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TRON: Legacy and Open Access

TRON: Legacy
Although I was not yet born when the first TRON came out, I grew up on that movie. My dad was always a fan and even had the hand-held video game. At a very young age, I owned that game. MCP had nothing on me. (I may have gotten a little worried just now typing this on a computer; I don’t want to end up on the Grid.) Three years ago when they announced TRON: Legacy
at Comic-Con I ‘geeked’ out and could not wait to see it. As soon as I could get together with my Dad, we went to see the movie. I was delighted to not only witness a sequel true to the original, but to see connections between the movie and Library and Information Science.
In TRON: Legacy we encounter Flynn’s son, as a rebellious rich kid, who has the intelligence to break into buildings and hack secure files, but with lacks drive. Every year he plots to foil some part of his company, in an effort to honor his father’s vision – an Open System (Open Content) where people can share ideas to contribute to the greater good. After the disappearance of his father, the company began to secure their information, increasing profits while limiting access, something Flynn senior was very much against. Encom was touting its most secure and controlled software live on television as young Flynn hacked into the servers and gave the world Open Access to this program.
Who knew, one of my favorite childhood movies would promote Open Access. Here at Simmons there are a number of events during Open Access Week (the last full week in October, the 2011 dates are Oct 24 – 30) including lectures, debates and social events. I support Open Access because I believe it is in the best interest of humanity to work together for a greater good. The more people who contribute to an idea, the more complete it will be. It is the experience of the individuals involved with an issue that shape the overall solution, and a greater range of experiences will yield a greater result. I also believe that Open Access will help shrink the education gap by making information available to those of lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Many diseases have all but disappeared in America while ravaging Third-World countries. Providing access to the published information can not only help further research but also help to stop the spread of disease. Providing Open Access does not just work as a system for the poor to have access to the rich, it allows for new and different contributions. For example, while a top medical research lab could be close to finding a permanent cure for a disease, it could be the contributions of a small research lab in the middle of a jungle who could find the extra ingredient to cure that disease forever.
I was excited to be able to read into TRON: Legacy and not just enjoy the light cycles. I hope that the message in this movie helps others see the benefits of Open Access and Open Content.