Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Open Source as a Return to Free Market Principles?

"Open source embodies an ethos as fruitful and resilient as the closed capitalism Bill Gates represents: the spirit of democratic solutions to daunting problems. It's the creed of Emerson, who preached independent initiative and advocated a"creative economy." It's the philosophy of William James, whose pragmatism dictated that "ideals ought to aim at the transformation of reality." It's the science of Frederick Taylor, who proved that distributing work could exponentially boost productivity and replace "suspicious watchfulness" with "mutual confidence." It's the logic of Adam Smith, whose notion of "enlightened self-interest" among workers neatly presages the primary motivation for many open source collaborators. Finding the roots of open source in Taylor and Smith is especially significant because the approach isn't, as some insist, anticommercial or anticorporate. Rather, it is a return to basic free-market principles. The open source process fosters competition, creativity, and enterprise."

The complete Wired article: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.11/opensource.html?pg=1&topic=&topic_set=


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