Open Source

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Open source is a set of principles and practices that promote access to the design and production of goods and knowledge. The term is most commonly applied to the source code of software that is available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent intellectual property restrictions. This allows users to create software content through incremental individual effort or through collaboration.

The word "open" in the phrase "open source" means much more than simply making the source-code available to the public. It involves describing the processes involved in collaborating on the source and in implementing and using the end product. When it comes to "open source business", the "source code" means the business system and requires a complete definition of all operations of the business and must include the ability to collaborate on that system and must allow interested parties to implement and use the same system themselves.

Open Source hardware

By now, many people are acutely aware of the term "alternative media;" its triumphs, its short comings, and the profound effect it is having as it erodes the corporate establishment. The agenda has been set for generations by the moneyed elite who held the uncontested capital and the physical means to mass produce propaganda and disseminate it amongst the population. The only way to have countered this propaganda was public speaking, mailing lists, fliers, posters, etc., all at the immense cost of the publisher. The forming of organizations to help cover these costs and produce media presented a target for the establishment to infiltrate and ultimately co-opt.

While guerilla marketing techniques coupled with old fashioned local activism still certainly have their merits, it was the ability for a single individual to start a blog, a website, or a YouTube channel and speak to an audience of millions for little or no cost at all that has finally breached the walls of this long standing monopoly. This was made possible via information technology (IT), and the exploitation of this technology to produce alternative media is still reverberating with far reaching implications.

P2P technology eliminates material scarcity, thus the more a file is in demand, the more people end up downloading it, and the easier it is for others to find it and download it. Consider the implications this would have if technology made physical objects as easy to "share" as information is now.

Recommended reading


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