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Open Source Software: Take Back Control

May 18, 2024

Software algorithms have an increasingly influential role in running your business.  From the analytical information that they produce and you consume, to the decisions derived from that information,  algorithms have become invisible puppet masters. As the saying goes, “the person who controls the algorithm, controls the world.”

When you use proprietary platforms and algorithms as your primary sources of information, you unknowingly surrender control to the algorithms and to the individuals and companies who build  them. These algorithms, often containing developer biases, determine what you see,  how you interpret, and ultimately believe to be the facts. Algorithms shape your business perspective, influence your thought processes, and even manipulate your actions. By increasingly relying  on proprietary platforms and algorithms, you surrender your sovereignty and critical thinking skills to the algorithm developers.  To modify the previous saying, “the person or company who builds the algorithms, controls you and  your business.”

There is a way to take back control and empower yourself and your business: Open Source Software (OSS).  Open Source Software is essentially a software license that promotes transparency, collaboration, and user empowerment. Unlike proprietary software, where the source code is purposely hidden and under strict company control, OSS allows users to view, modify, experiment with and distribute the source code freely. This transparency is key to unlocking the true potential of software and putting control back into the hands of the users.

Open Source Software empowers users by granting users control over the algorithms. With access to the source code, users can evaluate, scrutinize and even modify the inner workings of the software, and identify potential biases or manipulations. This transparency enables trust and accountability, ensuring that the software serves the interests of the users rather than the company that provides proprietary algorithms.

The collaborative nature of Open Source Software enables users to actively participate in the development and improvement of the algorithms. Communities supporting Open Source Software are generally vibrant, diverse and passionate about the algorithms. By contributing source code, reporting bugs, or suggesting features, users become an integral part of this OSS ecosystem. This collective effort leads to more robust and user-centric software that evolves based on the needs and desires of the community.

In a world where algorithm control equates to power, Open Source Software levels the playing field. It democratizes access to knowledge and empowers users to break free from proprietary algorithms. By embracing OSS, you can reclaim control over your business decisions, ensuring that the software aligns with your values and serves your best interests.