Episode-1299- The Open Source Model and Modern Revolutions — 27 Comments

  1. For Valentine’s Day, I built her an AR-15 and she got me a nice 9mm pistol. We did our gift exchange a bit early so we could head to the range to enjoy our new gifts. We’ve been happily married for 18 years and both listen to your podcast in the evening.

  2. I look forward to the education revolution, but feel it will not really happen till we can solve the certification issue. I’m thinking that will be solved by some decedent or relative of LinkedIn where people’s skills are certified by other people in their network. LinkedIn has it now, but I don’t think it is strong enough. Degrees and certs still have weight and until that place can be replaced we are stuck with them as HR staffs have no other measuring stick to filter applicants. I trained a friend to service computers, but she could never get in the door because she lacked an official cert. I took over hiring at my old company because HR did such a horrible job. People had certs or degrees that didn’t have any knowledge of the subject. Where as I took hours interviewing people to filter the wheat from the chaff, just so I could later save those hours in training.

    I not disagreeing at all with your forecast for education, just saying that there is still a hurdle that we have to cross before it occurs which may change the schedule you suggested.

    • Obviously I’m not in that situation, but every time I look or think about it, it seems odd and ridiculous. Certifications and degrees say nothing about a persons competency, just that they’ve paid some sort of cost. This is a very old and classic argument that goes back hundreds of years. I will say I’m more OK with a private business choosing certifications rather than government. (Recently found out permaculture consulting is basically 100% illegal in Louisiana if practiced without a Landscape Architecture degree and certification. Talk about corporatocracy…).

      Mandatory certifications and degrees is complete nonsense for 99.9999% of jobs. In my opinion this is really a very broad topic of complete misalignment and mismanagement of personnel/skills the whole country wide, which probably is a symptom of credit creation.

      It has fueled only the most ridiculous bureaucratic notion that there is an expectation by employers that somebody else is going to teach all the skills necessary to complete one’s own position. That is just as ridiculous as the thought that closed source software can fully complete tasks that you want. Jack asked a good question in this episode “Would Windows be better open source”. UHM YES. The only way to find somebody who meets those criteria, generally is a person way “over qualified” for the pay or what the position entails. This also goes with what jack has been saying for weeks about education system. We have an education system for drones, not adapters and quick learners. That’s what positions need. People who want to learn, can learn, can learn quickly and adapt the skills they have, and more importantly in my opinion, be able to internalize the position and possibly IMPROVE the process/company.

      What’s worse is like you describe is we have this position called “HR” which does hiring. Makes zero sense to outsource the selection of personnel to a person who doesn’t even do, or has ever done the tasks being hired for. This is a symptom of “bureaucracy” and over specialization. You know what could replace most HR? Computer software. Computers can confirm “check in the boxes” much easier, faster, and better than a person can. Any paper filing done by the HR person, could be done by a computer, more accurately. (Better yet why is there “paper filing” to begin with?) Obviously I’m saying this tongue and cheek.

      I personally think that this whole situation is a symptom of living in societies so far out of scope with physical reality that its created a really brittle situation all around. Companies and employment has become completely and totally separated from personal life and people. People will say that a businesses only purpose is to make money, of which I completely disagree. (I don’t think they should LOSE money, but that’s different than a sole purpose of making money). Normally this is said by some crazy socialist/communist nut job, who will then start talking about “social justice” etc etc, but the fact remains that there is obviously more to business and society than “making money”. I can “prove” this point with a simple argument. Would it be ethical for a business to help change laws to allow their company to commit fraud legally? So in otherwords, is it ever ok, for a business to use the arm of government to remove people’s rights, for the sake of them making money? In just about no moral/ethical system does that make sense, yet, that’s where”a business should only focus on making money”. If that’s what it takes to make money, perhaps the business should “Shrug”. Sorry for the long tangent, but certification and degrees (generally mandated by law) are a contention point for me.

      • It is kind of true that Certs are mostly bought, but the last little bit is certifications prove you are a finisher. Take a HS Diploma. It doesn’t prove you know much, but if you don’t have one you better be able to show work experience. i.e. my roommate in college dropped out because he found a lucrative programming job, winner. If you dropped out of school to live with your parents, looser. Hiring is a mess because of lawyers make it a mess to fire people. You hire someone and he stinks, then you fire him and he sues you for discrimination for alcoholism or his having green eyes or whatever, not admitting that you fired him because he can’t do the job and you wanted to be his employer not his counselor. The present “solution” is filter new hires using certifications. The alternate is to call past employers, but that is dicey as if they say anything negative then they could be sued for slander. I had an old incompetent boss who I manage to get fired, use me as a reference. When they called me and asked about his qualifications, all I could say is “I don’t feel comfortable giving an opinion on that”, which is code for “he is a moron”.

