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Reboot 2.0 — Are We Ready for a Renaissance in Open Source Information Technology?

In my opinion, the time is ripe for a reboot in open source information technology — yet exactly what that term “open source information technology” is supposed to mean might first need some clarification.

There are quite a few possible misinterpretaions (“mis-” as in: “in disagreement with me” 😉 ). My point of view is rather broad-stroked, yet I can also imagine that some might take a more short-sighted point of view … and I can also imagine that even I might be easily misled to adopt such a short-sighted perspective.

The reason why I (or almost anyone, I guess) could be so easily misled is because our own life / lives seems so meaningful and significant. In reality, one out of eight billion is only 0.0000000125%.

Most people of my age — at least: in my “world” — remember the dot-com crash. Those were sort-of crazy times, and many people probably view the recovery as hard, but kind of healthy in a “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” kind of way.

Yet although the dot-com crash is more than two decades old, I consider this time span to be rather short-sighted. Another question might be: when was the first coming of open source information technology, because without such a first coming, how could anyone really speak of a renaissance?

This is where I hope to expand most people’s perspective on the notion of “open source information technology”. In my opinion, the first breakthrough of open source information technology was precipitated by the invention of the Gutenberg printing press in the 15th Century — it was (perhaps?) not the printing press itself, but the wide availability of ideas that resulted in the following decades and centuries.

“A traveller puts his head under the edge of the firmament in the original (1888) printing of the Flammarion wood engraving.” Source:

No one remembers this. We cannot remember this, because no one alive today was alive five centuries ago. Half a millennium ago, the source code locked up in monestaries and castles was written in Latin. People would fight many battles and pay with their own lives over this source code. There was much death, destruction and fighting involved — and almost no literacy at all.

The first true blossoming of open source information technology were works by people like first of all Martin Luther, and later Copernicus, Galileo and much later Isaac Newton. Ironically, although Da Vinci’s works are widely available today, in his day he kept them very closed off, guarding them with utmost care as proprietary trade secrets.

It was the wide availability of these scientific works which would become central to the scientific method. Enlightenment scientists shared information, published information, and later generations would ultimately build the public schools and libraries that Martin Luther had so strongly campaigned for centuries earlier.

By the 19th Century, open source information technology had become the motor of progress that paved the way for the immense technological progress that continues to this day.

Now let’s return to the dot-com bubble. Those of us who are old enough to remember the revolutionary spirit and fervor that permeated the early World-Wide Web may also remember that there was a quite formidable establishment which was very much not interested in any kind of revolution. It was most of all these establishment forces which pulled the emergency brakes. These establishment forces precipitated the dot-com crash, and these establishment forces installed a quasi “new and improved” system which came to be known as “Web 2.0”.

Yet Web 2.0 neither was nor is open source information technology. Please stay tuned to this channel to find out more about what is! 😀


By New Media Works

I'm just a regular person ;) If you want to know more, pls send me a msg -- thanks! :D

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