Open Source vs Proprietary Thinking in Neoliberal Times

In Open Source Studio: Studio of Now: The argument that “… copyright laws… can be the enemy of the common good when they stifle creativity and collective modes of production”, compels me to think of proprietary tools like iMacs and Adobe Connect that have been used at ADM and major universities to foster creativity, and collaborative learning and production.

Owing to the richness of creative expression through the ubiquitous use of proprietary tools (even in the case of unlicensed use of software) today, I wonder if in an alternate universe where  the way of open source replaced the commodification of technology, whether creativity and collective modes of production would be radically advanced.

I ask this because of the increasing commodification of art and education (and educational technologies) in neoliberal societies such as Singapore.

Would the accountability regime within the performative paradigm undergirding neoliberalism, still compel self-serving programmers and creatives, manoeuvring the micro-politics of organizational power and control, to develop open source technology to same level that Adobe, Microsoft & Apple have, and magnanimously share this technology for free, as one would hope? Would competition make open source, ontologically and epistemologically tenable for both the programmers and non-expert end-users?

Perhaps only in a utopian (or dystopian) society, where homo economicus (or the rational economic man in Economic theory) renounces the pursuit of wealth for self-interest (much like the proverbial irrational struggling independent artist), and where collaboration rather than competition is the predominant modus operandi of organizations, and in which learners and teachers are collectively evaluated and appraised, would the way of open source vanquish proprietary thinking.

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Technology-mediated learning environments student here. Am interested in how cutting edge educational technologies such as OSS, are harnessed to facilitate the teaching and learning of visual art.

One thought on “Open Source vs Proprietary Thinking in Neoliberal Times”

  1. I talk about open source philosophy, not to suggest we should reject proprietary products, but rather to learn from open source thinking and apply the openness to learning, sharing and creating. So the main objective is to apply those principles to our pedagogy and working methods.

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