the journalists, the computer programmers who make government more transparent… This isn’t about trust. In a world of opacity vs. transparency, it’s about verification. If I have to pick the great paradox, it isn’t about government’s versus markets, its about opacity vs transparency…. where do draw the line. That’s the big questions that we’ll be wrestling with.

Results From Dungeons & Dragons Online Going Free: Revenue Up 500% via Techdirt

Score one for the freemies. Great article about how, after giving the entire game away for free, the game attracted another 1million users and increased revenues by 500%.

The Total Growth of Open Source by Amit Deshpande and Dirk Riehle at SAP Labs

The graph below pretty much sums up the story. Open source projects, both the total number and the amount of code being submitted to them, is growing. Fast. At an exponential rate.

Of course, Government IT departments still can’t even think about Open Source software (more on this later this week) but it is clear that this model for software development is expanding. Nice to read an article that tries to measure this growth accurately.

One thought on “Articles I'm Digesting 4/4/2010

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