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Much of my writing and speaking over the last few years flies under the banner of “openness”. Open environments enable connections to form. Connections and networks represent the foundation of knowledge and learning, which in turn represent society’s ability to function in complex and adaptive climates. The heart of openness rests in democracy (as conceived in days gone by, not necessarily what we see happening in many in the political activities in many so-called democracies today) and democracy assumes high and equal value for each human being. Choice and freedom are vital. It’s with some interest that I’ve been watching the opening of Facebook, Google’s Android and OpenSocial, and the larger open source movement. Mobile phone companies have a history of serving as poster children for closed models. Today, Verizon announced it is opening its network allowing users to “bring your own” device to their network. Ross Dawson calls 2007 the turning point in the move to openness, NYTimes says the move “stunned” the wireless world, and TechCrunch states (somewhat obviously) that wireless networks should be like the internet – any device and any application should run on the network (assuming basic technical standards are met).
But even with the numerous positive movements to openness, it’s important to understand that the motivation is not altruistic. The voices requesting openness have become so prominent that it just makes good business sense.

One Comment

  1. Syven wrote:

    Openness is more or less addressed from the environment or technology viewpoint rather than from the human face direction. That is reasonable because we are highly familiar with a world of movement.

    What I am exploring online is the degree of learning that goes on in the mind and how the environment would support that learning and so I jump out of my own discipline and try to come to diverse but thoughtful environments to see how others see the world.

    Since connections and networks are on the fast-track of development I want to know the best way I can manage my own information space so I can make good use of these developments. Without that individual commitment to shift mindset, new technologies will continue to face adoption hurdles.

    So openness to me is not a debate but a process and this process has two sides, of which the one I am on is largely ignored – because we assume that adaption will take place through adoption, or that digital natives will pick up the technology first and then it will scale. The irony here is if one looks at Facebook demographics as portrayed by Nielsen data rather than Facebooks analysis.

    Immersion is what I favour rather than debate, if I can get technology in my hand, I can start improving the one component that needs to improve and that is not the technology itself but myself.

    Ultimately, transformation occurs as a net effect of long term exposure rather than the instant gratification of a new technology. This transformation is no different to the 3% who make goals or the 3% that follow through on resolutions – so I am not thinking about changing the world, but openness in terms of rethinking what being open means to a thinking individual, rather than a social one.


    Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 10:57 pm | Permalink