Cultural Mesh: Open Source

Half of the web sites you visit are running the free, open source Apache web server. This name came directly out of respect for the Apache people, and their system of government by meritocracy as well as their superior skills in warfare strategy and their inexhaustible endurance. There are other examples of “tribute by name” in the world of open source:

The popular Linux distribution Ubuntu:

Ubuntu is an African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.

Ubuntu: What Does Ubuntu Mean?

The popular content management system Joomla:

The name Joomla is a phonetic spelling for the Swahili word “Jumla”, which means “all together” or “as a whole”.

Joomla – What’s In A Name

It’s said that “Hello Dolly”, the first plugin ever created for the popular WordPress blogging software used here on the MJ is

not just a plugin, it symbolizes the hope and enthusiasm of an entire generation summed up in two words sung most famously by Louis Armstrong. Hello, Dolly.

Although these are excellent examples of the positive impact culture is having, they just scratch the surface because as I’ve noted elsewhere music goes beyond tribute:

Informing and inspiring the open source movement are the African call-and-response traditions, Jazz and the free dance movements which emerged in the 20th Century. Late 20th Century open source strategies include Fluxus, web jams, Wigglism and the international Hip Hop culture.

Wikipedia: Open Source Society and Culture

and even further to shape software development methodologies and hardware. Open source culture is also deeply intertwined with commerce and competition

“There’s an African-American holiday called Kwaanza, which is in part about collective responsibility,” said SIAware’s Laurence. “When history looks back on this period, it will look at mozilla and realize that it was a key turning point in society’s perspective, that competition is good but collective work and responsibility is also good. And you don’t have to have one to the exclusion of the other.”

Mozilla Comes of Age

Last year we celebrated Kwanzaa in Second Life this year’s celebration will be much broader – stay tuned.

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  1. […] Cultural Mesh: Open Source […]

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