        Would Windows be better if it was open source? No and it is not even debatable as Linux was released in 1991, as the open-source alternate for Windows. FreeBSD came out two years later. So what do you use? Do you use M$ Office or OpenOffice? The answer for most is Windows and M$ Office, for the reason that Jack hinted at in a different part of the podcast. If you have a monarchy then there is a chance, a small chance, but a chance that that one person will create nearly perfect rules and stability. Like it or not, MicroSoft has been that reasonably benevolent ruler who provided a stable platform that everyone could build on. I hate Apple, but it is the same thing they are doing now for phones. iOS is more stable than Android, which is why everyone builds there first even though the larger audience is on Android.

        As for morality and business, the job of businesses is to make money, period. In fact, if it is a publically traded company, it is the lawfully required duty of the business to make as much money as possible. If corporate officers shirk this duty, they can be jailed. The only thing that makes companies act morally is the possible loss in profits due to public image. Google can say “Don’t be evil” and mean it, a little, because if people think Google is evil, then they will loose profits. BP cleaned up the Gulf because it was a PR nightmare that would have cost them more if they didn’t. Oh and businesses change laws ALL THE TIME to commit fraud. Disney has mutated the copyright laws, Monsanto has PATENTED PLANTS, Apple patented ideas created by others and then sues other people when they try to use them (Apple has a patent on slide to unlock, SLIDE TO UNLOCK!!! like the lock that people have used since the dawn of time and shown clearly in 2001 Space Odyssey). So would it be ethical, no, but it is mandated by law.

        I understand your contention for certs, but in one form or another they are necessary. If someone needs a worker and you recommend a guy you know, you have given a cert. I doubt you have issue with that. The problem comes with other ways of creating a cert.

        • Thanks for the insight regarding your business/hiring experiences. Its nice to confirm some suspicions. hah. That is principally why myself (and many others included) would never actually hire someone. This is one reason why people do “contracting”. You’re not actually hiring an employee, you’re just.. .paying somebody to do work for you… .but they’re not an employee no no….

          Regarding the windows debate. I challenge you to define better. Do I use openoffice? Yes. You haven’t defined stability and I feel you’re using it as a truism like everyone else seems to do. If i create a calculator program that is closed source, and always returns the expected values for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, you’d call it stable. What you don’t know is the program is a backdoor and sends information about your computer usage back to the producing company, and no you didn’t know or ask for that feature. Still better? That’s windows, apple and all closed source software in general. I should say that “closed source software” isn’t SUCH a problem, rather the legal system AROUND closed source software. I think its fair that you can release compiled code without giving the source code, but you’re basically a dick if you do that (you haven’t removed their right to reverse engineer it or learn about it, thats what legal does, but you’re making it more difficult). If I have a business and run software that is closed source/microsoft or whatever, and I cannot edit the source or modify for my purposes, then it can’t possibly be better. Software’s purpose isn’t for selling and a business, its for completing the tasks desired by the users. If it fails to meet the needs of the user, for that user it isn’t good.

          Regarding the operating system in general. Does corporations running servers use windows or linux? Not even a competition. So where all “money” and “wealth” is produced using computers (not individual retail consumers), Gnu/Linux is ahead of both Apple and Windows. Its literally no competition, unless we’re saying “better” is more devices to consumers who don’t even use remotely the computing power of the device.

          The same argument applies to decentralization in general. Sure the US government can create a much larger much more technologically advanced, more well trained military than anything. Does that mean its “better” than a completely decentralized network of connected and unconnected militant populace cells? Better in this case could be defined a million different ways. As I see it in general this situation can be described as : Decentralized = stability of the whole, not necessarily parts, Centralized = control.

          I do agree with your last point regarding certs. That’s kinda why I tempered my argument and mostly was referring to government requirements. Laws requiring certs (for anything, or for any reason).

          Regarding your statements about a business, I completely disagree and I feel you’ve kinda proved my point. It seems you’ve confused morality/ethical with legality. If the only thing ethical for a business to do is make money, at all costs (thats the implication), then its ok for JP Morgan and Jamie Daimon to be what they are and do what they do. Intentionally plotting and scheming against people you’re paid to work for for profit, isn’t ethical by any stretch of the imagination. Its not market making like they claim, its bullshit. Meanwhile its completely legal. Its not ethical by any standards or measurements except if you say “profit = ethical”. Profits != ethical, it means, one thing exclusively income exceeded costs. Ethics is involved in the process of action. Since a business doesn’t magically derive income from nowhere (it must conduct an action) the question about how they act comes in, thats where ethics plays a role. We can all agree how a business conducts themselves has a lot to say with how they”succeed”.

