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@@ -1564,7 +1564,8 @@ The movement, as a practice of discussion and argument, is made up of stories. I
Stories of the movement are also stories of a recursive public. The fact that movement isn’t quite the right word is evidence of a kind of grasping, a figuring out of why these practices make sense to all these geeks, in this place and time; it is a practice that is not so different from my own ethnographic engagement with it. Note that both Free Software and Open Source tell stories of movement(s): they are not divided by a commercial-noncommercial line, even if they are divided by ill-defined and hazy notions of their ultimate goals. The problem of a recursive public (or, in an alternate language, a recursive market) as a social imaginary of moral and technical order is common to both of them as part of their practices. Thus, stories about "the movement" are detailed stories about the technical and moral order that geeks inhabit, and they are bound up with the functions and fates of the Internet. Often these stories are themselves practices of inclusion and exclusion (e.g., "this license is not a Free Software license" or "that software is not an open system"); sometimes the stories are normative definitions about how Free Software should look. But they are, always, stories that reveal the shared moral and technical imaginations that make up Free Software as a recursive public.
={ moral and technical order ;
recursive public ;
- social imaginary }
+ social imaginary
2~ Conclusion
@@ -1938,7 +1939,7 @@ Openness is an unruly concept. While free tends toward ambiguity (free as in spe
In this chapter I tell the story of the contest over the meaning of "open systems" from 1980 to 1993, a contest to create a simultaneously moral and technical infrastructure within the computer ,{[pg 144]}, industry.~{ Moral in this usage signals the "moral and social order" I explored through the concept of social imaginaries in chapter 1. Or, in the Scottish Enlightenment sense of Adam Smith, it points to the right organization and relations of exchange among humans. }~ The infrastructure in question includes technical components—the UNIX operating system and the TCP/IP protocols of the Internet as open systems—but it also includes "moral" components, including the demand for structures of fair and open competition, antimonopoly and open markets, and open-standards processes for high-tech networked computers and software in the 1980s.~{ There is, of course, a relatively robust discourse of open systems in biology, sociology, systems theory, and cybernetics; however, that meaning of open systems is more or less completely distinct from what openness and open systems came to mean in the computer industry in the period book-ended by the arrivals of the personal computer and the explosion of the Internet (ca. 1980-93). One relevant overlap between these two meanings can be found in the work of Carl Hewitt at the MIT Media Lab and in the interest in "agorics" taken by K. Eric Drexler, Bernardo Huberman, and Mark S. Miller. See Huberman, The Ecology of Computation. }~ By moral, I mean imaginations of the proper order of collective political and commercial action; referring to much more than simply how individuals should act, moral signifies a vision of how economy and society should be ordered collectively.
={ infrastructure ;
moral and technical order +3 ;
- monopoly +1 ;
+ monopoly +1
The open-systems story is also a story of the blind spot of open systems—in that blind spot is intellectual property. The story reveals a tension between incompatible moral-technical orders: on the one hand, the promise of multiple manufacturers and corporations creating interoperable components and selling them in an open, heterogeneous market; on the other, an intellectual-property system that encouraged jealous guarding and secrecy, and granted monopoly status to source code, designs, and ideas in order to differentiate products and promote competition. The tension proved irresolvable: without shared source code, for instance, interoperable operating systems are impossible. Without interoperable operating systems, internetworking and portable applications are impossible. Without portable applications that can run on any system, open markets are impossible. Without open markets, monopoly power reigns.