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Archive for the ‘open access’ category

Nov 13, 2019

Should Free Internet Be a Basic Human Right? There’s a Strong Case For It

Posted by in categories: ethics, internet, open access

You might take it for granted that you can load up Twitter or browse through Reddit whenever you like, but around half of the 7.7 billion people living on the planet right now aren’t yet able to get online.

And that’s a big problem, according to one researcher. Merten Reglitz, a philosopher and global ethics lecturer from the University of Birmingham in the UK says internet access should be established as a basic human right that everyone is entitled to.

“Internet access is a unique and non-substitutable way for realising fundamental human rights such as free speech and assembly,” he writes in a new paper.

Oct 25, 2019

Future Consequences of Cryptocurrency Use: Systemic Investigation of Two Scenarios

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, complex systems, counterterrorism, cryptocurrencies, cybercrime/malcode, disruptive technology, economics, education, employment, encryption, finance, futurism, governance, government, hacking, innovation, law enforcement, open access, policy, privacy, security, strategy, terrorism

We face complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty about the future consequences of cryptocurrency use. There are doubts about the positive and negative impacts of the use of cryptocurrencies in the financial systems. In order to address better and deeper the contradictions and the consequences of the use of cryptocurrencies and also informing the key stakeholders about known and unknown emerging issues in new payment systems, we apply two helpful futures studies tools known as the “Future Wheel”, to identify the key factors, and “System Dynamics Conceptual Mapping”, to understand the relationships among such factors. Two key scenarios will be addressed. In on them, systemic feedback loops might be identified such as a) terrorism, the Achilles’ heel of the cryptocurrencies, b) hackers, the barrier against development, and c) information technology security professionals, a gap in the future job market. Also, in the other scenario, systemic feedback loops might be identified such as a) acceleration of technological entrepreneurship enabled by new payment systems, b) decentralization of financial ecosystem with some friction against it, c) blockchain and shift of banking business model, d) easy international payments triggering structural reforms, and e) the decline of the US and the end of dollar dominance in the global economy. In addition to the feedback loops, we can also identify chained links of consequences that impact productivity and economic growth on the one hand, and shift of energy sources and consumption on the other hand.

Watch the full length presentation at Victor V. Motti YouTube Channel

Oct 23, 2019

Public Internet Access: Brief history

Posted by in categories: computing, disruptive technology, education, internet, open access, open source

Reader, Tamia Boyden asks this question:

In the 90s, how could we access the internet without WiFi?

This post began as an answer to that question at Quora. In the process of answering, I compiled this history of public, residential Internet access. Whether you lived through this fascinating social and technical upheaval or simply want to explore the roots of a booming social phenomenon, I hope you will find the timeline and evolution as interesting as I do.

I have included my answer to Tamia’s question, below. But first, let’s get a quick snapshot of the highlights. This short bullet-list focuses on technical milestones, but the history below, explains the context, social phenomenon and implications.

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Aug 28, 2018

Alexandra Elbakyan – The System is Holding Back Scientific Progress

Posted by in categories: health, open access

Today we have an interview with Sci-Hub creator, Alexandra Elbakyan who is committed to the free flow of scientific knowledge and is challenging the unfair journal system which charges outrageous fees to view scientific publications.

Hiding scientific knowledge behind paywalls

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Aug 23, 2018

Tau Protein Aggregation is Linked to DNA Damage and Senescent Cells

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience, open access

Today, we want to draw your attention to a recent study showing an association between the accumulation of Tau proteins, which are misfolded proteins that typically indicate Alzheimer’s disease and senescent cells.

Unfortunately, this journal paper is hidden behind a paywall, as is 70% of scientific data; this is an unacceptable situation for science and the sharing of knowledge. However, thanks to the work of Sci-Hub, a website that bypasses paywalls and offers free access to all scientific papers, you can read it without spending a dime.

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Feb 13, 2018

Science’s pirate queen

Posted by in categories: computing, law, neuroscience, open access, science

These campaigns could erode the base of the Legal Open Access movement: scientists’ awareness of their options for sharing research. Elbakyan, on the other hand, would be left unaffected. The legal campaigns against Sci-Hub have — through the Streisand effect — made the site more well-known than most mainstay repositories, and Elbakyan more famous than legal Open Access champions like Suber.

The threat posed by ACS’s injunction against Sci-Hub has increased support for the site from web activists organizations such as the EFF, which considesr the site “a symptom of a serious problem: people who can’t afford expensive journal subscriptions, and who don’t have institutional access to academic databases, are unable to use cutting-edge scientific research.”


