These are some brief notes about this mornings keynote at Open Education 2014. I was a bit relieved here. My nightmare is that one day I will show up at OpenEd and it will have been completely taken over by corporate interests and big universities (I guess that is a little redundant). But Larry Lessig assuaged my fears. He is one of the founders of Creative Commons. He didn’t talk about open textbooks or OER per se but he talked about the political processes that are getting in the way of the kind of copyright and educational reform that would mean substantial and meaningful change.
These are some rambling notes of uncertain usefulness:
He also talked about Aaron Schwartz and his passion for the removing the corruption, the central problems of copyright. Aaron
He talked about how to understand the problem with our govt.
Tweedism (as in “Boss Tweed”) – Tweeds get to do the selecting and the citizens get to do the electing. and there is a filter between the govt and the citizens.
Tweedism is something that is continuing around the world. The democracy protests in China and elsewhere are protests against Tweedism. A two stage process that filters democracy.
Tweedism is US is supported by funding. Less than 1% are funding the elections. The majority are being excluded. The average voter has no effect on what public policies get passed.
In 1998, US signed into law was the copyright extension act by 20 years. You cannot extend the public good. 6 million dollars from disney and other corporations fought to move it forward and the money talked.
No changes under the Obama administration. The drug companies, media companies, take past employers of the US trade office.
Copyright law regulates copies – but does not really cover existing copies. In US – everything that you do digitally is presumed to be regulated. Even temporary copies. The laws are constantly bending to Hollywood.
The defeat of SEC 124 – the National Review wrote an expose on the restrictions that would have allowed companies to vet OER.
Solution is that we have to reform campaign funding. It needs to be decentralized. Matching funds, vouchers, – politicians can decentralize funding. Pundits say that “people don’t care.”
How do you push back against the resignation to corruption in politics.
Focus on feasible change. A statute that would regulate funding. Ideals about what we believe. Tithe ten percent of our efforts should be addressing the underlying problem of how campaigns are funded. (Corruption in govt).
“Hope is a state of mind…an orientation of the spirit. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” – Vaclev Havel
Just at the time that we are opening things up that regulations come in a close things down.