Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: A History of "Open Source"

Author:Joshua Allen
Posted:8/20/2000; 12:35:20 AM
Topic:A History of "Open Source"
Msg #:19845 (In response to 19844)
Prev/Next:19844 / 19846

Would it be fair to say that this piece isn't meant to be objective or balanced? I find this article interesting for what it demonstrates about history. Those of us who live through events are often surprised at the way those events are ultimitely distilled to history. This particular account of "Open Software" reminds me of "The Hacker Crackdown" by Bruce Sterling. It was good reading, full of interesting characters and having a sense of authenticity that made the reader feel like they were there. I am sure that Bruce researched his book, but I do not think it should be regarded as much more than entertainment -- he wasn't there. More peculiar, most authors since have skipped over the research part entirely and paraphrased "hacker crackdown" in their works. Or consider the works of John Markoff. Would anybody claim that his articles on hacking are more than 5% accurate? Despite his absolute ignorance on the topic, it is remarkable how many journalists rehash his work as if it is history. So when thinking of "history", there are some "laws" which I think all history follows:

Of course, open source isn't the only history being made this way. Sometimes I wonder about Eric Bina -- how many "history of the Internet" pages are out there? For fun sometime, I suggest you browse the Internet to find the history of the Internet. You will find that Eric Bina was one of the few symbols that made it into that history, which has been paraphrased all around the net. But then where did he go? This says some very interesting things about history.

Some of our best-selling magazines are about people who pretend to be other people who do real things. And how many shows do we see each year where people who pretend to be other people give tributes or awards to people who also pretend to be people who do real things? Am I the only one alarmed that the Biography channel gets more views for telling the life of Harrison Ford or Whoopi Goldberg than from talking about people who are at least credited with doing real things? It is not enough to read a magazine about home decorating anymore -- we want to know about "ten celebrity homes". And now, as if our own lives are not interesting enough, we have the San Jose Mercury telling us about "The Dogs of Silicon Valley":

I'd rather stick to building the future, Thank You! :-)

There are responses to this message:

This page was archived on 6/13/2001; 4:56:07 PM.

© Copyright 1998-2001 UserLand Software, Inc.