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I came across a quote a few weeks ago—one that so perfectly encapsulates the outdatedness and skepticism surrounding copyright law—that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen before: “The 1976 Copyright Act is a good 1950 copyright law.”

It was attributed to someone I didn’t know: Barbara Ringer.

For all that Babs did, it is her vision of the Next Great Copyright Act that stays with me the most. Barbara Ringer said that the public interest of copyright law should be “to provide the widest possible access to information of all kinds.”

The Lost and Found Legacy of Barbara Ringer

Remembering one of the architects of American copyright law—and one of the legal world’s pioneering women

Authors dress up as their favourite characters

Photographer Cambridge Jones has collaborated with The Story Museum for its latest exhibition which celebrates childhood story heroes and sees well-known authors dress up as their favourite literary characters.

When the The Story Museum approached Cambridge Jones to take pictures for its 26 Characters exhibition, the photographer wanted images that visitors would actually stop and look at.

"Just taking a bunch of authors isn’t going to make people interested - and authors aren’t necessarily outgoing people," he says. "So I thought what if we gave them permission to have fun by asking them who their favourite character from childhood was and let their imagination run free."

“There is a wave going through academia. People are still a little obsessed with getting papers in high-profile journals, but that is changing.”

….

When the California-based operation launched in September 2008, the idea of freely sharing the fruits of one’s academic labour was a “niche concept”, he says. Advocated for by a community of activists pushing the concept of “open science”, it encompassed the idea that scientific research should be accessible to anyone who wishes to see or use it, regardless of whether they subscribe to a particular journal.

“The general view of the open science community is that openness will win out – it’s just a question of when, not if,” he concludes. “I think this view is spreading from a more niche opinion to being more widely held across academia.”

The reason, he says, is the value one gains from engaging with other academics. “When you publish in journals, you have no idea how many people have read your work.

Sharing is a way of life for millions on Academia.edu

Reisinger is baffled by the behavior of districts like Los Angeles, which rolled out a one-to-one iPad program and then revoked student privileges when kids figured out how to navigate around district filters. “On the one hand we’re handing kids amazing learning devices, perhaps one of the most amazing inventions of the past 100 years, but yet we’re saying don’t learn about it, we don’t want you to understand how it works,” Reisinger said.

Treating devices that way makes students and teachers dependent on programmers for their needs, rather than letting them learn what’s under the hood. Penn Manor teachers assign work on devices to help kids meet learning standards just like teachers everywhere else, but they also have more options to let the kids explore safely.

“While we have the ‘must do’ layer, there’s also that little bit of subversion here, giving kids that little bit of creativity and maybe a ray of hope,” Reisinger said. “I want them to learn that learning is not all about what someone else preordains for you. It’s OK to tinker and play with things.” Penn Manor is as beholden to performing well on state tests as any other school district and its teachers make sure to cover curriculum, even using a few third party software programs to provide remedial help.

Why Aren’t More Schools Using Free, Open Tools?

kateoplis:

Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.

At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.

At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all.

Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. …

Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”

Indeed, open-mindedness lies at the heart of what both Piketty and Tyson are up to. “My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer,” Tyson said. It’s a profoundly anti-dogmatic view, though well in keeping with mystical traditions of all faiths. As for Piketty, a similar spirit is reflected in the data openness that’s an integral part of his work, which makes it particularly easy for others to criticize it — as has happened with the Financial Times recently. Lest there be any doubt, here are the first two paragraphs of his initial response to FT’s criticism:

I am happy to see that FT journalists are using the excel files that I have put on line! I would very much appreciate if you could publish this response along with your piece.

Let me first say that the reason why I put all excel files on line, including all the detailed excel formulas about data constructions and adjustments, is precisely because I want to promote an open and transparent debate about these important and sensitive measurement issues (if there was anything to hide, any “fat finger problem”, why would I put everything on line?).

As Piketty goes on to explain, wealth data are not nearly as systematic as income data are, so the challenge of making them comparable is considerable, as are the benefits of open dialogue, collaboration and debate. He continues in the same spirit in his detailed response, which he begins by saying, “This is a response to the criticisms — which I interpret as requests for additional information — that were published in the Financial Times on May 23 2014 (see FT article here).”

Here, specifically, as is generally the case, openness is a requirement for the advancement of knowledge.

Rise of the myth busters: Why Piketty and Tyson are the icons America needs                        

medievalpoc:

lo-fem:

darlingmaxi:

nnekbone:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie quotables...

(via www.buzzfeed.com)

✌️

Love her!

[A series of quotes from author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on colored squares with certain words enlarged for emphasis.

1. Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.

2. Show a people as one thing, only one thing,over and over again, and that is what they become.

3. Our histories cling to us. We are shaped by where we come from.

4. A student told me it was such a shame the Nigerian men were physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had recently read a novel called American Psycho and that it was a shame that young americans were serial murderers.

5. I often make the mistake of thinking that something that is obvious to me is obvious to everyone else.

6. His advice to me (and he was shaking his head sadly as he spoke) was that I should never call myself a feminist because feminists are women who are unhappy because they cannot find husbands.

7. At some point I was a Happy African Feminist who does not hate men. And who likes lip gloss and wears high heels for herself and not for men.

8. About 52% of the world’s population are women. But most of the positions of power and prestige are occupied by men. The late Kenyan Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai put it simply and well when she said, “The higher you go, the fewer women there are.”

9. Because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye…I realized that people like me, girls with skin the color of chocolate, who’s kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature.

10. My college roommate asked if she could listen to what she called my ‘tribal music,’ and was very disappointed when I produced my tape of Mariah Carey.]

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I’ve bolded the first three quotes because if there is anything this blog is about, that’s a pretty great summary. Thanks to lo-fem for the accessibility.And also because Chimamanda Adichie is a human tour de force.

Official Website

Video: “The Danger of a Single Story”

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