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The two recent unified actions by mathematicians for freedom of science are noteworthy.
A group of mathematicians active in n-category café started a mission to break the monopoly of giant organisms who take mathematicians’ work for free and repackage it and sell it back to them with an exorbitant mark up. ((In the words of John Baez “There is really no reason for us to donate our work to profit-making corporations who sell it back to us at exorbitant price!”)) This is the old colonialist method. It is great that mathematics citizens reached the first level of consciousness and are now fighting for their professional freedom against the colonialist entities.
The second noteworthy event occurred when international mathematics community came together and signed Prof. Alexandre Borovik’s petition to save the Mathematics Village. It is due to this petition and the international attention it garnered ((The petition got wide coverage in Turkish media as listed at the end of the Petition.)) that the Village was unsealed ten days later. There is more work to be done because the founder, Prof. Ali Nesin, is still under threat of prosecution for teaching mathematics.
I see these events as the two sides of the same coin.
In the first case a giant organism have been controlling the profession of mathematical sciences by manipulating every aspect of the profession from granting licenses to practitioners to enforcing a professional rating system which enslaves the professionals to the organism. The organism also controls the distribution channels, the “peer reviewed journals,” and this is the aspect of the system that mathematicians want to change.
In the second case authorities are outside of the mathematics industry. Their authority lies in the political realm. For the authorities Mathematical Village is a display of freedom by human beings who established without permission a free-for-all camp to study mathematics.
Both cases are about the assertion of authority by giant organisms over free humans to stifle freedom of human science.
I support both initiatives.