The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust (Manifesto Series)

The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust (Manifesto Series) Hot

Miriam Knight   July 19, 2014  
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The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust (Manifesto Series)
Number Of Pages, Discs, Etc.
Date Published
June 05, 2012

What the world lacks right now—especially the United States, where every form of organization from government to banks to labor unions has betrayed the public trust—is integrity. Also lacking is public intelligence in the sense of decision-support: knowing what one needs to know in order to make honest decisions for the good of all, rather than corrupt decisions for the good of the few.

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.


Editor review

(Updated: September 12, 2014)
Overall rating 

When a former veteran intelligence officer with the CIA talks about the shortcomings of the intelligence services, one tends to listen. The problem, Steele suggests, is that the clandestine services have tunnel vision, looking only at the data their operatives have collected, and ignoring the wealth of information from open sources freely available in newspapers, public media, and the Internet. He points out, and actually proved when challenged to pit his skills against the combined spying agencies, that this open source information is far more able to provide what should be the core function of intelligence, namely, integrating information to support accurate decision-making.
Steele is incredibly well read, and indeed is one of Amazon's top reviewers, covering 98 different categories of books. He has the ability to both analyze information and synthesize the pertinent points into recommendations for action. Having been frustrated by his inability to convince his superiors of the importance of the interrelationship and interdependency among politics, economics, and social welfare, and even more importantly of the importance of truth and integrity he resigned.
The notion of open source is well known within the software community, where it has led to an amazing explosion of creativity and products that are on every computer and cell phone. He makes a strong case for expanding this notion of open source and transparency to every sphere of economic activity, arguing that this is the only way to revive a sense of trust of business, finance and government. While reading all the facts and statistics he presents tends to make one fibrillate with indignation, this book is essentially a call for something akin to the truth and reconciliation movement in South Africa post apartheid. This is a man with his feet firmly planted on the ground, even though his head and his heart embrace the world. He gives hopeful examples of initiatives like the open tool movement, where networks of farmers and engineers are building industrial machines with open specifications and interchangeable parts.
The Open-Source Manifesto is a clarion call to open our eyes, our minds and our hearts to the possibilities inherent in unity and cooperation. Yes, it does seem to run counter to the greed and self-interest that seem to be ingrained in human nature, but Steele is optimistic that “we the people” will find the will and the means to accomplish the changes necessary to pull back from the brink of chaos and self-destruction. This includes acknowledging the real costs of continued exploitation and depletion of our commons – fresh water, clean air, energy, land – and building them into our economic models. Continuing business as usual does not seem to be a viable option, and the Open-Source Everything Manifesto is a valuable overview of the kinds of options we need to try, and the kind of greater-good-thinking we need to adopt.

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