          Furthermore, there is a component of time with every “typical” argument that business’s “only purpose is to make money”. Its never discussed, but its there. What I mean is that people say… “oh it wouldn’t be an ethical move to do X, because the business will lose money eventually by customers refusing to support them”. Effectively, this said action will eventually harm the business monetarily, therefore it isn’t what it should do. So that implies, its only known, or will be known if X is ethical AFTER the fact. (you can presuppose the effects and therefore choose what is “ethical”, but you won’t know till later) This implies there is no way to know if a business has acted ethically till after the fact. This isn’t a framework for ethics, this is hindsight is 20/20. An example again with JP Morgan and Jamie Daimon. Currently the clowns at CNBC looooooove this guy, and so do the share holders of JP Morgan. Through the often illegal behavior (and legal) at this firm they’ve made alot of money and therefore are doing what they “should be doing” (their job). If all of a sudden the wind blows and they’re closed down and busted up because of these actions, the share holders will lose their money, and the morons on CNBC will say “they shouldn’t have done that, that was bad bad bad”. What was ethical, is now unethical because they were punished by it…. eventually. So through this we would conclude that either there is a time component to the ethics of behavior (there isn’t), or something was unethical and bad the whole time, it just wasn’t found out till after the fact.

          One last extreme example on that. Lets talk about the US companies supporting the Nazi’s in WW2. Is that what they should have been doing? Ethical? Their job? Sure did make a lot of money. Ethical/their job for Monsanto to assist in spraying US sailors with chemical weapons? Of course not, but boy are they rich.

          I should also note that one can start a business and do anything they want, for any reason. Generally whether or not they remain “in business” is if they’re not physically stopped (via force), or run out of capital. So if you chose to sell bibles for example, because you think that everyone should have bibles and you get enough return just to cover your costs, that doesn’t mean you’re not a business just because you’re not in the purpose of business to make a profit. Stating “the job of businesses is to make money, period” isn’t fact, its opinion, and/or a specific individualized defining and boxing of a concept, that doesn’t seem to match people’s expectations or reality. My opinion is this is foolhardy, isn’t an ethical ground to stand on, is why consumers do not trust businesses (they shouldn’t), and part of the reason why everyone has the “fuck the other guy” mentality. Its a symptom of completely lack of ethics/morality in individuals, society, and even at a global level.

          Obviously I have to make it clear where I’m coming from since this is such a taboo subject, no I’m not communist/socialist, no I don’t want to “redistribute wealth” (steal), and no I’m not anti-profit. I am also not a person who says “corporations aren’t people” which the “left” loooooooves to do. Bullshit. A corporation as a “organization of people” is obviously not people, but all actions conducted by the corporation are from people.

          This is a really good debate/discussion. Really pushed myself to think about the ins and outs of this philosophically.

        • @Richard.
          Phewwww that is a long column.
          This is encouraging me to actually start writing out these philosophical discussions in my blog (as a side thing). For further explorations on these topics. I’ve considered writing a philosophy book someday, so.. I’d need material…

        • Yes, contracting is the general solution, or as I used to do it contract to perm. By the time they hired me there were no questions as to whether I could do the job, they just wanted me to keep doing it. The downside is that contractors cost more. In my case twice my salary.

          As for Windows, you dodged the question and only answered half. So I take it that you use Windows not Linux, so if you ask me what is better, then I ask you to tell me the reason for your choice. There is a chance that you are Linux user and have gone all open source, but you would be in the minority. I’m not using stability as a truism. Windows is a slow moving target of a standardized backwards compatible OS with a large user base using standardized drivers through known APIs. Heck I could probably pull out my floppies for old DOS games and they will work on Windows 8. Linux and similar OSs like FreeBSD are a different subject. Linux works on a subset of supported equipment. And though that subset has grown magnitudes larger, it is still only a subset. My data is old but Linux didn’t work well with solid state drives for awhile. Knowledgeable people can get Linux to work with almost anything, but not the rest of us. As much as Windows is reviled, it works. It is the foundation that companies build their products for. AutoDesk, Adobe and thousands of others picked Windows for a reason. Yes, some have some versions on Apple and some on Linux or both, but the certainty is Windows. Even Apple doesn’t have Windows long term stability, in that when they switched from the 68000 processors, they left all the old programs behind. With their new hardware they are screwing over some of their software vendors. When they came out with the iPad they reversed the way iOS mouse movement worked. Linux is a framework. Some ultralight and some heavyweights. If you write for Linux you have to know your audience. If you write for Windows you don’t. (Unless you are using bleeding edge stuff like video-cards to do math.) So yes, a vast majority of servers are Linux or other Unix derivatives, because in this space they can direct their audience. If you want to run Oracle, here is what you buy and only put our stuff on it. Heck it may be Oracle’s version of Unix.

