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The Open Source

I use Linux.

That’s right. I’m a nerd. You can laugh, its okay. I’m cool with it.

I do all my work on OpenOffice.Org.

I’ve even gone so far as to convert about 80% of my office to it. You should check it out.

This site also runs on WordPress.Org’s open source Content Management Software.

Then of course, according to my analytics, about 64% of you are reading this on Firefox or Chrome.

What do all of these random bits of information have in common?

All of these programs are Open Source Software.

OPEN SOURCE

Open source is an important movement that doesn’t get nearly enough air time on the media. Mostly because, they’re scared of it.

The central idea is that if we all share our ideas and advancements, we can all work together to advance everything much more quickly. The free exchange of information, and development move online open source communities forward much faster than their closed source, proprietary counterparts.Having multiple developers working simultaneously on one project allows them to see each others mistakes, correct them, and then add new ideas and directions. It can lead to a lot of confusion, but it also leads to a lot of creation and problem solving. The fact that any developer can see the code and base of the project allows the to find solutions to the problems that arise.

Its a community where everyone contributes to an over all better finished product.

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM OPEN SOURCE

America, as a whole, could benefit from the philosophical ideas of Open Source. As a Nation, we should strive to learns as much as we can about how our project, the US, works, examine any problems that arise, and adapt and modify our code to solve for the problems. Right now, we’re chalked full of some pretty serious usability errors. Now, we found a lot of them, and corrected after the original Beta, but any good software developer will tell you there are always kinks to be patch. The founders of our nation were well aware of the need for its citizens to continue work on the OpenUS project, so they gave us a pretty good developer’s kit to work with.

The wonderful thing about the open source system, is that everyone contributes, not just the project development team. Feedback is an important part of the process of getting closer to the final finished package.

FEARS OF THE SYSTEM

Certain agencies, with their own greedy and personal agendas, will tell you that using Open Source makes you a traitorous, thieving, pirate.

Rather than embracing a free exchange of work and ideas, supported by community donations, ad revenue, or you know, however it is that Google made 153 billion dollars on it, they want to control the market for their own monopolistic agendas. There is a definite and powerful fear always at the subconscious forefront of those with power that those without will find a way to rise above them and strip that power away. They don’t want you to think you can get what they’re hawking from anywhere else.

There are always alternatives.

If you want to get away from Microsoft or Apple, switch to a Linux Distribution. If you don’t know that much about computers, Ubuntu is a good one to try.

If you want to listen to music, read a book, or even watch some short films without giving more power and money to a corrupt lobbyist group, then you should give the Creative Commons Search a try.

Hell, there is even open source soda!

There is a giant world of open ideas and projects out there for you to consume, and if you find something that you love, support.

You can probably even find more information in an Open Source Online Encyclopedia.

Happy hunting. Feel free to discuss your thoughts on Open Source Vs. Proprietary Intellectual Property in the comments!

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

2 thoughts on “The Open Source”

  1. Hope Neppel says:

    I like OpenSource. Anything to take the power away from Microsoft, I am all for it.

    But — Linux and I don’t get along. You see, every time I mess with one of the thousands of different variants of Linux, I end up screwing up the hard drive and losing everything anyway.

    Even on the first day of my “Intro to Unix/Linux” class with Red Hat 5.3 Enterprise, I told my instructor Linux & I don’t get along. She laughed at the thought until half-way through an install on a clean hard drive, I blew up the drive. She blamed it on a bad hard drive.

    Before Tim’s computer crashed (and I mean, past the point of recovery — had to get a new hard drive), I had VMWare installed. With it, I had Ubuntu, Windows Server 2003, 2008, XP, Vista, Windows 7 Ultimate — you name it, I had it installed. Why you may ask? So I can become familiar with Linux and other OSes as I go through school without having to actually *BE* at school. I even tried a hack to see if I could run Apple OS on Windows.

    I love OpenOffice. I don’t know what would replace Microsoft Outlook, though.

  2. M.A. Brotherton says:

    Yeah, some people have bad luck with different OSes. I for one have similar problems with Microsoft going plooey.

    I definitely encourage people to try multiple OSes to find the one that’s right for them. Really, there is nothing inherently wrong with using commercial software, as long as its YOU making that choice and not Microsoft.

    As for an Open alternative to Outlook, there are a few, Thunderbird, made by Mozilla, is the first to come to mind.

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