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"...the whole enterprise can fail, it can be taken over by others, or the fundamental value and identity that characterised that embryonic stage can be lost."

This is where I think the analogy becomes problematic. Your sentence above is somewhat at odds with your contention that "we'll never go back to closed systems in academia anymore."

It might just be that we live in different parts of the opening, metaphorical globe, but I'm not so confident that we'll never go back and much more confident that the entire enterprise can fail. In particular, I'm not sure that decision makers in higher ed have much understanding or will to retain/enhance open efforts in the face of growing economic pressures...they are essentially the educational cloud, providing services without tangible returns and, like those cloud providers, they could start dropping like flies.

Then again, I might end up like one of those dazed soldiers emerging from the jungle 30+ years after WW II, unaware that war was over.


Hi Chris - thanks for this. It's really interesting to see your perspective, and I can see how from a slightly different angle it doesn't look like a robust change at all, but rather more fragile. Maybe that's true of 'real' revolutions also, they are vulnerable just at the moment of their victory, in that things are unstable. I think what might mitigate against the backslide to closed systems is the efficiency (rather than the altruism) argument for openness. It's simply a better way to operate a lot of times, for example the open access impact advantage.
I liked your emerging soldier analogy, perhaps I'll be the foolhardy charge of the Light Brigade.

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