H.M. LUDENS: [cont'd] Ask yourself -- who do you want to be setting the cultural agenda for America in the 21st century? Hm? Rush Limbaugh? The "political correctness" mob? Some corporate-puppet "moderate" stealth-fascist like Bill Clinton? Hm? Or do you want the kids of America to be turning themselves into Nietzschean super-mutants? Hmmm? WHAT'S IT GONNA BE, BUDDY?
PETER: Shit... I don't know anything anymore.
[::] Patrick S. Farley, "The Guy I Almost Was" at E-Sheep
Let's see, what would I do if I wanted to engender in myself a highly exaggerated sense of the importance of some ideas I believed in very strongly? Why, I'd sequester myself with several of those ideas' other major advocates, and toss in some folks who are being paid to create the expectation of making a lot of money off of it.
There are lots of reasons to suppose that open-source software will be successful. But there are really no good reasons to suspect that the major corporations funding OS development have suddenly become so stupid that they'll pour money into something that they believe will invalidate their entire business model.
It's similarly naive to suppose that the decision-makers in those same corporations can't follow links and read opinion pieces by guys like Doc Searl and Eric Raymond that predict their demise (or at least their radical reformation). So I really think that Raymond, Searl, Kapor, and their Cluetrain compatriots should do some serious thinking about who is jerking who -- and who will have the legal, logistical, and fiscal muscle to take advantage of the host of economies that open-source models offer.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: There are no natural laws that protect us from domination by large-scale interests. Given competent leadership, large and powerful organizations will generally prevail over popular movements. Anyone who thinks otherwise isn't really looking very closely.
I know: If you don't work for a better world, you'll never get one, right? But we've been here before -- this kind of naivete gets people's lives twisted. But hey, life is pain -- so what if we cause a little more chaos? That's the way the world ends anyhow. As long as I cashed out my options early so I don't have to live in it...