The Game Plan in Opposition to Open Access
It's becoming clear that the opponents of Open Access (earlier discussed here) are planning to create a coalition of people fed up with what they imagine to be academic science. This will include rational components (proponents of nuclear power or DDT) and irrational components (creationists and protectionists). It will be based on the most bizarre success of the left: the widespread opinion that leftist intellectual is a redundant term.
For example, Bryan Caplan was recently mistaken for a central planner by a Ron Paul supporter, a mistake that's downright surreal. If the anti-open side succeeds, anybody with a graduate degree will be portrayed as suspect. An essential component of the plan is to get as many people p___ed off as possible at arrogant leftists. That might explain Pat Schroeder's execise in arrogance. The American Association of Publishers stands to gain from the annoyance.
There might be some trouble in reconciling the factions. After all, if somebody pro-nuclear points out that there was a natural nuclear fission reaction on Earth two billion years ago, the young-Earth creationists will object. On the other hand, the noted flack Alan Caruba (who I hadn't heard of until this controversy started even despite the fact that some of his presumed ideas are up my alley) used eugenics as an example of erroneous academic science, even though that might offend possible recruits among believers in “human biodiversity” so they might ignore a faction or two.
The really bad news is that now leftists will be able to point to a real conspiracy that some of us reactionary crackpots will be allied with. The good news is that we can use support for open access as a shield against conspiracy theories.
Maybe I'd better start a series of pro-open access posts …
Essential disclaimer: I work for a contractor for the NIH open-access project. If you're an author of one of those articles and you complain about the mathematics, the complaint might turn up at my desk.