The Linux Probability Wave

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Cover Article "Microscared" for the Inaugural "Linux Magazine" June 1999 issue http://www.linux-mag.com/id/209/. Posits that Linux and Open Source in general are part of a larger paradigm shift in society driven by Quantum Mechanics

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The Linux Probability Wave

  1. 1. The Linux Probability Wave Robert J. Berger Internet Bandwidth DevelopmentWhether or not Y2K has any meaning other than a temporal odometer reaching an arbitrary milestone,it is clear that we are in a time of great endings, transitions and new beginnings. Though the seeds wereplanted in the 18th and 19th centuries, the 20th Century has been a period unlike any known in recordedhistory. Exponential Growth and Change leads to Non-Linear Transitions The core trends have been the interaction of technology development and human population growth. World wide population went from 2Billion in 1930, to 3B in 1960, 4B in 1975, 5B in 1987 and we are expected to reach 6Billion by Y2K. When plotted out the population growth curve has the same "hockey stick" growth that in- vestors like to see in Internet stock prices. During the same time, the growth in technology has had a similar curve. Not only have we had huge breakthroughs in new technologies but the time from the inven- tion or discovery of a new technology to when it is available to a mass market as Population Growth finished goods or services has gone from decades to months.Undercurrent of Changes in Fundamental Scientific World ViewsBoth in the case of human population and technology, the bulk of the growth has been in only the last 3 -5 decades, pretty much since the explosion of the first atomic bombs and the introduction of Television.Much of the technological growth spurt has stemmed from a fundamental shift in the underlying scien-tific paradigms of physics. The primary transition has been from the Newtonian "Cause and Effect"world view to the Einstein / Bohr Relativistic and Quantum Mechanics (QM) perspectives. The Indus-trial Revolution of mechanization and specialization followed the spread of Newtonian teachings. Mate-rial sciences, nuclear energy, molecular biology, electronics, and computers propagated from the newperspectives offered by Quantum Mechanics.The Legacy Mechanisitic Newtonian ModelThe Newtonian model has a mechanical view of the universe consisting of discretepieces (planets, bodies, particles, etc.) whose interaction is fully determined by me-chanical push-pull actions and forces. This mechanistic view that separates the ob-server from what they are observing has fostered a dualistic world culture. This per-spective is one that focuses on differences and separation. Us / them, mine / yours,friend / enemy and so on. The observer and what is observed is distinct and separate. Sir Isaac NewtonWorld View: Next GenerationThe Quantum Mechanics view is quite different. It says that the observer and the observed are inexora-bly linked. That it is the intent and action of observing that effects and even determines what is ob-served. The classic example is of the photon behaving as a particle with a measurable locationCopyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 1 of 10
  2. 2. independent of any medium at one moment and a wave with a non-specific location, existing as a distur-bance of a medium at another moment with the only difference being the intent of the observer. Accord-ing to the famous Quantum Mechanic Werner Heisenberg: "what we observe in our experiments is notnature itself but nature exposed to our methods of questioning nature. " In short, the photon does not ex-ist until we observe it, until then, it is just a probability wave!These scientific paradigm shifts have not just effected the seemingly esoteric discussions between scien-tists and engineers. The combination of the new perspectives and the technologies that this new worldview fosters also impacts the world views and daily activities of just about everyone. There is a propaga-tion delay from the time a major scientific shift is generally accepted in the scientific community until itbecomes part of the "common sense world view" of the general population. Of course with everythingbeing sped up, the Quantum Mechanics world view will penetrate the collective consciousness muchfaster than the Newtonian one did 300 years ago.At this point, though, we are in transition where most people are still thinking and acting with Newto-nian minds while at the same time living in a world whose technology is being driven by Quantum Me-chanics, leaving a lot of people confused and fearful.By now, you are probably wondering "What’s the big deal about Newtonian vs. Quantum Mechanics,and what’s all this have to do with Linux anyway!?" Well, besides the physicists, the population that ismost exposed and comfortable with the new mental model based on Quantum Mechanics are the peoplewho are developing and working with the technologies that have blossomed from the theories and math-ematical models of Quantum Mechanics. The oldest and most successful of these is semiconductorbased electronics that has given us the integrated circuit, with its cheaper, faster, better, more complexand smaller CPUs, DSP, switches and memories. These have given us computers and digital com-munications such as PCs and networks. On top of all this we have an even more abstract layer ofprotocol/API standards and software.Changing Scientific Paradigms Lead to Societal UpheavalsIt is my contention that just as Quantum Mechanics demands radical changes in the mental