"Five years ago this month, economist Brad DeLong asked a
question central to the value of information technology. If the
industrial age yielded the assembly line, what, he pondered, will
the information age yield? 'From a historical perspective,' wrote
DeLong in a Wired magazine column, 'it's not at all surprising that
we are thrashing about, still trying to figure out how to use these
new tools most effectively.' By tools, he was referring to
computers, software, and of course, the web. The answer, he hinted,
was to be found in open source software.
"Fast forward to the present. It's obvious to anyone who has
paid attention not just to advances like open source software, but
to crowd-sourcing and to the importance of
user-generated-mass-production. While we still have some thrashing
about to do, it's going to be a glorious thrashing about..."