The video above features boxer Mohammad Ali praising the benefits of the open-source operating system, Linux. “Shake Things Up!,” he declares. “Shake up the world!”
My recent column in Dubai’s Gulf News examined the difference between open-source and closed-source systems. We can see this disparity illustrated in a variety of areas: Android phones vs. Blackberry, Wikipedia vs. Encyclopedia Britannica, open-access academic journals vs. closed-access publications, and YouTube vs. television news.
I wrote that the march toward more open systems and shared knowledge has already and will continue to “shake things up”:
While some may debate whether open-source or closed-source systems are more beneficial, the road of history appears to be leading steadily toward a more open-sourced vision. The benefits of an open-sourced systems include an increased acceptance of new ideas and a quicker pace toward innovation — far more so that in closed systems.
Open-source projects also tend to benefit from the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ with ideas and innovations that could be missed in closed environments. Most importantly, open-source systems are transparent — nothing is hidden from view, allowing anyone to offer their input equally.
I’ll close with another Linux commercial, one that stresses the importance of sharing knowledge. It’s good to see open-source approaches gaining acceptance, but the closed-source culture is deeply ingrained in many organizations.