In cramped quarters at Russia’s Higher School of Economics, shared by four students and a cat, sat a server with 13 hard drives. The server hosted Sci-Hub, a website with over 64 million academic papers available for free to anybody in the world. It was the reason that, one day in June 2015, Alexandra Elbakyan, the student and programmer with a futurist streak and a love for neuroscience blogs, opened her email to a message from the world’s largest publisher: “YOU HAVE BEEN SUED.”

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Jul 22, 2017

Zoltan Istvan: the poster boy for immortality

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, economics, genetics, life extension, open access, robotics/AI, transhumanism

I’m really excited to announce a 5-page feature spread on my #transhumanism work and Libertarian Governor campaign in today’s Times of London Magazine, one of England’s oldest and largest papers. There’s a paywall for digital but I think you can get two articles free without registering. If you have access to the print, it’s in the magazine:


Zoltan Istvan is launching his campaign to become Libertarian governor of California with two signature policies. First, he’ll eliminate poverty with a universal basic income that will guarantee $5,000 (£3,800) per month for every Californian household for ever. (He’ll do this without raising taxes a dime, he promises.) The next item in his in-tray is eliminating death. He intends to divert trillions of dollars into life-extending technologies – robotic hearts, artificial exoskeletons, genetic editing, bionic limbs and so on – in the hope that each Californian man, woman and AI (artificial intelligence) will eventually be able to upload their consciousness to the Cloud and experience digital eternity.

“What we can experience as a human being is going to be dramatically different within two decades,” he…

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Jun 12, 2017

Rejuvenation Biotechnology is now Mainstream Science

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, open access, science

The concept of repairing age-related damage to prevent diseases is now mainstream and openly talked about by most acadmics.


Earlier this year the second Scripps Florida Symposium was held and now this open access paper reports on the event. The title of of the event was ‘Advances in Therapeutic Approaches to Extend Healthspan’ and was held on January 22nd–25th, 2017 at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida.

It is once again very refreshing to see that the focus of the researchers here is now firmly on intervening on the various aging processes in order to prevent or treat age-related diseases. Less than a decade ago suggesting addressing the aging processes to treat disease as a preventative form of medicine would have jepordised the chances of funding, or even damaged a researcher’s career prospects. Now the majority of researchers are engaged in exploring the potential of increasing healthspan (the period of life spent free of age-related disease) with the aim of delaying or preventing age-related diseases.

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Sep 21, 2016

A Free Education for all the World’s People: Why is this Not yet a Thing?

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, internet, open access, open source, philosophy, policy, theory

When we as a global community confront the truly difficult question of considering what is really worth devoting our limited time and resources to in an era marked by such global catastrophe, I always find my mind returning to what the Internet hasn’t really been used for yet—and what was rumored from its inception that it should ultimately provide—an utterly and entirely free education for all the world’s people.

In regard to such a concept, Bill Gates said in 2010, “On the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world […] It will be better than any single university […] No matter how you came about your knowledge, you should get credit for it. Whether it’s an MIT degree or if you got everything you know from lectures on the web, there needs to be a way to highlight that.”

That may sound like an idealistic stretch to the uninitiated, but the fact of the matter is universities like MIT, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, The European Graduate School, Caltech, Stanford, Berkeley, and other international institutions have been regularly uploading entire courses onto YouTube and iTunes U for years. All of them are entirely free. Open Culture, Khan Academy, Wikiversity, and many other centers for online learning also exist. Other online resources have small fees attached to some courses, as you’ll find on edX and Coursea. In fact, here is a list of over 100 places online where you can receive high quality educational material. The 2015 Survey of Online Learning revealed a “Multi-year trend [that] shows growth in online enrollments continues to outpace overall higher ed enrollments.” I. Elaine Allen, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group points out that “The study’s findings highlight a thirteenth consecutive year of growth in the number of students taking courses at a distance.” Furthermore, “More than one in four students (28%) now take at least one distance education course (a total of 5,828,826 students, a year‐to‐year increase of 217,275).” There are so many online courses, libraries of recorded courses, pirate libraries, Massive Open Online Courses, and online centers for learning with no complete database thereof that in 2010 I found myself dumping all the websites and master lists I could find onto a simple Tumblr archive I put together called Educating Earth. I then quickly opened a Facebook Group to try and encourage others to share and discuss courses too.

The volume of high quality educational material already available online is staggering. Despite this, there has yet to be a central search hub for all this wonderful and unique content. No robust community has been built around it with major success. Furthermore, the social and philosophical meaning of this new practice has not been strongly advocated enough yet in a popular forum.

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Aug 24, 2015

‘Information sabotage’ on Wikipedia claimed | KurzweilAI

Posted by in categories: education, internet, open access

Wikipedia-fantasy-library

Wikipedia entries on politically controversial scientific topics can be unreliable due to “information sabotage,” according to an open-access paper published today in the journal PLOS One.”

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