Monday, March 19, 2007

Why Open Source Will Win

Recently I stumbled into a debate on one of Google's Linux User Groups. I keep a membership in some Linux-related things because I know people in that community and want to keep up on what's going on. This debate was about whether Open Source counts as a form of communism or socialism. My comments are below.

The fundamental point of Open Source software goes beyond socialism or other petty "groupings" of human thought. At stake here is an even more basic idea: That of the benefit of the human species as a whole. Open Source is interested in benefiting the human SPECIES rather than an individual PERSON. At its heart is the idea that we shouldn't waste our time re-coding something that's already been done, vetted by others, and works. This adds to our accumulated knowledge, making us a stronger species. A stronger species is more likely to survive.

Traditionally, evolution evaluates what works for a species and what doesn't. I'm convinced that over time the Open Source viewpoint will prove its worth over the philosophy of individual gain.

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