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Old Apr 6, 2012, 11:42 PM   #176
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I think the Textbook issue could be fixed through the use of eBooks.
The authors can publish their books by themselves (no publisher involved), and push updates for free.

The question is, will the publisher ever allow this to happen? Or will they do whatever they can to keep the current paper books?
They will continue to have a huge amount of clout as long as they keep making so much money. So in this case, piracy is one way to fight for progress.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 12:59 AM   #177
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I think the Textbook issue could be fixed through the use of eBooks.
The authors can publish their books by themselves (no publisher involved), and push updates for free.

The question is, will the publisher ever allow this to happen? Or will they do whatever they can to keep the current paper books?
They will continue to have a huge amount of clout as long as they keep making so much money. So in this case, piracy is one way to fight for progress.
As stated before the question is not covering printing costs are not the issue. Digital textbooks are already on the market and they are proving to be more expensive:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/textbo...web8650951.htm

Here's a digital ORGO book from amazon, it's $20.00 cheaper:

http://www.amazon.com/Organic-Chemis...3774289&sr=8-1

The reason these books with old information cost so much is corporate greed, pure and simple.

Calvin and Hobbes illustrated it well:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5EAgKnn9vy...600/calvin.jpg
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 10:42 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by IntelliUser View Post
I think the Textbook issue could be fixed through the use of eBooks.
The authors can publish their books by themselves (no publisher involved), and push updates for free.

The question is, will the publisher ever allow this to happen? Or will they do whatever they can to keep the current paper books?
They will continue to have a huge amount of clout as long as they keep making so much money. So in this case, piracy is one way to fight for progress.
Digital Distribution is not about saving money and passing it on to the end users. It is about control and cashing in the savings.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 11:11 AM   #179
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I know that digital textbooks are not necessarily a good deal right now.

My point is, it would be a lot easier for authors to publish their own digital textbooks than to print paper textbooks, don't you think?
So publishers could be pushed out of the equation, and the price would go down.

And of course, in the meantime, you can pirate the overpriced ones.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 12:21 PM   #180
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I think all of you are seriously underestimating the time and effort that goes in to writing a textbook.

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Old Apr 7, 2012, 12:27 PM   #181
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I think all of you are seriously underestimating the time and effort that goes in to writing a textbook.

P-Worm
You keep repeating this without addressing the fact that the new versions of textbooks have basically no new information.

The constant republishing of textbooks serves no educational value.

Example from personal experience:

This book:

http://www.amazon.com/Organic-Chemis...3816062&sr=8-2

and this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Organic-Chemis...3816097&sr=8-1

Contain exactly the same information. But when teachers post problem sets they work from the current version of the book. If you use the old version the problems aren't in the same order (or quite the same problems) so you're at a dis-advantage (because teachers very often copy paste practice problems with a slight alterations as their test and quiz problems).

Of course the 6th edition costs almost 1/10th the price. There is no reason we couldn't be using the 6th edition now or even the 5th edition. There is no new information. The only reason to republish is so that people are forced to buy new books because the market for 6th editions is already saturated with used material.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 12:32 PM   #182
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You keep repeating this without addressing the fact that the new versions of textbooks have basically no new information.

The constant republishing of textbooks serves no educational value.
Have you never taken a graduate course? Those books often need to be new. In one of my classes I took, the material was developed in 2007 and years of research and work went in to that book. You think that time and effort was free? What do you think that one book is worth? Keep in mind that the market for this book is very small since it was a PhD level robotics course. How much would you have to sell it for to break even? $1000/copy? $5000? In many ways, my book was subsidized by these books where the material has not changed.

The simple fact of the matter is if there was a cheaper way to do it, some company would have done it by now. iBooks publisher is open for anyone to make a free textbook if they want. Where are the loads of educators clamoring to jump on this bandwagon? Why don't you?

Maybe you just don't have the time?

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Old Apr 7, 2012, 12:44 PM   #183
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Have you never taken a graduate course? Those books often need to be new. In one of my classes I took, the material was developed in 2007 and years of research and work went in to that book. You think that time and effort was free? What do you think that one book is worth? Keep in mind that the market for this book is very small since it was a PhD level robotics course. How much would you have to sell it for to break even? $1000/copy? $5000? In many ways, my book was subsidized by these books where the material has not changed.

