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Re: [ox-en] Re: Next successful Free Product?

On Wed, 2005-10-05 at 18:35 [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Stefan Merten wrote:

Wikipedia certainly did not come into being because people lacked
money to but a paper encyclopedia. As far as I can see Wikipedia is
based on the fun of having a Free Encyclopedia - just like the roots
of Free Software.

I think both Free Software and Wikipedia have two factors behind them.
One is the conviction that all knowledge (and software) needs to be
Free, which was what really started them off. What really sustains them,
IMHO, is the fun of creating (Free Software) or contributing (knowledge)

Free Science has more to do with lack of money. One of the roots of
Free Science is the complaints of scientists that their results are
given to scientific magazines for nothing but the scientific community
has to buy back the results in form of the magazines using ever
increasing amounts of money. However, this lack of money is not at the
fundament of scientific activity which is still funded by states
and/or companies. Well, the lack of money for the expensive magazines
can be seen as a partial retreat of states / companies from funding

In the case of Free Science (Open Access), I think what started it was
actually the lack of money. This was not, if I am not mistaken, just due
to the retreat of the state / companies from funding, but also because
of the huge increase in the prices of journals. Consequently, there are
two ways in which this affects a scientist: 1) As a scientist, I am
unable to get all journals that publish papers in my subject, thus
reducing my access to developments in my subject; 2) Fewer scientists
read my papers, thus reducing the impact of my work, which is important
for me. Here, the ideological aspect of making results from publicly
funded research work accessible to the public has been largely a
secondary one.

Science on the other hand lives to a large degree on the
Selbstentfaltung and freedom of the scientists. Many argue that even
Free Software is based on this idea seen first in science. Thus I'd
say that classical science already contains many aspects of Free

I think we need to take a close look at what drives modern scientific
research, or, rather, how do individual scientists decide on what
problem they are going to work. To what extent do they have the freedom
to choose. I have a feeling that, except in a few areas in basic
sciences (cosmology? particle physics?) there could be other factors
that restrict the freedom of the individual scientist. I hope I am

V. Sasi Kumar <sasi.fsfs>
Free Software Foundation of India

Contact: projekt

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