Why open? (this blogpost is a work in progress)

Why should I throw my intellectual products out in the open?

Why do people think open is better than closed?

I know most open software is better than closed, but is there a better reason than that for choosing the Open?
Find an ethical or philosophical reason for choosing Open.

(This is my homework for this weekend, next week will show an answer)

Is it because sharing is human?

Is it because solidarity is an ethical rule? <GNU manifesto
Is it based on the Golden Rule? <Golden Rule
It is an approach that responds to the concerns of others not out of a sense of duty, but from a feeling of responsive mutuality?
Is “Property” a difficult thing? Is it the nature of property that forbids to add knowledge to the list of properties? (<Property, Bodies and Wittgenstien)

Is copyright used as <censorship?. Keeping people from knowledge?

(image from http://marylandlearninglinks.org/)

Berry (2004) Internet Ethics: Privacy, Ethics and Alienation – An Open Source Approach. (PDF file)


3 thoughts on “Why open? (this blogpost is a work in progress)

  1. Found the reference to Robert Trivers below in “Our Inner Ape” by primatologist Frans De Wall in the chapter on Kindness. Sharing can be socially bonding and good for the group which is one argument for Openness.

    In the GNU manifesto they talk about sharing in contrast to commercial software manufacturers’ insistence on not sharing (in fact making it a violation of law). It seems wrong for the manufacturers to intrude into the customers’ relationship with each other and prohibit sharing but maybe by paying for the software (and knowing the non-sharing rules) you’ve agreed to a reciprocal relationship with the manufacturer that supersedes your normal group affiliations and obligations? Odd that you would pay for something that put you in an obligation to the seller over the obligation to your friendship circle. That makes a monetary exchange stronger than blood or friendship affiliation. That’s very strong magic.

    Robert Trivers “The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism” http://www.cdnresearch.net/pubs/others/trivers_1971_recip.pdf

  2. Hi Scott, thanks for the comment and the Trivers connection. I am really interested in the philosophical and ethical background of the Openness. The GNU rules are a bit different from most other licences and rights.

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