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Open source textbooks spreading

Last week’s LA Times reported on vigilante open-source textbook publishing. Economist R. Preston McAfee was so fed up with “idiotic books that are starting to break $200” that he turned down $100K for his textbook and decided to let it go Free.

“I’m a right-wing economist, so they can’t call me a communist,” he is quoted as saying.

If there’s a limitation with Prof. McAfee’s approach, it’s that he seems to be doing it in a vacuum. The article mentions Connexions in an aside, which is more than just an e-publishing tool but, like eLangdell, an entire platform for exchanging teaching materials.

More discussion of this effort on Slashdot.

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