Avoiding a Tragedy of the Commons
Appendix A: The role of the university in the Knowledge Economy
Appendix A: the role of the university in the Knowledge Economy The move to the internet has major implications for the University, in particular the reduction of its monopoly on the production and consumption of knowledge. THE ROLE OF THE INTERNET Internet-based application service providers will be the basis for the development of virtual libraries, specialized databases, and virtual researcher communities. All of this has the potential for extraordinary progress in knowledge development. For example, the implications of Moore’s law suggests the social sciences are poised to make the same move from observation to the experimental that the physical and natural sciences did. One can envisage starting many research projects with the data needed for the project already present, and even organized into a variety of useful sets of meaning. Under these conditions the researcher starts the project at a much higher level of cognitive complexity and can spend much more time focusing on the implications of research results. Internet-based distance learning provided by for- and non-profit post-secondary educational institutions is poised to erode the monopoly the university has held on the production and consumption of knowledge. How should the University adjust to these major challenges over the next several decades? THE GROWTH OF EXPERTISE AS THE SOURCE OF AUTHORITY The complexities attached to issues such as whether Microsoft is a predator in the market, air transportation safety, health care regulation, child development, genetic engineering, the environment, etc. are not amenable to ballot box solutions. Increasingly, the courts act as...
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