Tuesday, April 24, 2012

About the Open Source Tech Revolution


The purpose of the Open Source Tech Revolution is to make freedom and autonomy more accessible to those who want it.

The purpose of the Open Source Tech Revolution Blog is to help get the OSTR rolling!

Lots of us have great ideas for new technology and new products that have a lot of potential to improve lives or make money.  Often, we lack the time, expertise, or skill set to make many of these ideas a reality.  I am a proponent of the idea that just about anyone can learn just about anything, given some time and access to the right information.  Thanks to brick and mortar libraries and great sites like Wikipedia and YouTube, we have a lot freer access to a lot more information than ever before.  Simply having the time to learn what we need to know in order to proceed, and in many cases having the money for the proper tools, equipment and raw materials are still major road blocks to achieving the innovations we envision.  Through networking, and collaborative design efforts, we can bypass those road blocks to an unprecedented extent.

Why would People give good ideas away for free?

We want awesome stuff to exist.  Sometimes people have awesome ideas that they have neither the time nor the expertise to bring to fruition alone. One way to increase your chances of actually using something awesome that you dream up but don't plan to create is to make the idea public and let others attempt to create it.

Philanthropy: Giving away empowering knowledge and technology is a way to give people who need it a chance to improve their quality of life.

Lots of us have ideas we're not using anyway: Given the choice between sharing our good ideas, holding onto them in hopes of future for-profit development, or waiting for others to independently come up with and act on the same idea, some people may benefit most from sharing.

Why would anyone want to work on open-source design projects for free?
  • Doing things that really matter makes people happy.
  • Being productive makes people happy.
  • Taking on challenges makes people happy.
  • If you want something to exist, and it doesn't exist yet, you can fix your problem by helping to create it.
  • By collaborating on ground-breaking engineering projects, you will probably get to know fascinating people with whom you share exciting interests.
  • If you want to learn some useful skills, collaborating on a project where those skills are needed is likely to provide you with added motivation, priceless practice with your new skills, and a network of mentors who already possess the skills you are looking to acquire.
  • If you are looking for a career in engineering, science or technology, gaining the experience of collaborating on successful, useful and innovative designs will show prospective employers that you have what it takes.
  • If your skills and creativity are underutilized in your current career, collaborating with cutting edge projects as a hobbyist could be a thrilling opportunity to be yourself.
  • If you think you might have engineering chops but you are not certain, collaborating on an engineering project would be a useful way to test the waters.

How is posting a bunch of ideas on the internet going to help anyone in any way?

It's probably not going to.  I am researching the efforts of others to crowd-source the development of technical projects and working to develop a web-based collaborative design application that solves as many as possible of the logistical problems with collaborating from a distance.

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