Open Access Journals

Greetings Wonderguests!

I’ve spent a lot of time digging through the depths of second hand knowledge in an attempt to get to the bottom of things. Whenever I write one of these articles, I find that I run into the same problem over and over and over again. My facts are based on secondary sources. Why? Well as it turns out most primary source scientific information comes in the form of the scientific journal. If a knowledge seeker wants to read some journals of scientific merit they almost always have to shell out a heck of a lot of money to do so. Conversely, any writer who has access to a scientific journal can basically write whatever they want about said journal knowing that everybody will be looking to them for the “Facts.” Well, frankly, I have had enough.

And fortunately so has the internet. I introduce to you this list of Open Access Journals. Open Access Journals are exactly that. The majority of them are entirely free to read, review and sometimes even allow for permission-free mass production.

This website, Wondergressive, writes with passion in an effort to share knowledge in as unbiased a way as possible. Relying on websites that actively filter popular news effectively disallows us from doing so. While Open Access Journals have a lot of good, free, and earnest information to offer, “Closed Access Journals” publish a ridiculous amount of costly information with nothing in mind but the cash flow. The collective stream of intelligence is but a trivial side effect.

Many of you may remember having a session or two with your schools library research team as they excitedly tell you all the ways that you can seek information. I know I have. I didn’t understand why they were so excited until I came to the understanding that librarians have access to an intense amount of information. Catalogs upon catalogs of indexed information. Open Access Journals give us the chance to understand on our own terms.

Recently Aaron Swartz passed away. Aaron Swartz, co founder of Reddit and all around brilliant individual, fought a long and hard battle against online censorship. After years of legal battles relating to downloading a digital ton of academic journals, Aaron committed suicide. Before his death he fought hard for free and open information with the belief that knowledge should be for everybody.

So next time that you’re deeply involved in a research project, remember that you can get your information first hand from before it is filtered, misquoted, and watered down by the rest of the internet. Free information is a necessary tool in our quest to Be Always Growing.



Hollywood is Pirating Hollywood

Music_Pirate hollywood

Yarrgh! We be a society of pirates – and we pirates be at war with corporations.  Little do we pirates know, the corporations are pirates too, and these corporate pirates are pirating their own booty.

Employees at Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox (the companies that claim to be most affected by online piracy) have been caught openly pirating various forms of media including games, music, and movies. Does this mean they are on a holy crusade against themselves?

The airwaves have been abuzz with complaints of financial loss due to internet piracy for years.  If times are so rough, why did Hollywood set a box office grossing record of over $10.7 billion in 2012? There are more pirates than ever, and Hollywood’s stacks are fatter than ever, even after adjusting for inflation.

So what’s the deal?  Is there a way to satisfy both parties?  What does each group of pirates want anyway?

The masses want free music, movies, games, and more, and they want them to be easily available.  Hollywood and the major record labels want money, and lots of it.  Artists want to accrue more fans and rake in some well deserved cash in the process.

What do all of these goals have in common? In many ways, pirating makes all of these dreams come true simultaneously:

A study conducted by the Copenhagen Business School found that there was actually a negative effect on box office sales after the removal of in January of 2012, specifically for small to mid-range sized studios.

As for the artist aspect, music sales usually only account for roughly 6% of their total profit, with most of the profit going to the record labels and middle men. Many indie labels and artists alike are beginning to embrace the world of P2P sharing as a way to distribute and advertise freely and efficiently. Musician Derek Webb provides some excellent insight into the world of market and distribution, and why he thinks pirating is highly beneficial for artists in various ways.  Many musicians, spread across all levels of fame, including Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, and Pretty Lights, offer their albums for free online, asking fans to pay exactly the amount they believe the album is worth.

Sounds easy enough right?  Raise your hook hand in celebration and continue sharing the loot! The truth is that it isn’t actually all that simple.

The debate on internet pirating is an extremely complex issue that doesn’t seem to have a clear solution.  However, what is clear is that in many cases pirating leads to bigger sales at the box office, larger revenues for the little guy, free/efficient marketing and distribution, free and easy entertainment for the masses, and a larger fan base.  Unless our precious interwebz starts dancing China-style on us, pirating is here to stay.  Doesn’t it make more sense to embrace change, rather than strip liberties for the sake of higher profits for the already colossal corporate giants?