Open or closed?

A friend of mine commented on a post I had about Ubuntu and Dell and in that he said that Linux is like the wiki concept. Maybe the wiki concept is more like Linux and open source. Regardless of how one looks at either, open source is an new model of production which favors the wiki model of code and content creation. It seems that the latter has the potential for more power and at the same time has created a great deal of destabilization in the traditional market place. It seems however that this new model is here to stay at least for the short term. Whatever replaces it will grow out of it and not the old industrial age model of a closed system.

In much the same way blogs and wikis are challenging traditional models of information publication and sharing. Consider how many blogs you read each week and imagine in their stead a book, periodical, newspaper or pamphlet. Imagine too a displaced worker at a publishing house or newspaper. What new careers are being spawned by this publication innovation? Consider too that bloggers are not beholden to corporate sponsors and that perhaps we have a freer press as a result of the blogosphere. Consider too the recent and future attempts by countries to block certain parts of the internet from view by their citizens. The Pentagon’s recent blocking of military blogs, bloggers and Youtube users is another example of this trend.

I’ve been thinking too about how the War in Iraq is yet another example of an industrial age artifact. The resources wasted in the conflict are sapping the United States in the process. The greatest, most powerful and richest nation on the planet is bogged down in the defense of an industrial model that favors petroleum. Can and will open source models of production change the composition of the global market place?

Just this last week an industry giant in the PC market has wed itself to an open source company. The Dell-Ubuntu mix is a great example of the changing paradigm. Their is a growing sense of interdependence rather than independence in our global market place. This growing interdependence might just spell the end to war and conflict as we have come to know it. More to come…

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About Don

Social entrepreneur, Educator, Open Source Advocate
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