The idea of open

Nov 24 2010 Published by under Open Access

This last day of Scientopian gratitude is to be focused on an idea we're grateful for. No surprises. You all know what my obvious, slam-dunk, off-the-cuff, top-of-my-head answer is, right?

Right. The idea of open. All the ideas of open. How mindblowingly amazing are these notions? That we can cut through the barrier of briars, legal and social and organizational, that bar knowledge-seekers from the castle of information. That we can give each other knowledge like hundred-year kisses. That knowledge work doesn't have to disappear into lonely glass towers.

Now, obviously, I owe my career to date to a couple-three open ideas. Open access, of course. But also open source; I've been running DSpace and Open Journal Systems as long as I've been in this game. And open data, which is where I think all this NSF fuss will eventually wind up. And free culture, to which I owe a tremendous amount of the impact I've been able to make with my speaking. There's a selfish aspect to my gratitude, for eyes that want to see selfishness.

But hell's bells, if I didn't love the idea of open with all my wizened little heart I'd have jumped ship quite some time ago. The idea of open is brilliant and wonderful, but the work of open is exhausting, slow, and often thankless.

Still I am grateful to live in a world where the idea of open is taking root.

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