          Also if you looked at most companies you would find they run mostly Windows boxes even for servers, or at least Virtual Windows boxes on a VR framwork, but the majority of servers are Linux because a few companies have zillions of servers. Is Windows less secure? Yes. Has the government installed backdoors? Probably. Are people jerks for selling closed source software? No. It is their product, they can do with it as they wish. Do you give your services away? Open source is a different model that can work. AutoDesk sells AutoCAD for $4500 per copy and people pay because it is great software. Someday a real open-source competitor will arrive, but I haven’t seen it. I can’t edit the source and I don’t want to. Companies including mine still use Microsoft SQL for $5000 even though AnySQL is free because M$ SQL is more “stable” in the sense that it has well developed APIs that lead to well developed backup solutions and easier support. I work for a multi-billion dollar company with thousands of PCs and hundreds of servers and 99% are all Windows. Balance that against Google who makes billions per quarter and has hundreds of thousands of servers running something like Linux. Yes you are right, most of the money is made on Linux, but the truth is murkier than the numbers suggest. If you took a handful of web giants out of the numbers (Google, Amazon, Rackspace), you would find that Linux hasn’t penetrated as far as you thought.
          Again I’m not saying open-source isn’t good. It is great. but it is only one of the workable models. Google says Android is open-source and it mostly is, but all their core apps like maps and gmail are closed source. Each has its place.
          I wasn’t debating morality or ethics in business. Businesses aren’t people. You can’t anthropomorphize a business and apply human morality to it. The commandments don’t apply. You mentioned philosophy so I will say the answer to whether companies act morally is “mu”. From “Xen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence”, there are three answers to a “yes” or “no” question. Yes, no and “mu”. Mu is Chinese for “nothing” or in this context, un-ask the question. Like if I asked you, did you enjoy killing your mother? You can’t answer yes or no, you can only answer “mu” as the question includes a falsehood. So if you ask if a company is moral, I would answer “mu”. Like toasters, companies are not moral or immoral. Companies are agreements joined into by people to make money. If the agreement is between a small number of people then they can decide together that they will act in some moral fashion, but the possibility of that agreement becomes impossible as the company becomes larger and nearly impossible once the company becomes publically traded. There are some companies that sell directly to consumers that have to worry about negative PR, if that negative PR will effect profits. Those are the exceptions. If the company that mines the aluminum in your beer can uses slave labor, they have little to loose from bad PR.

        • Thanks for replying. I would have replied sooner but I went out of town.

          ” Heck I could probably pull out my floppies for old DOS games and they will work on Windows 8″.
          Definitely will not work. Backwards compatibility stopped for 16bit (or earlier) software with the release of the 64 bit. 32 bit is supported via the WOW interface. You’d have to use an emulator, or a virtual machine that is running a 32 bit version of Windows (XP). In fact, you’re showing why GNU/linux is actually significantly more backwards compatible, (well basically open source software in general). If you had the source code for the software on your dos floppies, you could just recompile it. Granted, because of the way they were originally programmed you wouldn’t be able to play them because they were effectively hardware limited (in speed), therefore you’d need modern frame locking (but now i’m just getting in the weeds and way off on a tangent).

          I’m replying using OpenSuse. Been using it for at least 2 years now. Whenever I can develop for my job on my personal desktop running this operating system I greatly prefer it. I’m definitely 100% a Linux user. Windows for work. My website and email server is backed by a Debian VPS running all sorts of software I personally installed. I’d rattle on but there is no real point. Yes I’m a 100% Linux convert. =)

          “Linux didn’t work well with solid state drives for awhile” This has been fixed at least for a few years. Really its just a matter of not making so many writes.

          “AutoDesk, Adobe and thousands of others picked Windows for a reason”. Adobe is first and foremost Mac software. Adobe products, in my experience, run like complete garbage on a Windows machine. This is one reason why I hate using Adobe reader on a Windows. The only Adobe product that isn’t quite like that is Adobe Audition, but then again it, it really is just cool edit pro, cleaned up with some new features.

          “If you write for Linux you have to know your audience. If you write for Windows you don’t. ”
          I think this is a somewhat reasonable argument/analysis, but I might then say that Windows users end up not getting actually serviced properly. But even then, load up the latest Ubuntu and it works for 99.99% of most people’s needs as well without ever having to “dip under the hood.”

