Any idea that you come up with that can bring a lot of power to someone and is realistic enough to attempt will inevitably get built by someone.
It doesn’t matter that you thought of it first. So it’s better to put your ideas out there in the open, be them good ideas like Wikipedia 3.0, P2P 3.0 (The People’s Google) and Google GoodSense or “potentially” concern-causing ones like the Tagging People in the Real World and the e-Society ideas.
In today’s world, if anyone can think of a powerful idea that is realistic enough to attempt then chances are someone is already working on it or someone will be working on it within months.
Therefore, it is wise to get both good and potentially concern-causing ideas out there and let people be aware of them so that the good ones like the vision for Wikipedia 3.0 and the debate about the ‘Unwisdom of Crowds‘ can be of benefit to all and so that potentially concern-causing ones like the Tagging People in the Real World and the e-Society ideas can be debated in the open.
It is in a way similar to the one aspect of the patent system. If someone comes up with the cure to cancer or with an important new technology then we, as a society, would want them to describe how it’s made or how it works so we can be sure we have access to it. However, given the availability of blogs and the connectivity we have today, wise innovators, including those in the open source movement, are putting their deas out there in the open so that society as a whole may learn about them, debate them, and decide whether to embrace them, fight them or do something in between (moderate their effect.)
For some, it can be a lot of fun, especially the unpredictability element.
So open source your blue sky vision and let the world here about it.
And for the potentially concern-causing ideas, it’s better to bring them out in the open than to work on them (or risk others working on them) in the dark.
In other words, open source your mind.
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