Unpacking my economic beliefs

18 thoughts
last posted March 8, 2015, 1:12 p.m.

11 earlier thoughts


I'm not a nihilist though, so I look for ways to at least nudge things towards "not doomed" that play to my own strengths. The most basic of those is by writing open source software, and by working for a software vendor that releases all of its products as open source.

What folks often miss with the open source software development model is that it is designed to enable "permissionless innovation" anywhere on the planet where you can get a half-decent internet connection, and even in some places where you can't. While there are (significant) language barriers, most of the software that powers the internet (and more besides) is not locked up in proprietary licensing. This means that countries that are considered too poor for the software giants to bother with don't have to wait - they can get started, today, doing their own thing, with software that they can tailor to their own purposes.

I really have no idea what folks in African countries, or India, or China, or Brazil, or even many folks right here in Brisbane, actually need out of their software (although I assume being able to name things in their own language is helpful, since I definitely like that feature myself). Trying to write it for them would be at best presumptuous, and at worst repeating colonialist mistakes of the past.

But I can at least make the stuff I work on freely available, and try to drive down the barriers to adoption, so they can start from where we already are today, and create solutions to their own problems, rather than having to start from scratch.

Empowering more and more people to become better and better at solving their own problems is how we change the world, not figuring out how to save a wealthy white guy like me five more minutes out of his already leisure filled day :P

6 later thoughts