          “Probably. Are people jerks for selling closed source software? No. It is their product, they can do with it as they wish.”
          I disagree. It’s their product until it leaves their hands and goes into another’s. Patent and copyright law has allowed them to maintain ownership and control over the user.

          “Do you give your services away?”
          No. Nor should I expect anybody else to. Open Source/ GNU does not equal free, as in free beer. You’re just making the same arguments that most people make who don’t understand “free software”.

          “AutoDesk sells AutoCAD for $4500 per copy and people pay because it is great software.”
          There is no reason that one shouldn’t get the source code for the 4500 dollars. There’s no problem with selling the software for 4500 dollars. It requires immense resources to put together. If it’s your intent to reply to this saying “well anybody could just copy it and give it away” I’d say you should go to Pirate Bay, or look into how DRM is working out these days. Lets leave that one with “not so well.” Ever worked with a dongle?

          Software works for a user, not for the producer. The end result is an implicit legal framework where a user agrees to an endless changeable contract with the producing company where it doesn’t require the user’s consent, or acknowledgment of changes. Therefore if you purchase software with the agreement that it does X, and eventually it does Y, which you would never agree to, they have the legal authority to change the contract to allow Y. This includes backdoors, selling your personal information, or anything else that they wish to do in the future. So yes I will call these individuals “dicks” for locking up their code because they’re aggravating the problem, not working to find a solution.

          ” If you took a handful of web giants out of the numbers (Google, Amazon, Rackspace), you would find that Linux hasn’t penetrated as far as you thought.”
          We’ll leave this one as a stalemate with no reasonable end. I have zero experience with any of those big corporations so I won’t comment beyond my personal knowledge. I will say the majority of all government networks worth a flip are Linux and all of Chevron (and probably every other oil company) employees (who do any real work) are all on Linux machines. If you have to use a computer for computing power and technical uses you’re using a Linux machine. If you’re using “data entry” or some other mindless task you’re likely using Windows. Why? Purely and exclusively because thats just what people know. They don’t need windows what so ever for that and there are even free solutions that are just as good. You mentioned OpenOffice.

          “Businesses aren’t people. You can’t anthropomorphize a business and apply human morality to it. ”
          A business is an organization of people. Any action conducted “by the business” is therefore conducted by people. Every bit of morality and ethics related to people, therefore applies to a business. So it is appropriate to “anthropamorphize” ethics to a business.

          “Google says Android is open-source and it mostly is, but all their core apps like maps and gmail are closed source. ”
          Android is definitely “sorta open source”. Their phones are definitely locked down and yeah their apps are closed source. Google is up there with Apple in companies I dislike most. Actually I think I dislike google more.

          Regarding MSSQL, I’m personally not going to touch on this one too much because its out of the scope of my personal experience. But what I can tell you I definitely know major government agencies do not run MSSQL and I know they have more data than you (or I) can possibly fathom. Big Data is big big business now, and I know Microsoft is definitely trailing other players in this field. Google doesn’t use MSSQL either (I think). But again that’s all I have to say about that, take that for whatever grain of salt.

          Regarding the “mu” line of thinking:
          “Companies are agreements joined into by people to make money. ” This is one definition of a business. A corporation historically until the early 20th century was only put together to complete a single task and then disbanded. The task wasn’t necessarily “to make money”. There is a million and a half reasonable reasons to create a business, “to make money” doesn’t have to necessarily be any. Making money isn’t even a requirement of a business. Like I said, a business can run so long as they have capital. That capital could come from donations.

          “So if you ask if a company is moral, I would answer “mu””
          Ok lets play with this a bit further. We agree that a person’s actions can be immoral or moral. We also would also agree that a 2nd person could conduct moral or immoral actions. If two individuals act together in a moral way, we would say they’re acting morally. If two individuals acted together, in a way that we would consider immoral, we would also call that acting immorally. All actions are commited from people (or initiated through people, lets say programming a robot and a robot does the action on the programmers behalf). Since actions can only be performed by people, then all actions are moral or immoral Businesses do not exist in a vacuum, and therefore conduct actions, which I’ve already shown to be only conducted by people, and are either moral or immoral. This means that a business can act immoral or moral. Whether or not an action is moral or immoral, is up to a person’s morality and how they see at judging how the actions portray the business “as a whole”.

