Author Archives: Rufus Pollock

Open Scholarly Publishing

This post outlines how an open model of scholarly publishing would work and how it would be funded. Our current system for scholarly publishing is highly inefficient and poorly suited to the Internet age. An open model would cure many of the current ills as well as offering greater flexibility and greater potential for innovation. […]

Posted in Economics, Information Age, Innovation and Intellectual Property, Open Knowledge, Openness | Comments closed

Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt

An exceptional book, articulating and echoing long-held sentiments and provoking new ones. Summary Out of the disasters of 1914-1945 arose key attitudes: Scepticism of unregulated market and willingness to intervene Commitment to social supports and a universalism in their provision Relative equality These then broke down between mid 1970s and early 90s Why did it […]

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A Single Government Website is Hard To Do

Examples of the steps … President [Clinton] directed agencies to take include [in December 1999 memo]: Create One-Stop Access for Existing Government Information. The President directed the Administrator of the General Services Administration, in conjunction with other government entities, to create a portal for government information, based “not by agency, but by the type of […]

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NEF Confusion over Creative Commons Non-Commercial License Being Open

Clear example of an organisation applying a non-open Creative Commons license but thinking it is open: Illustrates the potential for confusion from the use of general Creative Commons branding (people talk about the brand rather than a given license and imagine that all CC license are “open”). For more see: Creative Commons and the Commons […]

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Only the educated are free – Epicetus

Only the educated are free — Epictetus. An excellent aphorism for the value of open knowledge.

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La Grande Bellezza

Score: 9/10 I have now watched Paolo Sorrentino’s extraordinary film three times. It is one of the most striking, beautiful and poignant films I have seen in a very long time and a truly worthy successor to the greatness of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita — which it both references and echoes. It is hard to […]

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Intellectual Myths: ARPA Created Internet to Have Communication System to Resist Nuclear Attack

From John Naughton, a Brief History of the Future, p.85: Years later the myth spread that what drove ARPA to build the world’s first computer network was the desire to provide a communications system that could survive a nuclear attack on the United States. The record suggests otherwise: Bob Taylor simply wanted to make the […]

Posted in Information Age, Intellectual Myths | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ogilvy’s How to Write Memo

David Ogilvy’s 1981 memo to staff at Ogilvy & Mather. I have read and re-read this several times over the years and found it useful — though I emphasize that is not the same as thinking it completely correct, for example, there are clear counter-examples to the claim that “People who think well, write well”. […]

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Great Video: Data Sharing and Management Snafu in 3 Short Acts

A funny, clever and simple video intro into what can go wrong when you actually want to reuse someone else’s data in research:

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Patents and Access to Medicines for HIV – a looming crisis

Patents and access to medicines from a 2013 report on AIDS by Medicins Sans Frontieres: Because millions of people need to be initiated and sustained on treatment regimens for life, it is as critical as ever to ensure ARVs [anti-retro-virals] are affordable. Competition among generic producers was instrumental in bringing down the price of the […]

Posted in Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, Open Knowledge, Openness | Leave a comment