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The relationship of open-source to communal consciousness.

Posted 06-20-2009 at 06:12 PM by Shingoshi
Updated 06-23-2009 at 08:40 PM by Shingoshi

Some of you have noticed my signature:
The distribution of knowledge must not be the commodity of tyranny.
Solution: The immediate equalization of all knowledge among all beings.

Expand your mind, advance our world.
This is something that I developed out of years of consideration, concerning the global condition of human consciousness, and the level of strife faced by humanity in general, and in relation to my own. We only need to look around the world in our current news reports, to see that humanity is in need of a radical change in it's mode of thinking. My personal conclusion was that only an absolute equalization of all knowledge could provide the basis of absolute freedom for all beings.

The concept of immediacy relays the notion of direct contact. Where each individual has immediate access to the capacity to know (cognition), without any means of restriction. In monetary systems, pricing becomes a means of exclusion. It is exclusionary by separating those who can have access from those who don't. The haves and the have-nots. Only by the elimination of cost in the acquisition of knowledge, can communal access to knowledge be immediate and absolute.

Open-source software presents a special vehicle for the equalization of all knowledge. It's special, in that it is communally owned by the global society at large (GPL). It contradicts the notion of greed which dominates our global marketplace. Proprietary software has at it's core the ideology of greed, born out of selfishness. The problem is that greed and selfishness can also be experienced in a communal manner, such that individuals seek to collectively prosper at the expense of others. When there is a presupposition that an individual or group cannot succeed without the failure of another, proprietary systems are established.

Open-source provides a unique model for the development of a sustainable system of equality, where all beings can have access to the same level of knowledge without distinction. And since that knowledge is provided freely, there is no means to exclude any one person or group from it's availability. That is the essential feature of open-source software.

But then we cannot assume that because groups support and distribute open-source software, that they are immune to communal selfishness. Unfortunately, since selfishness is part of our primal consciousness, it cannot be realistically assumed that we can exclude that instinct from our collective activities. Groups are just as prone as individuals to develop methods of identification to distinguish themselves from others.

The problem is that most of the time, the distinctions are artificial and mostly without merit. Some tend to "belong" simply for the sake of "belonging". That is to say in one form or another the group becomes not only a means of identity for the individual, but also his or her foundation of intellectual formulation. In such cases, it becomes increasing more difficult to think outside of the parameters of the group consciousness, for fear of isolation from that group. This will become immediately discernible to anyone who suggests any advancement beyond what is perceived as what's traditional for the group. Tradition becomes the edict of conformity.

In many ways, the general Linux community reflects and manifests the consciousness of Pre-Galilean society. This is not the place any person seeking the advancement of consciousness can allow themselves to remain. And it is for this reason, that I choose to constantly stretch the limits of my imagination and aspiration for the benefits of all.

I am not an island.
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  1. Old Comment
    The notion of the equalisation of knowledge is a noble one and I agree that acquisition of knowledge should not be inhibited by financial, legal or social barriers. However, there was a cost (financial and/or time wise) involved for the originator with obtaining that knowledge in the first place. That person is not certain of compensation for his time unless he is employed for instance in academia, the public or the private sector. So in my opinion the dissemination of communal knowledge does not have to be at no cost. Although it could and should probably be offered at low cost at least to make sure there is not a net loss while doing so and make the acquisition of it attainable for anyone.

    Open source or rather free software started out as a way to ensure software that was contributed to by many, would not get closed down and be used to compete against the original writer. By making infrastructure software open source, no individual or group can prevent a user from access to basic computer needs and that's a good thing. That is still the basic tenet of free software.

    Notwithstanding, what we observe in long-standing projects is group behaviour that cannot be explained in rational terms but rather emotionally in terms like "belonging" or tradition. It is exactly this line of thought that is dangerous to the evolution of these same projects, because they could stagnate to the point where individuals or groups suggesting advancement beyond what is deemed suitable are left to no other choice than to establish their own and leaving the one they have been part of. Sadly, this seems to be the only way to guarantee the freedom of thought that the original project once promoted before it fell into the trap of fixed lines of thought and established traditions.