          “…but the possibility of that agreement becomes impossible as the company becomes larger and nearly impossible once the company becomes publically traded”
          Just because a company is publicly traded doesn’t change the morality of the actions the business conducts. Publicly traded means that people can freely exchange (without the companies consent) shares of the company. This generally means some portion of votes for share holder votes. This still doesn’t effect changing actions of the company (the individuals conducting the actions). The individuals who conduct the actions and all overseeing individuals responsible for those beneath them still have a responsibility to act morally REGARDLESS of shareholder votes or even legality. Even though it may be “legal” to bribe a foreign official for contracts and shareholders only want money regardless of the way its done doesn’t make it morally ok for individuals within the company to bribe government foreign officials for contracts, regardless of whether or not it makes the company money. People already act this way (morally) anyways so this further underlines this point. If a business is so bloated and so large that it cannot adequately handle the ethical conducts of those whom work in the company, that’s a major problem.

          Well I gotta get back to work clearing trees outside. Cheers!

  3. “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

    This question is irrelevant to many day to day situations, but its relevance to the big picture, ontological mathematics, physics, and philosophy is paramount and one of the most profound questions a human being can ask.

    The number zero is the same. We use it daily, but to really ponder what zero is, is to ponder existence itself, to ponder divinity.

    What is discussed here on The Survival Podcast relates to the material world, the r>0 world. The discussion of zero, relates to the unperceivable world, the r=0 world, or the world of “God.” This is what the famous double slit experiment demonstrates to those who understand what the greats of the philosophy world said/say. Ancient and current.

    Mathematics is where religion and science are abridged. Fortunately for science, this ultimate of desired goals leaves it intact and exploring the new. Abrahamism and Karmaism on the other hand…

    “With exception to math, grades are opinion.” Paraphrasing…

    And really nice on bypassing the physics propaganda at school, the teachers hated me for questioning; and the other students hated me because they had to read the book instead of getting their daily notes… Comedy!

    I hope everyone has the day where the question of zero intrigues their soul enough to part the waters of learned behaviors. The basic’s can be seen without running the formula to determine the mass of a black hole…

  4. I continue to see interesting commonality between ideas discussed on TSP and Open Source Ecology (

    Check out the following for examples:
    Penn State Lecture 1/24/14 – (need to look at the Prezi and Script to see the thoughts on open source economies)

    OSE Philosophy –

    Are there any TSPers who have replicated one of the OSE Global Village Construction Set machines? I would think these are quite useful to members of the audience.

  5. another great show. I did do one semester in college. To be honest some health issues contributed to my decision to drop out but I still remember my computer science class. We were given a problem to solve and my code shaved a couple seconds off the next nearest students code. I failed the assignment because I didn’t follow the formula and stay inside the box.

    Stay inside the box thinking is stagnating society.

  6. Wow, Jack it’s like you are tapped into some sort of a spiritual or mystical internet or something. It is amazing or maybe just a coincidence that you chose to do a show like this on the same day that this kind of a middle finger to the monopoly on ideas opens and goes viral.

    It’s called “Dumb Starbucks Coffee” and it opened in LA yesterday and went viral, the same day as this podcast.

    • Love that, only bad part is setting up in CA, talk about stacking the deck against yourself.

  7. Great podcast. I am quite partial to this topic because I consider myself to be a very philosophically and ethically driven person, which is a difficult road to hoe, not to mention requires constant learning to stay on the “path”. Where am I going with this? Particularly individual rights and freedoms on computers. If you haven’t listened to any of Richard Stallman’s lectures/talks, I highly recommend that. Especially once you internalize what he’s talking about and really consider it, its a red pill moment. You all of a sudden see the digital world for what it is, and what it is not.

    In this podcast Jack describes the good business and working ideas as part of “open source” but there is another topic that generally gets glossed over and that’s the ethical and moral reasons to do it. That’s Richard Stallman’s shtick (GNU) rather than the “open source” movement. Individual rights requires vigilance and as many actors as possible to secure those rights. Its like GMO or food labeling. I have a right to know whats in the food that I eat. The only way I can secure that right, is to forgo those who would rather take my rights away for their own profit. Being social creatures this can be quite difficult and provide a lifetime of agitation, but its the right thing to do. This means avoiding all products with a similar type of moral dilemma. Its why I don’t have a smart(Evil) phone, tablet or computer I didn’t purchase the parts myself.

    I generally only use a windows computer because my work dictates it. I would NEVER use an apple computer or device ever, never ever, ever never. Even my wife, who is not a computer guru uses Gnu/Linux.

  8. I really enjoyed your discussion of the trend toward open source, it links nicely with the book “Makers: The New Industrial Revolution” by Chris Anderson. In this book the focus is a little more practical in terms of why open source is the way to go as opposed to the more philosophical discussion in this podcast but they definitely work well together. I would love to hear more discussions on this topic, in fact I have challenged myself to figure out how to apply the open source model in the industry that I’m involved in.

