Open Source Everything Manifesto

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* Book: The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust. By Robert David Steele. Evolver, 2012.


'The Open-Source Everything Manifesto is a distillation of author, strategist, analyst, and reformer Robert David Steele life's work: the transition from top-down secret command and control to a world of bottom-up, consensual, collective decision-making as a means to solve the major crises facing our world today. The book is intended to be a catalyst for citizen dialog and deliberation, and for inspiring the continued evolution of a nation in which all citizens realize our shared aspiration of direct democracy—informed participatory democracy. Open-Source Everything is a cultural and philosophical concept that is essential to creating a prosperous world at peace, a world that works for one hundred percent of humanity. The future of intelligence is not secret, not federal, and not expensive. It is about transparency, truth, and trust among our local to global collective. Only "open" is scalable.

As we strive to recover from the closed world corruption and secrecy that has enabled massive fraud within governments, banks, corporations, and even non-profits and universities, this timely book is a manifesto for liberation—not just open technology, but open everything."


Ralph Peeters:

"A basic point of Steele's is that "The U.S. government does not study anything holistically. Everything is studied in isolation from all else." As someone with extensive government experience, I certainly can attest to the painful, destructive truth of this point: We're like the fable of the blind men and the elephant, except that we're legions of blind men and the elephant has already fled the zoo by the time we complete our analysis. Some sections of the book are, to me, worth the full price by themselves, not least his discussion of "liberation technology" and his provocative views on how its spread can better aid humanity. Next, his discussion of "panarchy," interconnected self-government(to over-simplify the concept)moves several steps beyond current notions of the viability and utility of connectivity. Another aspect of the book to which I can bear witness is the extensive "fraud, waste and abuse" in our intelligence system (as well as in our government, overall). Steele has made his case for open-source intelligence in previous works, but never so crisply and immediately as here. Wisely, he warns that "Dangers increase as man creates complications and misdirects his energy and resources," reinforcing my own point that an African village would be more resilient in a global crisis than the hyper-complex and hyper-centralized socio-economic system of the United States (this is not a matter of quality of life, but of existential robustness--that village could feed itself long after our national food distribution system had broken down). And as a Sierra Club member, I certainly concur with his statement that "We are deluded in our belief that we can control complexity and predict the outcome of perturbing large systems such as the climate." Much of this, of course, is the result of the "fragmentation of knowledge," of over-specialization and compartmentalization that plagues government and academia as much as it does the intelligence community (which isn't really much of a community in the classic sense). And his call for "intelligence minutemen" has already found preliminary echoes in US hackers who, on their own initiative, have responded to foreign cyber-bullying. I've already pushed this review far beyond an ideal length, so I'll close my inadequate praise of this remarkable, stimulating, sometimes infuriating (in the best sense) book by citing two of his conclusions that go to the heart of the author's concerns: "Empowered by open software, hardware, spectrum, data access, and intelligence, we are within reach of open democracy." And, above all, "Connected we are one." (Amazon review [1])