    Despite seeing the stagnation in the general Linux community I still hope that the individuals making part of it will realise that it is merely part of the greater group of UNIX and other communities with many to have preceded and many to succeed it. This very fact will also ensure that there is a place for individuals and groups who do not wish to be beholden to the strict rules and lack of open-mindedness that permeates many projects.

    The only thing we can hope for that there is always room for change and thinking out of the box, when people would rather succumb to settling for the comfort of collective dogma and having other people do their own thinking for them.

    Posted 06-20-2009 at 08:17 PM by psychicist psychicist is offline
  2. Old Comment

    A matter of compensation...

    This is likely a highly idealistic vision of how things could, rather than maybe ought to be. As an artist, I battle with the notion of compensation for my own work. And yet, I have to consider the implications of my ideals. I have wondered what and how would fair compensation be provided to those who have done the heavy lifting so to speak, for society to benefit from the work of a few. And then I have to consider if more individuals benefit from and are inspired to contribute the goods and services to all, would we be a richer society for it? At what point does wealth no longer have meaning in the framework of society?

    I have this belief that the more any individual is consumed by their own need for survival, all individuals are equally bound by that need as well. I think I mean to say that the security of the group is bound to the security of the individual. That by being driven to securing one's own existence, the group is possibly compromised by the inequity that exists from the distribution of communal assets.

    In human society, we are driven to value the work of the individual, rather than the value of the individual. We are granted value by what we do, rather than that we are. It is to say that existence itself is not valuable to society for the individual to be valued. And while some who read this may think this is far fetched, let me remind all of you of something.

    For those who have imagined the world in the context of the vision described by Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, that society existed based on the value of the existence of the individual, not what they accomplished. If you remember the (TNG) episode where those individuals were found in cryogenic suspension (with the hope of arriving in a better more advanced society), they were awakened to find themselves far beyond the constructs of their understanding. Money and the accumulation no longer had meaning to the "current" society. The wealth of the tycoon was simply gone with the society he had experienced in his "previous" life.

    Granted, they also claimed to have cured the physical ills of their society as well. And such an accomplishment would largely eliminate any of the criticism forthcoming from reading this. Interesting that we are here now in this country (the United States of America) debating the necessity of universal health care, and the monetary effects it has on the destabilization of society. So I guess we need to ask, does Roddenberry's vision begin here with us in this generation?

    The fact is that those who simply seek to be amused by visions of what can be, are choosing a path of nonthinking. That's the very definition of amusement. Without thought. Those who are driven to understand how visions become reality, must do the hard work of considering the intricacies of the development of "paradise". You must think.
    n 1: in ancient Greek mythology any of 9 daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne; protector of an art or science
    2: the source of an artist's inspiration; "Euterpe was his muse" v : reflect deeply on a subject; "I mulled over the events of the afternoon"; "philosophers have speculated on the question of God for thousands of years"; "The scientist must stop to observe and start to excogitate" [syn: {chew over}, think over, meditate, ponder, excogitate, contemplate, reflect, mull, mull over, ruminate, speculate]
    When the task of contemplation is taken head on, then we can begin to set upon the task of making vision reality.

    I see open-source software as the vehicle for the distribution of knowledge. Where the individual is valued for knowing, not doing. Or should I say doing the work of knowing. I would rather see a society developed where individuals are compensated for how much the contribute to the equality of all beings, rather than how much they are able to accumulate for themselves, to the exclusion of others.

    So for me, my task is:
    The immediate equalization of all knowledge among all beings.

    Live long and prosper?
    Live long and become wise!

    Posted 06-21-2009 at 04:05 AM by Shingoshi Shingoshi is offline
    Updated 06-21-2009 at 04:11 AM by Shingoshi


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