  9. Alright Jack. You did it. Your show today pushed me over the edge. That’s right. I’m jumping out in a leap of faith. My next product (invention) is going to be an open source one. I’ll never patent it, and it will easily and readily lend itself to upgrading by any and all. I’ve already sent the idea over to Kelly Gendrou, to get his thoughts.

    I’m really looking forward to see how this kind of stuff does in the market.

  10. One begs the question with respect to the common man having nukes: If we didn’t have governments, would we ever had created a weapon of mass destruction?

  11. There seems to be an epic battle brewing between freedom-loving individuals and those who embrace big government. While on the one hand there are all these small movements breaking out that seek to break away from the current paradigm, those who strive for centralized control are not asleep at the switch and they too continuously mobilize and encroach on the freedoms of the individual. It seems a clash is coming, but unlike Jack I’m not as hopeful about the future or about the willingness of man to want to be free.

    Which is why I hesitate to endorse his call to apathy when it comes to voting. I fully understand his rationale, and in the main agree with it — you’re not going to get a different outcome simply by voting in an R instead of a D, or vice versa — but ignoring the system allows the system to grow and gain more control. You might want to drive away with Washington in your rearview mirror, but like the side view mirror says, objects are closer than they appear. And they’re gaining ground.

    It’s simply not possible to avoid politics and do your own thing, because the politicians will then assume for themselves powers to which they have no right, and that can very well lead to infringement upon or outright abolishment of your ability to do your own thing. If you go away and till your farmland seeking to be let alone with no regard for what the government does, you may very well wake up and find the government at your door and taking from you the fruits of your labor completely. Allowing government to grow unchecked, without protest, because you choose to be left alone does not guarantee that will be the outcome, and more likely than not, it will be the exact opposite of what you intended.

    There is sense in that simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic from red to blue or back will not change the result, but capable men grabbing the steering wheel and trying to alter the course could very well do so.

    On the one hand, I’m also very hopeful for the liberty movements sprouting up, even if the individuals themselves don’t realize that’s what they are. Yet, conversely, on the other, I’m very pessimistic because the vast majority of the population still willingly assists in putting the yoke on their shoulders, and those of their neighbors, and thinks it’s good. It’s also possible it’s much easier to be a pessimist and say all will go to hell, than to be an optimist and see how the future is very bright indeed.

    As I said, a clash is coming, but whether good can triumph when all is said and done remains in doubt because too many of our fellow men and women remain asleep.


    • I agree with this sentiment,

      “Which is why I hesitate to endorse his call to apathy when it comes to voting.”

      Yet everything after you wrote that just makes my case doesn’t. Why vote if my vote won’t matter? If anyone wants me to vote this is what it will take.

      1. A person I believe is strong enough to buck the system and actually reduce government or at least fight EVERY attempt to grow it. At the federal level there has only been one such man, he is now retired. The current champions or the right are absolute statists, just with different agendas than leftist statists. There is no one for me to vote for.

      2. An issue, initiative or amendment that increases liberty and freedom by preventing spending, repealing restrictions or restricting government. A measure that if passed is done and done, not a promise, a simple yes or not on one thing.

      So we have to have one or the other of the above plus.

      3. A belief that a few hundred votes or so will matter in either of the above.

      Without those three you can say anything you want but you are just a bitch in their harem if you go vote! Please listen to Stephan’s video.

    • I agree and I believe apathy and helplessness are the things they want us to feel, so I’d rather not support that. I think the best solution is to put in “Ron Paul” as a write-in candidate if possible or if not vote for any fringe candidate. If you don’t vote, you don’t count. Jack is saying that no one vote does count, but since voter turnout is so low and so many people are disillusioned, then maybe “throwing your vote away” is the best option. If in one of a thousand races the porn star gets elected then at least the cry for help is heard. Maybe more real candidates will run if they thought there was a chance they could win. Since members of both parties vote 98% along party lines, then even electing a communist is a benefit as they will at least slow the system down since they don’t have the script on how to vote.

      • Again this is just you feeding their system with your energy and feeling like your vote matters, which is what they want. Fricken Mickey Mouse likely get a shit ton of write ins every year, no one cares it doesn’t matter.

        If you think helplessness and apathy are linked inseparably you are just wrong. I can be apathetic to my captivity and vote which is what MOST people that say you should vote are. They do nothing for liberty and believe that voting every other year counts for something. They spend hours arguing with family or friends or on facebook that the chain imposed by their crime family mafia bosses are better than the other crime family bosses. Sorry man that is apathetic! Wasted energy on shit that will never matter, period.

