Another Thought on Open-Source

Is regular society a form of knowledge sharing? The difference between general society and open-source is the ease with which you can obtain information.

If we break down Leadbeater‘s assertions on the essential components of successful open-source software we can draw the following parallels:

Though we may not realize it, we are all indirectly contributing to the forward movement of society. Ultimately it is not a zero-sum game, meaning that regardless of appearances we are actually making progress.

Even apparent steps backwards – war, genocide, famine – are actually contributing to the forward movement because we learn from our mistakes and better our behaviour (usually).

The access to telephone service is a fundamental factor to economic growth and thus the improvement of society. One of the driving forces behind Africa’s improvement (yes, they are improving) is the cellular telephone. Here we see the number of telephones per 1000 people in relation to Income per capita. There is a very strong trend of increasing GDP per capita with more access to information and communication (telephones). Not the other way around – more telephones with more GDP.

Internet Users with relation to Life expectancy. We see the tremendous growth in access to internet – perhaps the best tool for information transmition – between 1990 and 2004. In the similar vein to telephones, internet is tied to GDP and to other forward movements – democracy, life expectancy, low child mortality…

Everything is connected.

Published on August 21, 2007