Senate Hacker Ethics - should scientific information be free?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by SuperWatto, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I don't know if this is really a good analogy for the high cost of high end information, but I often think a lot of educational expenses are designed to create barriers to entry to keep more people from trying to enter a given field.

    I'd argue that no one needs three years at a law school to train to become a lawyer. People should be allowed to simply take the bar exam, pass it and get a license. But thank god there's some kind of serious financial obstacle. We already have way too many lawyers. It would be far more efficient to simply charge $50,000 to take the bar exam, but not so good for law schools.

    But it's important for academia to reel in those people who would otherwise just educate themselves to a PhD level without paying for a degree, which would be entirely possible if there was free open access to the best information.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 28, 2013
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  2. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    financial barriers to entry for information are, in my opinion, inherently anti-democratic and inexcusably classist
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Jan 28, 2013
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  3. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Actually, it seems like it goes back 20 years now, technically, so it's been going long enough that when I got into research, it's usage was a given. It's ran by Cornell now, and costs them something like $400,000 a year. According to wikipedia, it gets around 7000 articles a month submitted to it.

    There's a huge amount of competition in the fields, so I don't think that's a factor, although it may be that physics is so computational, by its nature, that it was more likely someone was going to do this, just because of that use of computers being so uniform. It does seem with other fields, from my outsiders perspective, a lot of it is still lab work, whereas a large amount of physics is coding.