One of the central lessons to be learned from free software is that individuals can make a difference. Not many would have given Richard Stallman much chance of succeeding when he launched the GNU project, and Linus's efforts to hack his simple terminal program into an operating system kernel would not have struck a dispassionate observer at the time as likely to go very far. And yet, together, they have changed computing, and indirectly the world, as the ideas of freedom, openness and collaboration they helped to pioneer spread to other domains.
So where does that leave people like me, whose last programming consisted of the world's worst Fortran code (don't ask)? I often pose myself that question, and have gradually come to the view that the best thing I can hope to do is to indulge in a little constructive whingeing. Some recent events have strengthened me in this resolve.
On Open Enterprise blog.