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Historical mandate for the Open Source community

Historical mandate for the Open Source community

Citations Plato: Plato Phaedrus circa 370 BCE. Plato Letter VII, 341d-342a Plato, Phaedrus 343a Polybius: “Tyranny is then displaced by aristocracy, and then kingship and despotism were alike entirely abolished, and aristocracy once more began to revive and start afresh… who, looking upon this charge at first as a great privilege, made the public advantage their chief concern... But when the sons of these men received the same position of authority from their fathers, having had no experience of misfortunes, and none at all of civil equality and freedom of speech, but having been bred up from the first under the shadow of their fathers’ authority and lofty position, some of them gave themselves up with passion to avarice and unscrupulous love of money… and so they turned an aristocracy into an oligarchy.” -Polybius in his Histories Book VI -1st Century BC Aquinas: Patrick Quin: Aquinas: Summa Theologica I, qu. 92, art. 1. “There is another kind of subjection which is called economic or civil, whereby the superior makes use of his subjects for their own benefit and good... For good order would have been wanting in the human family if some were not governed by others wiser than themselves. So by such a kind of subjection woman is naturally subject to man, because in man the discretion of reason predominates” –Aquinas: Summa Theologica I, qu. 92, art. 1, ad 2. Maimonides: “the study of Metaphysics should have been exclusively cultivated by privileged persons, and not entrusted to the common people. It is not for the beginner, and he should abstain from it, as the little child has to abstain from taking solid food and from carrying heavy weights.” –Maimonides, Guide for The Perplexed Ch. XXXIV “these are things which must be explained to every one according to his capacity, and they must be taught by way of tradition to children and women, to the stupid and ignorant” –Guide for the Perplexed Ch XXXV. Averroes: “For the majority cannot understand philosophical books, only those endowed with superior natures. People are on the whole destitute of learning and are aimless in their reading which they do without a teacher. Nevertheless they succeed in leading others away from religion” -Ibn Rushd (Averroes) Thomas Cahill: “[Irish scribes] took up the great labor of copying all of western literature –everything they could lay their hands on… Without this Service of the Scribes, everything that happened subsequently would have been unthinkable… the world that came after them would have been an entirely different one – a world without books.” - Thomas Cahill: How the Irish Saved Civilization Charles Van Doren: “Survivors of the plague did not only inherit money, lands, and buildings. They also inherited clothes, bed furnishings, and other articles made of cloth… hundreds of millions of garments were suddenly useless. Toward the end of the 14th century a new use was discovered for all these discarded articles: manufacturing rag paper… by 1450 there was a large surplus of it, and its price had fallen to a low level.” - Charles Van Doren: A History of Knowledge Mark Kurlansky: “technology fallacy: the idea that technology changes society. It is exactly the reverse. Society develops technology to address the changes that are taking place within it… Chroniclers of the role of paper in history are given to extravagant pronouncements: Architecture would not have been possible without paper. Without paper… no Renaissance. If there had been no paper, the industrial revolution would not have been possible. None of these Statements are true. These developments came about because society had come to a point where they were needed.” Mark Kurlansky: Paper Alfred von Kremer: Alfred von Kremer, “The Arabs made learning accessible to all. It ceased to be the privilege of only one class, initiating that blossoming of mental activity that burst the chains of fanaticism, superstition and despotism.”-Alfred von Kremer Quoted by Jonathan Bloom: Paper Before Print, pg. 1. Jonathan Bloom: Paper Before Print, pg.122. Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker Richard Stallman and his Free Software movement were creating the GNU operating system. They separated their OS kernel into modules, making fixing bugs problematic. Linus Torvalds created his Linux kernel. Since GNU software was free and open, its resources (i.e. C compiler) were available for redistribution. GNU resources and Torvalds’ kernel made a creation worthy of a Mary Shelley novel. In 1999, Richard Stallman accepted the Linus Torvalds award on behalf of the Free Software Foundation stating, “Giving the Linus Torvalds Award to the Free Software Foundation is a bit like giving the Han Solo Award to the Rebel Fleet.” The credit that should be attributed to the two developers is still debated; however, both developers believe in a free and/or open software philosophy.
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