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Carl Malamud on Universal Access to Knowledge


>>SG: Hello, it has been a pleasure to have
you here at Sahapedia. And we are very happy to have you here—also
because we are an open online encyclopaedia and we have been very interested in your work
for a long time. So, you are well known in the world, I would
say, as an information activist who has made information available in the public domain
across the world. Would you like to tell us something about
your background and how you got into this field, which is so worthy as a career?>>CM: Well, thank you, Dr Gopalakrishnan. It is a real pleasure to be here, first of
all. I am a huge fan of Sahapedia, you do some
amazing work. I started working on the internet a long time
ago—in the early 1980s—when the internet was so small that there was a file that had
a list of all the computers in it, and you could actually pull it up and look at all
the computers on the internet. I had a background in economics and public
policy, but I kind of dove into computers because the personal computer (PC) had been
invented and I started working on the internet. But it occurred to me that this was much more
about sending email or chat rooms, that the internet was something that could be used
to help change the world. And I was not the only one who felt that,
obviously, there were many people all over the world. And I ended up devoting my career to using
the internet for actually doing things. I started the first radio station on the internet,
for example, what you now know of as podcasting. But it seemed to me that this network might
actually be used for audio, and it was so much fun to do that. I put the speeches from the National Press
Club online. We had the Dalai Lama streamed live on the
internet in 1994, for example.>>SG: The government databases on the internet—when
did that idea strike you?>>CM: That struck me . . . so I had done
some work in the very early 90s—1991—on putting standards online, on putting the technical
definitions of how telephone networks work online. But when I was running the radio station,
we were called in front of the United States (US) Congress by Edward Markey, who is now
a US Senator. It was a kind of demonstration of the internet. It was not just me, people from Sun Microsystems
like Eric Schmidt, and many others, were there. And it was a big demonstration. And then at the very end, I was called into
the back room because Chairman Markey was in charge of telecommunications, but also
finance. He said, you know, ‘We have a letter here
from some people that worked with Ralph Nader, asking why the US Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) was not on the internet.’ Because in those days, if you wanted a report
on a corporation—every company in the US has to file an annual report and a quarterly
report—you had to pay $30 to do that. He wanted to know why this database was not
available for free.>>SG: Yeah. That is the question. Did you not find some resistance from core
groups who did not want that degree of openness about public records?>>CM: There were two groups that objected. One was the industry—the people that were
selling these reports for $30 each—but the other was the government. We called the SEC, and they had this system
put together in which they had a vendor, and they gave the data to the vendor. The theory was that this data was not usable
by regular people, so you needed to polish it to add value. And so, they had this $30 million deal with
the vendor, and the vendor, in turn, sold it to information retailers, who in turn sold
it to the public. When we called them in—this was in the congressman’s
office—the SEC came in, and they said, you know, ‘We just do not think the internet
has the right kind of people. There is just no need.’ And the theory was that only a few people
needed this information—Wall Street, and they had lots of money—so why should we
give this away when we could sell it to these people who had lots of money. They said, ‘We just do not think the internet
has the right kind of people.’ I could not help myself, and I looked this
guy in the face, and I said, ‘You know, I think the American people are the right
kind of people.’ And one of the staffers kicked me. He said, ‘Behave, Carl!’ But what I found was that when we put this
database online, millions of people started using it, and it was not just Wall Street. It was college students wanting to research
places where they might go work. It was journalists who could not pay $30 a
report for 100 reports to write an article. It was senior citizen investment clubs. It was millions of people.>>SG: Different user groups started finding
this very relevant and useful.>>CM: They did, absolutely.>>SG: So did the government policy change
after that?>>CM: Well, it did with a little bit of kicking. So, I ran it for two years, and the computer
staff was very resistant. They said, ‘Oh no, no, no, you know, if
you use the SEC database on the internet, be very careful because there might be viruses,’
which was nonsense, these were text files. But after two years what I did is—by then
the World Wide Web had been invented, and so we were running a website—I put a sign
up on the web saying, ‘This service will terminate in 60 days.’>>SG: So which year was that?>>CM: This was . . . so I began the database
in January 1994. And near the end of 1995, I decided it was
time to do something, because otherwise, I would be running this thing forever. And my position was that it was not my job;
