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Government Open Source Linux

Tim O'Reilly Steps In To Debate Open Government and Linux 45

PatrickRIot writes "Aeon Magazine ran a longform critique of Open Source politics last week titled 'Open Sesame: "Openness" is the new magic word in politics – but should governments really be run like Wikipedia?' It referenced Tim O'Reilly and the man himself has stepped in at the bottom of the page for a detailed and lengthy rejoinder. 'I'm a bit surprised to learn that my ideas of "government as a platform" are descended from Eric Raymond's ideas about Linux, since: a) Eric is a noted libertarian with disdain for government b) Eric's focus on Linux was on its software development methodology. From the start, I was the open source activist focused on the power of platforms, arguing the role for the architecture of Unix and the Internet in powering the open source movement. ... One thing that distresses me about this discussion is the notion that somehow, if open government doesn't solve every problem, or creates new problems as it solves others, it is a failed movement. The world doesn't go forward in a straight line! The "open" democracy experiment of 1776 is still ongoing; we're trying to figure out how to use technology to adapt it to the 21st century and a country with a hundredfold greater population.'"
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Tim O'Reilly Steps In To Debate Open Government and Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @06:56PM (#42802725)

    Way too easily used to justify doing nothing, or even just to oppose doing anything different than what's already done.

    It's probably one of the more pernicious attitudes to be found, but ultimately it's an empty cause.

  • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @07:28PM (#42803057) Homepage

    We simply recognize that government by necessity must be limited. Think of government like a fire. I use fire to heat my house. By carefully controlling the fire and keeping it in a furnace, I reap the benefits (warmth) without suffering the ill effects (being burned or having property destroyed). If I didn't control that fire, my house would be destroyed. That doesn't mean I have disdain for fire or I hate fire, I just recognize that it must be controlled to be useful.

    Government is exactly the same.

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