Video and a reply from The Extreme Future Tech Fest

Open access to Tools and Technology by Gabriel Licina presented by the Extreme Futures Tech Fest – Winter 2016.

Open access to tools and advancing technology is key to moving technology forward. The Restrictions we have in the industry currently hold us back.

learn more about EFTF events here:

Commentary by Gabriel and someone on Google+:

Jera Wolfe
I think its an oversimplified solution as the video discusses it.
Science, as you said, isn’t getting done, because it lacks money. But the money isn’t always about buying access… it’s about facilities, and resources, and the living costs of the personnel in labs or that put hours into studies or who head into the wild to observe nature.Science costs money, I don’t think de-incentivizing the exclusivity to discovery is the best approach. However I do agree that after a reasonable time, all scientific discovery should probably fall into the general information with general access.
However, what constitutes scientific discovery here? The line between scientific discovery and application isn’t always clear or distinct. From people patenting mathematical formulas in code, solutions to computational work, to the very telecommunications physical network becoming open access to third-parties, the maze of legislation and threats to business investments such a move might make by itself is pretty tangled and complex an issue.

Jera Wolfe
Also, circled.

Gabriel Licina
I only had 5-10 minutes to talk. I would hope it’s simple 😉

Joking aside, I agree that science costs money. However, there are lots of things that cost money, and the open source sharing access to tools and information model has worked really well for them.

Money is totally about buying access. Not having tools impedes access. Not having affordable resources restricts access (Gibson Mix should not cost that much). Not being able to read a journal paper restricts access. This is why open spaces, like maker spaces and biohacking labs, are so important. When you are restricting access to these things by having overpriced journals (, we all love you!), or outrageously expensive schools, you aren’t creating an incentive to engage in the culture, you’re restricting and isolating it. Exclusivity tends to lead to creating quite a few artificial barriers to getting an education and learning how to use tools.

Can you honestly say that the $75 cost of a journal paper on some sites is incentive, or just a nice high paywall that keeps taxpayer funded knowledge out of the hands of the people that paid for it? What is a reasonable time for people to be allowed to learn? Who decides that? Why is that restriction in place?

As for the business concerns, I was always under the impression that competition drives innovation. If one is concerned that their multi million DARPA funded lab is going to be undercut but a bunch of people in a garage, just because the price of some tools has been reduced to a reasonable amount… man, they better up their game. Nothing like a little incentive, right ;D

Don’t fear these innovations and people. Befriend them. If someone rocks your world in a garage lab, hire them or fund them, don’t smack them down and restrict them. If someone develops something cool with your code, sounds like you have another member you can add to your team.

This post first appeared on
Thanks David 😀

2 thoughts on “Video and a reply from The Extreme Future Tech Fest”

  1. this is the second large chunk of text i’ve left here for anyone to check out i tend to take it as flow of consciousness writing when it gets that long, so please let me know if it’s ridiculously difficult to follow or argue. the only reason i do it is wanting to address these sloppily at least more than wanting to neglect them and “saving” everyone’s time…

    thanks again for bringing them up.

    if i understand your point correctly, there’s a problem in science that is too little resources given to scientists in general. your solution is to make more of the tools and ideas “open” so that scientists won’t need as many resources and future tech will still have some chance to develop at a fun pace…

    jera’s point is that your solution is oversimplified because science is about money and not all money is about access.

    you both agree that it costs money, you disagree on money being renamed as access, and i think i’ll call money and access and human time altogether “resources” for the purpose of my commentary.

    (this is in essence a sociological argument again. and i am not a formally educated sociologist, although i like to think a lot about it! 🙂
    the earth’s finite resources should be distributed as fairly as possible. who determines fair? it’s subjective and according to individual cultures. in ours, we’ve agreed to a capitalist/free-market (barely these days and maybe that’s where some of this revolution is ripe for intruding upon) version where popularity determines which ideas get realized and which don’t.
    my opinion is that this is already is the best way. the problem is more how resource managers (multi billion dollar corporations, powerful political figures, etc.) in america (aren’t they all in america??) spend so much more on (dare i literally say “value so much more”) defense rather than research or education or etc.
    THE SOLUTION is one of changing in what order they value these things OR wresting the control from their hands in order to reprioritize values right this time! (the former being a more community approach [brainwashing?], and the latter being known as capitalism.)
    any better ideas? haha

    the long of it:
    yeah, i like your (gabriel’s) points about how lopsided the competition gets when the big competitors try to keep their piece of the pie concentrated for themselves by eschewing junior players (or even better just stealing their ideas outright, granted i know you didn’t say that in there, but i think we agree it’s common enough), but there’s still a great deal of complexity to work out in terms of how to make your version of open-ness actually work.

    there’s a lot to do with incentive… a lot to do with resource management… with social justice…

    incentive: i believe jera’s argument was along the lines of how do you incentivize research after taking away the reward of more resources for projects that “work”? (aside from work meaning many things, the point is patents/and the like, in terms of exclusivity, mean very different things have different values at different levels and to different people. you and i might like to discover something for the fun of it, but that money had to come from somewhere someone, and those people are resource managers. why should we fund you?
    … we’ve as a society chosen popularity to determine which ideas get realized and which don’t based on the positive feedback loop of how popular the eventual product/service/knowledge source is with smaller communities, where they can command enough resources to grow it to the next level (e.g. cycles starting from garage tinkerer to refine more ideas better as an inventor to refine more ideas better as a company tech executive to refine more ideas better as a venture capitalist… among other ROUTES TO GAIN CONTROL OF MORE RESOURCES.

    [now take the resource management mentality and apply it to knowledge, and you might begin to see a social justice issue. inequity for the have-nots clearly, although in this case the have-nots are the poor saps who got biology degrees… make all of it open and you might begin to see an issue with “discoverers” becoming so marginalized as to slow the whole thing down…back to who’s funding them? and for what?]

    along similar lines you complained about this yourself in a recent post when you quoted that woman quoting you: if my project is so great, why am i not funded? this is the problem in a capitalist economy because of how the resource management is set up, namely it’s buy in process of major investments from the “adventurous” ones, VCs angel investors, etc. who are all looking for a way to maximize their control of EVEN MORE resources. (parenthetical rant: why? because IT’S GOOD TO BE THE KING. one reason is so that you can tell other people how to live: do this experiment and not that one. make this product but keep that other one down. i don’t like abortions, so let’s redirect resources that are critical to that into some other venture… if they all just do as i suggest, they’ll find out i’m pretty smart, right?!

    after the many rounds of investments, you have more and more people buy your service/product, and soon enough you have your economy of scale kick in where stuff that used to cost so much (sequencing the first genome) now costs way less AT LEAST PARTIALLY because SO MANY want to do it, i.e. increased volume, which then paves the way for more efficient ways to do it, and if people like those more efficient techniques, the way is paved yet again for expanding and refining them, and so on etc. when the whole time we’re focusing harder and harder on ONE primary/general thing of value like the information encoded into biological molecules at the opportunity cost to others things of value like eliminating world hunger or making “open science” possible. of course, this is where exosphere comes in, no?

  2. unless exosphere can come up with a new way that can be scaled up to manage the world’s resources, then they’ll be subject to the current way it’s done. i like the ethos (“like the internet was supposed to be” haha) in this respect.
    (these competing resource management solutions remind me of meme evolution: survival of the fittest solution/paradigm.
    there’s a list somewhere in wikipedia, i thought, of the properties that make a meme fitter, and it would be well-applied here, i just am not finding it at the moment…!)

Leave a Reply