Re: Wrong Advice On Open Access: History Repeating Itself

From: (wrong string) édon <>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 18:18:46 -0500

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Le samedi 31 octobre 2009 à 15:16 -0400, Stevan Harnad a écrit :


 (And I do try to preach it from a different angle each time, varying
my diction and my style. A nice bit of reciprocation would be to
actually pay attention to the content, for once, long enough to get
it, and act on it. That would be the best way to get me to shut up.
Failing that, just some sign of actually having grasped the simple
point at hand would be a rare and welcome treat for me, rather than
just the usual repetitive response of ignoring or misconstruing it for
the Nth time with a groan...)

I can think of nothing more counterproductive than these two
needlessly lost decades insofar as OA, ever within immediate reach, is
concerned (and I doubt that my relentless sloganeering has been any
bit more effectual in prolonging these decades than it has been in
foreshortening them).


Due attention has been paid to the (largely repetitive) content.

Extreme attention has been paid to the arguments.

The logic is generally not in question, although some flaws have been

What is often in question is the ambit of the issue.

And the kind of naive, uncompromising impatience is also in question.

That Stevan Harnad has contributed much to the OA movement is not in

That he has always acted in the best interest of the OA movement is
in question. However, on balance, is contribution has been very

With a bit more wisdom, it would have been exceptional.

And various biblical identifications do not help. The OA movement
does not need a Messiah. Neither is it waiting for one.

Perhaps a little bit of distance between self and issue would help.
It might even help the OA movement focus more easily on its real
obstacles rather than waste time on relatively minor internal
dissensions. So long as we roughly pull in the same direction, the
cart moves forward. We do not have to believe that a really simple
and obvious solution really exists to push for OA.

The Internet wisdom should serve us here: working code and rough
consensus. It is what allowed the Internet community to overwhelm the
resistance of the telecoms. The same philosophy will carry us forward
just as well. Let us remember that the Internet started either in
1969 (Arpanet) or 1973 (Cerf-Kahn paper on TCP/IP); yet, the public
still did not know about it in 1996 when Inet came to Montreal. Quite
a few geeks felt frustrated then, and some may have felt that time
was slipping through their fingers. As a historian, I do not fear
time; I only fear processes moving away from desired objectives. Two
decades is really nothing in the grand scheme of things, and we may
still need another decade to bring OA to the world. And not just
science articles, by the way!

Just a hint...

Jean-Claude Guédon
Received on Fri Nov 06 2009 - 04:34:08 GMT

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