it was the government’s job to run this database. So, I put a sign up saying, ‘This service
will close in 60 days. Click here to send mail to Vice President
Gore. Click here to send mail to the Speaker of
the House. Click here to send mail to the Chairman of
the SEC.’ Now, the Chairman did not have email. So we set up a box for him, and 17,000 people
sent emails . . . 17,000. And so, we printed all those out—we printed
them on stacks of paper.>>SG: You printed them out?>>CM: We printed them out because he did
not have email, and we brought them down to the SEC. We handed them, and after some hearings and
some discussions, the SEC said, ‘Okay, fine, it is our job.’ Then they came back and said, ‘Well, you
know, maybe it is our job, but we cannot do this in 60 days. Can you extend the deadline to one year or
two years?’ I said, ‘No, we are not going to do that. But here is what we will do.’ And so, we loaned them our computers, we gave
them our software, we configured their internet line, and they were up and running within
the 60 days. Then, a miracle . . . two miracles happened. One is that the SEC became a huge fan, because
they were running the government’s busiest web server and all the computer guys were
really proud. They were getting big, new computers that
they could use. And then the second thing that happened was
that the industry came up to me—one of the industrial folks that were selling these reports—and
he said, ‘You know, Carl, our revenues went up.’ Because they thought we were going to put
them out of business. They said, ‘We made more money.’ Because what happened is that many more people
were using the reports. And if you were serious, if you were a day
trader, you would then go use the commercial service. And so, by giving away the core data, we actually
helped business because more people knew about it, and the ones that are serious subscribe
to all these wonderful professional services.>>SG: That is wonderful. But when did Public.Resource.Org start? Was it all simultaneous?>>CM: No, no. So, I ran the Internet Multicasting Service
in the 90s. And then, you know, the internet became really
big really quickly, and all commercial. It was hard to fund a non-profit because everybody
was trying to be the next Google, and folks like that. So, I spent a couple of years—I worked for
John Podesta at the Center for American Progress, and did some consulting, helping the internet
standards bodies. Then in 2007, I started Public.Resource.Org. So, we have been in business now for 11–12
years.>>SG: So what does Public.Resource.Org actually
do? What is the mission of that initiative?>>CM: The mission is to facilitate access
to knowledge, with a particular focus on public knowledge, on government works, for example—making
them available. So, I began in 2007 by tackling an area that
I thought was too hard in the 90s, which is making the law available—making the law
of the United States, and then the rest of the world, available.>>SG: So how does it work? How do you network, and how do you make it
accessible? What is the methodology by which you work
on that? Do you ally with institutions or do you go
to the government resources? How does it pan out?>>CM: Well, so I have a particular methodology
that I use, which is that I look for data that exists. So, we are not a think tank—we do not issue
papers on net neutrality or Aadhaar—although I am interested in both of those issues. I look for real databases that are not available,
but should be available—and I am not, you know, we are nothing like WikiLeaks or anything. I do not engage with national security. I am not digging secrets out. I am looking for things that almost everybody
agrees should be public, but for some reason a company has it—or the government has it—but
has not made it available. Then I engage in an effort, and I put it online—I
show by doing. So, I put it online, I get people to use it,
and then I go to the government or other institutions and say, ‘You know what, this is your job,
you need to do this.’ So, it is a combination of very technical
database work—working in the big leagues of the internet to put these very large databases
online—but also activism, and in many cases, the government might object to what I am doing.>>SG: That is a question I have had. Do you not find resistance to that degree
of openness from vested interests, or even from other sources?>>CM: I expected the industry to object to
what I am doing. You can kind of see why, if you are in a business
and you have the sole contracts, you might object. I did not expect governments to be upset. And I did not expect the level of reaction
that we received in some cases—I am in court in three continents right now. People really care about this stuff—about
keeping their vested interests. If you are poaching on public lands—you
have built a hotel in a public park—you really want to keep that hotel, and you are
willing to go to court, you are willing to attack. And I was just surprised by that level of
reaction. In the US, we have put a lot of public court
records online—the district courts, the PACER database.>>SG: Yes, Public Access to . . .>>CM: Yes, PACER, Public Access to Court
Electronic Records. Now, everybody agrees that these should be
public—there are some that are private, like personal family law—but the opinions
of our courts are public, because you cannot have the rule of law if the courts function
in darkness. When we took 20 million pages of court documents
off of a public server, the US courts called the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
on us. And the FBI staked out my young friend Aaron
