Saturday, June 06, 2009

Open Source for Adults

Some of these Wall Street types are shouting "enough is enough" with the open source business, time to close shop and make a profit, altruism has its limits.

What they're not getting is (a) lots of closed shops run open source and (b) this isn't about altruism, it's about keeping Wall Street types from thinking they own all the hard work of others, just because they speak this obscure "capital ownership" nonsense.

Engineers don't have time to prove that they rule in a court of law, easier to just keep working hard and not looking back. We own our own work, 'nuff said. Plus we're not trying to own body parts (beyond our own), Amazonian plant life, nor patent how to swing sideways on a swing set -- all that stuff that makes lawyers the butt of jokes at our parties.

For example, take Facebook. You'll hear lawyers complaining about all that "lost revenue" from free service, which magically turns into "money lost" i.e. "bad business".

What they're missing is how hard this community worked to (a) develop Cassandra and (b) establish this cyberspace nation as full of fun and frolic, and not just with "people who can afford it" (i.e. another corporate morgue).

Now that it's valuable, after all this hard work (community organizing), suddenly it's something to "own" and "charge for" which, in the Wall Street mentality, is simply a matter of entitlement (i.e. "step aside, we'll take over, now that it's worth having").

I explained it for children
a little earlier, amounts to the same thing: too much selfishness is not OK among grownups either. Why reward such behavior? Spoiled means spoiled.