It’s this guy who appears to have single-handedly created about 1400 educational videos – university level. Check out the list on that page… that’s utterly incredible. He’s quite good at teaching as well by the look of it – they’re understandable. If I had ten divisions of such men our troubles here would be over very quickly.
I’ve been thinking about sky libraries quite a lot recently – because that (among other things) is what the web is. It’s a Giant Library In The Sky.
And you know what the thing about libraries is? They’re a basic human right. They’re a cornerstone of civilisation… all information available to all people all of the time, is a basic human right. If you are a publisher, you don’t get to choose what goes into a library. Please… fuck off. That is not your decision – the ethos/sanctity of libraries is more important than the business/$$$ of publishers. Sorry, you’ll just have to find some other way to make money – like the rest of us have had to.
Which leaves us with some fairly tangly questions to answer – to do with where privacy starts, and libararyhood… takes over. Every human on earth has a god-given right to be able to access all information as soon as it is published. Just like they would if it was a bricks-and-mortar library. Once information is in the wild, it no longer belongs to anyone… not logically or morally. The law is retarded, and retarding – and held in utter contempt by everyone under the age of 25, and a fair few over. You (Douglas Rushkoff) may think you have a right to “own” what you publish… rather than (as you say) just “giving” it to the hive-mind… nice try, but that is not the environment you live in. Those are not the environmental conditions – and you can’t fight it without pouring a ton of money and energy into the guard-economy. You can’t fight it without making the web equivalent of the fascism that we saw at the G20 in Toronto this last few weeks
Information is inherently unownable – if you don’t like it, don’t create it… there are a couple of billion people more than happy to take your place. We are witnessing the biggest explosion in expressive-capability in human history, and legacy industries are a hindrance, rather than the sine qua non of creativity. We are here.
So… I think the library frame is a more useful starting point for the morality of information… than that of “theft” – because that clearly doesn’t work.
And when you see what Salman Khan has done – what he’s gifted to the world… how much this information / teaching would mean to someone… who doesn’t have access to education. It goes beyond (the symptom of a chronically broken system that is) philanthropy and is looking a whole lot more… Gandhi-like is too strong… I mean all he has done has given everything he knows to the rest of humanity. He hasn’t broken the British Empire… but still… …If I had ten divisions of such men our troubles here would be over very quickly.