[okfn-discuss] New crowdfunding system in the works exclusively for Free/Libre/Open resources

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Mon Dec 10 06:18:42 UTC 2012

There is a balance between secrecy and openness that may be worth

Having worked intensively in an OKF mode for several years I am now quite
relaxed about using Etherpads, wikis, blogs and the rest for most things. I
often feel uncomfortable with closed sites and infuriated with ad hoc mails
to closed groups of people. There is a huge value to mailing lists which
record traffic without me having to worry about how to find it in the

I also feel that Etherpads - though formally open to the world - are
effectively "open-private". Anyone who needs to know about them will get
wind of their existence but spam engines, etc. won't find them.

But there are things that need to be kept off the public record:
* comments about individuals, even where benign. A typical area is "should
we invite X to speak"? I wouldn't want to discuss this on a public blog.
* anything formally libellous or otherwise having legal implications

and then the grey area of disruptive activity...

There are several areas where I want my (and OKF) activities to be
disruptive (legally). I want to challenge areas such as scholarly
publishing, scientific software, walled gardens, etc. I don't necessarily
want to announce what my precise motivation is at the start and I may wish
to keep tactics secret. I will still be working in an Open environment with
code, data, posted as OKD compliant but I just won't say exactly why.

In the current case I very much doubt if anyone will seriously find and
challenge the ideas. Ideas have their time, and when that comes many people
are inspired independently. The key thing is to work to make them happen
and that's a lot harder!


Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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