Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...


Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
From: Owen Grant (owencharlesgrant@hotmail.com)
Date: Sun Nov 13 2005 - 18:36:10 EST


Kenneth wrote:

>This gets more and more interesting. When, as a child, my parents wanted
>us kids to have a direct musical experience they invested in a piano. They
>didn't expect the music school to provide an instrument for free. It was
>simply too expensive. When I decided to learn any musical instrument I
>either bought outright, or, if on a tight budget, found a store with one of
>those lease-to-own programs.

I think this is applicable in a private situation -- I wouldn’t expect a
free instrument either if it were my hobby. Although, in an academic
environment the situation is slightly different: one moves away from an
ideologically capitalist environment of individualism -- where motivation is
provided largely through greed, and the love of money -- and into an
environment that instead thrives through the sharing of ideas,
collaboration, and a shared end product.

I think the problem is the one-fits-all transplantation of capitalism into
an ideologically different environment doesn’t work. That is, without a
serious dose of philanthropy.

Kenneth wrote:

>Ultimately, it seems unreasonable to me that people should expect all of
>this to come for free

>The strategy is not to join the pirates but to beat them at their own game.
> There are good people out there providing the means to create your own
>alternative to the emergent info-culture. Support them and become part of
>a viable alternative. It takes some investment in both financial terms as
>well as ethical and socially conscious means.

This would only work if institutions joined forces and were proactive in
changing their software suppliers. I wish I had faith that such a thing
could happen, but big companies can lean on institutions and governments
harder than a few geeks (I quite like that image though). Not to mention,
institutions would have to take one step back to get two steps forward.

Owen

Owen.C.Grant



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Sat Dec 22 2007 - 01:46:14 EST