Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shooting the messenger ...

At the executive briefing Eben Moglen lambasted Tim O'Reilly for his apparent focus on the trivial for the last decade and not the big issues about freedom.

Now I greatly admire Eben, his work on GPL and his passionate speeches about freedom.

Freedom is an acute issue for me. I'm concerned about the culture of fear and also the culture of vulnerability that we have allowed to grow as we have sleepwalked into the surveillance society within the UK. I'm more than aware of how rights have been eroded. I'm a great believer in more not less freedom.

However, any idea needs mediums to spread through in order to be heard. Tim has done an enormous amount of work in spreading the meme of openness to both the technical and business communities.

I say "openness" because this meme is not just about software (open source) but has spread to content (Web 2.0), hardware (open hardware), businesses (E 2.0) and it continues to spread further.

This meme carries the ideas of freedom. As such it needs to be defended, supported, and disseminated. It's anything but trivial.

While Eben makes valid points, Tim didn't deserve the blunderblus that Eben fired.