[svlug] A little on Open Source Philosophy...
bevan at foo.net
Thu Nov 12 15:54:48 PST 1998
On Thu, 12 Nov 1998, Gies, Dennis wrote:
> although I know I'm right. First, he says that the endless integration of
> shit into the Windows OS is great for him as a developer because it gives
> him easy access to it. I ask how he would feel if he hated the product that
That's weird - I've hardly developed for windoze at all and I had a
terrible time getting the stuff I needed... Various developer kits, a
commercial compiler that was incredibly hard to use... All cost $$$, and
nothing came with the OS. Linux has compilers, libraries, utilities,
games... orders of magnitude more than Windoze. If you're talking about
the kernel... well, that doesn't make any sense... Win95 is just more of
DOS (not much of a kernel at all) and WinNT is a very bloated
microkernel that offers the worst of both worlds...
> benefit from all the improvements other companies made. He said other's
> would just steal Intel's designs, and make their own chips, and I said that
> the only way for Intel to make money then would be to innovate faster than
> the competition, in effect continuing to have the best product on the
Innovate faster than the competition _steals_. Two different verbs, not
head-to-head combat. As long as we're in a capitalist society, only
things that don't cost money to manufacture can be free.
Eric Raymond's second article, Homesteading the Noosphere
(http://sagan.earthspace.net/~esr/writings/homesteading/), goes into this
point in detail, comparing
the open-source movement to a state of surplus not seen since man was a
hunter-gatherer. That was a gift-based economy, no bartering, just
giving, since there was plenty of everything to go around. I was thinking
about this, and I think humanity could return to a gift-based economy,
using visions taken from Neal Stephenson's The_Diamond_Age, and probably
other places: given virtually unlimited power (earth's core, fusion from
ocean water...), every person could have a box in his home fed by the
massive power pipe capable of producing any object he dialed up via
energy->matter conversion. In this vision, there is no need for hoarding
of goods, and everything can be free, not just bitstreams of data. Lots
of people would try to own the power source, but eventually one hopes they
would go away, or die off.
But I've gone and wandered into fantasy-land again.
Food for thought, I hope.
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