Tom Atlee: Gary Horvitz – OWS as Open Source Movement

Cultural Intelligence
Tom Atlee

Dear friends: This Gary Horvitz blog post, which I just received by email, is very complementary to what I sent out yesterday, albeit from a more birds-eye view. – Tom Atlee

Occupy Wall Street: An Open Source Movement

by Gary Horvitz

November 9, 2011

The Occupation is gaining depth and breadth, nationally and globally.  The appearance is that spontaneous actions have arisen and continue to proliferate, cross-pollinate and act independently from the original occupation on Wall Street itself. Though there is a groundswell of coordination, no one is directing, no manifestos have appeared. No leaders have been elected. No one speaks for it all. The message may appear to be muddled, yet action appears everywhere and support materializes as if on cue. This is an open source movement.

To the extent that the metaphor of software development applies, we are speaking of the source code of a popular uprising, the core framework of a perpetually liquid process that is accessible to everyone for development and augmentation. No one owns it, no one controls it, no one approves new forms of usage in advance. There is no hierarchy. No one person or committee of meta-users decides which portions are to be discarded. It's all out there all the time, available for improvisation. It's evolving everywhere simultaneously. It's a circle whose perimeter is nowhere and whose center is everywhere.

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Phi Beta Iota:  The author speaks of the Story of Us, the Story of Me, and the Story of Now.  Earlier Matt Taibbi focused on how OWS is a conscious pervasive rejection of what US society (and global society) have become among the one billion rich with five billion poor disenfranchised.  We are watching the death of Epoch A and the rise of Epoch B.  The US Government will be the last to “get it,” which is why everyone else is routing around the US Government.  Absent the triumph of the Electoral Reform Act of 2012, and the emergence of a universal candidate with a coalition cabinet and a balanced budget, the US Government will remain both toxic and irrelevant.

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