[okfn-discuss] new brand, new website: coming up next week

Aaron Wolf wolftune at gmail.com
Wed Apr 16 01:49:38 UTC 2014

On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 6:30 PM, Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:

> "sharing" is
> rapidly becoming a synonym for renting

I don't know this to be true at all. Just because some people are abusing
the term doesn't mean that much. Most of your critique is just negative
discounting of my proposal. I don't really care whether *my* proposal is
used, but "change the world" is as vacuous and overused as anything out
there, and the effect of "Data" on changing the world could be as negative
as it is positive depending upon what the data is and who controls it. It
is imperative that it be clear *what direction* we are proposing that the
change go.

"See How Data Can Change The World" is *too* focused, that's the point all
along. Less focused is the goal here. We want the focus to be about
empowering the world's citizens, not about Big Data controlling us, we want
the focus to be broader, not about venerating Data as the primary or only
focus of Openness.

Big Data is a reality today whether we like it or not. The OKF needn't
exist just to promote data itself. The point has to be about promoting
specifically Open data over restricted data controlled by governments and
corporations. The point of "Open Knowledge" overall is for that same
Openness to be applied to many things. The Openness and empowerment of
people is the goal, whether we apply the values of openness to data or to
art or to educational resources etc.

If the OKF is to be strictly a data-focused organization, it should become
the Open Data Foundation, and people who don't care about data as much can
just be tangential supporters. There is a big decision here about focus,
and it appears that when questioned nobody is suggesting that it really
become the Open Data Foundation, although that honestly could be a
reasonable direction for various reasons. But it either should embrace that
or work to be inclusive of other areas. Either you focus or you don't.
Don't pretend to be inclusive but actually neglect areas outside of a
certain focus.

I see no problem with including the word "free" in things that refer to
Open. I'm not insisting on it either, but I completely reject the idea that
inclusion of other terms is inherently problematic.

Aaron Wolf
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