Swartz’s house, they investigated us and tried to see if we had committed a crime. We had not, and the FBI told the courts that
we had done nothing wrong, but they called the FBI on us twice. Once after they discovered we had the records. And then after the FBI had told them that
there is nothing to see here, The New York Times wrote it up, and the courts called the
FBI again and tried to see if we, maybe, had done something wrong. Of course, we had not. But that made me realise that we were playing
for real, and it made me study civil resistance in great depth, and it is one of the things
that brought me to India, because if you are looking at how you confront authority—you
naturally look at Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela—but of course you look at Mahatma
Gandhi because that is the master class on how one talks to authority.>>SG: So apart from the US, have you been
working on this in other countries also?>>CM: So, Public.Resource.Org does two things. One is that it pursues the idea that public
safety codes that are the law—like building codes and fire codes—should be available. And you know, in most of the world, building
codes cost money, even though they are crucial to public safety. In India, the National Building Code of India
is Rs 14,000. In the US, it might cost you $1000 to buy
the law of California—the building code, electrical code, plumbing code, fire code. These are laws—they are some of our most
important laws—and so, we are pursuing that in India and Europe. We just sued the European Commission in the
European Court of Justice, and pit the litigation in the United States. We are being sued by six plaintiffs for having
posted things like the National Electrical Code, and it has been in court for several
years. We have law firms—all our law firms represent
us pro bono—they work for free because they believe in the rule of law. In the United States, it is Fenwick & West
and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)—a leading public interest law firm. In Europe, we have several very good lawyers. In India, it is the firms of Jawahar Raja,
Nishith Desai and Salman Khurshid—all represent us pro bono. We are pursuing the idea that edicts of government—the
law—must be available. And we do that globally. Most of my time now, though, is focused on
India.>>SG: That is the other question I wanted
to ask. Let us come to your work, pertaining to India,
on public knowledge. You have been supporting something called
universal access to knowledge in India. What is that?>>CM: I have. Well, that is a model, that is a dream—a
vision that knowledge must be available.>>SG: Many of us here share that ideal, but
how does one go about doing that?>>CM: Well, that is always the trick. How do you go from a dream to something real? Now, there are efforts already in India—there
is a National Digital Library of India, the Tamil Nadu government has been scanning lots
of books.>>SG: Not just one state, but many, I think. Do you not agree that there is more understanding
and more emphasis on scanning, digitising and putting books online than there used to
be maybe five years ago?>>CM: Yes, so India—there is a great thirst
for knowledge here. The largest democracy in the world, amazingly
large educational system . . . but much of the knowledge has become colonised. If you want scientific journals, there are
English companies that assert copyright and say that you may not use scientific journals,
and that means that in many universities, the students do not have access to the knowledge
they need. There is great thirst, there are many efforts,
but I do not think that they are nearly enough. I think we need to supercharge the level of
making knowledge available—not only in India but in the world. But I have become convinced that if there
is going to be a revolution in access to knowledge, it has to start in India. And I think it needs to be much more. And so, I have been talking about a vision
of a public library of India. I believe that we should be digitising two
to three million books a year for a decade. I think if we do not do that in India—if
we do not scan the Sanskrit books, the Gujarati books, the Bangla books and the Malayalam
books—nobody else is going to do that. It has to be here. I think that is a tremendous national treasure
that, right now, is lying fallow—that we can put on the internet, make available to
every student in India, and every citizen in India, so that they can access the knowledge
with which they want to educate themselves. And I think it is a doable goal.>>SG: Do you think that for the vested interests
here, at least in terms of those who have these records—maybe not in the government
because perhaps that is more accessible—but in the private domain, there needs to be more
awareness for slowly getting them to understand the problem?>>CM: Well, so change . . . I have learned
that change always takes a long time. When I talked to my young friends who are
civic hackers, I learnt that they go to a hackathon, and then they go home. And then a month later, they go to a hackathon—but
it takes sustained effort. It took me a decade to put the US patents
database online—I have been working on building codes for 12 years. So, I think you need to take a series of steps. Yes, there are vested interests, but I also
think you can show them that there is a better way. So, for example, we have a group of volunteers
in Chennai, in Bengaluru, and in Mangalore that are really interested in digitising books—book
in Kannada, books in Telugu, books about science—and the Indian Academy of Sciences is working
