Open Source 1


This week we focused on the topic of open source history. This topic is near and dear to my heart, my project for this class is based on open source and user generated content. I believe putting history back in to the hands of the “public” will enrich the field, but I know it is a slippery slope to forgeries, false truths and convoluted information. Copyright is something I had not even factored into the equation, but after reading Lessing, I realize copyright is something that I need to think about.  I never really considered how many times I read/re-read a paper book is limitless, I have accepted that e-books have a limit. Sadly, I accept this without question. Pointing out limitations on having a book read aloud really hit home for me. As I am sure  many of those in class have heard me say, I listen to a lot of my books in the car while I am driving. It is a necessity for my life. I work full time and spend about 10 hours a week in traffic. Those 10 hours would be lost if I could not listen to books while I drive. That being said, I have also figured out the work around. Accessibility options on my iphone allow me to have (almost) anything on my screen read to me. Does this mean I am breaking the law? Seems like all blind people are breaking the law as well. I remember a time when you couldn’t lend kindle books and now that is an option, but again, you can only lend for a certain amount of time. If it were a real book that I wanted to leave with my mom in New York until I saw her again, no one would stop me. I also could buy my own second copy. While I have not tired intentionally to force it, when I have tried to buy a book for a class kindle stops me and lets me know I already own it. What if, let’s just say, I lent a copy to my mom. She is still reading it, but I want to read it with her. I have to buy my own? I can’t buy my own? We both can’t read it together. E-book copyright, web content copyright and open source copyright is a confusing topic, and will only get more confusing as technology advances. Thanks to Lessing for making me stop and think about something I take for granted.

Changing a Wikipage proved pretty boring for me. Turns out that I am one of the few people who geek out over V-mail. I added a line about the role women played in supporting the troops and deleted a line about the v-mail containing covert information, mostly because it seemed made up and had no citation.

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I also added a link to a youtube video on V-mail that I happen to love. I watch it fascinated by the process that got letters to soldiers around the world, and then back home again.

I decided to try and push buttons by editing a random page with an obvious blatent lie. I added to the Uncle Sam Diamond “In 2015 a woman used the Uncle Sam diamond in her engagement ring. The identity of this person is unknown. The ring is so heavy she can not wear for longer than a few hours without risking damage to her wrist.”  Expecting someone to realize how ridiculous of a statement this is and delete it. As of right now, nothing.

This experiment made me rethink my feelings on wikipedia. I assumed the self-policing nature caught things instantly. The Roy Rosenzweig  article summed up my thoughts on the site and processes used to create content. I assume there is a pool of people sitting around just waiting to update posts, but considering the article is from 2006, maybe my thoughts on Wiki are dated. Perhaps the initial excitement of changing entries has waned, and people don’t police as much as they used to. Perhaps the passionate people have moved on to single subject wikis, where their specialized knowledge can me pinpointed. I doubt there is a V-Mail wiki.


One thought on “Open Source

  • Pearl Harris-Scott

    I was thinking about this too Danielle, although it does somewhat reaffirm my love of ‘real’ books 🙂 My wiki changes haven’t been edited either, but from what I’ve read about the structure of Wikipedia is lesser trafficked pages might only be tracked by a few people -if that! I wonder if anyone in class will have their edit taken down?

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