In 1984 Stewart Brand told a room full of hackers that “Information wants to be free.” This has became a central idea for many hackers and technologists. Many have felt strongly for and against this idea. (Wikipedia Article about Information Wants To Be Free)
As a teacher there is a lot about this that resonates with me. How can you learn something if you cannot access it? We benefit as a global society the more access to education that people have. That is why I find the Open Educational Resource movement so appealing. How can I and you and we help more people learn more? I feel this internal burning to further that mission.
But in contrast… if you read my other post from this week called Can I Publish This?, you will know that I am considering selling a curriculum that I created. I know… I am full of contradictions. But here is the reality. It would take me many more hours to get that curriculum in a format worth publishing. I have to polish it all up, create better tutorials, and so much more. At this point in my life the only way I can justify taking that much time is if it has the potential of making me at least some money. It isn’t fair to my family to do otherwise.
This is the harsh reality of making everything free, it cost money to make good content. But information wants to be free. So the question that I have been asking is how can I and others give content away and receive enough value in return? I want to give more to this world than I take from it but I am forever trying to find the right ways to do that.
Note: For those that know more about the statement “information wants to be free” know that I didn’t completely use it accurately with its intended meaning. I apologize but the phrase works well.