The American culture is uniquely competitive. We believe that competition is a good thing. There is a large body of sociological research that shows that competition is NOT good. Unfortunately, competition drives out collaboration. And so, the American competitive culture has co-opted much of the Open Source movement, and turned it into a marketing campaign. In the context of a culture which discourages collaboration and encourages competition — how can an Open Source culture of collaboration survive? We must look to our European (medieval) precursors — as well as our modern European and Asian colleagues — for lessons in building and modifying institutions to stifle competition. Only in this way can collaborative institutions, such as Open Source software, survive.
Robert (a/k/a r0ml) Lefkowitz is a vice president of information technology at Asurion, where he is responsible for infrastructure engineering. He previously held a similar role at AT&T Wireless. He is currently working on mastering the club juggling back-cross.
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