The Open Community
As a teenager, I look upon the world for advice and the correct definition of right and wrong. I look for deterioration; the rot which spoils the world’s wonders and people. As the Earth shrinks, it seems easier to spot the tumors. Easier to make mistakes that will affect you the rest of your life, and easier to see the world the way it really is. As I worked my way through a debate with a close friend of mine; Greg, this gets easier to understand; but one thing is not so clear. In the midst of any moral confusion, two titans battle. One titan, Microsoft, with its Windows Operating System so well loved by everyone. The other, Linux, the underdog, which dignifies free speech while undermining the power that Microsoft grasps at with its greedy hands. These are the forces at work which drive my friendship apart.
Microsoft Windows is simpler, and more user friendly, but Linux is more agile, and can be customized in every detail. Windows has a majority hold on the market, but Linux is relatively new, and is gaining popularity quickly. Windows can support more computers, and hardware support is better off, but that is a fallacy, how could he ever know, when he only limited himself to one operating system? In truth, the debate has never ended between us, the battle of the two operating systems. Two scrawny dogs, bickering over these trivial matters, like they would hold us for the rest of our lives. I never thought about that argument in this particular way though, the redundancy of the fight. I always had a larger purpose in mind. I was defending a healer, a guide which provided an alternative to what many would agree to be a moral cesspool. Greg, not usually the conservative one, would back Microsoft and their dealings with the devil with no end. The isolation within that company, the quest for more and more money with no benefit to anyone else. Nothing mattered as long as the suckled pig was sitting on the tables of every major CEO and manager under Bill Gates’ command.
Under the eyes of the world, Linux as an operating system was changing every day. Every piece of software that was created, every small detail that was added in the last moment before a release, they where all carefully watched by the small community under which Linux stands; the open-source community; one which is based on the idea that in order to create a project, and keep a sense of stability in the world, people could come together to create free, manageable to all, license-free software that would better the community (the world) as a whole. As a member of this complex, I receive the satisfaction that is expected, and still receive a familiar anonymous gaze from the rest of the world.
I have never given up on a debate. Unless I see the light, I will always slink off into the darkness, ready to jump up and shine when I have renewed my resolve to win, and dissolved any weak points in my argument. Time after time, I have always managed to repel any momentum in Greg’s favor, who has decided to employ the efforts of two more close friends to wear me down. The snide little remarks they make, it’s all a big joke to them, but the sooner I give in, the sooner Greg can have his little moment of victory.
Perhaps it was this debate that led to my political conversion to, of all the political philosophies, Anarchist-Communism. The ultimate form of community, everything for the greater good. The potential a people could have, with no central government, no property, and no central currency would lead to the closest system there could ever be to a utopia. In this system, everyone would be safe, because no one would be in charge. As noted by history many times, from Stalin to Putin, James VI King of Scots to Gordon Brown, and George Washington to George W. Bush, power has been associated with greed and corruption that harms the common man who, unable to defend himself, is left at the mercy of those who hold the power. There would be no greed, no need to steal, no corruption to prosecute in this system that frames this society of which I dream could exist one day.
In truth, I know that a near Utopian experience is nearly impossible to create, and even more difficult to maintain, but if different ethnicities can come together, help each other, heal each other, work for the greater good, especially in the community that exists in cyberspace, then maybe, we may have a chance. A chance to stitch together a world full of hate, fear, and misunderstanding. A chance to redeem ourselves for the terrible things we have done and are currently doing to the planet which gives us and the environment around us a home, and a chance to see who we really are, the people, who by nature can be good. They can be, we can see it every day. The people who give food to the starving in Africa, the man who risked his life to save another, who was having a seizure and fell onto train tracks in front of the train, and the people in this world who develop the software in the hopes that everyone deserves a chance to succeed in life, if given the tools they really need. This, is my dream.