Ludd vs. open source

We are fortunate in that today adaptation means learning, not surrendering our autonomy, and our craft, to the mechanical monsters.

One plain fact becomes clear on looking at comments here against open source.

Open source is being blamed for the decline of American programming.

Open source gives programmers in other countries a level playing field. Open source takes money out of the system, giving it to businesses and consumers in the form of savings.

Guilty as charged.

Open source does reduce software exports. Open source does lower prices.

But blaming open source for these economic changes is a lot like blaming the electric loom for the decline of craft jobs 200 years ago. Workers then took out their anger on the mills. Fortunately programmers today can do little more than shoot flames at the messenger.

No business stays the same, especially a technology business. This impacts workers more than managers. Open source is an economic process which is having a negative impact on many American programming jobs, and the salaries those jobs can command.

But the only way forward is to adapt. We are fortunate in that today adaptation means learning, not surrendering our autonomy, and our craft, to the mechanical monsters.

Still hurts, though.