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Old 10-02-2009, 07:19 PM   #8
rogue_ronin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N0NJY View Post
Thus my point.

One college will control the content in it's own way perhaps differently than another university. In which case some universities will "become more equal than others" in content, context and in information.

Others will be, shall we say, "less equal" in quality of information being presented.

I don't have a problem with "open source" at all, don't get me wrong. But when it comes specifically to basic information, basic training, basic informational skills, everyone should be (for lack of a better phrase) on the same page.

I suppose, in the long run this may incite people to learn more freely, and perhaps more deeply of a subject though. I only question the "politics" of such a decision.
I think when you say "everybody should be...on the same page" you mean that everyone should have the same opportunities for excellence, truth and knowledge. But it sounds to me a bit authoritarian. And it can be used that way.

Of course, if it's really open source, anyone who improves it must share it. So the best editions will bubble to the top, and anyone can use the resulting texts. No hoarding and hiding it behind "copyright" and lawsuits.

Right now, two states (Texas and California), dominate which textbooks are used in the US, because of their size and the number of books they purchase. Texas is a crazy place where they try to insert religion and conservative movement ideology into the texts.

The rest of the country is therefore limited (not completely, but greatly) in what is available to it. Publishers are largely corporations, so you know that doing the right thing is irrelevant -- they just want the money. Having truly open source textbooks might mitigate this. (And it also might mitigate the horrible, monopolistic pricing practices in universities.)

m a r
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