nutcroft blog

Fable on knowledge

Once upon a time, in universe with Greene number #2.3229293827+19 there was a student. He was wondering: how come new knowledge is published on scientific magazines which only university people have access to? We should enable everyone to access them so that they can research and advance humanity’s knowledge too. Right?

So, he set up a server from inside the university to enable everyone outside to access scientific magazines. A bridge, one could say. The university is paying obscene amounts of money to the publishing company, Odyssey. Odyssey themselves make money with the content that scientists create. Scientists get paid by public university money but do not get paid when published by Odyssey. So, Odyssey is getting paid by everyone who wants access to something someone else created. That this whole thing is a sham is an understatement. Yet nobody was doing anything—except this student.

His bridge worked for a while, but eventually Odyssey noticed him. Not long after, he was caught. He was convicted—for enabling open knowledge. Few supported him. In universe with Greene number #2.3229293827+19 there is no democracy. Everything is adjusted so that the growing rate of the rich companies’ revenue grows. People who strive for the betterment of society are—at least sometimes—those who prosper the least. In an alternate imaginary, it is these people who win.

The student hang himself. His life was destroyed. His life was no more. Few cared. And Odyssey? They still exist. They still have power. They still control knowledge.

A few years later another student had the same idea. Thankfully, she was living in a country far from the one Odyssey operated in. Ten years after implementing her solution, she is still alive and well. She had some support—not a lot—but it was enough because of her location.

The degree of her impact is the stuff of legends. She managed to allow access to knowledge for an outstanding amount of people. Her contribution to universe with Greene number #2.3229293827+19 might just be one of the greatest of all time.

The finale of her story, though, is still at play—happening right now—in a parallel universe next to you. One thing is for sure: she cannot win alone.

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