models ofphysicists and mathematicians, technology based on Quantum Mechanics leads to radical shifts in thethoughts, beliefs and actions of individuals and societies that embrace such technology.For example, Newtonian technologies are things like petroleum, planes, trains and automobiles. Theseall are macroscopic and industrial. They consume huge resources and generally get more expensive,change slower, and haven’t improved much in decades. An educated person from the 19th century couldunderstand them with just a little bit of explanation, Trains ran better back at the turn of the century, au-tomotive average ground speeds have not significantly improved since the 1930s and air travel has nothad any real speed improvement since the introduction of the first jet airliners in the late 50’s. Thoughthere is progress, the basic societal thought model is one of bureaucracy, large centralized organizations/ governments, limitation and scarcity.Copyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 2 of 10
  3. 3. On the other hand, it has becomeclear to just about everyone howrapid and continuous the advance-ment has been in electronics andcomputers in the last few decades.We even have Moore’s Law to can-onize this phenomenon: IntegratedCircuits capacity doubles every 18 -24 months. This has held true sinceGordon Moore (Intel co-founder)stated it in 1965. The raw semicon-ductor technology is driving the Moore’s Law demonstrated by Intel Processorscomputer, communications and anyother industry that can harness thesetechnologies to products and services that are getting cheaper, faster, more complex and smaller. Thiscreates a new pattern in society, one that will require shifts not just in the technology industry but in allfacets of business, economics, governments and religion. Technologies based on the QM technologieslead to a world where abundance is the norm and scarcity is the exception.Technologies of Transformation and AbundanceQM tech based semiconductors with its doubling of capabilities every 2 years, offers us the abundanceof digital compute and signal processing power. This wellspring of capability is now reaching levels ofcapacity that were undreamed of only a short time ago (remember: "You’ll never need more than640kbytes of RAM"?). The end of Moore’s law is not in sight and we are now approaching processorswith 50M transistors and GigaMIPS of compute power. We are faced with the pleasant problem of whatcan one do with computing capacity as it reaches astronomical complexity in smaller and smaller pack-ages? Its clear that there is more to do than running bloated Windows applications!An example of the synergy that can come from adding processing power based on semiconductors to dothings that were previously impossible is that of modern jet fighter aircraft. A modern jet fighter has re-quires very small wings for low drag and extreme maneuverability. Traditional aerodynamics does notallow for such a plane to be stable at all its speeds. By adding the processing power of distributed micro-processors to manage the real-time non-linear corrections to the positions of the control surfaces of thewings the aircraft designers were able to go beyond conventional aerodynamic limitations and create adevice capable of feats that would have been thought impossible a short time ago.This kind of synergistic capabilities of doing more with less and even doing things that use to be impos-sible with less, doesn’t just give us incrementally better technology. It also forces us to come up withnew ways of thinking and acting both to develop and to utilize this new power.Trends and changes in technology impact on society and business A major trend has been the dissolution of centralized control and the empowerment of individuals andself-organizing small groups. This can be seen on the world stage as the destruction of the Berlin Wall,the disappearance of the Soviet Union, the trivialization of the US Congress and Presidency and theeventual dissolution of the Microsoft Monopoly. On the industrial front we see fervent new productionof wealth (both real and "on paper"). On the surface, it looks like a return to gigantism with all themergers and acquisitions. But the real growth in new jobs and true wealth production is happening in thesmall to medium businesses and other entities.Copyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 3 of 10
  4. 4. This does finally lead us back to Open Standards, Linux and the Open Source movement which I con-tend is a harbinger of a whole new way of human organization and behavior that expects and creates aworld of abundance.The Wonderful World of SoftwareThe world of software is almost as strange as the world of Quantum Mechanics that has enabledsoftware’s emergence. Software development is an excersize in human thought and creativity. The pro-cess of creating software is the embodiment of the programmers imagination and logic into symbols thatare animated by the layers of virtual machines that sit on top of the somewhat physical logic circuitsmanifested in the quantum effects from the junctions formed by the etchings in silicon.People who are into software tend to be "different" than the "average" person. This difference is not nec-essarily good or bad, but it does seem to be an ability to deal with this new kind of world. The best soft-ware developers (the top 10 percentile) tend to be significantly more productive than the average devel-oper. Many developers and people who use computers find themselves immersed in this world. It is onewhere they participate in its creation and evolution. In many cases, particularly where