Information liberation – Martin

If every power is apt to be corrupted, how can we escape from this undesirable pattern? or at least, how can we minimize the side effects of this corruption? Presumably, Brian Martin wrote this book, “Information Liberation”, in order to answer for these questions.

While I was reading the text, one thing that constantly came to my mind was GNU project. The GNU project is free-software movement, which stands for “GNU’s Not Unix” and became a foundation of the great operating system, Linux. They, GNU project members, aim for the absolute free sharing of software by means of collaboration of programmers who agree with these GNU sprits. I understand that information of computer programs is probably exceptional cases, therefore, it might not be applicable to all information-related fields. However, I think the spirit of sharing itself is one thing that we should seriously consider. In my opinions, the information for the public interests, such as government documents or scholarly researches, should eventually be opened without any restrictions so that no one can rule or control it and, at the same time, the public can utilize them for the development of human society. Of course, we will need some sort of social consensus about how to reward information providers for their endeavor, and one of the solutions for that could be using public funds.

Furthermore, in this point of view, we can say that new generation of the media plays an important role because they can be effective means for preventing the information from being monopolized and for holding each information provider in check, although credibility is a pending question to be settled.     

S.Soo Moon

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3 responses to “Information liberation – Martin

  1. I think the GNU project is a great example of just the type of cooperation that Martin advocates. We’ll talk more about the concepts of open source (and open access, which we’ve touched on already) next week.

  2. I was very interested about the GNU project, I didn’t know about it. I have heard about Linux before but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. I went to their website to check it out and I thought it was funny the way they explained “free” software. They say: To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”. I think its great, because its two completely different things, and before I read this part, I was thinking more as “free beer”. How does that work though? Do they have equivalent software for the more popular software used?
    Marcelo.

  3. Another way I’ve heard open source software described is free as in “free kitten,” not as in “free beer.” A free beer is an enjoyable gift with no strings attached: you get it, drink it, and then it’s gone. A free kitten is also a nice gift (if you like cats, that is), but carries a maintenance burden: you need to provide it with food, litter, shelter, etc.

    Open source software is constantly undergoing revisions, so you need to be willing to install upgrades and patches (sometimes more frequently than for commercially-produced software). But interested people can also contribute by helping to program the code and share their revisions, which can make the underlying codebase more robust.

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