Adam Bosworth writes about criticisms by Ballmer's remorseless attack on all that is not Microsoft (but most especially on Open Source) and certain Open Source denizens themselves who see fit to attack Google for not "giving back" enough apparently unaware that all software benefits in almost infinite measure from that which comes before.
Adam Bosworth writes, This is the nature of science, of learning, of education, of engineering and of software. We all benefit from those who came before us. We benefit most when the knowledge is free and generally accessible., but we benefit either way. It would seem that these cacophonous critics, yammering about giving back and sweepingly ignoring the 100's of billions of times people use and appreciate what Google gives them for free every day from Search to scholar , Blogger to gMail, to Picasa, do not understand this basic fact. Suggesting new lines of learning and research is no sin. It is how we grow and add value and has been throughout human history. Taking advantage of what has already been learned and taught is equally no sin. It is common sense and to do otherwise is usually a sign of hubris, arrogance, and immaturityGiving back is always done through what one is good at, be it making accessible the world's literature and learning and knowledge online along with tools to search it, create it, and communicate about it, or through making the world's goods available if that is one's business. This is how we are all rewarded for casting our bread upon the waters. It is how economies grow and culture flourishes. And the fact that the critics of the earlier post seem to understand none of this suggests a world view so narrow minded as to make one gasp in wonder and horror. Very insightful comments from Adam Bosworth, though he does not explain how economically corporates can follow this and be accountable to stakeholders - this stands out to be among the best that I have read in recent times.