on wikis

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Sidebar Rant:
I hate iTunesU. What if I don't want to download something? What if I want to find something again? What if I want to send a link to someone? Universities do seem to be catching on and are using the internet like the rest of the world, but what happens to these fascinating stored lectures? Will Google create a project that offers to download them all and make them available as tagged resources on YouTube? One can hope. One can hope.

I've been listening to a series of UC Berkeley lectures in iTunes. It's InfoSys296A-2 Open Source Development and Distribution of Digital Information: Technical, Economic, Social, and Legal Perspectives. It's interesting to me because I see having an informed, enlightened perspective on information sciences to be part of my job. I'm not naturally inclined to seek this stuff out. There is a little pleasure, though; especially, like going to a trade school instead of a university, when you find immediate tie ins to how you earn a living. The lecture currently sparking inner discussion is Wikipedia as an Open Source Project. You can probably locate it on iTunes with this much info, but those rascally UC Berkeley folks also have the same course on that other internet.

I love it. So I guess that's a lot of pleasure. A few minutes in, Mitch Kapor (Adjunct Professor at the School of Information at University of California, Berkeley) reads the Jimmy Wales quote,

"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge."

I get it. It and waves of images of implications. What would be the impact on a University? What would we lose? What would we gain? What would it be like having learning as a lifelong pastime for anyone who wants it? What sort of rationale would develop in academe that would try to maintain the political and fiscal status quo without mentioning them? Lock down the resources without sharing them? Would it be possible for a University to use such a system? What value could they add? What would the problems be?

Shouldn't someone be exploring this?

I'm going to go draw.



Cole said:

I'm trying to explore. I am convinced. Meeting Jimmy Wales and listening to the thoughts of some very smart people have pushed me decidedly in a singular direction.

Penn State
April 18, Symposium 2009; reimagine.
New content. Symposium 2008.Digital Commons at Penn State. Improve the workplace; hire for variety.


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