Will current trends in the monetization of information and education be detrimental to a goal of creating an educated global society?
"A republic is a common educational life in process. So Montesquieu
said that as the principle of an aristocracy was honor,
and the principle of a tyranny was fear, the principle of
a democracy was education. Thomas Jefferson took him
seriously. Now we discover that a little learning is a dangerous
thing. We see now that we need more learning, more
real learning, for everybody." Robert M. Hutchins, The Great Conversation (1952)
I'm seeking ideas on ways to create an educated global society.
Can everyone afford access to educational information? Can one obtain access at all? An ISP? Is there a technical bookstore in the area? How large is your personal library? How large is your hard drive?
Copyright protection has become extremely long and intellectual property rights, and guild thinking, are increasingly asserted to deny access to information. Education is increasingly becoming proprietized and access restricted. Scientific information is being coralled as monetizable trade secrets.There are efforts to maintain an information commons and open access education but there is a lot of pressure to enclose it. Corporate values seem to be at odds with making information globally available.
A local University recently placed its entire information commons computers, online books and journals etc, and even its catalog behind a password protected login accessible only to registered students, faculty and guest accounts.A large number of books were placed in an off-campus high density storage where they are out of sight and out of mind. The catalog can be accessed by the public online using a third party WIFI but not the University WIFI. The public can still browse the shelves and the physical books can still be borrowed by the public using a special library card.
A local public library system recently placed its first edition set of " Great Books of the Western World" in humanities storage. Public library e-books are still controversial.