there is significantinnovation, they get to set the rules, break the rules and make new rules.In many cases, when people who spend much time immersed in the world of software step back into theso called "real" world, there is significant dissonance between the experience in the two worlds. Many ofthe expected behaviors, thought modes and societal structures begin to seem absurd and severely limit-ing for no reason other than tradition or outmoded beliefs and fears based on expectations of scarcity.There have been many responses to this dissonant experience. Most people in this position just go backinto their computing world and keep doing what they’ve been doing because it seemed that there wasnothing they could do to change "reality" themselves or they did not want to expose themselves to ridi-cule.Taking a Stand for FreedomFortunately, there have been a few who have had a run in with "reality"and decided to do something about it. In the late 1970’s, Richard Stallmanwas one of the first to rise up and proclaim the need for new behavior andthe guarantee for the ability of programmers to be in control of their envi-ronment as well as to have the ability to extend and improve the sharedsoftware environments as well. Stallman began to articulate the fact thatSoftware is a different resource than the physical resources of the past. It issomething that you can share yet not reduce your own possession. In factjust the opposite occurs, when you share your software with others insource form, it allows the other programmers to at least help you find bugsand may even let you increase your software wealth when another pro- Richard Stallmangrammer passes you back an improved version of the software or anotherpiece of software that builds on top of your original. This is indeed a source of ever growing abundancewith inherent positive feedback that accelerates the growth of abundance as more sharing and less hoard-ing goes on!Copyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 4 of 10
  5. 5. As someone who started the open systems idea (by the way the most criticized part of the SUN business plan) it seems like open source is the next logical evolution of offering each user or set of users just what they need and not everything everybody might want. More importantly, it forces a development methodology that is modular not monolithic. With increasing complexity and we cant build spaghetti systems anymore where ev- erything depends and is impacted by everything else. By virtue of the methodology open source will force more complemented development methodology - a methodology change that is required in all of our engineering. Incidently the methodology change also helps one of the key require- ments of the modern engineering. Change isn’t a event anymore (version 2,3...) - it is a pro- cess. Adaptability and evolution are far more important goals for systems as opposed to the old goal of optimiza- Vinod Khosla tion (I could give you a whole dissertation on this). Open source and Linux have fortunately fallen into this new para- digm and are benefitting from rapid evolution, incremental changes, modularity which also implies customization and personalization. "Vinod Khosla founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, Partner Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers"At the same time that Richard Stallman was codifying the philosophy of Free Software (‘‘Free soft-ware’’ is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ‘‘free speech’’,not "free beer."- Free Software Foundation http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html), which wasmade concrete in the "CopyLeft" or Gnu Public Licence (GPL) and manifested in a project to create aFree operating system / software environment in the form of GNU Software, another important exampleof openness based on assumption of abundance was beginning to emerge into public. This was the AR-PANET which in the early 1980’s moved from being a Military R&D project to an Academic networkof researchers funded by the National Science Foundation and called the Internet.Here is another case where a mostly post nuclear / television generation of developers come up withradically new concepts that are built on top of semiconductor and digital logic technology that lead toinherent abundance. In this case the developers dreamed of protocols that fostered robust and unlimitedcommunications between one to many, many to one, one to one and many to many nodes. These proto-cols were described independent of the implementation and were made available to anyone. Diverseimplementations were encouraged and human processes were developed to encourage interoperabilityand sharing at the hardware, software and human levels. Open, consensus and result driven processeswere organically evolved into the Internet Engineering Task Force (http://www.ietf.org/tao.html) whichhad no centralized authority, or legal foundation became the incubator within which the standards wereable to be grown. Interop became the forum where the interoperability between implementations and de-vices was tested, debugged and proven.At each stage the "common wisdom" of the day said that it would be impossible to use the model of"rough consensus and running code" to make a system that would be robust and scalable. When AT&Twas approached by ARPA to implement the original network, the AT&T engineers told ARPA that theyhad already proven that packet switching will not work. The International Telecommunications Union(made up of the world’s telephone monopolies) mocked the "unprofessionalism" of the IETF processand spent decades creating the OSI family of protocols which in the end was abandoned by most of theworld in favor of the "unprofessional" but robust, scalable and ubiquitous Internet Protocols.Copyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 5 of 10
