My name is Cacyee Dee Neely, or as many people do, just Dee. I am a programmer, CAD designer, ethicists, philosopher, and researcher with a focus on the application of open source, or open knowledge, applied to the area of space settlement. I have an Associates degree in Computer Science and almost done with a Bachelors in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics from Southern New Hampshire University. As an obsession, I am also a taxonomist working on developing a complete ecosystem of all knowledge and information. I am the Open Knowledge Correspondent for the collective blogging effort of the Living Universe Foundation.
I have been a space exploration advocate for a long time. As long as I can remember and the birth of that fascination was, as it was for so many, Star Trek. The principles of egalitarianism, tolerance, and science promoted by Gene Roddenberry provided a firm foundation for my entire life’s philosophy. Of course, there are also many other influences on my work. One of the most significant factors was reading The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps by Marshall T. Savage. Which, naturally, led to my connection to the Living Universe Foundation. The question, however, is how best to achieve those goals. I believe that Open Knowledge is a critical aspect of that work. What is Open Knowledge?
What Is Open Knowledge?
Open Knowledge is the principle that innovation and expansion work best when the knowledge about how is available to all. What knowledge? All knowledge and not just the information that someone might decide you’re allowed to have. There is an incredible amount of energy, time, and resources devoted to, what I like to call, the Secret Knowledge Principle of Power. The move to break that principle began with the GNU Project in the ’80s but was further broken by the work of Linus Torvalds who, in 1991, released the kernel to Linux. This event caused an avalanche of movements designed to reveal access to all kinds of knowledge. Open Source led to Creative Commons, which led to open hardware, which then led to even more.
- A shortlist of Open Knowledge areas:
- Open Source Software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.
- Open Source Hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design.
- Open Science represents a new approach to the scientific process based on cooperative work and new ways of diffusing knowledge by using digital technologies and new collaborative tool.
- Open Data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and ShareAlike.
- Open Culture is the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.
- Open Government is one with high levels of transparency and mechanisms for public scrutiny and oversight in place, with an emphasis on government accountability.
- Open Source Ecology is a proposed paradigm shift to regenerative development of human and natural ecosystems by means of open collaboration, transparency, and democratization of the technosphere.
Goals and Principles of Open Knowledge
Information to recreate all operating content information related hardware, software, chemical and biological substrates, essential knowledge, data, and production methodologies must be released according to the following rights as long as attribution is given to the source:
- To Retain: the right to make, own, and control copies of the content.
- To Reuse: the right to use the content in a wide range of ways.
- To Revise: the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself.
- To Remix: the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new.
- To Redistribute: the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others.
- Addendum: all redistribution, remixing, reuse, and revisions must be released under the same principles.
Open Knowledge and the Millennial Project
The first mention of anything Open Source in LUF history was a post by Richard Crews talking about developing curricula for an education course. In particular, Linux was mentioned. However, the rest of our history is replete with open source references. Eric Hunting, in particular, addressed this issue in May 2013 with his introduction to the Open Source Everything Project in TMP 2.0. Open Knowledge was promoted in TMP 2.0, through the suggestion of the Open Source Everything Project by Eric Hunting in 2013. I expanded on these basic principles through the creation of the Open Source Knowledge Database system and the attempt to create a classification system so that issues could be discussed and referenced through a common method similar to the Dewey Decimal System or the Library of Congress Classification method. This work still proceeds, although slowly based on the solitary nature of the endeavor.
Of course, the question that could be asked is why? Why is the idea of Open Source so critical to the Millennial Project? The reason is simple, but let’s look at a theoretical example. Imagine that you’re a member of a settlement in Asgard, Solaria, or Elysium and something has broken down. Do you really want to wait for a representative from the company that owns the equipment to reply when that reply might take minutes or hours? Wouldn’t you really prefer to just pull up the information on the database and print up a replacement using 3D printing?
What if you’re preparing to leave on a craft destined to create the first settlement in the Galactia phase? Are you going to be able to wait for a replacement part or a program update when you’re traveling at 10% of the speed of light? Isn’t the preferable situation to have the information to recreate whatever piece of technology or information you may need. You’re life, after all, depends on it.
I know what my answer to these questions are. How about yours?