15 Feb 2006
...more valuable than the whole of his kingdom.
"Why not seize the pleasure at once? How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation?"
There's been a lot of talk about Peak Oil lately. Both on livejournal and elsewhere. For the record, with a strong interest towards sustainability, I do believe that peak oil is coming. I remember in seventh grade my biochemistry teacher told us all, children unknowing of politics, that within our lifetime — not soon, but within our lifetimes — that we would have to choose whether the remaining reserves of petrochemicals should be spent for power or for plastic.
It has even been suggested, for those who don't believe in peak, that it is largely irrelevant whether or not the notion matches objective physical reality because so long as people believe it to be the case they will act in accordance with that belief. But this is not what I'm here to talk with you about today.( Today I'm here to talk about a different facet of peak oil than the political force behind the meme. )
"Let's turn on the funk. I'm here tonight to talk with you about open-source." Cue dimming of the lights. A single spot alights the stage wherein a lonely mic, a barstool, and an over-dressed geek or an under-dressed poet approaches. A lonely cello (or is it a bass guitar?) waits, stage-left, the clicking clapping crowd dims, waits, a blue smoke curling 'round the luminescence casts the world into amber and cobalt. "There's been a lot of discussion about open-source in the past, but for some reason noone seems to discuss it much these days...
Now, I'm not going to tell you f/oss'll save your soul. Not gonna tell you f/oss'll make your millions. I'm not here to sell software. Not today. But I am going to talk about software —no, I'm not going to talk about software, I'm going to talk about ideology. It's not an ideology of community, not an ideology of coöperation; I'm not talking about f/oss here, but rather about a new world order f/oss is but the harbinger for.
You are not it the world of your forefathers and -mothers. Not in the world of the dot-com era. Not in the world to which you were born. You are a nomadic hunter first discovering that grain left to moulder in sodden fields bears fruit. You are an entrepreneur discovering that heated gasses expand and captured in a vessel can force a piston into motion. You are discovering that lightning can be stored in jars, can transmit sound to the stars, can teach sand to think. You are discovering that everything you know is wrong. The world has shifted and you've been left behind to collect the remnant shards of nostalgia.
And you are being told this is cause to rejoice.( The Revolution will not be televised )