Hardware CommonsJune 10, 2014 at 10:30 am | Posted in Design, Economoney, Hardware, History, Internet, Media, Science, Technology | Leave a comment
Just as software has it’s open source and licensing has Creative Commons, open knowledge of hardware is crucial for us to grow as a society in healthy ways. I recently wrote a similar article on network infrastructure – an open Internet.
Why is this even an issue? Current laws concentrate knowledge into property rights for economic control rather than the common good. Corporate structures, treated legally as a person and thus given the same rights, are concentrating economic activity into monopolies. The result is the concentration of knowledge and wealth in a progressively smaller group, the so-called 1%. (although that’s overstating it now) This has historically destabilized and destroyed civilizations.
If we’re going to learn the lessons of history, we need more balance and a more diversified economy. We need opportunity in the commons and that is best served by accessible knowledge.
“This increased access to knowledge is hugely important…it acts as the foundational infrastructure on which we can start to build a whole new economy.”
— Alastair Parvin of WikiHouse
This video outlines how it can be applied to hardware:
And this page lists 10 open hardware projects. If you’ve been around long enough you’ll recognize the Access to Tools theme that was common in the old Whole Earth Catalogue. It was also a theme of R. Buckminster Fuller.