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Open Source Idle

Man Tries To Live an Open Source Life For a Year 332

Posted by samzenpus
from the living-free dept.
jfruh writes "Sam Muirhead, a New Zealand filmmaker living Berlin, will, on the 1st of August, begin an experiment in living an open source life for a year. But this is going way beyond just trading in his Mac for a Linux machine and Final Cut Pro for Novacut. He's also going to live in a house based on an open source design, and he notes that trying to develop and use some form of open source toilet paper will be an "interesting and possibly painful process.""
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Man Tries To Live an Open Source Life For a Year

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2012 @10:59PM (#40635139)

    ...if you try, why not go a year without DRM [yearwithoutdrm.com]?

  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 12, 2012 @11:02PM (#40635157)

    But... but... hasn't Stallman been doing this for years already?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by binarylarry (1338699)

      LOL Stallman would turn over in his grave if he heard you suggest he's living the open source lifestyle!

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Did I miss something? RMS is not dead...

    • Re:But... (Score:5, Funny)

      by macraig (621737) <mark@a@craig.gmail@com> on Thursday July 12, 2012 @11:29PM (#40635337)

      RMS has been doing fine without razors and toothbrushes and combs and toilet paper for decades. He's practicing open source hygiene.

    • Indeed, I heard RMS has been using TP composed of shredded Windows 3.1 install floppies and printouts of the leaked Windows NT source for years now. Furthermore, his meals are all organically grown and fertilized by sewage covertly diverted from One Microsoft Way. You've gotta respect a man on a mission.

    • by andrew3 (2250992)

      Some of those things mentioned in TFA aren't software, so I'm not sure the term "open source" even applies. H.264 is not software, but there is Free software that supports it. The issue regarding H.264 is freedom, because it is encumbered by software patents.

      Perhaps relevant:
      http://stallman.org/stallman-computing.html [stallman.org]

      ... However, if I am visiting somewhere and the machines available nearby happen to contain non-free software, through no doing of mine, I don't refuse to touch them.
      ...
      Likewise, I don't ne

  • Er, wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @11:03PM (#40635163)

    I really don't want to know is how one programs in toilet paper. Worse, visions of managers telling me I have to eat more taco bell because my... production... is too low. Oh, the puns, the humanity. -_-

    More seriously, it would be more accurate to say that he is trying to live a lifestyle in which only products that are part of the public domain or the mechanisms by which it operates must be made available for inspection, and any changes documented and also similarly made available, without cost. Considering how I have even found 'patent pending' stamped on spoons and forks (really, I mean... really?)... I don't imagine he'll be able to survive the year. At least not without a lot of rationalizing and hair pulling.

    But while the experiment will probably ultimately fail, it will at least show beyond any doubt how deeply corporations have penetrated into every faucet of daily living. It is simply not possible to live in modern society without giving the devil his due.

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Can't he just use a bidet, and after that, just wipe his butt w/ 'open-sourced' cloth, whatever that is? Or do they not have bidets in NZ?
    • Re:Er, wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2012 @12:22AM (#40635659)

      Of course it's virtually impossible to do this perfectly, it's like trying to live Biblically. Sure he's using a Linux computer, but that's only software. Are all the components open source? I doubt it. Similarly he's using a camcorder that tries to use as much open source as possible, but realistically it's not really kosher.

      Why use toilet paper at all? Just wash yourself with soap and water. It's what a lot of folks in Asia do and it's just as hygienic (probably more so) than paper. The toilet would need to be open source too, which points to a composting toilet unless you fancy firing your own porcelain.

      Where do we draw the line? A lot of things aren't exactly secret knowledge, but require a big company with money to manufacture. For instance, common steel nails have an ISO (or similar) standard size. If you wanted to you could make your own, the exact dimensions are publicly available, but it would take a hell of a long time. Power generation is another one, unless you build your own turbine, grid power is definitely closed source. Even then, batteries? Nuh-uh. But then, a lead acid battery isn't exactly complicated, so arguably one could draw up a schematic, it's just a matter of finding the chemicals.

      I would be very interested in a repository of open source designs for home living, I'm not sure one exists. There are projects like Open Source Ecology that are trying to make a civilisation starter kit, but that's a bit low level. I want to be able to go to a database look for a design for, say, a four poster bed or a spoon.

      • by unixisc (2429386)

        +5 Insightful!!!

        This is exactly the point. One can know about a lot of things and how they are made, but that's different from actually being able to make them oneself. I think that a lot of people miss the point about open source entirely.

        The idea behind open source in software is that if things break, one can study its innards, and modify it to fix the problem, once it's identified. It also makes a customer potentially less dependent on the survival of a vendor, and expands their choices of softwar

    • it will at least show beyond any doubt how deeply corporations have penetrated into every faucet of daily living.

      I though they were in everything but the kitchen sink!

      Truly, these are dark times.

    • by mug funky (910186)

      I really don't want to know is how one programs in toilet paper.

      never used Adobe Premiere?

  • No woman for this guy. I guess they want the finer things in life!
    • Re:no woman (Score:4, Interesting)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @11:20PM (#40635281)

      No woman for this guy. I guess they want the finer things in life!

