Geoff Arnold on Jaron Lanier

Great comments about the recent Jaron Lanier “open-source stifles creativity” article over at Geoff Arnold’s blog.

I think commenter “The Barefoot Bum” gets it wrong, or rather misses the point, when he writes:

I think Lanier is perpetuating a category error when he relates the open- and closed-source paradigms to the generation of creativity. Both are techniques, rather, for turning creativity into value.

The reason I think this misses the point is that Bum is confusing the technique or practices of open-source software development with the ethos or norms of the open-source “movement”. I think Lanier is saying that OSS’s ethos implicitly encourages “me-too” efforts, as opposed to original, creative work. That assertion is what really sticks in the craw of the OSS crowd.

Geoff hits home with this remark:

[T]he prevailing cult of OSS is so dominant that even the most obviously proprietary projects have to pretend to be open source.

Zing! Go here to follow this thread.


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