Friday, February 16, 2007

The empowerment of open-source innovation

Smaller. Cheaper. Lighter. More effective. Opens new vistas of usage, allowing people formerly reliant on expensive, centralized solutions to express themselves more freely.

The PC?
The cell phone?
Browser-based apps?

Nope. IEDs.

Andrew Cockburn has a nice piece in the LA Times about "explosively formed penetrators," the subject of much dinosauric rhetoric from our Dear Leader.

The punchline:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld...bequeathed the Army the Future Combat Systems, a $168-billion extravaganza of computers, sensors and robots... Rumsfeld's mentor, defense intellectual Andrew Marshall, marketed the phrase "revolution in military affairs" as a justification for high-tech programs such as Future Combat Systems. But those copper disks [of EFP IEDs] represent the real revolution in military affairs, and it is not in our favor.

Are you a startup guy? Open source stack? Commodity servers? VOIP provider? Sneer at the old, the slow, the walnut-brained, who you're rapidly replacing with your clever new widget?

News flash: the nation-state you rely upon for the stability, social mobility, and capital that makes your life possible is fighting people just like you. And those people are winning.

I see the Bat Signal in the sky. After we make sure that we're the good guys, how are we going to help the good guys win?

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