The Open Source movement is, I think, important for the world. This is opinion. Bill Gates has a contrary opinion, and I don't insist that I am morally right. I believe I am right. I believe that sharing and openness will enrich all our lives, encourage innovation, and help create a better world.
I am a capitalist. I believe in private property, and I believe in some system that rewards invention. However, I think capitalism has gone too far, that corporations have too much power, and that the inherent greed impoverishes us.
Is Microsoft evil? Yes. Not deliberately, not consciously. They, and the other large corporate players, see it all as a game. Well, it's a game where the losers live miserable, desperate lives. People die in this game, children die. The underprivileged and even a lot of the supposedly "privileged" are abused in this game, and their humanity is ignored.
Let's not get completely loony here: Linux and Open Source aren't going to transform the world into a utopia of love and kindness. But I do believe that this movement is at least part of what is needed if we are ever to escape poverty, despair, ignorance, hunger and all the other ills that plague us.
Yes, I am a liberal lunatic. I know that, but I can't see how being an uncaring super-capitalist is useful. It may be pragmatic; humanities ills may be uncurable, but I just can't live believing that. I have to believe that we can improve, and I do believe that this is a small part of that improvement. It may even be an important part: opening up closed societies may improve lives, and bringing openness into corporate cultures may help bring changes there.
So, loony as it all is, I think open source is important for society in general.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2012-06-27 Tony Lawrence