Excellent Bruce Sterling speech at OSCON on OpenSource software.
Some choice snippets:
I had a long argument about this with Cory Doctorow. He and I were really going at this hammer-and-tongs, over the growing spam and virus crisis. And I thought that there needed to be some kind of political and legal solution. Like building a galvanized steel cage in Cuba and throwing all the spammers and virus writers in there as unlawful combatants who are clear and present deadly enemies of humanity.
As opposed to the sparkling lucidities of the free software developers! Free software, basically congealed by people who have some vague idea what they are doing, and are loathe to spend any time writing down specs, when they could be writing new features.
The computer business wants to be really hot and sexy. It's like eavesdropping on a rich kid's affair with a supermodel. He's the user, he's the customer. He's eager, he's gullible. But she'd better be taut, hot, and totally glittering, or he'll pitch her right off the edge of the loading dock.
In times of adversity, you learn who your friends are. You guys need a lot of friends. You need friends in all walks of life. Pretty soon, you are going to graduate from the status of techie geeks to official dissidents. This is your fate. People are wasting time on dissident relics like Noam Chomsky. Professor Chomsky is a pretty good dissident: he's persistent, he means what he says, and he's certainly very courageous, but this is the 21st century, and Stallman is a bigger deal. Lawrence Lessig is a bigger deal.
Y'know, Lawrence, he likes to talk as if all is lost. He thinks we ought to rise up against Disney like the Serbians attacking Milosevic. He expects the population to take to the streets. Fuck the streets. Take to the routers. Take to the warchalk.
Viridian Note 00325: Open Source Speech