Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Week 11 Discussion Board

1. Read all the attached articles and choose three of the articles to write a short summary about (100-
200 words) and answer if you thought the writers made good arguments and whether or not you agree with the writer’s opinion. Post the three summaries, 100-200 words each, on the discussion board.

·         How MIT Can Honor Aaron Swartz
Fight to make academic journals open to everyone. By Farhad Manjoo.

I do agree with the author on his argument about making the scholarly journals free to public and continue with the work that Mr. Swartz didn’t finish. What caught my attention and made me think about it is what the author mentioned about how the students finish work is taken and published for free then publisher company turns around and sell it to the schools and makes a profit on it!! I agree that something needs to be done about that. Another thing that I realized by reading this article is that is only us, the students who are paying to the university, the people who only have access to the work well done. That means that if a person gets a great article published, the majority of the persons would not have access to it because they are not currently students! I think that all these journals should be available to all public and if someone is to make a profit like the author mentioned should be the person who made the article and the school. I also agree with the idea of creating a fund where the school and future authors can benefit from to keep producing fabulous journals.

  • What Is a Hacktivist? By Peter Ludlow

First of all, I like to start with the definition that Mr. Ludlow used, “In the simplest and broadest sense, a hacktivist is someone who uses technology hacking to effect social change”. agree with his statement because I think is important to define if the person hacking the information is doing it for a good cause like Mr. Swartz or if the person or organization is doing it with malicious intentions. Mr. Ludlow  mentioned about Mr. Swartz’s death and the question was if his activities were “Unfairly defined as malicious or criminal”. I do agree with his argument, I think that because a word can have different meanings, the person should be given a chance to express themselves until is fully understood what the intentions are. Mr Ludlow gave  examples about how different media have cited a Verizon report and how information is seen from a different perspectives, but mostly seen on a perspective that mostly benefit them, thus putting the meaning that they like the most for their benefit. Overall, I do agree with his argument and think that the public should be aware of how we interpret language.

·         Aaron Swartz and Prosecutorial Discretion. By LINCOLN CAPLAN

I didn’t know the story Aaron Swartz until now and after reading how drastic the United States Attorney Mr. Ortiz acted against him, in this area I do not agree with Mr. Caplan and I think they should press charges on her!!. She was so drastic with him letting him know that the consequence of what he did was going to be going to jail for 35 years and that drove him to take his life away. I think that on a way she regrets what happened because if she is saying now that she was eventually going to tell him that the sentence was going to be months in jail or house arrest or probation, well, too late! He is dead; I hope she change her way of being and act different with every case now. Yes, he was at fault by retrieving all these thousands of journals but they should see the whole picture and punish him with the lowest charges, then work their way up in case that he continued to do it or agree to something else. I think he was a young activist who was trying to do something good not only for the students but also for the school as a whole because the school was not going to pay for the journals either.  Obviously he had a passion for what he was doing and should be recognized by keeping with his beliefs and if possible have all these journals for free. I do agree with the author when he mentioned that this case should be single out because it had a tragic ending but also because it could be used as an example from now on.

2. Answer these questions on the discussion board after completing question 1.
What did Aaron Swartz do with JSTOR articles that led him to being prosecuted by the U.S. government?
After reading every single article listed, I did not find specifics on what Aaron Swartz did with the 5 million articles retrieved. The closest thing I found was in the first article How MIT can Honor Aaron Swartz where it mentioned “Last summer, after he agreed to return the articles he’d downloaded, JSTOR dropped its civil case against Swartz”, so I think he returned the files to JSTOR but I didn’t find anything stating that in fact he did so.

What is your opinion on Aaron’s actions? Do you think what he did was wrong? Why or why not?
I agree with his actions, he was being very active in what he believed. Aaron was downloading the articles to make them free to public. I think that the general public should have them available not just the students. The students who make them publish work very hard to get to that point and I think that instead of have them locked these articles should be available to everyone, something that Aaron was trying to accomplish. So, no I dint think what he did was wrong, he was acting in what he believed was the right thing to do.

How do the above articles relate to our semester topic of citizen research and citizen journalism?
The articles listed have to do with our semester topic Citizen Journalism  because they all talk about Aaron Swartz and how he took dearly his activism, he wanted all these journals to be free to the public, he was actively involved in trying to do it, he was not just reading and writing about it, but he took actions for that to happen.

Is limited public access to academic journals and research something to be concerned about? Make sure to explain why or why not.
I think access to academic journals should be something to be concerned about because if the students are working  hard to have them published. They do it for free, then the school turns around and pay for it, well, I think the money and the credit is staying in the wrong hands! I think that if the student is doing it for free, then the articles should be free for the general public.

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