Not stealing …

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody.


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  1. And BTW, your discussion last night with the great Noise Professor about Pirate Boxes was really inspiring. What you are doing is mind blowing, and you are really a remarkable guy. You communicate your vision of what sharing can be, and how quickly your ideas become contagious is amazing. You really are an awesome guy, and your work is the best stuff happening in edtech right now. You rock, and you opened up a whole new world of edtech to me, and thanks to you I have learned more in the last 3 months than the last 5 years. You;ve been pushing ds106 to the next level, and I can only say thank you so much for sharing your ideas and work so freely.

  2. The community and connections emerging from DS106 has generated energy, momentum, innovation, and inspiration that has propelled and challenged me to take risks with my ideas and call them forth into action. Thank you for throwing this learning party – you exemplify what Ken Kesey said about leadership:

    You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.
    Ken Kesey

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