Open Source Everything

I'm getting deluged with email from people who are involved in projects resonant with some of the "open source" posts I've done so far. Some of them are really cool.

Open Source Democracy: Check out this book, Rebooting America, put together by the folks who did the Personal Democracy Forum this summer. It's a collection of essays offering ideas of how to energize democracy in the age of the Internet. My contribution is atypical and maybe less useful than the others, because I argue that the behavior we learn on the Internet is best a metaphor for participatory democracy than its ultimate realizations. But there are entirely more practical and immediate strategies offered by politics and net luminaries from Craig Newmark (Craigslist), Howard Rheingold (Smart Mobs) and Scott Heifferman ( to Newt Gingrich and Clay Shirky (Here Comes Everybody). Best yet, the entire book is available online here.

Open Source Groceries. At least that's what Open Produce looks like to me. A new grocery store in Chicago that promises sustainable practices, community involvement, and total transparency. "We focus on sustainable food production, whether that be organic growing methods, local production, or efficient transportation. Our company also strives to set new standards of transparency and accountability to the community; everything about our operation, from our financial data to where our produce was grown, will be available on this website or in our store."

Open Source Money There's a lot of books emerging on the use of complementary and local currencies. I got a ton of email on this subject already, from people concerned that I'm referring to scrip or the kinds of currencies used in the US prior to the 1930's. If the brilliant and free Bernard Latier text I recommended was too involved, there's a book I've just been made aware of that looks at some of the more practical implications of creating a community money supply called Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender, by Thomas H. Greco. If you don't have five bucks for the paperback, there's an abridged PDF here.