The simple fact of the matter is if there was a cheaper way to do it, some company would have done it by now. iBooks publisher is open for anyone to make a free textbook if they want. Where are the loads of educators clamoring to jump on this bandwagon? Why don't you?

Maybe you just don't have the time?

P-Worm
Don't confuse the issue at hand, I gave you a simple answer and a simple question in return.

Why are new editions of textbooks being published so that students are forced to buy new instead of used. When the older versions contain all the same information?

Answer that question, don't attempt to muddy the waters with claims of "this price gouging subsidizes the price of graduate texts therefore it is justified" .

As for educators and researchers being against copyrights:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_Works_Act

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/0...-Kill-H-R-3699

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_te...s_threat_.html
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 01:06 PM   #184
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Provide the same programming free that you charge cable companies to re-broadcast.
Seems odd
Not really. Cable/sat give you some of those channels that carry stuff you really want. But there is no a la carte. If you want Showtime, you still have to buy 120 other channels, you cannot get premium channels stand alone.

The point of the subscription fee is not to cover operating costs, that is easily covered by advertising for the non-premiums. The primary function of the subscription fee is to make you feel like you would not be getting your money's worth if the TV is not on. Not exactly "double dipping", just a sort of ad lube.
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 01:23 PM   #185
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I am guessing you have never tried researching and creating a textbook. It's not a trivial matter and if the textbook wasn't "updated without changes," the used textbook market would make the creation of textbooks not worth it. The alternative would be to sell the textbooks for thousands of dollars a piece.

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I answered your question in my first post. Making one book that would be on the used market would not be cost effective.

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Old Apr 7, 2012, 01:39 PM   #186
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I answered your question in my first post. Making one book that would be on the used market would not be cost effective.

P-Worm
Ahh so it's ok to scam people into buying products they don't need so you can continue to make enormous profits from those who have hardly any money at all.

"While CEO of McGraw-Hill in 2009, McGraw earned a total compensation of $5,905,317, which included a base salary of $1,390,500, a cash bonus of $1,261,000, stock granted of $924,060, options granted of $1,854,583, and other compensation of $475,174"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_W._McGraw_III

Poor poor textbook publishers.

And pirates are the problem
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 02:02 PM   #187
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Not really. Cable/sat give you some of those channels that carry stuff you really want. But there is no a la carte. If you want Showtime, you still have to buy 120 other channels, you cannot get premium channels stand alone.

The point of the subscription fee is not to cover operating costs, that is easily covered by advertising for the non-premiums. The primary function of the subscription fee is to make you feel like you would not be getting your money's worth if the TV is not on. Not exactly "double dipping", just a sort of ad lube.
The NBC, abc, CBS, fox and others that provide OTA do charge cable companies for a rebroadcasting. There was a few disputes with some and charter was ready to drop a few channels.
Now the cable company sticks it to me by charging me for crap def and an extra fee for high def without the option to dump crap fer
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 02:06 PM   #188
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It wouldn't bother me if my neighbors used my wireless, so I guess it's fine with me (even if they don't pay and it slows down my internet a bit).
But that wasn't the question. The question was about television service, not wireless internet. And it's about you going and getting it from your neighbors, not them offering it up to you.

If you think that music is okay to swipe simply because it is not a physical object, then by the same token you should think it's okay to pirate cable TV as well for the same reasons.

Your whole argument really seems to revolve around the ease with which something can be copied rather then the original statement you had that music and TV should be available to even those who can't pay for it. So if music couldn't be downloaded, and let's say for some reason that it couldn't even be copied, then what? Which would win out? The thought that you don't want to deprive someone of a physical object or the thought that everyone should have access to music regardless. Which of those two concepts is more important? I'm curious.

You sure are on both sides of your own argument. First you say TV and music shouldn't be for only those that can afford it, but then you stop short of stealing the actual TV display or stereo itself simply because it is a physical object and doing so would deprive others of that item. So in reality, you stop short of your goal of music and television for everyone. You've "solved" the problem with music content by swiping it, but if they don't have anything to play it on, that won't do them much good, will it?
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Old Apr 7, 2012, 03:07 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by P-Worm View Post
Have you never taken a graduate course? Those books often need to be new. In one of my classes I took, the material was developed in 2007 and years of research and work went in to that book. You think that time and effort was free? What do you think that one book is worth? Keep in mind that the market for this book is very small since it was a PhD level robotics course. How much would you have to sell it for to break even? $1000/copy? $5000? In many ways, my book was subsidized by these books where the material has not changed.

