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Re: [ox-en] The (Open Source) World in 2020 - A History Based Look into the Future

Hi list!

3 months (102 days) ago Stefan Merten wrote:
In Germany there is a Free Software conference called FrOSCon_. I'm
applying for a talk there for the topic "The Open Source World in 2020
- Ein Blick in die Glaskugel..." ("The Open Source World in 2020 - A
Look into the crystal ball..."). Here are my draft slides. You may
find them in the Wiki_ also.

.. _Wiki:

I gave the talk last week and from the direct feedback from the
participants I think I did a good job explaining things :-) . Find
included the latest version.



--- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< ---
The (Open Source) World in 2020

A History Based Look into the Future

:Author: Stefan Merten
:Editor: Florian Samson
:Organization: Project Oekonux

A brief look into history

Let's go 24 years back: 1984

.. class:: handout

To peek into the future it is important to understand history

* Free Software very small

  * Hardly noticed at all

  * Internet did not exist in its todays form

    .. class:: handout

    But that is one of the main foundations for Free Software today

* A few determined persons with lots of idealism

  * E.g. Richard M. Stallman

    .. class:: handout

    Just founded GNU project back then

* No similar phenomenon existed

* But: Basic principles were already there

  .. class:: handout

  What the basic principles are follows in second part

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   Very beginnings may be hard to notice

12 years later...: 1996

* Free Software was pretty big

  * Linux has entered the scene

  * Many contributors

* But it still was not very visible

  * Not taken serious by many

    .. class:: handout

    Company involvement was very small

    .. class:: handout

    "Open Source" was not invented

* Still no similar phenomenons emerged

  * Though the example started to inspire people

* Important: Basic principles stayed

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   Good ideas grow because they are useful for people

Today: 2008

* Free Software is here to stay

  * Lots of contributors

  * A sustainable and enduring economy exists

    .. class:: handout

    I.e.: A system where goods are produced and distributed

  * Though not an economy based on exchange...

* Free Software is very visible

  * Using Free Software is common place and growing

    .. class:: handout

    Companies engage in Free Software in multiple ways

  * Last frontier: The desktop

    .. class:: handout

    But Ubuntu comes for the helping

* Similar phenomenons became visible

  * Wikipedia (= Free encyclopedia)

  * Creative Commons licensed works

  * OpenAccess (= Free Science)

  * Free Music and other media (think: YouTube)

  .. class:: handout

  And some more...

* The successful antetype of Free Software inspired these

  * Based on the same basic principles

  * Basic principles turned out to be successful

  * Also in other fields than software

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   The basic principles are strong enough to spread out

Understanding history

First basic principle: Selbstentfaltung

.. class:: handout

What are those basic principles after all?

* Selbstentfaltung (simplified):

  * Having fun individually

  * While maintaining a relationship to society

* Fundamental motivator for humans

  .. class:: handout

  Complex reasoning in Critical Psychology based on evolution

* Different for every individual

  .. class:: handout

  Good news: Every task may find an executor

* Includes responsibility

* Important expression: Volunteering for useful tasks

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   Something individuals *and* society benefit from

   .. class:: handout

   This combination is pretty new to mankind!

Second basic principle: Openness

* Openness in two ways

  * Internal openness: Everyone may contribute

  * External openness: Everyone may use the results

* Technology of digital copy is the historical enabler of openness

  .. class:: handout

  Made external and internal openness easy

* "Free" in Free Software really means:

  * Internal openness is a prerequisite for external openness

  * And vice versa

  .. class:: handout

  That defines a positive feedback cycle

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   Technology may make way for new societal phenomenons

   .. class:: handout

   *Societal* phenomenons - not only technology

A new mode of production emerges

* Exciting: A new mode of production emerges

  * Generally called "*peer production*"

* Mode of production describes societal facilities to produce goods

  * Capitalism is a mode of production

  .. class:: handout

  Feudalism is the prior one

* No exchange in the core of peer production

  .. class:: handout

  Cannot be explained by classic economic theory

  * "This is doomed to fail" - they say

  * But: It exists, grows and is adapted in more and more fields

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   Something wrong with classic economy ;-)

