[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Edlug Archive Jan 2004 ]

Re: [edlug] Short Talk for next meeting

Jon Shapcott wrote:

Whilst I agree with the positive aspects of this sentiment, I disagree quite
strongly with the idea that OSS has transcended national and cultural
boundaries. The producers and consumers of OSS are mostly relatively wealthy
male westerners. This is a very narrow band of people, and is much more
representative of those people in positions of power over the rest of the
world. Those same people are largely reponsible for the negativity, bad news
and conflict that you bemoan.

Well,  I think you are being a bit unfair. I think that whilst
inevitably technological savvy is concentrated into the hands of the
few, ultimately there will be a trickle down. I don't think for one
minute that technology alone will save the world, and it certainly isn't
a proxy for making more fundamental reforms.

The question is, what model of technology will the poorer parts of the
world adopt? Will they have genuine choice? Will they have FREEdom? For
me, it's the fishing analogy. With OSS, they can be taught to fish and
be fed for life. Or without, they can be licenced their fish to line the
pockets of a handful of powerful people.

I would argue almost the outcome of OSS is the opposite of the scenario
you present - where power (as far as technology is power) is genuinely
distributed. That's why (for me) adocacy is an important aspect of OSS.
Because ignorance is the best friend of the established technological

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