The simple fact of the matter is if there was a cheaper way to do it, some company would have done it by now. iBooks publisher is open for anyone to make a free textbook if they want. Where are the loads of educators clamoring to jump on this bandwagon? Why don't you?

Maybe you just don't have the time?

P-Worm
It depends alot on the subject at hand. Some edition upgrades in technology related fields are critical, but I have taken business courses where the 4th and 6th editions are nearly identical. Even the problem sets were the same, except mixed up in different orders so the book was not usable for the course.

It is undeniable in my mind that there is some shady business going on in order to keep used textbook markets from taking off and to keep retail sales up.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 03:57 PM   #190
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It depends alot on the subject at hand. Some edition upgrades in technology related fields are critical, but I have taken business courses where the 4th and 6th editions are nearly identical. Even the problem sets were the same, except mixed up in different orders so the book was not usable for the course.

It is undeniable in my mind that there is some shady business going on in order to keep used textbook markets from taking off and to keep retail sales up.
But according to P-Worm that scam is somehow justified because those books subsidize graduate level robotics textbooks?!

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But that wasn't the question. The question was about television service, not wireless internet. And it's about you going and getting it from your neighbors, not them offering it up to you.

If you think that music is okay to swipe simply because it is not a physical object, then by the same token you should think it's okay to pirate cable TV as well for the same reasons.

Your whole argument really seems to revolve around the ease with which something can be copied rather then the original statement you had that music and TV should be available to even those who can't pay for it. So if music couldn't be downloaded, and let's say for some reason that it couldn't even be copied, then what? Which would win out? The thought that you don't want to deprive someone of a physical object or the thought that everyone should have access to music regardless. Which of those two concepts is more important? I'm curious.

You sure are on both sides of your own argument. First you say TV and music shouldn't be for only those that can afford it, but then you stop short of stealing the actual TV display or stereo itself simply because it is a physical object and doing so would deprive others of that item. So in reality, you stop short of your goal of music and television for everyone. You've "solved" the problem with music content by swiping it, but if they don't have anything to play it on, that won't do them much good, will it?
Wireless internet and television service are basically the same thing now a-days, I watch 100% of my television online so I fail to grasp the stark difference you're implying.

So basically I've already said I'm fine with people pirating my wireless internet (especially if they're low income and can't afford it). So to me that's the same as pirating TV.

Products should be available at a reasonable price, currently many products (live movies, textbook, books, music, many games) aren't priced to make an acceptable profit. They're priced to make an enormous profit so that executives can be paid multi-million dollar salaries.

If you can't grasp how theft of a physical object is in no way different from copying a file, then there's really no point in continuing this conversation.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 05:15 PM   #191
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....
Products should be available at a reasonable price, currently many products (live movies, textbook, books, music, many games) aren't priced to make an acceptable profit. They're priced to make an enormous profit so that executives can be paid multi-million dollar salaries....
out of curiosity; what do you consider an acceptable profit rate?
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 06:05 PM   #192
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Have you never taken a graduate course? Those books often need to be new. In one of my classes I took, the material was developed in 2007 and years of research and work went in to that book. You think that time and effort was free? What do you think that one book is worth? Keep in mind that the market for this book is very small since it was a PhD level robotics course. How much would you have to sell it for to break even? $1000/copy? $5000? In many ways, my book was subsidized by these books where the material has not changed.
It can be an enormous amount of effort. In the U.S., that research was paid for by taxpayers (at the state level in state universities) and federal (grants, virtually all paid for by the U.S. government). So, if your point is the moral right of the professor to profit from his labor -- the taxpayers already paid for it. And, for most professors, the royalties will be peanuts anyway. So why do they go along?

Quote:

The simple fact of the matter is if there was a cheaper way to do it, some company would have done it by now. iBooks publisher is open for anyone to make a free textbook if they want. Where are the loads of educators clamoring to jump on this bandwagon? Why don't you?

Maybe you just don't have the time?

P-Worm
In some specialty fields, open textbooks are becoming predominant. But, the first thing that has to change to make this widespread is for tenure committees to recognize that a well-written, free, online textbook is just as valuable a contribution as a textbook published by a big-name traditional publisher. A lot of traditional textbooks get published just so the author can get tenure, and the students pay both at the bookstore, and, in quality.