  6. 6. The Internet is another case of a technology built on top of semiconductor and thus QM technology witha human layer that is based on sharing, cooperation and an assumption of abundance that creates moreabundance and wealth. "To me it [Open Source] is no different than ARPA funding developments, like TCP/IP, and granting them to the world at large. In the case of Linux the money/resources came from personal donations, instead of being washed by the govern- ment. People make money when they do something others want badly enough to buy it instead of something else. Linux is not a charity case. It produces useful stuff or it vanishes. Microsoft is a mechanism for creating, distributing and servic- ing software. It has been extremely successful. One could almost say it got started with free software. Didn’t they pay something like 50K for Qdos? And they have done well for themselves and for the world. IBM sure as hell would not have made computing as pervasive as MS has done. And for the same reasons people were mad at IBM people are mad at MS for squelching innovation by virtue of their real monopoly. So, something like Linux has a chance. But will it be squan- Dan Lynch dered like Unix(tm) was, due to loads of squabbling? Re- mains to be seen. Open interfaces promote diversity. Money is a great example of that. But money is rather ster- ile. Linux is more fecund." - Dan Lynch, founder of Interop, CyberCash, private investor / board member in several key Inter- net companiesInterestingly enough, it was the intersection of the Internet and the GNUFree Software concepts that gave rise to Linux in the early 90’s. Linus Tor-valds, then a computer science student in Finland, got sick of not having anOS that he could explore, learn from and freely extend. So he put out somemessages onto the Internet through the comp.os.minix (Minix was an earlynot quite free, not quite unix clone) and asked for input and help on creatinga free OS: Linus Torvalds ------------------------------------------------------------------ From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds) Newsgroups: comp.os.minix Subject: What would you like to see most in minix? Summary: small poll for my new operating system Message-ID: <1991Aug25.205708.9541@klaava.Helsinki.FI> Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT Organization: University of Helsinki Hello everybody out there using minix - I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready.I’d like any feedback on things peopleCopyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 6 of 10
  7. 7. like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things). I’ve currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work.This implies that I’ll get something practical within a few months, and I’d like to know what features most people would want.Any suggestions are welcome, but I won’t promise I’ll implement them :-) Linus (torvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi) PS.Yes - it’s free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs.It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have :-(. ------------------------------------------------------------------------This began the group collaboration via the Internet that grew into Linux. Linus facilitated volunteer soft-ware developers from around the world to work on a GPL’d Unix kernel clone. Others integrated thework being done with the Free Software Foundation’s GNU software that neatly surrounded and wassupported by the Linux Kernel. The fact that all of this software was developed under the GPL was keyto keeping the work done by all these volunteers in the public domain and prevented hoarding. The In-ternet which has a complementary philosophy of open standards acted as a medium to foster a distrib-uted development team and environment allowing thousands of developers and 100’s of thousands if notmillions of testers and users to cooperate in ways never before seen. "The open source model of "development at a distance" in a compelling solution to complexity management in software creation. It forces modularity, resulting in code that is generally more elegant, more secure, and more reliable that alternative techniques of software development." - Hal Varian Dean of the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California at Berke- ley and co-author, with Carl Shapiro, of "Information Rules" from Harvard Business School PressNot surprisingly, GNU, Linux and other Open Source Software has given back to the Internet in theform of being the implementations for many of the servers and services that make the Internet run. Fromthe most popular web server on the Internet, the Apache Web Server running on xBSD, Linux and otherUnix systems, to BIND which runs much of the DNS system, to Sendmail which moves and delivers thebulk of the Internet mail, Open Source Free Software and the Internet have through their symbiotic andsynergistic relationships helped spread more abundanceAfter several years being tempered in this new forge, GNU/Linux emerged as an extremely robust, por-table, scalable platform and scaffolding for the next wave of Open Source software and services to bebuilt on top of. In the last year, GNU/Linux and Open Source in general has emerged from the schools,ISPs and developer’s basements to the commercial and world at large. Besides its already dominant po-sition as a platform with Apache