Open Source Government

October 31, 2012 at 3:05 am 2 comments

The technological world we live in today is far different from decades past for more reasons than just the old cliché of, “Yesterday I had a typewriter, today I have Siri”. Up until about 15-20 years ago there was a distinct and prevailing philosophy that you had to own your discoveries. When Thomas Edison perfected the electric light bulb in 1879, do you think any fiber of his being was aching to share his new-found knowledge with the world? Hell no. He was probably halfway out the door en route to the patent office with dollar signs in his eyes.

Of course this philosophy is still prevalent today, afterall, it’s quite logical to want to seek as much personal gain as possible from your own innovation. But with the advent of the Linux operating system back in the 1990’s, and later Mozilla in the 2000’s, we’ve seen a huge shift in ideals toward open innovation. That is, anyone can develop, distribute, and contribute to a project, for free. Why would anyone in their right mind do this? There are a myriad of reasons and every developer has their own, but that’s really another article for another day.

What I really wanted to get into is the prospect of how this ideology could be applied to other aspects of society. And since it is election season, what better aspect than that of government! I share with you a fantastic TED talk by Clay Shirky about the internet and democracy. Happy Halloween and be sure to take the quiz on ReggieNet!

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chris Higgins  |  October 31, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I love open source projects, if you look at my Github account you’ll see that I’m involved in a good number of them. I remember seeing a Github repo of German law, and whenever something changed, you’d be able to see what changed, and the exact differences between them. Interesting stuff.

    Reply
    • 2. bobkinsloe  |  October 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      Yeah, I’m not on Git yet, but it’s amazing how this system can control the chaos that comes with having contributions from hundreds or even thousands of sources.

      It’s been my firm belief for a while now that the internet will eventually be able to supplant formal systems of education, not like University of Phoenix haha, but through the wealth of information that’s already scattered across the web. It just needs to be gathered and organized, a meticulous process that an open source system like this could achieve.

      Reply

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