Waiting for Anathem and the open design monasteries

Following a remark one day by Franz Nahrada, I often use the analogy of the early medieval christian monastics to explain the logic of open design, imagining the same kind of support that society then gave to its monks, but which is today needed to support open design efforts.

Turns out one of my favourite science fiction authors, Neil Stephenson, has written a soon to be released book (Anathem) on the topic, which describes such a scenario:

The Diamond Age described a world in the future where nations had receded into insignificance and the population had realigned into enclaves of highly distinctive cultures. Neal Stephenson’s eagerly awaited new book Anathem, to be released this month, apparently returns to this theme by predicting an even bigger sort – between an ADD pleasure-seeking society and those who pursue intellectual inquiry in monastic separation from the broader society.”

This quote is part of a very important review essay by John Hagel, who discusses a new book by Bill Bishop, the Big Sort. Echoing the ideological clustering of internet users seeking like-minded communities, people have actually been moving into separate value-based physical communities for decades now, and this has important political and strategic effects, discussed in this review.

Unrelated but important. I have been looking for cogent analysis of the importance of Chrome, and found two items I recommend reading.

– one by Umair Haque and another by Scott Anthony

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