for the majority of ISP and business web servers, Linux started to beinjected into corporate enterprise networks by system administrators who were developing or usingLinux at home. They quickly saw its flexibility and robustness and were sick and tired of having to comein and reboot the Windows NT servers at all times of the day and night. With the development of Samba(http://www.samba.org/) Linux was a better file and print server for Windows (and Apple and NFS) thanWindows NT."Linux snuck in the back-door, and corporate IT often doesn’t know it’s there," says Dan Kusnetzky, ananalyst at International Data Corporation. At first management doesn’t know that anything has changedexcept that their network is more reliable with higher performance. Eventually the system administratorsget brave enough to show management along with the dramatic cost savings that a Linux servers deliv-ers.Copyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 7 of 10
  8. 8. Kusnetzky amplifies: "Compare the costs of a file and print server for a 25-person group using Linux orNT: NT Server has a street price of $809, including a license for 5 clients. Two more 10-client packs, at$1,129 apiece, brings the total to $3,067.1A copy of Linux from Red Hat--one of several companies that offer Linux support--costs $49.95, andthe cost doesn’t go up if clients have to use the server. Or, for that matter, if you want to install the samecopy of Linux on another server, or five other servers, or 50 other servers. And Linux lets you do the jobwith hardware that Microsoft and Intel have declared obsolete"Open Source has another inherent positive feedback loop. Open Source becomes the natural playgroundfor kids and students that are into computers and want to learn how to program them. Linus’ original de-sire to have an OS that he can study, learn from and improve is now a rich living library, tutor and men-tor for kids, students and adults who want to learn and experiment. This is breading a large and evergrowing population of developers and technically savy linux users."Linux likely will have a surge of support when the current crop of Linux-savvy students starts lookingfor jobs. These students have been trained in their computer science classes to play with Linux’s sourcecode, hacking the kernel and trying out new software ideas.A similar phenomenon happened with Unix and, later, Windows, Kusnetzky said. "It seems to point to asuccessful, rosy future."Linux is pushing Windows out of the nest where new programs are born and bred. and so I will closewith a look at what comes hither for Microsoft’s future as the winds of change and philosophies ofabundance begin to dissolve Microsoft into irrelevance.The Beginning of the End of Microsoft as we know it With the US Department of Justice Anti-trust court case underway, Microsoft likes to paint Linux as acompetitor, particularly in the more public forums such as at the trial itself as shown in this excerpt ofthe testimony of Paul Maritz, Sr. VP of Microsoft: "Linux is rapidly emerging as a major competitor to Windows. Indeed, "the number of developers working on improving Linux vastly exceeds the number of Microsoft developers working on Win- dows NT"But in the more private trade journals the story gets twisted back to the usual Microsoft PR message: "For information technology personnel, the up-front cost of the operating system is a relatively mi- nor component of the total cost of ownership of a system," a Microsoft spokesman said. "Microsoft sees Linux as a competitor, and we see that as good for the market," the spokesman said. But Linux competes more with other Unix systems, the spokesman said. "It’s unlikely some- one would move from NT to Linux. It’s more likely they’d move from a Unexposed system to a Linux-based system."Of late though, it seems that the Microsoft’s illusion of invulnerability that it has so carefully built upsince it bluffed its way into the PC Operating System arena with its trick purchase of the CP/M cloneQDos has been pierced and the its domineering presence is starting to fade._________________________1The cost of Windows NT 5.0 aka Windows 2000 is significantly higher since this was writtenCopyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 8 of 10
  9. 9. "Software, both proprietary (Microsoft Word) and non-proprietary (Linux), often exhibits network effects: the larger the number of users, the more valuable it becomes to any one user. The dark side of net- work effects is the tendency towards "winner take all", and the resulting lack of variety. Open source lets you have your cake and eat it too, offering a standardized product that, at the same time, is highly cus- tomizable" - Hal Varian Dean of the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California at Berkeley and co-author, with Carl Shapiro, of "Informa- tion Rules" from Harvard Business School Press Hal Varian The fundamental difference between Open Source and Proprietary systems such as Microsoft products is that the former creates a positive feedback loop that en- courages fun, innovation and abundance whereas the later creates boredom, lackof diversity, fear and scarcity. In the long run, people will want to choose the former over the later. De-velopers are the first to see the positive effects, particularly developers whose initial interest is the loveof programming. These are also the people who tend to develop the breaktrhoughs and "killer apps".Hal Varian observes in his book with Carl Shapiro, "Information Rules": "We present the following equation: your reward = total value added to industry x your share of industry value. When