I woke this morning (Solstice, December 21st 2012) to find in my twitter feed news that Saylor.org has stepped up and freed the entire back-catalogue of FlatWorld Knowledge textbooks in one fell swoop. This is tremendous news, and Saylor, who are in my opinion consistently top of the class when it comes to Open Textbooks, have once again shown tremendous leadership. So Bravo.
I’m only writing this post for two reasons – first so that I can link to it from my earlier call to preserve this tiny piece of the commons and let anyone know who stumbles across it that the deed is done.
But secondly, to give all of the folks who stepped up to my call my sincere thanks and a huge pat on the back. I only turned to this crowdsourcing approach after my old employer decided it was not willing to take the risk and do this themselves (and I understand why given their need to work with highly risk-adverse government funders).
While we didn’t accomplish the entire goal ourselves, we should still feel proud of trying. The Commons is communal; while it is fantastic that we have larger institutional players and NGOs like Saylor (and CC and EFF and FSF and…) that work tirelessly to build and preserve it, we also need to all act individually to do the same, whether it be as Clint Lalonde and Chris Lott have written recently in donating to groups like these, or taking part in actions like this.
So thanks. Especially because at a time for me when I needed to know my network was there, you showed up. Thanks.
2 thoughts on “Christmas Comes Early”
This is tremendous news indeed. Let me repeat that, this is tremendous news indeed.
I expect they wanted to make this as a big announcement, but in the spirit of openness (here comes from Grinchiness), it would have been nice to at least have hinted openly that this was underway. I only say this because I signed up for the Leslie Christmas program, and shelled out my own $$ for a FWK PDF so I could do my part.
I wish I knew this is in play.
But I guess I will try and enjoy my Economics textbook under the mistletoe.
Let me repeat one more time, Saylor’s effort and gift to openness is tremendous news indeed. But it is also a little lesson that open is also in being open as to our processes, not just the products.
Darn, I sound a bit grumpy– Scott feel free to delete this.
PS- you make an adorable Tiny Tim, not sure if there is a career in that…
Additional hat tip to Andy Schmitz for single-handedly creating another archive of these courses, available on the Internet Archive (smart thinking, too).
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