A Nobel peace prize to Open Source

Submitted by dag on Sat, 2009/11/21 - 16:30

I was amused by the idea to propose Linus Torvalds for a Nobel peace prize. But it does make sense to honor the Open Source community in general for the collaboration across many boundaries. Open Source levels the playing field for anyone to innovate and improve, it is an extension of what is known in the academic world applied to Information Technology on a global scale, facilitated by the Internet.

The original link lists a few projects for the common good, but to me it's not so much the individual projects that make a difference, but rather the global mindset it created among peers for the better good without discrimination. And there are many more examples to proof this than looking at specific projects. It would harm our efforts if we would only look at specific initiatives, rather than our collective collaboration.

But you cannot honor the Open Source community at a whole, instead you recognize people representing that community (especially when there's also a financial incentive of course). One can name a few people that stand out and Linus Torvalds certainly is one of them. And likely the person that (maybe unintentionally) accelerated Open Source by pragmatism and technical merit. By dedication, good communication and benevolent leadership.

I am sure there are examples of less than good communication on this big archive we call the Internet, but let's be honest I am sure even Gandhi has lost its temper once in a while, back when the Internet wasn't around.

Imagine what this recognition would mean, worldwide the true meaning of Open Source and it achievements to society as a whole would be put in the spotlight for a brief moment.

So if I had a vote, I would subscribe to it, whether it would be represented by Linus Torvalds, EFF, the FSF or others as long as it is dedicated to the Open Source community as a whole !