29 Mar 2011

Open All Ours

Open source means different things to different people. To some it’s a descriptive tag for certain platforms of community developed free software, to others it’s “lab” computing for geeks and at the far end it’s a comprehensive lifestyle ethos, however there is a constant and if we dig down we’re going to end up somewhere around root “collaboration”.

The word collaboration is invariably linked to production of an end result and is further described as being inherently positive (except, interestingly, during wartime), its corroborated companion, “co-operation”, is apparently always positive and the staunch anti-thesis of both comes to us as the dark deceitful back-door concept of “collusion”.

A perceptually large amount of the Open Source community relish the apparent notion we may indeed be at war, a war (for them) against a certain monolithic software giant (who shall remain nameless) and I must admit it does feel like that at times, although in war don’t you have to have two sides fighting each other? If not I believe there’s an escalating scale of aptly applicable descriptions for such systems one could pull on leading up to virtual despotism. But let’s not get too extreme, after all we’re the ones sporting (figurative) beards and sandals. Life is a choice and it’s all about options, ideally.

What’s more important in life to you? Security? Purpose? Status? Family? Can they be separated? I'm not sure they can or should, for if you factor in human flair for social interaction you complete the full package for endorsed happiness, with life, as a result, becoming substantially more than the sum of it’s contributed parts thanks to increased benefits attained through a collaboration of needs.

Positive energy flows from collaboration and through open collaboration it flows even freer, you know how nice it is when someone helps you out purely because they want to? Aside from being the basis for friendship it could even be the crux of potentiality for an evolved future of our species (If we ever stop trying to blow each other up). There’s no doubt the production of anything is instilled with a certain something extra if it has been created from passion and goodwill rather than on the back of a single focused drive to capitalise and make money.

What does this mean to your daily email and web surfing? Well, all I’m saying is that open source software is much more than just a great way of saving money. Our choices in life define who we are.

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