“SUYO” — Simple Undeniable Yank-proof Ownership

Accelerating our unavoidable evolution to a more rational world.

The ‘Prophetless’ Hackers

Submitted by zClark on Tue, 16/May/2006 - 07:54

a Geek Tragedy

Hackers? — Yea, plus the various extraordinary phenomena spawned from the same spirit. For example: The GNU approach – Linus's Law (bazaar model) – the wiki wonder – and all the gifted persons moving this new future forward. These pioneers and their strategies have achieved record breaking results with heretofore inconceivable despatch. Some real (programming type) hackers may resent being grouped with wiki workers. If so, the tragedy is only exacerbated to the extent any uneasiness is taken to heart. I know, you're thinking, “Tragedy? What tragedy?” Well I'm glad you asked.

Regarding open versus proprietary software the technical verdict is in and the war is won. At this juncture, the proprietary camp has as much chance of prevailing over free hackers as LPs had over CDs – tubes over transistors – BBSs over the Internet – and so on. A crucial difference exist however between the open/proprietary conflict and the other comparisons. The later are all examples of hard specific technical differences, while the free vs proprietary thing delves more into social realities and philosophy. OK, it's time for a new ‘ism’ – how about “bazaarism”? (like that's got a chance of sticking) The first notable issue is that unlike capitalism, Marxism or socialism – bazaarism does not have oodles of blather (formal ideology) pushing to popularize it. Instead, bazaarism spontaneously came into existence on its own. Yet bazaarism largely remains unrecognized for what it is – a new social paradigm who's time has come as heralded by the humble hacker.

And the “Free Software” versus “Open Source” thing? Succinctly, that's merely the proverbial tip of the tragedy iceberg. As proffered above proprietary software (including M$) is already technically passé (if well recognized or not). The political struggle is always a nastier matter (as underscored by Microsoft's reliance on coercive government enforced licensing strategies in preference to quality products). So the first part of the tragedy is the sad fact that the hacker heros and wiki warriors remain unaware of how important their roles are. Python programs and article editing are far from the ultimate contributions they stand privileged to make. The real challenges enjoin clear key strategies to address a much expanded context. The proprietary mentality extends well beyond the software arena – it's a dangerous ancient jealous monster that instinctively realizes the threat (promise) these new freedom movements represent (even more so than those leading the advancement). The current exercise of novel freedom methods portend a potential future more radically rational than I can properly address in this letter. However, to answer the paragraph's opening question, strife over the name given to the banner under which we march is certainly a damn sorry waste of resources in light of the inherent responsibility we have to carry this phenomena to its rightful destiny.

Part two: A most awe inspiring aspect of this whole marvel is the fact that it has unstoppablely unfolded without massive mega-dollars of funding! In fact, revealing studies even suggest that paid employment can actually discourage innovative creativity. But this even stops short; because the whole monetary status quo (in which we're entirely engulfed) clearly constitutes a hostile proprietary environment that's largely counterproductive to the needs of today's avant-garde talent. Nevertheless, money has historically increased productivity so much that it literally enjoys a life & death reverence even while constantly funneling wealth, power and control to its issuers. Poised individuals always sense such systemic problems and will manifest negative reactions at some level. I ache to commemorate the myriad of valiant contributors who's wealth creating fortitude represent the very heart of the above cited freedom miracles. However, a befitting monetary concept that appropriately rewards and invigorates sustained productivity is tragically lacking.

Third: Returning to bazaarism; I really don't know if this is the first time a whole new political epoch has been manifested with near negligible recognition (for what it really is) and zero eggheaded promotion. If so it's potentially better off for it. In any case, I'd feel a lot more comfortable characterizing it as “anti-political”, or at least “non-coercive” (which merely means the same thing), or perhaps even “rational” (but I repeat myself yet again). One needs to be mindful of the deadly proprietary pests however. A reasonable perspective into the deeper social ramifications inherent in freedom's methods and morals is needed. Otherwise our happy harried hackers are not in an optimal position to best defend their new peace & prosperity prone future. Even if greater self-awareness is realized, a more fully formed philosophy is still lacking to decisively advance our position.

So to recap we have a nice classic three part tragedy on our hands. Namely: 1) the wiki/hacker's abbreviated appreciation for the broader implications of their own methods. 2) a proprietary monetary environment with operational precepts uncannily unfit to propel this precious phenomenon to its just heights. And 3) a weak philosophical foundation making it difficult to recognize much less rectify tragedies 1 & 2.

My primary dedication is to the 2nd issue. Applying the right solutions here will necessarily result in immensely expanded horizons of sustained peak performance. My blog suggests that the key importance of money mandates an ‘open source’ solution. To this end a new order of raw individual OWNERSHIP is envisioned. Notably it is thief-proof, indestructible, unforgeable & undeniable – plus basically cost free to 1) create, 2) store, and 3) transfer.