« Retro: Greens in Space | Main | Retro: Rise of the Participatory Panopticon »

Retro: Redistributing the Future

There are a few pieces on WorldChanging we consider to be our primary texts, the articles that sum up core principles in a way that we end up referencing over and over again. Alex's Redistributing the Future is one of those posts. It was our earliest best articulation of why the open source model (which we've come to call "free/libre/open source," on the suggestion of people working on such software) is so valuable and liberating for the developing world. The title comes from a William Gibson quote, one that we hold dear here: "The future is here, it's just not well-distributed yet."

The greatest strength of the open source model is that it is explicitly non-proprietary. It is a direct antidote to legacy ownership of key ideas, because the core concept is that no one should own core concepts. No corporation, no nation, no person can claim ownership over the core concepts in an open source project in order to demand royalties or restrict its use. No one using open source-built medicines, for example, would ever die of AIDS because some Big Pharma executive in New York or Berlin decided that distributing cheap drugs was too great a risk to their patents.

Ultimately, that is the point: the 20th Century's model of development - the "Washington consensus," proprietary technological diffusion, the whole ball of wax - has completely failed a billion people and left another four billion falling farther and farther behind, while trashing the planet at an astounding rate.

Comments (1)


Quite intresting article posting.I like this.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 26, 2005 1:52 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Retro: Greens in Space.

The next post in this blog is Retro: Rise of the Participatory Panopticon.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.34