reply to post by Serdgiam
First, let me begin my comments on this matter by saying that an open source approach to information, information technology, hardware, software,
infrastructure, even down to the level of the data itself, is an idea which pleases me no end. Freeing data and the equipment required to access and
use it, is, in my opinion, a must if our species wishes to move forward from the position it holds now.
However, I can see many problems with the implimentation of such an idealistic approach to information distribution. At the moment, one literally has
to pay for data. If one wishes to access the internet wether at home, or on the move, one must pay a tariff for that ability. As you know, the prices
of both the hardware (handset) and the data plan one happens to be on, can be quite prohibitive to certain sectors of society, along with the obvious
drawbacks of a device which spends as much time telling the government where you are, as it does carrying out your instructions.
So... problem one:
How do you get the people who manage the networks, who develop the new handsets, who basically have this industry sewn up like a turkey in a
dressmaking class, to agree to the implimentation of a system which drastically reduces thier net gain, and would see a massive up take in network
useage (which would require more maintenance as a result, costing them more money, while thier incomes are reducing).
Also, how do you get the government to agree to the implimentation of a system which, due to its open sourced nature, will naturally expand beyond
the ability of government to keep up with its evolution? The very nature of open sourced technology, is that those in the know can rapidly change
thier set up to suit new and interesting ways of using thier devices, sending data, and recieving communications, heating thier own water using solar
reflection, and so on and so forth... the list of things that a truely open sourced global internet would change drastically, is endless, and it
starts with the web itself.
And problem three:
Again, how do you get the governments of the world to agree with a system which stops earning international companies big money, therefore stops
governments from attempting to reap as much in tax from them as is physically possible, without the forced sale of the bodily organs of thier board
members? Governments THRIVE on the information technology markets, many being heavily invested with hi tech companies, infrastructure groups, and the
like. The moment these monoliths loose the monopoly on data distribution and access, governments will loose money big time, and have to make big cuts,
Again I say, it is a wonderful idea in principle, but it flies in the face of the capitalist instinct. It would be fantastic for the advancement of
the species, for every one of us to be capable of accessing any data we need, without having to worry about its costing us a bomb, to be able to
access three dimensional schematics for parts which we could print, for anything from Hoovers to hadron colliders at the touch of a screen for
example. It would speed up development of new ideas, and research into all manner of things, by involving more people in any such activity, thus
making light work of it, AND getting people involved, inspired, emotionally invested with scientific endevours of every stripe....
It would essentially be, the future. However, I think in a more realistic sense, a truely open sourced, free information culture is a long way off
just at the moment. Those who have vast stores of data, are usually unwilling to share them without having thier palms greased, and remain eagre to
maintain that situation for as long as they can, and given thier commanding position in the data hierarchy, seem unlikely to abandon it any time soon.