        I keep saying it, F national politics, if you want to do anything do it at the city/county level and even that will show you have F’d we are but at least you might get something done for the positive. I will be discussing this today from a bit of a different angle.

        • Forgot to post the other half. Still recovering from the workshop. I can also be apathetic to voting but far from feel helpless. I can build liberty in the hearts and minds of thousands, inspire people to build businesses, quit feeding the beast and step out on their own from the systems. What is helpless about that?

          Sorry due you are parroting the same old shit instilled into young minds as “civic duty” in grade school which is why the programming is so deep and so hard to break.

          This makes me think of the story of the kid throwing fish back into the water while thousands die and someone saying to the kid “hey kid it makes no difference”. The super wise kiddo says, “to this one it matters” as he throws it back. Pastors, life coaches, motivational speakers use this story often, so show what one person can do. It is met by coos and awes from those they are programming to think the way they want them too.

          What happens if you do apply logic to this story though? Why are the fish dying on the beach? It is their time! This is their life cycle, they came there to die. What the kid did only matters to the fish in that he now at the end has to swim back to shore so he can die one more time. Not a single fish would be saved in this story, not a one. It is like pulling a man out of a mass grave that is already dead and saying, “to this one it matters”. It is feel good bullshit, a false belief that something that is meaningless has meaning.

          Apathy is only weakness if misapplied! Applied correctly it is a powerful weapon.

        • How cool would it be to have “None of the Above” on every ballot, in every election, as one of the choices? And if it got the most votes, that office would remain vacant until the next election cycle?

          I remember there was a group out there pushing for just such an option. While it was pie in the sky stuff to think it would ever be successful, I’d back that concept in a second if I had the chance!


  12. Sustainable, profitable open source business models are still needed. Something my oldest son is struggling with.

    Lets say an open source programmer helps develop a new programming language which become in great demand. It is something you are doing on the side, while working full time for a company which pays you well. You negotiated with the company before hiring on to allow you to work on the side doing this specific open source programming. While under contract companies such as Skype and Qualcomm contact you, wanting to hire your expertise in this specific open source field.

    Few choices, not honor your current contract or pass on the work to other open source programmers who are free at the moment to accept a new contract. Or a company such as Rackspace may use one of your open source inventions and their software engineers further develop your code. At least the open source work is getting down and they give you credit. Money would be helpful though.

    When current contract over you decide to work for yourself so you have a little more control of your time. You can support yourself as a contractor, but taking care of billing, finding new contracts, etc can be overwhelming while raising a young family. Nor can you ever make more money than you have hours in a day.

    Of course you get many job offers which will pay 6 figure income. No longer working open source in many cases, whatever you create develop belongs to the company, making it hard to continue working on your open source projects, depends on what you are able to negotiate.

    And you can speak at programming events around the world, as often as you wish, but most in this field pay only expenses, while giving you more exposure, more job offers, but not good money to live off.

    Crowd sourcing is difficult, you can make a small amount of money, but hard to support your family off of that. Individuals will send in small amounts. Mozilla is great in supporting such, even companies such as Adobe. Many companies are still in the why pay for it when our competitors aren’t? It give our competitor an advantage.

    His current project is creating an app which could be sold, his fans are used to him giving everything for free. App still has bugs to work out, taking longer than expected to perfect the project. Faced with decisions such as how much to charge? Subscription or flat fee? Do you launch the paid version while still buggy and work them out along the way? Doesn’t seem right although many of the largest companies launch their products this way, full of bugs, etc.

    If/when better business models are created using open source, I believe we’ll see much more cool stuff available. Meanwhile much of the world’s best talent is tied up working for corporations because it pays well.

    • Okay I don’t see the problem, a contract to program isn’t a contract to be a slave, every contract has an exit provision. If customer X offers you a deal better for you that company Y, you take the deal, you also honor the exit provisions of your contract. If contract doesn’t have reasonable exit provisions, DO NOT SIGN IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

      I mean what does he have to do to break the current contract?

    • He has gotten much better negotiating contracts. At one time he was an employee with a good sized sign on bonus and at least work 1 year. Or working for a startup company, and he realized the company would fail if he walked away. (Later it failed anyway, poor money management by company, beyond his control).

      He has also learned much about who and who not to do business with.

      Contracting works, has supported his family past year and half, but no residual type money, no way to scale up. He does make some money from royalties from training video he did. Such don’t last forever in a changing industry, but do last several years. He wants to make enough to have someone handle the business side of things.