Open the Floodgates…

Open the flood­gates.  Open the blog.  Open the soft­ware.  Open the gov­ern­ment.

open

OPEN

Open

Your

Mind

Dra­mat­ic words, no?  Mean­ing­less words?  Some would have you believe. Con­sid­er “open” for a moment.

Open the Floodgates

At it’s most sim­ple, “open” rep­re­sents the flow of ideas that is sud­den­ly upon me.  Tru­ly it only rains when it pours here!  While both you and I have endured a long dry spell of Ran­dom Scrib­blings, the pauci­ty here is now of excess.  I have more meta post ideas than time to write them and the shame in that is the lack of con­tent.

I am excit­ed by blog­ging again.  I wrote this to express that, but “open” is more impor­tant than my blog, my issues or my feel­ings.

Open the Blog

With­out too much com­pli­ca­tion, “open” rep­re­sents the blog, too. The blog is open. The com­ments are open. While I can­not suf­fer SPAM, I do not agree with Sci­en­tif­ic American’s take on com­ments. If peo­ple tru­ly are stu­pid, I have to believe that an open accep­tance (com­bined with sub­tle mock­ing) is the solu­tion, not the end of dis­course.

One of the pri­ma­ry moti­va­tors for putting my butt back in the chair and com­mit­ting ideas to pix­els are the few non-SPAM com­ments that have appeared over my hia­tus. Evi­dence and proof pos­i­tive that real peo­ple have not only read my words, but under­stood them and were even dri­ven to engage them.

Open the Software

There are many things that con­cern me today. Chief among them is “open” as in Open Soft­ware. The news today is rife with emo­tion con­cern­ing the reach and breadth of NSA (the Unit­ed States “secret” Spy­ing Agency) data col­lec­tion. They tap phone lines, they cap­ture inter­net traf­fic and they even hack into com­put­ers belong­ing to peo­ple in oth­er nations. Most egre­gious­ly even lead­ers of oth­er friend­ly nations. So com­plete is their sur­veil­lance net that none are left sym­pa­thet­ic — even The Untied States Con­gress embod­ied in it’s Intel­li­gence Sub-Com­mit­tee is forced to pale and shrink from the actions.

The very most dan­ger­ous facet of this sur­veil­lance is the loss of con­trol over devices we (the peo­ple) own. The only defense against this tyran­ny is open soft­ware. Open oper­at­ing sys­tems, open soft­ware and, in-the-end open hard­ware. Luck­i­ly, the NSA’s debase­ment is so com­plete; their offense is so all-encom­pass­ing; that real, nor­mal peo­ple are lis­ten­ing.

As a side-bar, this pub­li­ca­tion is aware that we are abnor­mal — that we see things that oth­ers do not. You should also be aware that by sim­ply read­ing this blog, the pre­pon­der­ance of evi­dence would indi­cate you are abnor­mal, too. Geez… I’m break­ing fourth wall all over the place here… Ouch.

Open the Government

Top­i­cal­ly, “open” also applies to gov­ern­ment. Many would argue that Gov­ern­ment must keep secrets, but this is not tac­it­ly true. A stronger argu­ment exists to keep some secrets from ene­mies, but the only rea­son to keep secrets among friends (or among the gov­erned) is when one group wish­es to dis­ad­van­tage anoth­er. As an exer­cise, attempt to con­coct a sce­nario where keep­ing secrets is not about get­ting “more” from the oth­er par­ty, or, to put it anoth­er way, slip­ping one past the oth­er par­ty.

Pol­i­tics, by it’s nature, ever drifts away from the con­cerns of the gov­erned. This hap­pens to a point at which the gov­erned real­ize that it has hap­pened and force a cor­rec­tion. A minor­i­ty has absorbed itself in the delu­sion that they can per­pet­u­al­ly hold pow­er while being dick­ish to every­one else and (by no small mea­sure) “con­trol­ling” the mes­sage — mean­ing: keep­ing far too many secrets.

For some time, I doubt­ed the cor­rec­tion would come.  I was with­out hope.  But here in Cana­da, the Sen­ate scan­dal and Mike Duffy are work­ing on ruin­ing Harper’s day and in the US, the con­tin­u­ing saga of Edward Snow­den is plough­ing through all kinds of back­yards.  These may not fix every­thing, but at least peo­ple (ordi­nary peo­ple) are lis­ten­ing… final­ly.

Open Your Mind

Final­ly, as an exer­cise to the read­er, start look­ing for open things.  We seem to have lost Groklaw this spring to the NSA (maybe we’ll get that back?), but Slash­dot, Michael Geist and The Econ­o­mist are still putting out good news.  How’s that for a nice ran­dom set?

It’s impor­tant that you think open and you say open and you do open.  Put open on your desk­top. Use open as your pri­ma­ry appli­ca­tions. Choose open ser­vice providers.  Vote for open can­di­dates in the next elec­tion. The econ­o­my and the wars will fix them­selves if we are tru­ly open about it.

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