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Free Information Culture AZP

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posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 09:19 PM
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Open Source

What does the term mean to you?

Technology, for the most part, is a completely closed and secretive market. This allows for market control, planned releases of new technology, and financial domination of industry titans. Is this the best way, for everyone involved, to run our society? Is consolidation of manufacturing and processing the most effective, or "best," way to run an economy?

I do not believe it is. While some knowledge may be used for destruction, it is also true that *any* technology, invention, or scientific discovery can be weaponized by those who want to do so. Would freely shared data and knowledge lead to faster growth and innovation for the entire world?

We have the means to do so, we even have many products out there that have started doing this! Everything from Panera bread's "Pay What You Can" stores to the Arduino board show that this is not only a feasible form of business, but that it can lead to massive growth. If you only heard of the Arduino board when it first came out, I strongly encourage you to check out how fast that area has grown solely due to its open source sharing of creativity.

Communication technology, like the internet, has created a very interesting possibility. We can create, invent, and build things directly for ourselves and those around us and then share the knowledge and information with everyone. Those people can then use it for themselves, and through the power of multiple billions of minds approaching the same projects, can advance the initial idea and then again share it with everyone.

This would not disintegrate the existence of large conglomerates, simply because of the power of buying in large bulk. However, it would diversify the sources of manufacturing, processing, invention, and science more broadly across the societal spectrum. By doing this, we create a much stronger worldwide economy that is not only more stable due to more sources, but innovates and creates at an exponentially faster rate which benefits every single person on this planet.

Large companies do not view finances in the same way as the individual. It is based in small percentages that get applied across very large segments of the population. However, with open source and the internet, this same ability can be utilized by the individual! While specific ideas, plans, and inventions may be freely shared, the creators of those ideas can not only make money from freely given donations, but can also produce income through manufacturing (should it apply). This concept is perfectly executed by SparkFun with the Arduino boards. They offer every single bit of information you need to create it yourself, but they also provide them in a pre-made package for a reasonable price.

While the above applies to manufactured goods, there are also ideas and art that instill a slightly different economic interaction. Donations would start to apply here, and would be encouraged (but not necessary). This concept (at least close to it) is demonstrated very well by the Panera Bread model. You can go there and eat for free, and there is no actual "price" for any of the goods. Many will not "give" anything, but donations leave an open door for those who wish to give more. Instead of having a solid and static asking price for goods, people give what they can or want. Even in our current society, the Panera bread which uses this model has not noted much of a loss of income, simply because there are those who give quite large sums of money for their meals.

What would it look like if the entire society was based off of this premise that corporations have used for many years? Can we use the idea of small percentages taken from large segments of the population with the internet?




posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 07:13 AM
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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).

Problem two:

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.

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.



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 04:12 PM
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Overall, it seems like we are on the same page, there are obviously obstacles to overcome with this, but I feel it is imperative. Not only that, but the growth of the information and knowledge that is exchanged will be monumental (ha!).


Originally posted by TrueBrit
reply to post by Serdgiam
 
So... problem one:

How do you get the people who manage the networks, (...) 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).


I think an open source internet is the solution to the infrastructure side of things. The physical communication lines and technology are all in place, but it is metered out for profit (which brings us to the next issue). I am not sure the current industries would willingly change over, honestly, but there are already networks like TOR that are. I think that current telecom companies have an incumbent advantage though. However, with an overall cultural shift, the consumer would support the better product instead of the one that was marketed the best. I do realize these are lofty goals, but I think the key is to shoot for the stars, then slowly work towards there and get as far as you can.


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 list of things that a truely open sourced global internet would change drastically, is endless, and it starts with the web itself.


I think this specific issue has come to the forefront with recent whistleblowers. I completely agree though that its the internet itself which is the key to this exchange. A free information culture is made significantly easier with instant worldwide communication.

Making all of it open would essentially allow for open monitoring of the governments monitoring. I think we both know they dont want that at all. However, I think its good to appeal to the greed nature that is involved. Meaning, that highlighting the fact that even the wealthiest individual will benefit from such a society, since it is open to all. The amount of creature comforts, cost reduction, medicine advances, scientific inventions, and even philosophy would be so profound that it will raise up everyone in our society, improving the quality of life for even those that think they are living as extravagantly as they can.


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 am thinking more small scale. That examples of this can already be implemented, and in some cases like TOR, already have a working infrastructure. So, I think it would have more success starting off as a grass roots movement. Once the benefits of such a system are made clear, then it will make the decision easier for the next group of people to join. Since with added numbers, the knowledge and feedback has an exponential growth rather than linear, it will become like a snowball once it reaches a tipping point.

I think the government would do well to actually spend all of its budget on the allotted items instead of constantly adjusting the budget. Lofty goal on that, again, but I feel that significant percentages of the money goes towards personal profit in one way or another.


It would essentially be, the future. (...) seem unlikely to abandon it any time soon.


I agree, the actual change isnt going to take place through capitalist means. That said, I think that we can already start participating in a free information culture even with the systems in place. The Arduino board really opened my eyes to the idea that this type of exchange may not be that far off or even unfeasible. I, personally, plan on releasing everything I know through open source means. I think that the technology, and the industries thereof, will respond to a cultural shift more naturally than a capitalist competitor.