open source adds a lot of value to an industry by increasing reliability and reducing development costs, even a small market share can be worth a lot."This shows that its possible to have a big impact and that the reward can be bigger than you might ex-pect. In some cases the reward is in praise and recognition which leads to access to even more interest-ing opportunities. In other more conventional cases, it may lead to financial reward. But as we move intoa world of abundance, financial reward becomes less and less meaningful compared to personal satisfac-tion and growth. The Open Source movement is well suited for delivering this kind of experience whilethe propriatary, fear driven organizations tend to do the opposite and burn people out.Now that the DOJ is exposing the preditory practices of Microsoft for all to see while at the same timegiving Microsoft’s competitors and customers some breathing space to act without fearing instant retali-ation, it seems that the larger world is turning its back on Microsoft and embracing alternatives at a rap-idly growing rate. "Linux Threatens Commercial Operating Systems and Provides Model for Freeware Industry. Previously confined to the fringe of the computer industry, Linux is breaking out, with a huge po- tential impact." says Tom Kucharvy an analyst for Summit Strategies. "Even if it does not capture the operating system market, Linux serves as a model for open source software and is thereby laying the seeds for a revolution in the software industry."Hardware system vendors who only a few months ago would not even acknowledge an alternative toWindows and Windows NT are now trying to outdo each other with their Linux announcements "Demand for applications and support for Linux is growing rapidly. Customers appreciate the ease and reliability of purchasing integrated Internet-based solutions through the HP Covision program, and through this alliance with Red Hat, they will now have the flexibility to select solu- tions built on the Linux operating-system platform." - Greg Mihran, head of Internet Business Development for HP’s Personal Systems Group. "Our customers have told us they want standards-based systems. This means they want Win- dows NT, UNIX and Linux," "We will lead the low-end server market with full support for Linux from a leading UNIX systems vendor. SGI will provide the same high level of quality and supportCopyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 9 of 10
  10. 10. for Linux on its low-end IA-32 servers that it currently provides for its industry leading high-end MIPS processor-based systems. This will include the full support and backing of our extremely technical field teams and our technically sophisticated internal support organization." - John R. "Beau" Vrolyk senior vice president, Computer Systems Business Unit Silicon Graphics.The MIT Sloan School of Business rated Linux important enough in 1999 to include it in its DigitalTime Capsule: The Sloan School Digital Time Capsule symbolizes the leadership role of MIT and the Sloan School in technology and business today. It will contain digitized artifacts and memorabilia cap- turing The Internet and Business in 1999, such as: ...the Euro, Amazon.com, Lotus Notes with Domino, Linux, the Asian economic slowdown, online auctions, skyrocketing IPOs, Microsoft trial, bartering online, Monica Lewinsky, online resumes, personal homepages, portals, Dilbert, RealPlayer, Lester Thurow, MP3, Impeachment, South Park, Slate, Amazon.com... The digital time capsule will also contain Predictions for the Future of the Internet by celebrities and by everyday people. The capsule will be opened in the year 2004.All I need to know I learnt from Quantum Mechanics and Open SoftwareIn closing, it is critical to state the importance of the Open Source community to not repeat the mistakeof Marc Andreesan and Netscape where they directly confronted Microsoft and lost their competitiveedge by stepping directly into the Microsoft owned and operated arena. Netscape got its original giantleap ahead by creating a new game in an arena that was not being visited much by Microsoft. They werewell on their way to creating a defendable new marketplace. By directly challenging Microsoft,Netscape stopped focusing on doing cool new things and instead focused on competing with Microsoftand then with not getting steamrolled by Microsoft.It is also important that we learn from the mistakes of the Unix Wars of the 1980s where petty differ-ences, arrogance, ignorance and greed stopped the first attempt at open systems and paved the way formediocratic monopoly to fill the void. Stop and think before you flame a KDE person if your intoGNOME, or a BSDI guy if your into Linux or even a Microsoft addict if you are into open source. Reli-gious wars always lead to unnecessary conflict.The positive lesson for the Open Source community is to stay focused on creating and extending opensource software that brings joy and satisfaction for ourselves, our friends and our customers. It is impor-tant that we continue to observe and learn from what makes GNU/Linux and Open Source a movement,at why the Internet continues to defy logic in growth, capabilities, reach and valuations and how the newQM based technologies snowball and expand our horizons and possibilities. Fear / scarcity is a negativevicious circle which leads to more scarcity / fear, whereas sharing fun, joy, wonder, and abundance inhow you do your work and relate to other people will create more abundance to share with more people.Copyright 1999 Robert J. Berger 10 of 10

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