So this Green Automobile I give you in flight, a present, a present from my imagination.
(Allen Ginsberg, The Green Automobile)
What if Allen Ginsberg had “invented imagined and visioned” his green automobile driving petabytes of data through nodded cables of the internet era instead of “on the roads of the world”? He would not then address his love to Neal Cassady but certainly to Open Access instead.
Open Access Sutra
Allen Ginsberg was a prophet of this world’s magic and while on purpose he made his mouth into an instrument which he could no longer control, he talked of our usual day in a supermarket, our efforts to turn off the washing machine, no difference in drinking tea without sugar and so on. Although the invention of internet happened during Ginsberg’s era, no one was then so deeply steeped into digital age and no one would possibly predict such an outburst of digital information. Never erasing the line but constantly adding on it, it seems like Ginsberg is arranging our data which won’t remove itself but just keeps on flowing. Like Ginsberg’s typewriter, constantly typing whatever his master uttered, no matter how small and trite, the big internet machine keeps track of everyone’s “howl”.
What do we do with this data? How do we control it? Where do we direct it and how do we store it? The new “angelheaded hipsters” could be the data scientists, and their music? The wide dissemination of data which refuses to fit any pattern just like jazz notes do. So, what would Ginsberg have to rapidly pronounce while he and data scientists are sharing an “archangelic cigarette”? Free books for anyone to read, that would be the obsession number one. And Open Access haikus contests? Zen fixed Allen would probably win them all.
Open Access Revolution
The revolt to academia and the break of traditional peer-review system, public readings and the maintenance of public domain by making articles into CC licensed materials, making trips to China and encouraging China to get hold of its scientific output – all these initiatives may link to the same revolution. With flowers in their hair or with Open Access badges attached to their jacket, young people on campuses are actually those with dreams and the lead for this movement which has now taken on the global scale. Where will this Green Automobile go? Probably farther than San Francisco.