opensource


‘You are not in control. You are not in control of yourself. You are not in control of what you’re gonna get..You are in control of ……. no you are not in control’ – says Jamie and Duncan on the One Giant Leap trailer

Things seem to be happening to us all the time – and many times we feel – that we have no control of events happening in our lives. We tend to end up in situations – and we have no idea how we got there. I do believe that one can get the hang of it and get more in control of things – it does require some research – like the guys at One Giant Leap did.

Yvette’s mandalaWe have been skypeing with Yvette about various community, open source, open art projects like http://the-hub.net/ and Cultural Fusion – invest in art & peace at http://comfusion.pbwiki.com/and the International Free and open source software foundation – so many great projects – she is busy with and is looking for South Africans to join her projects – you can connect with her at http://twitter.com/ydubel . Looking forward to discovering more about these sites and her projects.

Cultural Fusion – if I hear the word I always think first of the film, One Giant Leap – so here it is :

The Icommons site is going to have a series of post on the reasons why people start and contribute to open source projects. Here is the first one.

I heard about open source software in 2001 I think when we tested Linux for the first time. Since I was very knew to computers I had no clue what it was all about – all I understood first that it was freely available on the Net. Later on I was also told that one starts a project on sites like Sourceforge and everyone can contribute to your project globally. I thought that was amazing. (I still think so.)

I was wondering then – but why would anyone do that …. contribute to a project for free. So we started the OpenCafe project – so that I could find out more about this topic and let others know about our discoveries along the way. While we were busy planning our open source cafe we thought – “Is this concept only applied in programming or there are other fields as well where they use these open concepts?” Today there are many such online collaborations where artists, teachers, and everyone else contribute freely to projects, it is great to be a part of these exciting times.

That is why I am also looking forward to these Icommons.org posts on the topic.

For now here is one of my favourite “open” videos where Gilberto Gil ( wellknown Brazilian musician & participant of one the the greatest open music projects, the Wired CD) tests Free beer ( an open beer project 🙂 :

and here is Prof Lessig founder of Creative Commons explaining about open concepts :

Other posts on open source:

open4.org

Recently I have discovered open4.org, a Steve Purkiss project – here is what he says about the reasons behind the project :
“This website was born out of the fact that I needed somewhere to network, to promote my services, to express my opinions. I figured there would be a few more people who wanted to do the same, so I built the site. I have networked on a number of other sites, but each one at the end of the day tries to tell me what I can and can’t do, what I can and can’t say, and most in the end try to charge me for something – plus they get all the ad revenue for the wonderful content that I provide, helpng to grow their community. Scarcity is introduced at some level, and it annoys me because we live in an world of abundance – especially where bits, bytes, and electrons are concerned. So I thought I’d do something different – something that looks at it from the member’s point of view, not the owner’s, investors, shareholders, etc.”

Read the rest of the post on Open4.org!

AJ’s blog entry on free software philosophy explains very clearly some of the most important points on this topic – I agree fully with what he says :

“I believe that if you can help a neighbour in need, you are morally bound to do so. With software ‘can’ is never a question. It doesn’t cost you anything to make a copy, and send it to him – and you still have it. So you are morally bound to do so. In the post-scarcity world, charity becomes costless – so proprietory software twisted some laws completely beyond their intended purpose to create an artificial scarcity where none should exist.

They illegalized charity.

They made it criminal to be a good person.

And worst of all, they made it criminal to be a good person, in the one case, where being a good person comes free of charge.

When you explain it to this, people seem to get it. Then you tell them – but you don’t have to be trapped into their circle of selfishness, you can still be a good person – for there is a kind of software that actively encourages you to be a good person, to share. It is called, free software.

Click here to visit slientcoder.co.za and read the rest of this entry!