As a rule, the GNU Licensing and the Open Source references are limited to computer software and related electronic and digital materials. While those are part and parcel of what is being discussed here, they do not comprise everything in its entirety but they do give an indication at least, of where and how the information and technologies and innovations will be shared whenever and wherever possible within the Community Developments ... for all the world to see ... and to improve upon and make better. Wherever possible, the information and the technologies and the innovations will not be kept proprietary in nature but will be openly shared with the entire world in hopes that people will come together to make all of the advances for humanity even more open and more better, constantly being recreated and improved upon in one fashion or another.
Linux is perhaps the best example of this concept in “real-world” application and in practice. Quite literally tens of thousands of people have come together to improve everything from the base operating systems to the programs for those operating systems. New applications and programs are being added all the time and the source code ... the building blocks for those who are not intimately familiar with software ... is put out for all of the world to see. Nothing is kept hidden, nothing is kept secret and more often than not, people come together to make the world of Linux a continually better “place”.
There are of course some exceptions. One exceptionally popular variation of Linux, originally known as “Backtrack Linux” and no known as “Kali Linux” is designed for Pen Testing or Penetration Testingi. Due to the nature of this OS, it comes replete with a host of tools pre-installed for testing Network and Computer Security ... effectively, a necessary tool for any would-be hackers, good or bad. Many people use this software to do what they would otherwise be unable to accomplish to hack into systems for more nefarious reasons. They do not notify network administrators when they do discover weaknesses or exploits, but rather save them and keep them in hopes of getting something even more valuable in return.
The HActivist group known as Anonymous or Anon supposedly came up with a very similar Operating System at one time, though it is, in hindsight, doubtful that this OS did in fact come from the HActivist group. Unfortunately, while performing many of the same tasks as Kali Linux, this OS was loaded with trackers to track the Hackers ... mostly “Script Babies” ... people who rely on existing software rather than creating their own code or more generally, just low-skilled hackers. As such, it is likely that this was in fact some government operation designed to trap as many semi-skilled or low-level hackers and script-babies as they could sucker in to using their OS. While that is not in and of itself, wholly remarkable or even uncommon, the way the community came together is.
The Linux Community quickly revealed the many exploits and made it obsolete in short order. Without anyone using it, it quickly faded and was all but forgotten. Still, there are those out there who will utilize this code and the OS for their own wicked ways, even in a world where everything is provided in hopes of making the world a better, more sharing and caring place. There will always be a need for vigilance and to watch everyone, especially the watchers. No matter how open and free a society is, and no matter how plentiful and abundant resources are, there will always be a criminal element.
This is also the reason that certain technologies will be held back from the general public and some even kept safely locked away for an extremely limited audienceii. Many technologies can easily be weaponized and should not be in the hands of just anyone. Granted, if someone does have a desire to cause harm or create chaos, there is never going to be a shortage of means to do so. This however, should not be construed as good cause to place even more tools at their disposal. When innovations are made and technologies evolve in such a manner that they are uniquely and ideally suited as a means of destruction or a way to create societal chaos, they will be pursued under much tighter security and control measures as may be deemed to be necessary or prudent. Furthermore, such concerns will remain even after such a time as they are more fully developed and put into full operation in whatever capacity they may serve. As is the case with so much in the world though, this does not mean that research should not continue. There are so many areas that are unknown and so many things left to discover and to learn that it is imperative we learn as much as we can and share all of the knowledge that can be shared.
The agricultural sciences that are currently being used in the world are literally hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of years old. There are people in the world that are literally starving and yet, in some places of the world, farmers are paid not to grow crops. Large scale crop production is used for crops that have been shown to grow equally as well or better in much more confined and/or controlled spaces. There is no reason that large tracts of land must be constantly plowed up and the nutrients sucked out while local ecosystems are thrown out of whack with some dying off entirely. Self-contained and semi-hermetic environments utilizing increased levels of CO2 have shown great promise for greatly enhanced methods of agricultural production or substantially smaller parcels of land without any more negative impact on the environment than any building would have. All of these technologies need to be continually explored and tested until such a time as all of the people have adequate supplies of food. This research however, should not be limited only to methods that have been used in the past, but looking towards the future as well.
Space Exploration will be among the first extraterrestrial pursuits of the community developments but it does not require an abundance of imagination to foresee the day when space exploration will evolve into space habitation and even the propagation of life on overly extended voyages, perhaps even with a view towards inhabiting other planets throughout the galaxies. This exploration however, is going to require an entirely new system of technologies and developments if it is to continue at rates substantial enough to accomplish anything of note or merit. Not only must the production of agriculture be adjusted and adapted to provide for the growth of crops in space, but new technologies will also be required for generating thrust from engines and for sources of energy ... and the means to harness and utilize those energy technologies. These technologies must also move beyond ... or in front of as the case may be, technologies for space exploration.
Very little is known about the planet we have inhabited throughout our known history. If the earth were an orange, we would not even have a complete understanding of the orange peel, much less what surrounds it or even what is inside of it. From the oceans to the underground, there is still much of the world that we already live in still waiting to be explored and examined and analyzed and understood. At the end of the day, the actual knowledge possessed by humanity is much more than just limited, but infinitesimally small in scope. There is so much to learn that research must be among the most pressing aspects of the community developments and of and for humanity as a whole if we are to survive as a species.
i Both of these programs have proven themselves to be very beneficial to the Computer Networking Industry and to the community of Computer Security Specialists. However, even on the best of days it is only a tool and throughout the course of human history, the tools have remained neutral in nature. It is important however, to remember that there will always be good and bad people, as such is the nature of humans. Some people will put the tools to good use while others will try to find ways to exploit them only for personal gain or glory or a host of other reasons that most people will never be able to understand.
ii Any technologies that can easily be weaponized, should probably not be placed in the hands of those who crave power and control and will fully weaponize and advance only the weapons applications of these technologies. As such, as many of these technologies that can be kept off the open markets, will be safely tucked away.