FLO projects make their source materials freely accessible to the public at no cost & with few, if any, restrictions.
Technological advancements lead to increases in productivity that are supposed to lead to increases in wealth. But for the vast majority of Americans, real wealth has actually been decreasing over the last 30 years. So where is all the new wealth going?
To those who own our technologies’ intellectual property.
For proprietary technologies, the owners of the intellectual property are often large corporations and equity funds that leverage these technologies to create as much wealth as possible for themselves and their shareholders. One strategy these “owners” use is to make their technology scarce by charge huge licensing fees for access. This prevents everyone but the richest individuals, organizations and governments from accessing these technologies and raises costs for everything from a college education to a doctor’s visit. Another strategy is to deny users of these technology the right to modify the technology to suite their own needs. So, in the same way that you can’t tweak your iPhone’s operating system without getting permission from Apple, a university can’t alter its student management system without getting permission from whomever owns it’s software technology (probably Oracle, RAND or Lockheed Martin).
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Imagine if we could stop shelling out huge amounts of money for licensing fees to software that we don’t own — and if we could, instead, build and share the systems we all need to competently manage our society’s most important resources.
If we want people to be able to benefit from their own increasing productivity, we need commonly-owned technology powering every sector of our society: from agriculture to manufacturing, education to governance. That means technologies that are shared without cost, without restriction and without the concealment of their source materials.
Fortunately, we’re not starting from scratch — people have been building commonly-owned technology for a long time under different labels. Most recently they’ve been using the terms “free software”, “software libre”, “open source”, “open knowledge”, “copyleft” or “creative commons” to describe this approach. We at Sarapis use the term “FLO”.
Phi Beta Iota: Bottom line is simple – eradicate absentee landlords. This includes inattentive corrupt corrupt governments, not only corporations, labor unions, religions, and others that are extracting value from the community without giving back equal value. The concept of value is of course changing as we go — industrial era projects are no longer worth the tax dollars that are being paid, never mind the attendant “bridge to nowhere” corruption. We are the beginning of a new era and no more than 20% down the road toward Open Source Everything design, engineering, and governance.