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Monthly Archives: July 2009

You want to be a starfish because if you lose a leg, you grow back a new one. The starfish is a model of decentralization.

The spider, in contrast, is highly centralized. All ‘administration’ is concentrated in the central part of the body. This leaves the spider more vulnerable. If you lose the center, you fall apart.

Decentralized organizations are stronger and more resilient and the internet encourages and fosters them. Collective repositories, open source software, and social networks all represent the decentralized starfish model. (Wikipedia, Apache, etc.)

An example of the spider model would be American auto makers: less flexible, unable to respond quickly to changing customer demands and needs.

The books was a great read: the prose is straightforward, not too many “big words”… especially good in mid-summer when half of one’s mind is on vacation anyway. Bring it to the beach if you want something a little more substantial than the latest Alexander McCall Smith installment.

Solid A.

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I’m taking advantage of quiet, uninterrupted time to read OUE and am enjoying the chapter by Chris Meckie. He talked about a variant of Open Source Software (OSS), called Community Source Software(CSS).

In the CSS model, universities band together and work cooperatively towards building a product (Sakai is a good example of this). With strict reporting structures and formalized commitments of staff and resources on the part of member institutions, this model is a welcome breath of fresh air. In our age where capitalism is in its apparent end-game, and continues poisoning the world with toxic fruits and vegetables born of unbridled greed and robs average citizens of their life savings through rogue banking practices, it seems that initiatives like CSS and related cooperative endeavors in other domains signal a post-capitalist ray of hope for the introduction of more evolved methods of creating value and managing commerce.

I can’t grade this book! (It just wouldn’t be right, Vijay Kumar is my boss, its a conflict of interest) but there is awesome content here!