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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 vlm ( 69642 )

    Some random comments after very quick skim of article
    1) Politics is currently nothing but lies. Open/Free software contains no lies, compilation and testing can be done by anyone and always reveals the whole truth
    2) Run a .gov like wikipedia. Uh huh. Whats the real world equivalent of the wikipedia deletionist a-holes? Yup, those guys with the snazzy uniforms again who star in all our video games. Lite up the crematoriums again baby!
    3) Government is all about taking away and preventing. Stuff (such as

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

  • TFS: The "open" democracy experiment of 1776 is still ongoing;

    From what I learned here it has failed.


  • When our Korporate Overlords have secured a firm grip on the reins of this rocket ship that is plunging directly into hell?

    Linux is not even a bump in the road. And Government will never be open.

  • 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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Government, by definition, is involuntary and functions outside of Natural Law. If you have voluntary institutions of governance, with force limited only to the protection of negative Rights, then they are no longer called "government".

      Our current addiction to government needs to be phased out, with gradualist caution and intelligence, but that doesn't make government a good thing. Disdain is exactly what it deserves.


  • ...But this is about a some high-profile person (activist if you like) being wrongly pigeon-holed by a space-filler for the purposes of winding up the libertarians, open-sourcers etc. etc.

    Basically T O'R has confronted a troll. [Well done that man. Always stand up for what you believe in.]

  • "The "open" democracy experiment of 1776 is still ongoing"

    No, it isn't.

    Democracy was not newly invented in 1776 - the rebellion in the American provinces came about because people, somewhat mistakenly, thought their democracy was being taken away, and they fought to preserve it.

    And now that it's the 21st century we're pretty sure it works.

  • ...I have to say that it made points that approached, well, cognitive dissonance. Then I saw the author's position: asst. prof at the "Centre for Interdisciplinary Methologies"... which sounds like deconstructionist pudding.

    I've known Eric personally for, um, better than 30 years (and have spent a fair bit of that time arguing or heckling him over politics amd guns), and to try to put his view in there with Tim O'Reilly, and anything resembling a working, representative government is saying that, oh, the Be

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.