Riffing on Books and Life – Arts & Sciences Literary Blog by interactive new media author & artist Terry Bailey

19May/12

Why Information Must Be Free: The Factory Girl

I must admit, I like the idea of having information implanted in me for immediate access to it all. A personal database. Or a link to a complete information database in the Cloud. The Internet is a start to this, but it must be better organized. And the information must be free. Not owned by anyone. That is crucial. But it may not be where we are headed.  And we must deliberate and take action about this before it is too late. For the thrust of the day is in the direction of companies finding ways to profit from the storage of and subsequent sharing (and/or licensing) of hoarded information.

Our  founders had it right when they determined that all literature should be housed in a public and free system: libraries. If democracy is the goal, if equal opportunity is the goal, if righteous progress is the goal: information must be available to all and it must be free.

What if Einstein, Marie Curie or Thomas Edison had not had access to the crucial learning and information they personally read, stored and pondered to come up with their critical-to-history discoveries? Had Beethoven, Debussy or Amy Beach not had access to the scores of composers who came before, on what would they have founded their own knowledge and growth? (actually, Amy Beach did not have all the information access she needed, since she was not allowed to study in Europe "with the men," and that did have a detrimental impact on her work as a composer - something I am exploring in my biography-memoir, Amy Beach and Me, amybeachandme.com)

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