open content politics

Then They Fight You…

Most of us are familiar with the inspiring phrase attributed to Mahatma Gandhi:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

For years, while we worked on creating open access to educational resources, research articles, etc., the various commercial industries ignored us. Then in press releases and on conference panels they mocked open educational resources as “low quality” and not particularly useful.

While things reached stage three with the open access movement a few years ago, we seem to finally be arriving there on the open educational resources front. Today’s Chronicle contained the story, Publishers Criticize Federal Investment in Open Educational Resources. So now it gets interesting (aka difficult) for a while, but if we persevere and continue pressing forward stage four will shortly come into sight…


Thank you, Governor Herbert!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Governor Herbert!

To those in the Utah legislature concerned about the financial cost of GRAMA, here’s an idea. Since we’re talking about electronic communications used to conduct public business, why not just cc: all these communications to a giant public repository in the sky the first time you send that email or txt? Then instead of “us citizens” making expensive GRAMA requests, we can just pull the information we want out of the repository ourselves? I strongly suspect the cost to maintain this service would be much lower than the current cost of manually processing GRAMA requests. Empower us to do things for ourselves. We’re capable.

Instead of making Utah an example of anti-openness that other states would surely try to follow with “a Utah-style law” that will embarrass us every time we hear the phrase, let’s set an example of how a state can be more open and transparent while spending less. Then we can be proud of the “Utah-style laws” other states will try to adopt.