The Emergent Open Source Revolution

Advanced Cyber/IO, Analysis, Augmented Reality, Autonomous Internet, Collaboration Zones, Collective Intelligence, Communities of Practice, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Ethics, info-graphics/data-visualization, InfoOps (IO), Intelligence (government), Methods & Process, Mobile, Open Government, Policies, Real Time, Reform, Strategy, Technologies, Threats, Tools
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REVOLUTION OS tells the inside story of the hackers who rebelled against the proprietary software model and Microsoft to create GNU/Linux and the Open Source movement.

On June 1, 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Microsoft fears GNU/Linux, and rightly so. GNU/Linux and the Open Source & Free Software movements arguably represent the greatest threat to Microsoft’s way of life. Shot in cinemascope on 35mm film in Silicon Valley, REVOLUTION OS tracks down the key movers and shakers behind Linux, and finds out how and why Linux became such a potent threat.

REVOLUTION OS features interviews with Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, Brian Behlendorf, Michael Tiemann, Larry Augustin, Frank Hecker, and Rob Malda. To view the trailer or the first eight minutes go to the ifilm website for REVOLUTION OS.

Two books below the line…

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Open Sources 2.0 is a collection of insightful and thought-provoking essays from today’s technology leaders that continues painting the evolutionary picture that developed in the 1999 book Open Sources: Voices from the Revolution .

These essays explore open source’s impact on the software industry and reveal how open source concepts are infiltrating other areas of commerce and society. The essays appeal to a broad audience: the software developer will find thoughtful reflections on practices and methodology from leading open source developers like Jeremy Allison and Ben Laurie, while the business executive will find analyses of business strategies from the likes of Sleepycat co-founder and CEO Michael Olson and Open Source Business Conference founder Matt Asay.

From China, Europe, India, and Brazil we get essays that describe the developing world’s efforts to join the technology forefront and use open source to take control of its high tech destiny. For anyone with a strong interest in technology trends, these essays are a must-read.

The enduring significance of open source goes well beyond high technology, however. At the heart of the new paradigm is network-enabled distributed collaboration: the growing impact of this model on all forms of online collaboration is fundamentally challenging our modern notion of community.

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The challenges of the twenty-first century are of an unprecedented scale. Climate change, financial instability, the housing crisis, the need for health care—all of these are political issues that could be managed with ease if they were occurring on a much smaller scale. But with a huge global population and inextricable connections between the issues, our old tools for change look increasingly blunt. Many of the large bodies we once appointed to manage our common problems—including national governments— have begun to fail at critical moments.

But there is good news: We can use our vast size and complexity to our advantage. Drawing on the lessons of open source technology, social change leader Jared Duval offers an inspiring call to action. Next Generation Democracy chronicles some of the watershed events, such as Hurricane Katrina, during which centralized leadership was not enough, and then tells the success stories of the leaders, both inside the government and out, who are finding effective, directly democratic ways to address our public challenges. Telling the stories of participatory organizations such as SeeClickFix and America Speaks, Duval describes a new approach to solving complex problems that draws on the contributions of vast and diverse communities of engaged citizens. An artful blend of personal writing, journalism, and political argument, Next Generation Democracy not only gives us a vision of a brighter future, it inspires us to be a part of it.