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osOpinion: God, Gates and Open Source

May 11, 2001, 05:44 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Nadeau)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

This one is going up for the simple reason that there's something eminently entertaining about recasting the debate between open source advocates and defenders of proprietary models as a reiteration of the eternal struggle between all-natural forces of light vs. a band of evil, rule-changing gnostics:

"Nobody has to pay a fee to God to understand science, to engage in technology, or to participate in acts of discovery or invention. There is no license agreement for natural law, and there is no great cosmic penalty for teaching the laws of nature to others."

Nature is actually undocumented open-source, which is where the intrigues begin. As it is largely undocumented, the scientist's job is to provide mankind with useful documentation. The engineer's job is to take that documentation and use it to build new "applications" (products) on top of the "code base" (natural law) that pre-exists. And the educator's job is to provide open access to the documentation of both natural and man-made information."

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