Is this class about advocating openness
Aaron Sokoloff: I guess I'll start this one off. I definitely agree with Art that joining the class itself should not be a statement that one supports openness. 2 reasons:
1. I think this misstates the point of the academic experience in general, which is to reflect on outside phenomena as objectively as possible, not to support a particular view.
2. This is not an issue that lends itself to easy answers. "Openness" might be a good thing in the abstract, but it is a value that inevitably bumps up against other values. Today, it bumped up against the values of personal integrity (i.e. Rebecca Nesson's keeping her word to the MIT folks) and respect for the authors of the thing of value (a more resonant point when the authors are nearby human engineers as opposed to anonymous corporations). Moreover, the value that is probably at the greatest odds with openness is privacy - a value that many perceive as threatened by networked systems in a variety of ways. How can we support privacy and openness as causes at the same time if their meanings are in such strong opposition?