Who knows, maybe the "stock exchange" could turn into something based on the exchange of ideas. Instead of being based on fiat money, which has no value other than what we give it, we could base it on the value of ideas, which also have no value other than what we give it.



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 


I agree entirely with your assesment about the similarities in our desires where the direction of informational freedoms are concerned. It seems we both envisage a time where a thought can be turned out from conception to invention at a much reduced rate, a heavily reduced financial burden, and a true global village, where ideas from one place can reach and benifit people elsewhere within much shorter time scales, with the brakes taken completely off.

My concern is that if we take your approach, and merely lead by example, what you end up with is a two tier internet. One used by paying customers, under heavy oversight, nothing being shared, but plenty being gained, and the other, with everything being shared, including malicious software, hacks, informational bombs... under such a system it would only be a matter of time before one side or the other decided to kick off a full scale data war, at which point the infrastructure itself would become threatened.

All seperatism eventually escalates, one side or another or both, taking up positions and glaring at one another across a no mans land. I see no reason why humanities inherant idiocy could not wind up destroying the entire network, if history is anything to go by. It would not start out looking like that of course, but it could easily end up going that route.

Look at the current public opinion of TOR. People who watch the news, and occasionally allow the drone of BS to filter into thier heads, probably think that TOR is full of deeply questionable users, who to a man, share indecent images, malicious code segments, bomb making information, terrorist propeganda and the like. Me personally, I have never used it, but people who think like I do, that information should be free, and have used it, tell me that although things are no where near as sick at that end of the scale, as they are made out to be, that there ARE some pretty significant risks to usage of it, and some very messed up people using it too.

Should I have to be exposed to that crap, just so I can free the information I have, and gain access to information I want? Compromise is nothing but another word for appeasment in my book, and thats a dirty word in the UK for most people, because of our history. There should be a clean, global network, the same for everyone, no second tier, no layers, just everything out there for everyone to know, and no one making money from any of it. Goods and services have always carried a price, no matter what system of government prevails over the sale of the same. But information should be available to people, when they want it, whatever they want it for, without restriction, and without cost.



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

My concern is that if we take your approach, and merely lead by example, what you end up with is a two tier internet. One used by paying customers, under heavy oversight, nothing being shared, but plenty being gained, and the other, with everything being shared, including malicious software, hacks, informational bombs... under such a system it would only be a matter of time before one side or the other decided to kick off a full scale data war, at which point the infrastructure itself would become threatened.


So, lets clear something up first! It is due to my own miscommunication. I have put out seven different topics, all dealing with this sort of thing, and it makes it so that participating in just one leaves out some critical details.

I actually feel that we can start this free information culture with all of the systems in place. I currently pay for my internet, use all the "accepted" methods, and all that jazz. However, I feel that even within the current paid system, we can start all of this. The first offerings I will be giving is a dog training book with accompanied videos, but then I will start to release manufactured goods, like an entirely new approach to "housing," arduino powered accessibility options, and some pretty cool technologies.

I believe that I can do all of this even with the current setup with ISP, and on down the line. Eventually, I can see an "open" internet taking place that better enables this exchange of information and knowledge, however, I do not see this happening immediately. I see it more as a result of people such as myself (and perhaps you), who are willing to share things through the means already available to us.


All seperatism eventually escalates, one side or another or both, taking up positions and glaring at one another across a no mans land. I see no reason why humanities inherant idiocy could not wind up destroying the entire network, if history is anything to go by. It would not start out looking like that of course, but it could easily end up going that route.


I agree here, which is why I think it is so important to make small grass roots changes, accompanied by an actual shift in how we consciously perceive our culture. The scary part to me is that it seems this sort of conflict is already taking place and escalating in many arenas. Its actually what I am trying to avoid by presenting all of this, but you are so right.. it needs to be done carefully or it can directly lead to what I am trying to avoid.

What are your thoughts on using current means, but in a different way than we are? Like I described above with the dog training, inventions, etc.


Look at the current public opinion of TOR. (...) But information should be available to people, when they want it, whatever they want it for, without restriction, and without cost.


To clear up some more, I think TOR has some serious issues. I would suspect that many of them stem from it essentially being a "black market." Where, some who are involved may be good hearted, but it will also draw some "rough" types. I think it is more of an example of where all of this might be going, but I do not think the ideal form of this is witnessed in TOR.

How I plan on carrying out my own plan of action is to release the ideas freely, but offer manufactured goods for those who wish to have it premade. Not at some crazy mark up, like we have in so many industries, but enough to cover my time. It operates on the same economic example set by corporations, but in a slightly different application. It is based on the idea that while most will do nothing with it, there are some who will give freely for my time and effort, and there are also those who will purchase the goods outright. The Arduino board is a perfect example of this in action. Where, they not only encourage you to hack their device (and even have spare solder already on the board!) but they even tell you *exactly* how to make it.

Why did I purchase it then?

Because they are charging a completely reasonable price, and it allows me to skip over all the "troublesome" obstacles that tend to come with DIY.

Have you looked into the Arduino boards at all? They were released relatively recently, but since then the advancement that has taken place is nothing short of astounding. Its pretty much a perfect example of exactly what I am proposing. I think that as more people try to do this same type of thing, that systems like an "open internet" will only be a matter of time. But, trying to do the open internet first and then start exchanging information freely may end up to not just conflict, but a complete failure of the entire premise.

I deeply thank you for helping me with this my friend. It is amazing how others perception can teach so much.





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