The Open Source Everything Manifesto

In the interim before I post again, I’d like to say a little about the Open Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust by Robert David Steele. I’m only halfway finished the book, so I haven’t got to the part where there are instructions for implementing the ideas within.

As some or maybe most of you know I get a bit of a brain boner for this type of information. I liked this book in particular because a) it seems to come from a pretty reputable source and b) once you start to ponder the idea put forward, it really stands out as the top choice, if not the only choice, for humanity to make in order to ensure our progress survival.

To those of you who assume that what is in this book doesn’t apply to you and yours, your current or expected situation: Take a deep breath, and have a look into a mirror. Then take a walk outside, have a look at the clouds, maybe the stars if it’s clear (and nighttime). Have a quick chat with somebody if you like, about anything at all. This should show you that you are indeed a human being, you live on planet Earth, and you share the planet with several billion other pretty similar creatures, not to mention all the flora and fauna. Everyone alive now bears the responsibility of being the latest in a long line of tenants, it’s up to us to ensure that there will still be a house fit for people in a few generations time. Not just the academics, the big idea people, the skilled specialists, but every single one of us. Our inclinations to sit back and wait for things to resolve themselves or be resolved by someone else has led us to this point. How many of you can honestly say that the current system has the well-being and betterment of all of humanity, as well as the planet, as its central tenet?

It’s probably not mentioned much in polite conversation, but I imagine there is a tiny voice in everyone’s mind, way down the back of the class out of view of the teacher, that tempts you to say “Fuck it, I’ll be gone in 40-50 years, the world will probably hold on until my kids and their generation can fix it, or maybe even their kids. It’s too tough to change now, maybe in the future, with gadgets and shit, it will be easier.” It’s a cop-out. Most plausible doomsday predictions, ranging from agricultural systems collapse to artificial intelligence running amok, are slated for the next half century or less. Even if they weren’t, it’s a little bit selfish to leave the place in a rough condition for the next lot, especially when the knowledge and skill sets are there to improve the state of the world. If the problems we face now can’t be tackled efficiently with the current set of systems, how will leaving those systems in place for the next 50 years to solidify help the future generation(s)?

We tend to “leave it to the professionals”. Surely the man on the telly with the good suit who had his name on the posters and stuff knows better than me and can make better decisions than me, otherwise we wouldn’t choose to put him in a position of power over us. I will admit, there are a lot of people in these positions who are smarter and better at decision making than others, but a lot of them used that knowledge and ability to increase their own wealth, whether political or monetary wealth, at our and the world’s expense. We have become placated, tamed into thinking this is normal, when it is anything but. If you stop and really give it some thought, you’d probably think so too.

We are in uncharted territory now, with no one to guide us but ourselves. Our lifeline is the medium you’re using right now to read this. The internet and its supporting technologies has the ability to educate, inform and emancipate everyone in the world provided there is access to it.

Is this a call to arms? No, I’m not in a valid position to do that, but I believe the author is, and his book is just that. A well written, highly informative and inspirational call to arms that I would recommend to anyone who is unhappy with the status quo (not the band, there is a different book for that)

More blogging to follow. I hope.

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About Neil

Neil Rochford is a writer from Ireland and has lived in various places around the world. He loves fiction where bad things happen, is trying to feed himself with his words and he is available for freelance writing gigs and wakes. His book, The Blue Ridge Project, is available NOW on Amazon.