Open soure = do-good culture?

Hi Logan, Wendel and the team 

I am working in the NGO world and part of my job is to encourage people and communities to contribute to poverty alleviation productively.

I often think of the tech worlds open source community as a prime example of how people can come together to progress projects in a meaningful way. Many open source projects appear to be progressed on mainly altruistic motives.

Why do you think that is? Have you contributed to open source projects and if so, what did you get out of it?


Open source is not about just software. The internet is like the successor to the invention of the printing press, and just like with the printing press, it takes a bit of time for the powers that be to put a lockdown on the use of the medium for the instinctive open source knowledge distribution that is the natural state of human intelligence. That's why open source is associated with software after the internet was made accessible. For software in particular, it didn't take long before the internet helped create Linux (was by design an open source internet project) and all the ecosystems based upon that.

The mere fact that Tek Syndicate offers a forum without marketing-focused curation in which people can discuss whatever they want, and that there are just about as much posts in the linux subforum as in the windows subforum on a website that is in large part about gaming, which is a windows software console thing, is a huge contribution to open source in my opinion, in that it is very important to prevent the many efforts by the corporate world to force open source into the "illegal hacker/porn/gangster/paedophile" corner, in pretty much the same way as the free use of the printing press was once forced into the "sinner/witchery/infidels" corner by the big corporations of the time, which didn't sell software consoles to steal personal data, but sold good books to steal souls...

I also believe that open source is not about altruism at all. I got into open source for the money, because it allowed me to do what otherwise wouldn't have been possible. I think people that are into open source, whether software or any of the many other ways to practice open source, are in it because they need more, want more, and want more people to want more.

The open source way is also very attractive in my opinion. Compare the mission control room feeds from NASA and ESA, and you can tell which organization is going to make all the project data available under open source licenses... the NASA sells it's stuff, the ESA doesn't, the ESA mission control feed is not a marketing video, there is no entertainment value, but still, more than half a million stream clients were constantly connected for hours and hours, which is huge, and there were countless public viewings everywhere in universities and schools. And it wasn't even on YouTube lolz... A lot of people want to know stuff, want to know more than any commercial offering wants them to know, and want to join forces to know more and do more, to leverage knowledge.