Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's Just Wrong!

I've spent a lot of time studying Greek today, so I decided I would reward myself by listening to the Berkeley class on Archaeology (Anthropology 2AC from Spring 2008). However, I went to webcast.berkeley in vain; the class is no longer there. In fact, a huge number of classes are no longer there.

Distressed, I looked for an explanation on Berkeley's website. I found a letter to the large group of perturbed self-education fans. The general gist is that the Real Player server has been retired, and all those courses with it. The team has been unable to find what they believe is an adequate conversion format for the files and seem to be hoping for donations in order to increase the possibility that they might find something. They claim that they might obtain a temporary stint on another server, but they give not hint as to when this might be: "We have requested additional temporary storage space on a new server, when this space comes online we will restore the Real Player files and make them available for the public to download for a limited period of time (Contingent upon instructor approval)." I do not have much faith in this limited period of time because they provided no warning whatsoever about the websites renovation.

I find this whole move quite saddening. Berkeley's webcasts are on of the great ways for people to educate themselves for free, and they are cutting off access to those who would seek out that education. I am posting this same note on Platonic Psychology because I believe it's an important problem.

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