The week’s TED Talk touches on a lot of subjects, from the effects of new communication technology on society (usually predicting world peace and getting other, unintended consequences such as revolution and other social change), to the contrast of open-source models and traditional ‘feudalistic’ methods and control of development.
The idea of applying Open Source ideals to government is not new, but the speaker makes it clear the places where the advantage lies. First, it makes the relationship of governing and governed reciprocal:
There’s no democracy worth the name that doesn’t have a transparency move, but transparency is openness in only one direction, and being given a dashboard without a steering wheel has never been the core promise a democracy makes to its citizens.
Secondly, it provides a new medium for people to argue. He argues that this is a positive thing, much like the first scientific journals enabling discourse and debate over over divergent ideas.
But the thing that struck my usual anarchistic fancy was the idea that open source works as “cooperation without coordination” — people can collaborate and achieve without authority structures if the medium is available.