Simple example: Calculus pedagogy improved gradually until the mid-1960's. It hasn't changed since. Except for correcting a few errors from time to time, there is no reason for writing/publishing a new calculus textbook or new edition of an old calculus textbook in the last 40 years. Many of those books are mediocre rehashes at best. A giveaway is a title like, "Calculus, an XYZ approach", where "XYZ" can be any kind of fancy-sounding word:
Programmed, Structured, Structural, Modular, Algebraic, Geometric, Topological, Fundamental, Abstract, Linguistic, Semiotic, Pathetic ...

The second thing that has to change is the laziness creeping in that the publishers are taking advantage of. And, this is even happening at the high-school algebra textbook level. The deal is new editions with each edition/book pair getting a web key, only valid for a few years, with built-in online homework grading systems. You could say this is a necessary evolution in efficiency, what with class sizes increasing every year. Or, you could say it is a publisher taking advantage of families, and teachers going along with it because of exhaustion -- they don't have time or energy to grade personally homework from 200-600 students/day. It is a terrific waste of paper.

Ultimately, real education begins with the student, and the teacher who is an expert at a subject, and, in conveying that expertise to students. Textbooks are merely aids. We have a boondoggle textbook industry that has long been taking advantage of us all, and has placed itself in the middle of the process instead of on the side where it should be.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 06:19 PM   #193
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out of curiosity; what do you consider an acceptable profit rate?
If it's something I want, minimum wage for the hours spent actually writing.

Otherwise, the sky's the limit.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 06:26 PM   #194
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out of curiosity; what do you consider an acceptable profit rate?
I don't have an exact answer, but when the wealth distribution looks like this:

http://whorulesamerica.net/power/ima...ial_wealth.gif

Then things are not working as they should.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 07:00 PM   #195
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Exactly.

If any of these arguments presented here have any validity it should be easy to convince creators to place their works in the public domain.

A campaign for this cause wouldn't even need to involve politicians.

It would be targeted towards the creators themselves.

That should go over real well.
The Grateful Dead effectively did this for decades. Anybody could tape, distribute to friends, etc. for free, with the encouragement of the band.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grateful_Dead#Tapers

By the way, I'm not a Deadhead and don't particularly like their music. But, I think they were ahead of their time on this issue.

I've heard a few artists talk about this issue (bitterly) over the years-- the problem is that because the record companies control everything, it is very difficult for the artists to buck the system-- they will just get shut out and nobody will hear them.

I also sense an "Intellectual Property" tinge to some of the postings on this thread. Personally, I don't accept the concept of "IP". It is a lazy term that mashes together a lot of very different things (recorded music, patents, copyrighted software, movies) and attempts to give some sort of intellectual respectability to the mash. I think there are obvious, dramatic differences between these various things and the use of "IP" as a blanket term is laziness at best-- and fraud at worst. Fraud because there is usually some legal sleight of hand at work that benefits monopolies of one kind or another.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 11:49 PM   #196
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The Grateful Dead effectively did this for decades. Anybody could tape, distribute to friends, etc. for free, with the encouragement of the band.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grateful_Dead#Tapers

By the way, I'm not a Deadhead and don't particularly like their music. But, I think they were ahead of their time on this issue.

I've heard a few artists talk about this issue (bitterly) over the years-- the problem is that because the record companies control everything, it is very difficult for the artists to buck the system-- they will just get shut out and nobody will hear them.
A lot of bands do this nowadays. Go to http://archive.org/browse.php?collec...tadata/creator and just look at the list of bands and available live shows for download. All of this is by permission of the band, and is all free. Obviously, about 90% of these are unheard-of bands with two shows.

However, the Grateful Dead has a whopping 8,694 shows available for download. moe. has 2,437 shows. The String Cheese Incident has 1,277. Obviously, not everyone's cup of tea, but then there are more mainstream bands such as 311, Blues Traveler, and Smashing Pumpkins. All of these bands have been pretty successful over many years, yet all have mountains of music available for free, and often don't charge ridiculous amounts of money for their shows. Hmmm......
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 12:54 AM   #197
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However, the Grateful Dead has a whopping 8,694 shows available for download. moe. has 2,437 shows. The String Cheese Incident has 1,277.
I still don't see Severe Tire Damage though. Surely someone out there has an archive?
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 02:14 AM   #198
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It can be an enormous amount of effort. In the U.S., that research was paid for by taxpayers (at the state level in state universities) and federal (grants, virtually all paid for by the U.S. government). So, if your point is the moral right of the professor to profit from his labor -- the taxpayers already paid for it. And, for most professors, the royalties will be peanuts anyway. So why do they go along?



