Friday, February 16

naturally open source

i don't know a whole lot about open source stuff, really. but the concept fascinates me. i will build this thing, and i will share it with the world along with all of its inner workings, all of the things that make it what it is. so you can make your own. or make it better.

like music. someone writes a song. sings a song. anyone hearing that song can reproduce the sound of it. singing along, picking out the notes on the piano. music is naturally open source. the more the merrier, right?

like food. i like to cook. so does my aunt minerva.* our cupboard shelf is stacked with books compiled of family recipes, neighborhood recipes, sunday school class recipes. recipes are naturally open source. you bake cookies. you tie the recipe for them to the little paper plate, and you hand them around. you can't have too many cookies.

like the alphabet. i love to read. my brain absorbs all those letters and words and phrases. you can spell quick brown foxes and packed liquor jugs or whatever you want with those letters. they are full of power.

or like potatoes. all you have to do when you want to grow new potatoes is cut up a potato you have and throw a piece of it in a hole in the ground. bury it. water it. shazam. more potatoes.

so anyone can sing. anyone can throw an egg in a frying pan. anyone can spell cat. anyone can build their own linux from scratch. beautiful, isn't it? so democratic and transparent and well, open.

but it isn't easy. it isn't as easy as the word 'transparent' implies. you have to learn to read first. you have to learn how to think in tablespoons and ounces. you have to practice the notes, make sure you're not tone deaf. you need to take care of that potato plant while it grows up. there's always a price to be paid.
"the future is open source everything." ~Linus Torvalds
i got that quote from wikipedia. they cite more examples: soda, coffee, medicine. encyclopedias. freedom. access. openness. it means something a little bit different in each context. sounds like a good thing. but then again, it might stir up a lot of chaos among people who want to keep things secret.

open source everything. i wonder what that'll be like?

* i don't really have an aunt minerva, that i know of. i do have some very nice aunts, but none of them are named minerva.

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