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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"Open source" is communism?

Bill Gates says it is, this dude says that this argument is a red herring.


At 11/22/2005 12:52:00 AM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

Open Source is certainly communism. It is a good example of where communist methods work well. There is a place for everything. I think one could also argue that scientific research is communism - everyone shares their results with all other scientists. Indeed, scientific research is the model for open source software development. _____ Trying to run a whole country on communist lines, on the other hand, has been proved to be disastrous.

At 11/22/2005 02:27:00 AM, Anonymous Alaa said...

interestingly enough one can make a decent argument that Free/Open Source Software is a form of communism, and one can also make a fairly decent argument that it is the highest expression of free market economics.

the thing is software is a form of eceonomy that wasn't there when these theories where developed, unit production cost is 0, incremental improvements by totally random individuals is very valuable, there is plenty and there will always be plenty in this market. the laws of supply ad demand are not as strong in the FOSS market, individuals are very important and influental, no clear division between producers and consumers, management and work force, labourers and owners.

both models simply don't apply, we need a new model for commons based collaborative prodution.

At 11/22/2005 03:12:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Alaa, how did I know you will comment on this post? LOL

Anyway, I agree with you on this: Open source software can not be easily classified as a form of communism or even socialistic effort. But in the same time the fact that it's, well, free to be temperd with messes with the notion of ownership and property that capitalism stands on.

The way I see it, it shouldn't be labeld as a form of economics: I think of it more as a creative effort. It's like someone opend a store that gives free to kids silly putty to make whatever they want with it, as long as they let him keep a copy. The programmers make something that benefits them and others at the same time. In that sense I think it falls under the best modern practical application of John Nash's Game Theory if anything. You know?


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