Berlin filmmaker Sam Muirhead is attempting to live a completely open source life for one year. Here’s why.
The phrase ‘Open Source’, to many people, means ‘software you don’t have to pay for’—but really it’s so much more than that. It’s a way of thinking and working focused on transparency and collaborating with others. It’s about sharing ideas, plans, and developments for the benefit of the commons. And it’s definitely not just software.
I’ve been following open source closely over the last few years, but as a filmmaker, I never felt like I had skills to contribute to the movement’s development.
But then I realized that everyone, whether librarian, beekeeper, or mechanic, everyone can use the abilities they have in some way to make the world a little better, to help out a cause or an interest they feel is worthwhile. I felt sure that open source could use a filmmaker.
So I’ve started a somewhat insane plan to spread the word about open source, to get others thinking and talking about these ideas of collaboration, transparency, and modification—to show how far open source has come and how far it could go. This will be my Year of Open Source.
For one year I am trying to go as open source as possible, in all aspects of my life—the shoes I wear, the phone I use, even how I get around. I’m not buying any proprietary or traditionally copyrighted products unless all other options are exhausted. I’m looking for and switching to more open, transparent products which are replicable by others, trying to highlight the benefits of treating others as collaborators rather than competitors. I’ll be investigating how the open source philosophy might apply to different areas of life, where it fits well, and where it might not work. Is anybody working on an open source microwave? What would open insurance be like?
Follow his progress on his site.