Tag Archives: Aaron Swartz: Opening access to knowledge

The information barriers of repression

Professor Samuelson’s article “Aaron Swartz: Opening access to knowledge”, open a variety of important points on morals and ethics that Aaron Swartz was attempting to face before ultimately taking his own life. His “theft” of articles from JSTOR is the act of a modern day Peter Pan. It ultimately raises a few questions and the ethics of information holding at the attempt to gain profit.

It is just to withhold knowledge from the public? Is it acceptable to repress the lower class, who aren’t able to access said knowledge without a platinum visa card? Knowledge is what improves a society; essentially its like an enzyme. It increases societies improvement,as a whole. It destroy’s the vicious cycle that chains the poor from achieving success. By crumbling this “information barrier”, this nasty mechanism designed to gain profits, we can remove the chains of repression from the poor and marginalized and improve society as a whole.

Information leads to knowledge which leads to power or a felony

Its funny how people say that “Knowledge is power” which makes other people want to gain more knowledge(hopefully), but when we want to gain knowledge there is always an obstacle in your path when we try to gain or pursue it. In “Aaron Swartz: Opening Access to Knowledge” the article explains how Mr.Swartz wanted to share information with everyone that can give them knowledge but people would have to subscribe(such a horrible word these days, makes you cringe right?) to a digital library such as JSTOR. Mr.Swartz wanted to share this information and he did, but when he did somehow under vague wire-fraud and computer-abuse laws, he was charged with 13 felony offenses(and here I thought sharing was caring).

Why cant information just be free? Why is it that we the consumers must pay to receive information that can one day help us?