economics

How open source is driving the future of cloud computing

open source cloud computing

In 1998, Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics. The lecture he gave, titled "The Possibility of Social Choice," succinctly captured both the subject of his work (generalizing economic theory to cover social groups of disparate actors rather than just individuals or corporations) and his irrepressible sense of humor (because the generalization applied to Arrow's Impossibility Theorem). Sen's crucial insight (for me) is this (emphasis mine):

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Let's think (and be) bigger about open source and government procurement

Last time I covered two reports assessing a potential move by The Netherlands government toward the use of more open source software. The commonality between the reports, with quite different conclusions, was the focus on cost and cost savings. 

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Economics of Participatory Government: The Coming (temporary) Scarcity

I’ll admit, it’s a bit of a sensational headline. But if I put the word “equilibrium” in there, you might not have reached this point.

Last year while presenting at a technology and disabilities conference, I answered a question about participatory government, gov 2.0, so on, in a way that reverberated in tones of heresy on the faces of some people.

I said something to the effect of: “There are people who don’t want to participate. We have a representative democracy and people paid to run things, and in many cases I want them to do their jobs and let me do mine.”
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Rise of the fashion trolls

A funny thing happens as a Congressional session comes to a close. Priorities, whether political or policy, rocket to the surface.  It becomes a war of attrition, of who can keep things 'out of sight, out of mind' before people get tired and want to go home.  

But, there are always numerous pieces of legislation that don’t get much love either way. The problem is, although they technically “go away” for now, the ideas behind them aren’t dead.
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My introduction to open source

We probably all remember the first time we tried open source. Maybe you were peer-pressured, even adventurous. Or maybe you gave it a try only to find someone looking on disapprovingly, and quickly pretended you were doing something else.

My story starts back in an environmental economics course in undergrad. It has nothing to do with software, but an idea called co-production.  
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Social production as a new source of economic value creation

In this short TED video clip, Yochai Benkler provides a useful framing of what he terms “social production.” » Read more

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