with us, so we have access to a very good scanner at the Indian Academy of Sciences,
and our volunteers have been going in and scanning hundreds of books—but doing it
in really high quality and putting them on the Internet Archive for open access. Once they are on the Internet Archive, anybody
can take those books and put them on their local college campus. We call this group the ‘Servants of Knowledge’,
as a hat-tip to Gokhale, and the idea is that you can decentralise—it is okay to have
big government efforts, but I also think that there are groups all over India, Sabarmati
Ashram, for example.>>SG: That is right. Compared to about, say 15 or 20 years ago,
I think there is now a renewed interest in Indian knowledge systems and human thought
processes. And I think, like you mentioned, the younger
generation—I think the younger generation is more open to making access free, as compared
to perhaps the generation that has gone by.>>CM: So I have been all over India. Every other month, I have been commuting to
India. I have been doing this for a year, and I go
visit many libraries. In many of them, they say, ‘We are digitising
books.’ I say, ‘Oh, really? How are you doing that?’ ‘Well, we borrow these big scanners and
we have a vendor, and they are scanning our books,’ they say. I say, ‘Well, that is nice. Can I have a copy?’ They say, ‘Well, we have been digitising,
but we do not have a website yet. And we are going to put them on a website
eventually.’ And then when they put them on a website,
it is in a little screen reader, but you cannot download them. You cannot download a whole book, and even
worse, you cannot download all the books. And I think you should share public knowledge. So, we are doing two pieces. We are beginning with the ‘Servants of Knowledge’,
where we are trying to scan at scale and do a good job. And that gets pushed into the Internet Archive. Then we pull that data back out of the Internet
Archive, and we bring it back to India. So, we have computers at Jawaharlal Nehru
University (JNU) and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D), and those are called data depots. The vision is that we are going to slice off
as much as we can of the Internet Archives and all the other resources that are being
digitised, push them back up into these big systems—we have over 500 terabytes of disk
spinning—and that is on the National Knowledge Network. That is going to allow every university in
India to download this information.>>SG: Here the Digital Library of India had
scanners put in at many repositories, and they were also doing a lot of digitisation
and putting together of manuscripts—for example, Indian manuscripts from all over
India, or many places at least. How does this differ from that kind of an
initiative?>>CM: Well, it is sort of the same and sort
of different. The Digital Library of India was a long-term
effort to scan books, and they scanned 5.5 lakh books. They did not do a very good job—I hate to
say it because I know they spent a lot of time on it. And you know, the scanning stopped quite a
few years ago, it was running on a government server. But the scans were missing pages, they were
low quality, the titles were wrong and many of the books were in copyright—they had
not done their homework properly. This was on a government server that I discovered
a few years ago, and I made a copy of it.>>SG: So have you made standards for digitisation
across the board, across different documents? Are there are standards available that you
may be using?>>CM: Yes, there are accepted best current
practices. For example, you should scan at a proper resolution
so that the optical character recognition (OCR) works. But what is important to understand is that
in many of these places, they scan and then that is it, but you know, it is a pipeline. You have to scan—and then you fix the scans—you
have to make them straight, you need the title, you need the creator—so you need the metadata—it
needs to be put online, optical character recognition (OCR) needs to be done, and it
needs to be hosted. It is a pipeline; it is not just ‘I scanned,
I am done’. That is what we are trying to instil in our
volunteers who are very technical. These are people that run computer groups
or run computers for a living. And I have recruited them; I have said, ‘Come,
come do something public with us.’ And they are, in turn, teaching other people
the standards—how it works and the right way of doing it. And I think it is a matter of education. It is not just saying, ‘Here is the standard.’>>SG: There are all sorts of standards . . . OCR,
for example—India is a multilingual country—so has work been satisfactory for OCR?>>CM: The Internet Archive does not do OCR
on non-Roman languages right now. They just do not do Hindi, but there are places
who do it. For example, Google Vision—we have been
testing it—is a Google Cloud Service. It is very good for Bangla, Telugu, and Kannada. And so, one of our big efforts this year is
that we are trying to pull the books off the Internet Archive, bounce them off one of these
commercial services—and we are actually hoping Google will support us and will give
us free access, we have sent a proposal to them—and then push it back into the Internet
Archive with the OCR. So, it is one of our main goals—and we are
doing it on more than books. I am working with my friend, Dr Sushant Sinha,
who runs Indian Kanoon, which has all the court opinions of India on a free server. And we have mirrored all the Official Gazettes
of India.>>SG: So that is the other thing. Archiving is not just limited to printed text,
