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.
What do all of these random bits of information have in common?
All of these programs are Open Source Software.
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
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!