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osOpinion: Hacking Alone

“The story starts in 1958 when sociologist Edward Banfield
studied the difference between the poverty-stricken and backward
villages in the southern tip of Italy and the comparatively
prosperous and advanced north. Banfield’s conclusion was that the
culture of the south ran contrary to members of society banding
together to act for the common good. Instead, they were oriented
towards “Maximize the material, short-run advantage of the nuclear
family: assume all others will do likewise”. They were more
competitive than cooperative – and poorer for it….”

“By far the greater value to society -albeit one that doesn’t
show up in accountant’s dollar figures- of the Net is as a public
library and forum for personal connection and discourse. Just
as good government in Italy for nine hundred years owed a debt to
singing and sports clubs, a better society for all of us can come
from groups like the Linux and BSD developers that mostly meet in
cyberspace.

“Like the people of northern Italy, we find a sense of trust and
reliance upon one another; people to turn to with problems, people
who can find you resources, opportunities for work, people to share
your trials and your triumphs.”

Complete
Story