but it is relevant to many music performances, many monuments. Even speaking from the field of culture, there
is so much that needs to be done.>>CM: There are some tremendous archives
in India, for example, All India Radio—none of their archives are available. You know, Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’
speech was over seven minutes long, but the only audio available is about three minutes. The full speech is not there. Now it is possible it got destroyed, but I
do not think so—I think it is in those archives. I believe that the Indira Gandhi National
Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is an amazing treasure chest, and they have done a good
job. They have the National Cultural Audiovisual
Archives, but it is limited. It is streaming-only, and some of this is
public. Now, I understand some stuff is not public,
but many of the works of the government in India have copyright assertions on them.>>SG: That is the question that I was talking
to you about. How does one circumvent the copyright issues
when they are making it open?>>CM: Well, okay, one has to be careful,
but it is my contention—if you look at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s
Publications Division—the largest publisher in India—amazing work. Sahapedia has these beautiful series of books
about the presidential palaces. The Publications Division published the collected
works of Mahatma Gandhi. They have 60 volumes of The Builders of Modern
India. When I am in India, I go to government bookstores,
and I buy their books. In fact, in December, I bought 180 kilograms
of books from government bookstores. And at that time, I shipped them back to the
US, but we are now scanning them in Bengaluru, and I put them online. Now there is a copyright assertion, but—and
one has to be very careful—if you see something that says copyright and you take it upon yourself
to post it on the internet, you better have a very good story. I advise people not to do this unless you
are going to be careful, because you may bear the consequences. So, I understand that buying the Ministry
of Information and Broadcasting’s Publications Division’s books, scanning them and putting
them online may land me in hot water.>>SG: We are worried about permissions too.>>CM: I did not ask for permission and here
is why—but I thought about this very carefully—the Ministry of Information sells these books
very cheaply. They are not making any profit on these things. I do not even think they are covering their
printing costs, frankly. If you go to the bookstore and buy these things,
they are very cheap. It is meant only to cover their costs. The vast majority of these books have not
been scanned and are not available online. Many of these books, they are no longer in
print—they were from the 90s, the 80s or the 70s. So I scan hundreds of these things and put
them online. And I would love to give a disk drive to the
Publications Division and work with them to put all these online—the same thing with
the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research
(ICAR), and the Centre for Cultural Resource and Training (CCRT). I have sent a proposal to the IGNCA to work
with them because, again, I do not want to replace government—I want them to do a better
job of making this core information accessible. And I am a big supporter of copyright for
novels, or for Ramachandra Guha’s book on Gandhi—he deserves copyright on that. Copyright is given to authors for a limited
period of time to give them an incentive to publish. And so, I am a strong supporter of that.>>SG: Yeah, there is a 60 years ceiling.>>CM: Yes, 60 years plus five. I think that is too long. I do not think you need lifetime plus 60 years
to have an incentive to be a publisher—but then, that is how it works for the commercial
folks, and I am a strong supporter. But when you are looking at government . . .>>SG: Books can also be republished. Some books are very popular, so they have
multiple editions.>>CM: And I get that, I totally get it. But when we are talking about the selected
works of Nehru, for example, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting needs no incentive
to publish. They do not need copyright to publish. Sabarmati Ashram, with the works of Gandhiji—if
you go to the Sabarmati Ashram website, the Gandhi Heritage Portal, they have done a beautiful
job, and I am a huge fan of their work—but if you pull up Hind Swaraj, you can only read
it on their screen reader. And if you go to print a few pages, every
page says ‘Copyright, all rights reserved, Gandhi Heritage Portal’. You pull up Hind Swaraj, which on the cover
so famously says ‘no rights reserved’—long out of copyright. So many people are digitising all works, public
works, but then when they put them online, it says ‘copyright’. And I think that is wrong, because the whole
point of copyright is that after you have had your incentive, and you have exploited
it commercially—when that is done, it enters the public domain. And I think it is wrong to take a book out
of the public domain. Or a famous painting in a museum—many museums
when they put the paintings online, they say, ‘Copyright, all rights reserved, you may
not use it without our permission’. And I think that is wrong.>>SG: Paintings also may have commercial
interest and value, right? So there are also, perhaps, copying and many
issues involved.>>CM: If the painting is from, say, 1800,
then all they are doing is taking a screen photograph—I understand that if you have
done something creative, or if you have written commentary about the painting, that is a new