      You need to get out of the basement more. Women don't want the finer things in life. They want the finer people in life. Most women I know who married a rich guy feel they married beneath them. They went through relationship after relationship, meeting asshole after asshole, and finally they decided that if they couldn't have someone who was intelligent, kind, humorous, and compassionate, they'd settle for getting knocked up by some rich guy... at least their kids will be provided for, and there's some chance of being loved in return then.

      This guy is willing to take a year out of his life to experiment with art, to answer a question about existance and meaning. This is a guy who is confident enough in who he is and has a solid grasp of what he wants out of life. Unless he's a 4 bagger, odds are good someone will take him home... idealists tend to be compassionate and considerate, and will likely treat his woman with respect and kindness. Now all he needs is a job, a car that doesn't have the death rattle, and some living space... he'll have trouble keeping the girls away.

      • Open source car with open source engine components? Good luck.

      • by Zaelath (2588189)

        Where is the option to mod this as romantic "literature"?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No woman for this guy. I guess they want the finer things in life!

        You need to get out of the basement more. Women don't want the finer things in life. They want the finer people in life. Most women I know who married a rich guy feel they married beneath them. They went through relationship after relationship, meeting asshole after asshole, and finally they decided that if they couldn't have someone who was intelligent, kind, humorous, and compassionate, they'd settle for getting knocked up by some rich guy... at least their kids will be provided for, and there's some chance of being loved in return then.

        So, your evidence that women want finer guys and not rich ones is that the women you know who married rich guys claim that although they were totally selling out and marrying for money it is OK because all men are assholes anyway? Of course they feel they married beneath them. They chose to marry someone for economic reasons rather than the quality of the person. Or maybe you meant to say "Women want the finer people... but when it comes down to it, they would rather settle for the finer things and ratio

        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday July 13, 2012 @05:23AM (#40636891)

          One is that women are actually people too (I know this seems to amaze many geeks) and as such are varied in their wants and desires. What one woman finds ideal may utterly repulse another. There is no one "What women want," standard. Were there, it would be well known. In all of human interaction there is no One True Way(tm) that makes everyone happy, so any time someone tells you they know what it is all women want, you know they are full of shit.

          Another is that women (like all people) lie about what they want. Not just to others, but to themselves too. You will see a woman claim they want one thing in a relationship and yet seek out the exact opposite time and time again. That is no coincidence or happenstance, it is because what they claim they want and what they actually want are not the same thing. This is particularly problematic when they haven't analyzed it for themselves and are lying to themselves, so they aren't even really aware of what it is they are actually seeking out.

          So just because a woman says "What I really want is a nice, caring guy," that doesn't mean that is what she actually wants. Also even if she does it doesn't mean that it is a particularly high priority. She may have other attributes she values more but doesn't say. For example she may like a nice caring guy but place a far lower value on that than having a guy who has a lot of money and an "alpha male" personality. She'd take it all if she can get it, but when it comes down to it she'll trade nice for the higher priorities.

          Finally there is the problem of unrealistic expectations, which again all humans suffer from but research indicates with regards to relationships women suffer from it more. Women rate the majority of men as below average. That is of course statistically impossible so the real problem is one of perception. A great many women feel they are having to settle for someone who isn't as "good" as they are. They have unrealistic expectations, and and unrealistic assessment of what they bring to the table.

          You can see this in online dating profiles where you will have someone who specifies a massive list of must and must nots for their potential partner, something that cuts the potential dating pool down to essentially nobody. Thus they either remain single complaining about how bad everyone is or they "settle" for someone "beneath them" since nobody can meet their unreasonably high and specific standards.

          For that matter, "settling" is what you have to do. Nobody is perfect, you have to deal with another person's flaws. Dan Savage has a bunch of great things to say on this topic but one of the best is that there's no "the one" out there, no perfect person for you. There's just the 0.64 that you round up. You find someone you love and you pay the prices of admission, dealing with the things they do that aren't perfect for you, because the whole package is worth it.

          • An unfortunate reality is that women are biologically programmed to prefer "alpha male" types while they are in their prime childbearing years (puberty to maybe 25 or so).

            The good news is that that tends to change when they reach their late 20s and 30s, when most women figure out that "alpha" types tend to be assholes who hurt them repeatedly, and that not all men are like that. On the contrary, "nice guy" types are able and willing, even eager, to provide the decency, kindness, nurturing, and protection a

            • by Grishnakh (216268) on Friday July 13, 2012 @01:36PM (#40640663)

              There's a big problem here though. When they've hooked up with the "alpha male" assholes, they have kids with them. When they finally dump them in their 30s or so, and then want to be with the "nice guys", 1) many of the nice guys have already married other women, possibly not very attractive ones, because they "settled", 2) some of the nice guys have become angry and bitter after years of rejection, and aren't so nice any more, 3) many nice guys don't really want to take over as the father of some asshole's kids, and it's worse when there's shared custody and the asshole guy is constantly in the picture, and finally 4) now that the woman's in her 30s or 40s, she either can't or doesn't want to have any more kids.

