I think it was Lawrence Lessig who said words to the effect that open source is good, but Open Culture is everything… and the Creative Commons will become a much bigger battle with private firms and IP advocates in the coming years (and this is why you need copyright laws that favour innovation rather than dusty old companies lobbying to extend their tired old revenue streams ad infinitum).
Examples abound of how it has changed how we do with knowledge, for example take a look at how transformative Wikipedia or Open CourseWare at MIT has been, but where does the rubber hit the road in terms of changing the world in real, substantive terms (ie. stuff that doesn’t just matter to geeks)?
But what happens when you start making designs available? When people can stgart hacking engineering ? Or architecture? Sure,
free beer (dead link) is good. But what happens when things like medical technologies become liberated for people to adapt and improve themselves ?
The phenomenal potential kind of hit me in the face today while reading this one over in my feeds. Imagine the quality of life improvements available to people everywhere. And check out what some enterprising father did for his son. Or the MIT student who developed a cheap “printer” to make eyeglass lenses for the developing world.
Link to The Open Prosthetics Project.