Open-Ness

There are several things I’ve taken up during this lockdown: things I’m finding helpful to give me a sense of routine, as well as mini-goals to look forward to each day to keep busy while being away from University and sitting at home. So far, I’m enjoying all of them. For the most part, each day feels distinct from the last (on occasions I don’t write, the days sort of meld together). I start each day clearly knowing what I’m trying to do through the day, which I find particularly helpful, and I end each day feeling grateful for having the day to spend the way I’ve wanted to – without University pressures or anything of the sort.

I have, however, noticed one thing. Most of this, whether it’s the research I’m working on, or the new skills I’m trying to learn, or even the reading I’m doing – it’s all happening on open-source software systems, or openly accessible sources that are not behind a paywall. Paywalls are prohibitive, and that argument stands, and yes, of course, I could get behind the paywall by paying a fee and breaking it down. However, most of the things I’m enjoying at the moment, including plays and concerts are happening on software that doesn’t contain paywalled content – take Twitch, or YouTube.

This is an incredible thing.

I fully understand neither Twitch or YouTube are fully free, but you get my point. The content I’m accessing is free, and for the majority part, most content is. Select portions of content are behind the paywall.

Now, I’m conservative with the money I spend, so it takes me a while to commit to spending on something, including books and resources. I usually turn to open source stuff anyway, since they’re almost at par with their paid compatriots.

However, the current success of openly accessible things is telling me one thing. After this coronavirus pandemic ends, I’m joining the open-access brigade with more passion and fervour. I understand the economics of things, but I think the open-access model can be made viable if people chip in and actually contribute to things, and financial backers end up backing these open-access things. And opening up access opens up a world to the person creating whatever media is being consumed because more people will consume the good.

Atleast go freemium.

And not barebones freemium.

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