Power from new principles

* Fortitude arises from the basic principles

* Selbstentfaltung aiming at absolute quality

  * If it is "your baby" you want to be *proud* of

  * No boss stops you from doing it

  * Impossible if you need to make profit

* Positive feedback cycle of openness leads to sustainable expansion

* Basic principles are stronger than those of proprietary software

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   Oekonux thesis: A new mode of production leads to a new society

Five-step model of development

.. class:: handout

Shown: Basic principles forming a new mode of production

.. class:: handout

Now: Modeling how development takes place

* Germ form = something based on novel principles

1. *Emerging of the new*

   * First appearances of the germ form

   * Think: Free Software in 1984

2. *Crisis of the old*

   * Slump of the old forms

   * Think: Crisis of classical Unices on midrange servers

3. *Disseminating and expanding*

   * Germ form becomes important *in the old process*

   * Think: Free Software today

   .. class:: handout

   Coexists with the old form

   .. class:: handout

   Not always peaceful

   .. class:: handout

   * Key question: Does it keep its germ form features?

     .. class:: handout

     Here: The basic principles cannot be integrated into the old form

4. *Achieving dominance*

   * The germ form becomes dominant form

   * Think: Proprietary software on the decline

5. *Restructuring society*

   * Restructuring of entire system process

* For software: Free Software is well in phase 3: *disseminating and expanding*

* For society: Peer production is in phase 1: *emerging*

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   There is hope! :-)

Successful germ form: 200 years back

* Capitalism

  * A mode of production

  * Its development fits nicely into the five-step model

* Emerging phase happened long ago

  .. class:: handout

  Earliest forms appeared during the Roman Empire

* *Crisis of the old* happened when the feudal principles exhausted

  .. class:: handout

  For instance: Religious schism in the Christian church

  .. class:: handout

  For instance: Enlightenment and new forms of science transcended
  feudal principles

* *Disseminating and expanding* started with early textile industry (weaving machines)

* Capitalism has achieved dominance in the 20th century 

* Restructuring society is still not fully complete

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   A new mode of production starting as a germ form *can* take over

A peek into the future

Some words of caution

* *Disseminating and expanding* proceeds chaotically

  * Remember: The old is fighting the new

  * Particularly time lines are very hard to forecast

  * Good news: Small actions can have major effects

  * So *you* can make a difference!

* External constraints limit seriousness

  * In particular: Development of the overall world process

* In 1808 it was impossible to foresee the world of 2008

  * Things which are perceived as "natural" today were unimaginable back then

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   But the forecast in question is only for 12 years ;-)

Vertical expansion

* Free Software is common on the desktop

* Most software will be Free

  .. class:: handout

  At least: That which can benefit from the Free Software principles

* Governance issues of Wikipedia will be history

  .. class:: handout

  Either because Wikipedia found accepted ways to cope with them

  .. class:: handout

  Or by a more successful fork

* OpenAccess has become a best practice in science

* Lots of Free Music are available

* Lots of [your favorite project here] available

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   Vertical expansion is quite sure

Horizontal expansion

* More fields of production will follow those basic principles

  * The Basic principles are easily applicable to all creative processes

  * External openness is easier to achive for digital products

    .. class:: handout

    Because of technology of digital copy being lossless and cheap

  * Easier as you do not need an expensive infrastructure for distribution

* Some guesses

  * Free pharmaceutical information

  * Free genetic information

  * Free hardware designs picked up by industry

  * Free car design picked up by industry

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   Horizontal expansion depends on many aspects

Deeper embedding

* Basic Principles to become more widely accepted

* States will support this more

  * Basic income for this type of activity

* Companies exploit these principles more and more

  * See Eric v. Hippel's work on User Innovation

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   More than that will not happen within the next 12 years, supposedly

Wrap up


* Free Software took time to take off

* Basic principles: Selbstentfaltung and openness

* On this basis a new mode of production is emerging

* This new mode of production will dominate in the future

* We are witnessing the first steps into a new epoch

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   In 2020 you will know if I was right ;-)

Thank you

* More on this:

* Contact: smerten

* 4th Oekonux Conference

  * Free Software and Beyond - The World of Peer Production

  * 2009-03-27 to -29, Manchester (UK)

* Questions or other contributions?

.. admonition:: Conclusion

   Thank you for your attention
Contact: projekt

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