day 127. organic or not, there is a new ecosystem.

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i need to find some market statistics on the amount of capital based on the use of open source software. i can't seem to recall any particular statistic, but if my guestimication is correct, the world is pawned by open source. as i journey further down the rabbit hole, i can't help but to think of the digital ecology that surround this trip. i can't stop thinking about the alternative economy that we have built.

for now, i'm going to address the ecology of things and research later the market statistics...

there is one person who i can thank. while mr. meyers and i stayed up late chatting about the world, some english movie writer bloke inquired about the two stoic americans sitting at the hotel's gas fireplace sippin brews. after a bit of introduction, the tall overly intoxicated english bloke said this project was ALL wrong. now i'm paraphrasing what he said but it went something like... "arrrr matie, these fish scales don't add up... yarr, ecosystem is the wrong term..."

i asked him why, and he couldn't retort...

ok, so i know it's a bit freaky to think about computers as a part in our "organic" world, but stick with me for a second here... if we think about what we put into our bodies, do we ever really think about the converse?

do we think how our bodies are put into tools?

for the sake of the argument, i'm going to write some proofs. first, we use tools to make things. therefore, these tools became a conduit for the creation of a physical organic object. (this might be an overly materialist perspective, but i'll eventually find a master theory) almost every object we have in our possession creates some-type of emotion. just think of all the nicknacks you have in your house. better yet, think of your cubical on a monday morning. what type of emotions do they invoke?

well, in today's world, the digital tools we have at hand also have the same ability to create a similar emotion. these tools do not always create physical things, but the things we create still invoke emotion. while i've been on the road, any personal email revives the thought that someone cares about me. every comment proves that someone is reading my babble. while i might be a million miles away, these messages invoke emotional responces. i am tied to my friends THROUGH the tools at hand.

these tools also help us connect efficiently. just imagine if this trip would have been done 20 years ago. email, wikipedia, flickr, facebook - all nonexistent.

now that we've efficiently connected our mental communication, i still see our desire for physical connection. not to say that the physical connection is any more efficient, but we are discovering new pathways of physical communication efficiency. just take a look at meetup.com, care2.org, any one of the leading american presidential candidates... these all have multiple digital tools bring individuals together to make a physical organic meeting blossom.

yet, time and time again, i find people disassociating the value of the "technological" tool. many do not see it as an out growth of an organic being. if i was to talk about prosthetics, medicine, automobiles, gps, etc... it's easy to see how technology helps connect us. yet, many find it hard to see digital tools are elements of our organic being.

as my life's journey has taken me here and there, it took me awhile to fully understand why... it seems that we are too soon to adopt "geek" speak as branding and disassociate the product from society. maybe it's our inherent distrust of advertisement, or maybe it's our inherent buy-in? in the end, it seems that we disassociate the tool from it's utility. "this is not a cell phone. this is an iphone. it is a revolutionary device!"

no longer can i disassociate the use of technology from it's heritage of connecting people. through greenpeace's green my apple campaign, i've become acutely aware of the harm our digital tools can produce. at the same time, i see digital tools as an extension of the hammer, shovel and plow. regardless of marketing, the digital tools are here and they are extend our environment. through the seven topics, i am now acutely aware of a peer to peer ecosystem that seeks to coexist within a broadcast ecosystem.

as contributions continue to trickle in, i find my self in total awe. my friends (known and unknown) have installed a new version of "core." i have profuse thanks for michael meyers, cto of nowpublic.com, for hosting me in his hotel room and proving to be one amazing friend. without michael, i would have been one hungry mo-fo... many thanks to alex, boris, rolando, eric, and brian for bailing out a "brudda from a different mudda." my trip to vangroovy couldn't have happened without your help. THANK YOU!

Re: open source capital ...

You can get estimates of debatable accuracy, but no doubt useful for comparative studies, via Ohloh.

An example is Drupal core on Ohloh, and Drupal contrib on Ohloh. Look at the block on the right, and you will see the lines of code, the person years, and the cost.

Now, if we can tally those for the most common open source apps (say Linux Ubuntu, FireFox, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Open Office), you will see how huge it is.

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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