Openness

The Internet is like a big playground, and it just seems to be getting bigger. More and more people are joining conversations in the Internet and some are wondering if certain people should be allowed to play or not. This openness has allowed people that were previously untrusted with knowledge to gain access to tools, information, and ways of communication to collaborate and voice their ideas. As Weinberger says, this has not eliminated the need for professional scientists but has certainly grayed the area because of the mix of public and the “professionals” (131).

With more contributors, there is of course an abundance of knowledge and information with the Internet. As we have discussed before, there is an inherent problem that comes with the openness. We have to acknowledge that not everything is truthful. We often have to dig through layers or search a long time to find the “best” information. As summed up by Weinberger, knowledge has become a playlist and not a library. We search for something and we get results, similar to looking in a genre for songs.

Not only is there an abundance of information, as networks are created between people and groups of people, authorship is beginning to lose its grip. If more minds collaborate on an idea, everyone may be able to benefit because a better product can be produced. In the past, we have limited the production of ideas to the original people that thought them up, not allowing changes that could make it better until a certain time. Even now, copyright laws have been strengthened to encourage this thinking. We need to allow the public access to these ideas so that collaboration can produce a better idea for the general public.

We need to learn how to play well with others. We need to learn that as a group, we can make good ideas better. Of course, there are downfalls but the public will benefit greatly from this type of openness. There will always be a need for professionals but amateurs have much to offer as well. One thing is for sure, the playground is only going to get bigger.

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