In some specialty fields, open textbooks are becoming predominant. But, the first thing that has to change to make this widespread is for tenure committees to recognize that a well-written, free, online textbook is just as valuable a contribution as a textbook published by a big-name traditional publisher. A lot of traditional textbooks get published just so the author can get tenure, and the students pay both at the bookstore, and, in quality.

Simple example: Calculus pedagogy improved gradually until the mid-1960's. It hasn't changed since. Except for correcting a few errors from time to time, there is no reason for writing/publishing a new calculus textbook or new edition of an old calculus textbook in the last 40 years. Many of those books are mediocre rehashes at best. A giveaway is a title like, "Calculus, an XYZ approach", where "XYZ" can be any kind of fancy-sounding word:
Programmed, Structured, Structural, Modular, Algebraic, Geometric, Topological, Fundamental, Abstract, Linguistic, Semiotic, Pathetic ...

The second thing that has to change is the laziness creeping in that the publishers are taking advantage of. And, this is even happening at the high-school algebra textbook level. The deal is new editions with each edition/book pair getting a web key, only valid for a few years, with built-in online homework grading systems. You could say this is a necessary evolution in efficiency, what with class sizes increasing every year. Or, you could say it is a publisher taking advantage of families, and teachers going along with it because of exhaustion -- they don't have time or energy to grade personally homework from 200-600 students/day. It is a terrific waste of paper.

Ultimately, real education begins with the student, and the teacher who is an expert at a subject, and, in conveying that expertise to students. Textbooks are merely aids. We have a boondoggle textbook industry that has long been taking advantage of us all, and has placed itself in the middle of the process instead of on the side where it should be.
At least in Computer Science, The University of Waikato has been teaching in a Style that make Textbooks not compulsory for most of their papers. They augment the classes with electronic learning and textual readings, usually PDFs from Waikato professors or other Universities. Hell, a lecturer in one of my papers doesn't have any pre written lecture notes or text books, he writes them up on the spot and provides more resources on his website if we need to revise. I've actually asked him what textbook he recommended if we wanted to look up something for study, he said to just use Google. Its great, because Textbooks can be friggin expensive.

In another paper just the Haskell website is our text book.
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 04:19 AM   #199
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At least in Computer Science, The University of Waikato has been teaching in a Style that make Textbooks not compulsory for most of their papers. They augment the classes with electronic learning and textual readings, usually PDFs from Waikato professors or other Universities. Hell, a lecturer in one of my papers doesn't have any pre written lecture notes or text books, he writes them up on the spot and provides more resources on his website if we need to revise. I've actually asked him what textbook he recommended if we wanted to look up something for study, he said to just use Google. Its great, because Textbooks can be friggin expensive.

In another paper just the Haskell website is our text book.
Undergraduate biology is highly textbook intensive (especially the chemistry portions).

Graduate level courses in biology don't tend to use many textbooks at all (in my personal experience). The focus is much more on reading papers, doing re-search and experimentation, and then writing papers.

Textbooks while useful for a general introduction really aren't any better than what I can find on wikipedia. They don't usually contain which is in enough depth for use in designing your own experiments or in interpreting the relevance of results.

Also wikipedia has the added advantage of easy access links to a number of peer reviewed sources which are very useful for the above mentioned.
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Old Apr 11, 2012, 02:06 PM   #200
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Wireless internet and television service are basically the same thing now a-days, I watch 100% of my television online so I fail to grasp the stark difference you're implying.

So basically I've already said I'm fine with people pirating my wireless internet (especially if they're low income and can't afford it). So to me that's the same as pirating TV.

Products should be available at a reasonable price, currently many products (live movies, textbook, books, music, many games) aren't priced to make an acceptable profit. They're priced to make an enormous profit so that executives can be paid multi-million dollar salaries.

If you can't grasp how theft of a physical object is in no way different from copying a file, then there's really no point in continuing this conversation.
I just love the way you keep avoiding your own point. You stated right in the beginning that all this stuff should be made available to even the people whom cannot afford it (as if entertainment was some sort of divine right), but you draw some sort of weird distinction between physical and non physical object. If you need the physical object to play all that free pirated music and TV on then your whole argument falls flat on it's face and it becomes an issue of copying just because you can not because of some noble concept that art and music should be for all.
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