The Truth is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free | License Zero Blog

Source: The Truth is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free | License Zero Blog, by Kyle E. Mitchell
RE: The Truth is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free | Current Affairs, by Nathan J. Robinson

it costs time and money to access a lot of true and important information, while a lot of bullshit is completely free. … This means that a lot of the most vital information will end up locked behind the paywall. … Possibly even worse is the fact that so much academic writing is kept behind vastly more costly paywalls. … A problem beyond cost, though, is convenience. … The amount of time wasted in figuring out how to obtain a piece of research material is a massive cost on top of the actual pricing.

to see just how much human potential is being squandered by having knowledge dispensed by the “free market,” let us briefly picture what “totally democratic and accessible knowledge” would look like. Let’s imagine that instead of having to use privatized research services like Google Scholar and EBSCO, there was a single public search database containing every newspaper article, every magazine article, every academic journal article, every court record, every government document, every website, every piece of software, every film, song, photograph, television show, and video clip, and every book in existence. … What’s amazing is that the difficulty of creating this situation of “fully democratized information” is entirely economic rather than technological. … the money has to come from somewhere, after all.

Creators must be compensated well. But at the same time we have to try to keep things that are important and profound from getting locked away where few people will see them. The truth needs to be free and universal.

there are myriad, happier mediums between $0, expensive, and exclusive, in one dimension, and effortless, inconvenient, and inaccessible, in the other. … there is nothing inherently worse about paying a fee you can afford than enduring an inconvenience you have the time to manage. When the works we need or want come readily available at affordable costs that we can pay, and paying is easy, there’s no great harm to access or progress or truth. That cost many not be great. But if a great many pay it, the results can be.