Civilization as Open Source.... Was Re: Congrats! OS/X in NYTimes

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From: Eirikur Hallgrimsson (
Date: Sat Sep 16 2000 - 19:20:00 PDT

The discussion of Open Source projects as being perpetually in
progress needs some perspective. A Free Software object is by
definition perpetually in a process of refinement until it is

Other public goods like civilization, itself, are similarly works in
process, inherently not standing still. And, notably, many parts of
it are inefficient, and some clearly broken. And yet, most people
get by. Some are working on the problems. Many are freeloaders.

Holding Free Software to be faulty for not being complete is missing
the point. Free Software is about the journey and about how we can
have more fullfilling lives if we don't have to reinvent the wheel
all the time. It's about software as a long-term public good, as
opposed to a short-term commercial advantage.

By the way, most commercial software licences disclaim completeness
and fitness for any given purpose. I don't see how you can
favorably contrast this with Free Software. Compare apples to


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