Comments on: The spirit of public libraries in free culture http://www.lessig.org/2005/07/the-spirit-of-public-libraries/ Blog, news, books Tue, 10 Oct 2017 06:01:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 By: just passing by http://www.lessig.org/2005/07/the-spirit-of-public-libraries/#comment-19040 Sun, 31 Jul 2005 20:56:17 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/07/the_spirit_of_public_libraries.html#comment-19040 I saw your 2003 comment “fix dialup first” and was excited unitil I realized the entire page was years old.

It’s still true. True even sub 50 k (where an older machine can view decent video versus a faster connection that would overwhelm i’ts ability to buffer itself) isn’t around.

I just find the public library to BE missing when dialup users are not able to have there content buffered to them. INstead we have to buy very fast connections AND very large buffering systems to subsidise the cost of providing large files to us. That is we each have to own something that should be shared. What libraries AND the interent are supposed to avoid. It was claimed then that wholesale was a fraction of retail which might of been meaningful BUT FOR THE FLAT PRICING MODEL that anticompetievley dominates dialup despite being the rule for broadband, the rule it’s not followed! (anyone who uses more then a iota of bandwidth gets kicked off).

ON peak dialup should cost more then broadband for not being limited. Off peak should be under a penny a minute even if that represents less then the ‘cost’….

Libraries should be able to charge something for best sellers (i visited oine a few yeqasr ago that charged a buck, but ended that policy).

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By: John Bachir http://www.lessig.org/2005/07/the-spirit-of-public-libraries/#comment-19039 Sun, 31 Jul 2005 04:00:29 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/07/the_spirit_of_public_libraries.html#comment-19039 Quick note, if you like OpenCourseWare, check out Connexions. It’s a very sophisticated system by which anyone in the world can develop, publish, and share educational material.

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By: Tayssir John Gabbour http://www.lessig.org/2005/07/the-spirit-of-public-libraries/#comment-19038 Sun, 31 Jul 2005 03:42:55 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/07/the_spirit_of_public_libraries.html#comment-19038 [Trying to repost this comment, as I got a weird error last time, and there's a bug where I only sometimes see it. Please delete my older one if it suddenly shows up, as I've shortened it.]

Activist historian David Noble lays out the context of why distance education historically failed overall. And why online courses are faithfully replicating these failures. (His bio, audio of a talk and his book available online.)

The salient point (as I understand) is that tech is generally used to make education “scale” — by lowering the ratio of teachers to students. Destroying its value. Apparently studies have consistently shown that the teacher to student ratio strongly correlates with educational quality.

Reminds me of Gerald Weinberg’s Law of Raspberry Jam: the more people you try communicating with, the thinner the message gets. The less value people get out of your teachings. But collaborative efforts like wikis and in-person meetings may no doubt help mitigate this.

(Incidentally, those in the tech world may be very interested in his work researching tech’s role in automating people away. In addition, he’s written less technical books for general audiences on the political history of tech, though I haven’t read them personally yet.)

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By: Tayssir John Gabbour http://www.lessig.org/2005/07/the-spirit-of-public-libraries/#comment-19037 Sun, 31 Jul 2005 02:42:39 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/07/the_spirit_of_public_libraries.html#comment-19037 The nuanced historian David Noble has a humorous and sharp talk about education colliding against tech. The context of how distance education has been a historical failure overall, and why online courses are faithfully replicating these failures. (His bio and RealPlayer [sorry] link.) His book, available online, elucidates this more carefully.

The salient point (as I understand) is that tech is generally used to make education “scale” — by lowering the ratio of teachers to students. Thus destroying its value. Apparently studies have consistently shown that the teacher to student ratio strongly correlates with educational quality.

Reminds me of well-known consultant Gerald Weinberg’s Law of Raspberry Jam: the more people you try communicating with, the thinner the message gets. The less value people get out of it. But no doubt collaborative efforts like wikis and in-person meetings may help mitigate this.

Incidentally, those in the tech world may be very interested in his work researching tech’s role in automating people away. In addition, he’s written quite readable books for general audiences on the political history of tech, though I haven’t read them personally yet.

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By: Dustin Sacks http://www.lessig.org/2005/07/the-spirit-of-public-libraries/#comment-19036 Sat, 30 Jul 2005 23:34:00 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/07/the_spirit_of_public_libraries.html#comment-19036 I think a good start would simply be getting universities to add there repositories to the lists that get searched when you search for something in a public library. If people knew that this information was available then they would be much better placed (and motivated) to get the unis to open it up more.

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By: Corey http://www.lessig.org/2005/07/the-spirit-of-public-libraries/#comment-19035 Sat, 30 Jul 2005 21:03:20 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/07/the_spirit_of_public_libraries.html#comment-19035 So I guess what I am saying is, if you want content that
has value (DVDs, In-Print Books, University Course Materials) to go free, you have to convince the content owner that there is a benefit.

Perhaps if I had been allowed to view rare films in the USC cinema library, I might have pursued my interest in film to the benefit of a studio, a student downloading free course materials might decide to matriculate in order to learn more and buy a degree that will enable them to practice in that field. The knee-jerk reaction of a Publisher, Studio, or University is going to be to protect established revenue streams.

MIT supports OpenCourseWare because they benefit from the prestige of being on the cutting edge more than they benefit from tuition lost to self-study. If you want to encourage your favorite school or studio or content provider to do the same, you’ve got to sell it. Its all about the Benjamins. :)

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By: Corey http://www.lessig.org/2005/07/the-spirit-of-public-libraries/#comment-19034 Sat, 30 Jul 2005 20:48:15 +0000 http://lessig.org/blog/2005/07/the_spirit_of_public_libraries.html#comment-19034 “What sort of hurdles need to be overcome for this to happen?”

When I was at USC in the mid-90s, the decision was made to
close off access to the cinema library and its massive collection of films. Only FILM majors were allowed to view the movies. I was paying $20K in tuition, but my major was EE. No matter that one of the world’s greatest film schools and libraries was a major attraction to USC even for non-film majors.

Why did they do this? Because representatives of a major studio observed undergraduates watching films in the library and freaked out. The studio threatened to pull all permission on all of its content. The only way for the film school to protect itself was to limit access. They couldn’t teach classes without being able to show any movies from Studio X.

You can decide for yourself if Hollywood benefits from limiting access to film studies to the small and insular world of people who are willing to devote their entire life to the industry. I happen to think it stifles creativity.

But the “hurdle” was simply money and power. Publishers could not expect to control the number of times a book was read after donating it to a library. Film Studios, because of their rental market profits, did expect to control the number of times a film was viewed. To them, if a student viewed a film in the library, they wouldn’t rent it at blockbuster. (nevermind that you can’t rent early David Lynch shorts at blockbuster) I guarantee that if there was a rental market for used books, Random House would have tried to shut down those USC libraries as well.

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