03 May 2007

Open Source War - and Open Source

Another characteristically clear-sighted post from Jamais Cascio on the subject of open source war and the changing nature of power in a networked world:

Despite the end of the utility of conventional force, the lack of certainty as to what the next wave of global compellence power will look like will inevitably lead to strategic mistakes. As we look ahead, it's clear that if another state -- say, China -- decides to take America's place as the leading hegemonic power on the planet by emulating the current American model of extreme emphasis on conventional force projection, that state has already become another Lost Hegemon. The system has changed, and the meaning of power has changed.

Conversely, the first group that cracks this problem has the potential to leapfrog the others in assuming the role of global powerhouse. Given the speed with which technology and organizational models are evolving, we can't assume it will be a state. Corporations seemed poised to take on that role in the 1990s; non-governmental groups are the lead candidates today. It's entirely possible that the kind of social organization that will become the next hegemonic force has yet to be invented. One thing is clear: the next superpower, whoever or whatever it is, will be the actor that finally figures out the new meaning of power.

Well, the first people to understand this new kind of distributed, networked, evolving power were, of course, the coders: how about letting them run things for a change?

2 comments:

temujin9 said...

As a tech geek, I can say that you're asking for nothing but trouble with that conclusion. However, as long as you're electing me and my kind as epopts, I've a list of demands prepared . . .

glyn moody said...

A-ha: all your base are belong to us yet again....