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