Open Source

I have spent almost 11 straight days at home now, and strange that it may seem, I still don’t feel the need to go out. I’m almost satisfied with what I have at home (including food supplies). I say almost – only because once in a while I do feel the need to hear my own voice, and get back to being social. But only once in a while. Rest of the time, I’m fairly occupied. With the internet. There’s so much out there, that a lifetime maybe less to take it all. From new ideas on TED, to inspirational speeches, to visually complex graphics, to political philosophies and ethical dilemmas (trolley cases).

All this is new and all this is so liberating. Access to all that you want. Then one thing leads to another. Any doubts on the way, consult Dr. Google. Wiki, more and some may argue less, answers the remaining. Curious about new places? Google Maps or Google Earth would relieve you. Most democratic with absolute freedom for you to choose the kind of information. Copyrights are history now. And why shouldn’t they be. What is so important about the right to your copy? A copy is a copy!

Music makers have started providing their music online now for free (Coke Studio). It doesn’t make them any less important, rather makes them more accessed and heard. And isn’t that the idea?!

There are communities who have found a way to govern themselves using the net. (WAITING FOR PAUL COTE TO GIVE ME THE WEBSITE ADDRESS) Somewhere with them, long-lost Greek forum is back!

People are collaborating to make maps by providing local information, which not just makes them accessible by the world, but helps in long-term disaster management. Geocoded places are more accessible for sending a relief to if  there’s an emergency than to the ones which are ‘remote’. People are helping themselves by adding information online. And that is one of the incentives to not just share information, but to share correct information.

India is still struggling to get there. Public information doesn’t yet mean that it is publicly available. GIS data for the states and cities still lies around somewhere (I don’t even know where!), although we are sure it exists. If made available, I’m sure people can put that to more innovative uses than we can’t even comprehend yet. Give the people a chance… give them the right to be aware.

This is something I truly deeply (maybe not madly yet!) believe in. Knowledge is public, and so it must be. I need to contribute to the open source. If not in a big way, but at least someway. Thus my struggle begins…


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