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Wow, Martin... I can't think of what to say but that yet again you sum up a seemingly incomprehensible dilemma with a lucid and sensible formulation.

I gave a presentation today to a small but very progressive group here at the UOC in Barcelona, and the discussion turned toward the institutional attitudes regarding a more open, distributed discourse... and I wish I had read this post before then... it would have been a perfect interjection.

So, my thoughts turn toward how we can make the new realities concerning the costs of sharing understood more widely. Other than by making asses of ourselves - because I've tried that approach and it doesn't work.

AJ Cann

I'm not so sure that institutions are bothered by the cost. It's more about perceived competitive advantage.

Scott Leslie

Martin, nicely done. Should have got you to write the original post for me (or at least edit down my 1000 ramble into something short and coherent like this).

"The moral here is that just because something used to be expensive, time consuming and complex doesn't mean it will always be." The flipside of this, or maybe another way of saying it, might be "Just because something is simple doesn't mean it can't work or produce complex results." I know I had to get over my own chauvinism around RSS, blogs and wikis - "sure," I thought, "nice for our 'informal' learning but how could they possibly cope with the complexity of the online class. Clearly, we need IMS, LOM, etc." Ha! It is way too easy when one is stuck into a certain existing paradigm to forget the initial assumptions you made that may no longer hold true (or which seem to "naturally" lead to some rather unnatural solutions).

Scott Leslie

Here's something that just came across my aggregator that seemed to resonate with this as well (via - http://bokardo.com/archives/what-if-galls-law-were-true/), Gall's Law, "A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gall%27s_law). Seems pretty plausible to me.

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