open access & a weekend of sevens (recap)

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on the search of sevens - 30 thanks to michael nutt, heather parker and whurley for their contributions to the flickr group! i love them all! YO thank you! i'd like to thank the following donors for their contributions this weekend!

  • Christopher Erin
  • Elana Shneyer
  • Michael Nutt
  • Sid Sowder
  • Lucas Peterson

speaking about weekend stuff, i thought about myspace - not just the website, but also the overwhelming amount of data we all see. saturday afternoon, i had the opportunity to meet up with freeculture.org's summit on open access at NYU. many kudos to the organizers for lining up the three best speakers. in summary, open access is the belief that access to digital scholarly material should be free.

since 2002's Budapest Open Access Initiative over 200 organizations have subscribed to the belief that data like information needs to be free. logically, one would think that scientists want to share information and findings. yet, the real power of science is held in the hands of ever decreasing number of science journals.

as the number of publications have decreased, the walled gardens grow larger and more obscure. Jennifer Mclennan of the scholarly publishing and academic resources coalition (SPARC) made the first astounding statement. through surveys, the average cost of science journals have increased in price by 200%! libraries can not keep purchasing journals at this inflated price, and therefore start limiting the avenues people can use for research.

Gavin Yamey of Public library of Science presented next, and not in so many words said that we are under monopolistic conditions with Thompson Scientific controlling the rating system that determines how grants and government funds are distributed. low and behold, his organization, PLoS, is a non-profit open source journal. their studies have proven that being open is not only fruitful for new discoveries, but openness allows for more citations and therefore more exposure.

finally, we were blessed John Wilbanks of Science Commons. John's slide show was the lease dense with facts and figures. he could have done his presentation on a white board with fancy colored markers. nonetheless, it was great. John's argument rolls out the following formula... science is data. data can be structured, checked and digitalized. once digitalized, it can be turned into code. once as code, it can be processed for arguments and VOLA, made into something else. why should science be codified?

if you took every scientific paper written about the b13 gene in the past six months, and started reading a paper a day. it would take you SIX YEARS TO READ THEM ALL!!! yes, six years for six months worth of publishing.

he then when on to show a bunch of cool pictures of things that are totally over my head. these far out contraptions of programmed bacteria and other things, John concluded that we must find a new common ground for science. with my brain on the verge of exploding, my buddy, michael and i departed for SOHO and Chinatown to snap pictures of sevens.

on the search of sevens - 62 then later that night, i met up with lovable, huggable, vlogable - Bre Prettis of Make magazine. some how i worked my way into an itty bitty venue aptly named, the monkey, to see modal kombat. btw, if you've ever wondered what it's like to play nintendo with musical instruments, you must catch these guys. for about an hour, the duo of modal kombat played pong, mortal kombat and concluded with mario kart (the original). if there was an emotion for "hang loose" hand sign, i'd insert it here.

afterward, we met up with charles for some "blip'in" conversations and arguments of how the world's new left is emerging. which really got me thinking of myspace, the social networking site. if you are an activist like me and you've ever consider using the groups functionality on myspace, forget about it. it sucks, flickr, facebook, hell even couchsurfing has better functionality.

yesterday, i was in a meeting with a bunch of progressive publications, and as we discussed the nature of communicating with subscribers, we brought up social networks. across the table, jason das said "we use it as a bumper sticker." which got me thinking to all the organizations who use profiles instead of groups - drinking liberally, theburg.tv, and the million and one other orgs - myspace never considered groups to be a focus... and after further poking around... why in the hell do we continue to use such a piss poor product? so without futher ado, click here to friend "Luck of Seven" on myspace.

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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