thing. But if it is
the painting itself and you do a dead straight-on photograph, there is no creativity in that. None at all. I think it is wrong to assert copyrights on
those.>>SG: Okay. Coming back to your work in India, you said
that the struggle for universal access to public knowledge needs to start from India. What made you say that?>>CM: Well, as you know, there are vested
interests that you were talking about, that resist some of this—some in government and
some in commercial places. India has a long history of changing how the
world works, over a long period of time—the fight for independence took decades, it took
sustained discipline. When it comes to the Government of India,
I take great inspiration from Aruna Roy and the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS),
who worked for 25 years—starting with small concrete projects in Rajasthan—they built
a movement that led to the Right to Information law, which is the strongest law in the world
for right to information. I think India is a place with a thirst for
knowledge, a place that does not believe that thousand-dollar books are a good thing, or
that only thousand-dollar pills can cure diseases. There is scepticism. I think India has vast treasure houses of
knowledge in hundreds of languages. There are fields of science—like Ayurvedic
medicine and Unani medicine, that are not available but should be—and cultural resources
of dances, arts, plays and poems. Again, there is a willingness to look at the
hard issues, and that goes back to the Buddhist councils, to the fight for independence—India
is a place that is willing to ask the hard questions. I also believe that India led the way in the
decolonisation of the world. That is what Gandhiji did. He did more than the liberation of India—he
showed the rest of the world the way. I believe information has been colonised. I believe a lot of public information has
been locked up. And I think India is a place one can demonstrate
a better way for countering this. I do not think it is going to start in either
the US or in Europe, and that is why I am focusing on India and trying to learn. One has to be humble. For me, this is a jump into the deep end. India is vast—it is so much bigger than
the US, and the history goes back so far. I have spent a lot of time just travelling
around, talking to people, trying to understand what is going on. And it has been fascinating—it has been
good for somebody like me to learn.>>SG: You have been called a satyagrahi,
and you also wrote this book, Code Swaraj, along with Mr Sam Pitroda. What is the book about?>>CM: The book is about two things. So, Sam had invited me to travel with him
in India. We went to Sabarmati Ashram and did a workshop
on non-violence, and I was blown away. We got to Sabarmati Ashram, and there were
people like Ela Bhatt there, and they were talking about non-violence and Gandhiji, and
it was just fascinating to do that. And with Sam, so I travelled with him a couple
of times—and I began to learn about India, and I began posting more and more material. Then I ended up working with him to write
this book—so the book is about our travels, it is about speeches we gave, a lot about
making Indian standards available. But it is also about two other things—firstly
it is about satyagraha, because I believe when one confronts authority, there is a certain
discipline in doing that, and one can learn so much from Gandhiji. Now what I am dealing with is very different
from the liberation of India. I do not face personal danger. I have never been to jail. But I do believe that access to knowledge
is a crucial issue. I believe there is a lot of resistance, particularly
in government. And there are techniques: a very simple one—you
do not sneak around in public. So, if you take the government database and
put it online, you do not do it and then hide and hope that nobody notices that it was you. When Gandhiji went to make salt in Dandi,
he did two things before that. He educated himself and his colleagues. So that is a lesson from Gandhi, that you
must educate your peers, because if you are the only one throwing rocks at the window,
you are doing it wrong—and in fact, if you are throwing rocks, you are doing it wrong. And then the other thing he did is he sent
a letter to the Viceroy, which very famously began, ‘Dear friend, I am going to go and
make salt. We do not have to do this. We can simply make the salt available.’ And so, there are these techniques one learns. The second thing that is in the book is a
very long essay that I wrote called ‘Note on Code Swaraj’, that explains my growing
realisation that if there is going to be a revolution in access to knowledge, it has
to be in India. It goes over my work with Aaron Swartz in
the United States on the PACER database, it talks about my work with Sam, but it also
talks about what Hind Swaraj was to me—it is a different book to everybody who reads
it—and why I believe that India is the place. Then it lays out an agenda for access to knowledge—of
technical knowledge, the Indian standards, traditional knowledge, much more information
about Ayurvedic medicine could be made available—and then it explains my reason that I believe
that this is the place to be. It was the beginning of my commute to India
every other month to begin to learn more about the country.>>SG: It was fascinating, talking to you. Thank you so much. It was wonderful and really very beneficial
for Sahapedia, and all of us, to talk to you.>>CM: Thank you so much.

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