According to a blogpost by author Jacob Sheehy shared by O’Reilly Media, Sheehy argues that the human lifestyle has become more and more demanding and as a result the world can’t keep up with those demands. The future is becoming less and less sustainable. Time is ticking and Sheehy points out that we are taking too long to come up with better solutions for sustainable living.
One of Sheehy’s solutions, is to encourage modern science to lean towards open source or crowd sourcing platforms to help increase efficiency and speed for problem solving. He explains new technologies have made data collection a lot easier, however it is not very accessible to everyone. In other words companies and organizations are working as independent entities and not as a collective group to achieve common goals.
Sheeny’s proposal can almost be compared to Marxism. The idea looks good on paper, however it does not take in the consideration the economic consequences. Crowdsourcing does bring multiple insights and solutions to problems, but unfortunately exploits free labour, which does not sustain a capitalist society.
In our class, we’ve talked a lot about how online and social media platforms are changing the way we see labour. how companies, such as Facebook depend on free labour and content. Crowd sourcing can only go so far, before it gets abused, copied and under appreciated. For the past year, I’ve been apart of a Design Crowd Sourcing website called 99Designs, where designers dedicate hours of work on things, such as logo and packaging design and only get paid a fraction of how much work they put in if they win. Most of the time on these websites, designs are sometimes copied and stolen and the likeliness of winning is very slim.
So no matter how great Open Source platforms sound, they are not economically sustainable and have the risk of promoting and exploiting free labour.