Times like this make me a cock-eyed optimist. (Picture from Blogsessive.)
Every recession is different, and carries within it a solution to the problem it poses. In the case of this recession you are, as the old commercial would say, soaking in it.
By that I mean that open source offers us a way out of what troubles us.
Take the case of Roy Tanck. He's a programmer, and until 2004 he was an employed one.
Had Roy lost his job in the 20th century he would be out of luck. He might be working as a waiter, or worse, doing nothing but collecting unemployment.
That's not hyperbole. Back in the early 1980s I had a classmate, with two fine degrees, enter the job market alongside a recession which, locally, was much like this one. He became an exterminator. And his name, unfortunately, was not Tom DeLay. Most of his potential was lost.
Not so with Roy. He put himself to work, working with Flash and Wordpress primarily. He used the Internet to network himself with customers and others.
Roy has become known for two Wordpress widgets he created. One turns tags, categories or both into an interactive cloud, which he calls WP-Cumulus. (There it is working above.)
Roy's widgets make a platform like WordPress more powerful. They might do the same for other platforms, if someone hired him for that -- blog engines are a competitive market. While the widgets themselves are open source, they advertise Roy's work to the larger market.
The blog advertises him to a much wider audience than previously possible. My guess is he now has friends all over the world. Including one in Atlanta.
The point is you can do the same thing, even if you are not a programmer. You can blog, you can network, you can connect, you can grow both this medium and open source. You can make the pile bigger, higher, even at the bottom of the worst recession in decades.
What's not to be optimistic about?