Open Source: What You Own

My parents instilled upon me many values that I keep with me today. My twin brother and I are the youngest of four children, coming from a lower-middle class background. We children had the inevitable fights over material possessions, screeching “Mine! Mine!”

My father’s response to this was to look at us and say “These toys are mine; I bought those toys with money I worked for. What’s yours is what you make with your bodies.” While the sentiment is arguably harsh, crude and bordering on vulgar, I cannot argue that he had a certain point.

If you do not truly own something, you will be left squabbling like a child when your perceived ownership is threatened. When you assumed you owned something and the truth comes to light, you will be massively insecure and have a sense of injustice.

A few points from OSCon are haunting me and getting me to think about what FLOSS means to me, and what I want from it.

— Open source is important even if you never read one line of source code or make one modification. The fact that anyone can read and write the source code is critical even if nobody besides the original engineer(s) ever does.

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