Wednesday, 4 June 2014


Markets are a little bit like oxygen you need it to survive but too much is deadly. The market was not a deliberate creation it has always existed ever since somebody traded a sheep for a goat (they got ripped off). The rich and powerful along with multinational corporations do use the market to keep themselves in power and this isn’t good for the majority of citizens. But having everything owned by the government also has a number of problems such as endemic corruption.

Yes governments need better controls over the market. The rich and large corporations need to be prevented from influencing Democratic governments through political donations and special access for VIPs at the party level. The government itself should not be a market, but in most parts of the world it is just that. Just look at Clive Palmer, in Australia, he basically bought himself a seat in the lower house and the balance of power in the Senate. This sort of thing should not be allowed to happen.

There are many good things about markets. I look at the burgeoning trade in electronic gadgets such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi. This market supports a large and growing DIY community called the maker movement. Also supporting the maker movement is open source hardware and software communities.

Open source is about the free exchange of ideas - it could be considered to be a market just one in which everything comes free of charge. Members of such communities all benefit as they can leverage the power of multiple brains to solve problems and to do things they could never do alone.

Open source is really the opposite of patents. The current patent regime is a market for ideas, while also being used as a glass prison for ideas - they can be seen, but not used, not without paying somebody anyway. I think this system is incompatible with a world where ideas rapidly evolve where education is fast free and easy. B can grab As idea put their own spin on it and have a product that they can sell at unprecedented speed. Then A can then do a similar thing with Bs idea. B is not a thief as A freely distributed their idea with the intention that somebody else would improve it. Both A and B are richer for it. Patients had a purpose once upon a time but now they are just a wrench in the gearbox - a bug in the system.

I've said this before, there needs to be some way to use the power of the Internet to create an open source government where power truly is in the hands of the people.

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