              So the nice guy is apparently expected to take over as father when the kids are entering their rebellious teenage years, devote all his time and money to raising some asshole's kids, and not have any of his own.

              Maybe this is why some societies still have arranged marriages.

    • Maybe he can find an open-source companion?

      • by Bazman (4849)

        Or maybe she can fork him? Although 'git clone' will just make another git [UK defn: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/git] but then most girls I know go from one git of a boyfriend to another...

  • You do realize that "Open Source Women" are the one with the pretty old professional skill set??? What about open source babies(whatever that means)?
    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @11:12PM (#40635235)

      You do realize that "Open Source Women" are the one with the pretty old professional skill set???

      Perhaps, but men are the retards that keep paying for a free product.

    • What about open source babies(whatever that means)?

      Well... I assume in most cases it means someone had an idea of how a baby should behave, but he couldn't make changes to existing babies, so thought it'd be a good idea to create his own baby, possibly much like many other babies out there, although different because he could make it behave the way he wanted it to. He had all kinds of grand ideas and greatly enjoyed the process of making the baby. But after it was made, he realized that it actually takes a lot of work to keep it running. The baby relies on

    • What about open source babies(whatever that means)?

      The missionary position is hardly protected by copyright or patent. Unless you choose to make your baby using some proprietary method for fertilzing an egg (artificial incemination? patented sex positions?) I think your baby can be considered open source.

  • In other news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by papasui (567265) on Thursday July 12, 2012 @11:36PM (#40635381) Homepage
    I took a dump today.. Seriously this is just attention seeking, link bait. If I didn't know better I'd think it was a paid /. add.
  • He should try weaning himself off with shareware before going pure open source.
    • by unixisc (2429386)
      But open source has little to do w/ cost, and more to do w/ knowing how everything is made, and being able to make everything from common stuff that he can get freely, like sand, water, leaves, grass, et al. In short, his end product should be something that he'd have been capable of making himself from easily available parts, and not manufactured items, where automatically, a sense of 'closedness' would creep in. It may cost him a ton of cash to build, but it would be stuff that he built himself, as oppo
      • There isn't anything you cannot do with sufficient amounts of sand, water, leaves and grass. Why, you even could just declare leaves money, to hang out on the beach all day and just enjoy being rich (because when you're *that* filthy rich, you don't really have to pay for anything anyway, ever again; everybody will give you everything for free, in hopes of getting on your good side).

  • While public domain, a complete listing of the laws of physics has not been made available to the public. He's going to have to find an alternate universe for his scheme.

    • by mug funky (910186)

      he could always send a terse email demanding a release of source to... um.

      shit. haven't heard form that guy in a looong time.

  • Please excuse me if this is a stupid question, but since when has toilet paper had source code? I love open source software, and I've been a long time supporter of the movement, but I feel it weakens the open source software movement when you generalize it's meaning in such a way, because in order to change someone's mind, you need to have a clear and concise point! But whatever I'll get back to selling jewelry made out of found items and shopping at whole foods.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      since when has toilet paper had source code?

      The source code for commercially-produced toilet paper includes the instructions for how to use the machines, what feedstocks they require, and how to operate them. It is not referred to as such, but that's what it is.

      I love open source software, and I've been a long time supporter of the movement, but I feel it weakens the open source software movement when you generalize it's meaning in such a way

      Then you're going to hate knowing that the oldest reference for the use of "Open Source" in software [hyperlogos.org] is a press release by Caldera for OpenDOS, which considerably predates the "invention" of the term according to the OSI. Open Source doesn't mean what you think it means, it just means you can

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday July 13, 2012 @12:55AM (#40635833)

    What is objectionable about existing toilet paper from an "open source" point of view? Plain toilet paper isn't a creative work (specialty paper with artwork on it might be), so it can't be copyrighted. And patents only last about 20 years while toilet paper has been manufactured for much longer than that, so any patents on the manufacturing process or the paper itself would have expired some time ago. Shouldn't he be OK if he just buys a generic store brand without any fancy new features or copyrighted art on the package?

    Of course any toilet paper brand name is likely to be covered by a trademark, but if that is enough to make it not "open source", then Firefox is not open source software either.

  • OSS the saviour (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Friday July 13, 2012 @01:00AM (#40635863)
    What I cringe about "open source" that it is used as some kind of synonym for something that makes everything automatically good. I bet that by large the biggest benefit of open source software is that it's usually free in cost.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I bet that by large the biggest benefit of open source software is that it's usually free in cost.

      I think the largest benefit is that it exists. If it weren't open then others couldn't contribute and then it would be less than it is.

    • by houghi (78078)

      I bet that by large the biggest benefit of open source software is that it's usually free in cost.

      Free as in speech. Not free as in beer.

      I have closed source running on my Linux. I have Open Source running on my Linux.
      I have payed for some OSS and I got some for free CSS.

  • That guy should go fork himself...

  • Not as painful as reading this shitty article.

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:05AM (#40636599)
    Until the year is up, since there is no readily available open source CPU to run any open source software on.

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