4 August 2012
Regardless of any attempts to either hasten or hinder the progression of society, the world will eventually get to where it's going. We currently live in world that is rife with suffering but we will eventually overcome our social immaturity and build a relative utopia. I say "relative" because we'll be faced with a whole new level of difficulties but we'll look back on issues of food security, housing, education, health, etcetera and wonder how it took us so long.
This isn't some kind of faith or hope based attitude, an efficient society is an inevitable result of the information era which itself was a result of the industrial era which was a result of the agricultural era, etcetera. Each era being proportionally shorter than the previous one and each being met with stern resistance. It's the perpetual and accelerating march of technology and ethics towards an ultimate society; a utopia, heaven, nirvana. Almost every cultural belief system anticipates it in some form or another, most recently noted is the Mayan calendar; a predictable, exponential increase in events of societal progression.
The open source movement is a shining example, and quite possibly the central pillar of a utopian society. An attitude of contributing without an expectation of reward. Just the fact that people are benefiting from your contributions is a reward in itself, the further reaching the benefit, the greater the reward. Open Source is absolute democracy because it is devoid of a corruptible voting system, the world of open source is defined by what people decide for themselves rather than what charismatic representatives decide on their behalf. Furthermore the ecosystem is foundationally transparent, one does not need to simply trust that their interests are being looked after, they can see the inner workings for themselves.
With the introduction of open source hardware and consumer accessible 3D printers, technological democracy is spreading it's wings. This will have a huge impact on consumer electronics which will ultimately broaden access to information and collaboration thereby further strengthening the open source movement. The free market system relies on competition to self regulate but it will eventually become impossible to compete with the compounding effect of open source and access to information. Exponential growth is very slow to start but eventually becomes an unstoppable force. The free market system is about to be beaten at it's own game and the future is looking bright.