Can information Be Owned? (or DIGG part II)

I grew up amid protests against the Viet Nam war in a part of the country where labor unions were strong. I have always believed that the heart of democracy is personal responsibility and personal sacrifice when it benefits society as a whole.
It may be the perspective of age but it seems that for the most part we gather up like a bunch of guinea hens running from one cause to the next with no thought of the long term consequences or who will pay the price.
While the guinea hens are running on to that next cause, who gets stuck footing the bill?

I say some old sayings still hold true – if you are going to talk the talk you better be willing to walk the walk.

It will be interesting to see how the landscape of the entertainment industry changes when the business end of it stops flailing it’s hands and stomping it’s feet and finds a way to change to adapt to the openness that is our new reality. The entertainment business and everything else!

I read a news article yesterday about someone in a lab “accidently” discovering that she had killed some cancer cells because she had done something wrong in an experiment. I immediately thought about how not too long ago this information would not have been made public – and we may not hear anymore about it. In the past, pharmaceutical companies would have held that information very close to the vest hoping to be the first to discover and patent(and profit from) the miracle medicine.

The article was pretty open about what she did and what she used. The competition for funding and grants is fierce so if this information starts a race in multiple labs for the same medicine will patients get it sooner? Will the effect of that information becoming public result in another company getting the prize and maybe knocking some promising researcher out of a position that might have resulted in a future discovery even more important to society?

I remember reading the book “And The Band Played On” which was about the progression of AIDS from the parts played by the CDC, the Red Cross and others. The Red Cross after being told about the risk to the blood supply at first ignored the information and because of that, people were transfused with infected blood and the disease spread especially to hemopheliacs. I was outraged in my naivete` that people could be harmed by the very system they looked to for survival. Could that have happened today? I think it would have spread through every blog, forum, and news site like wildfire. I hope it would have saved countless lives.

Another possible scenario is that it would have been brushed off because there is a perception out there that blogs and forums are mostly gossip and personal agenda and the information that might have saved lives would have been ignored all the same.

If there is no thought or integrity in what we say whether it be on DIGG, in forums, or on our own personal blogs then we do ourselves and the media a disservice. What difference will it make what we say if we are dismissed as being irresponsible? Will some changes that should happen NOT happen because the source is us? We all complain about the media putting it’s slant on the news depending on their agenda. Guess what folks – we ARE the media. What is our agenda?
Just my rambling for what it’s worth.