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Title: Openness as an evolutionary determinant of human existence
Authors: Westera, Wim
Keywords: Innovation
open source
Issue Date: 14-Nov-2005
Publisher: Open University of the Netherlands
Abstract: The topical pursuit of the ‘openness’ of software, content and other affairs surpasses the simple idea of making products available and accessible for users free of charge. Rather than financial, economical or technical arguments the open source movement strongly exhibits the moral aspects of open source, while referring to the equality of human individuals and their rights for equal opportunities and accessibility to relevant sources. By that, it opposes against established economic forces and expresses an ideological and, perhaps, revolutionary doctrine. In that respect the open source movement shows strong similarities with pressure groups, political factions and other movements that plead for fundamental change, if not revolution. This paper investigates the concept of openness from a linguistic, a historical and an existential perspective, respectively. It describes how the transfer of ‘openness’ from the domain of culture to the domain of technology can be explained and substantiated. It reveals the motives and implications of open technologies by referring to the fundamental dependence of humans and technology, and the evolutionary benefits of ‘openness’ for human existence.
Description: Westera, W. (2005). Openness as an evolutionary determinant of human existence. Proceedings of the Open Source for Education in Europe (pp. 97-106). November, 14, 2005, Heerlen, The Netherlands: Open University of the Netherlands. Also available at
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