Open Source Revisited

Object Arts | Future development of Dolphin discontinued.

(via http://www.object-arts.com)

This shocking announcement by Andy Bower, one of the founders of Dolphin Smalltalk, made me realise a grave mistake: I have taken the Open Source movement too much for granted.

It is a bit the same as with my opinions about the antiglobalism movement. I have always taken pride in my innate desire to ask questions, to move by my insatiable curiosity, only to realise that too often I, as many people I criticise, I am entertaining half formed opinions that never have been scrutinised. Only after reading the book by David Korten When Corporations Rule the World did I realise that there was too much about the issue of globalism I never investigated, that my opinions were manipulated by what Korzybsky would call “thalamic” thinking. Much of that influenced no doubt by careful public relations work by the pro-globalists.

It is the same with Open Source. With some shame I must admit that I have let myself be led astray by the “image” of the open source movement, the image of freedom, of brave fighters against the establishment, of David and Goliath. But almost never by clear thinking and evaluating the situation by embedding it in what I call the “knowledge field”, a gestalt-like metaphor of what we know by reasoning.

The issue deserves much more attention, so I will reserve this for a future blog entry. Just for now I wish Andy and Blair a lot of strength with their, undoubtedly difficult, decision. A question for my readers to respond to in comments: what are the questions we should ask concerning open source?

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