Generally speaking, it’s important to remember that ‘openness’ is less often a virtue or even an activity than it is a declaration, a rhetorical framing, a kind of branding. It’s often used to make something appear open that isn’t (part of Shirky’s point), or to associate a product or domain with the spirit of openness. In this case, most things called ‘open’ really aren’t, just as most things called ‘green’ really aren’t. Some of us have been calling this ‘openwashing.’ Contemporary technology culture loves the idea of being ‘open’ so much, it spreads the rhetorical ideal in place of the reality through the ‘opener than thou’ logic of shame. Shirky’s an expert at this particular homily.
Ian Bogost - Opener Than Thou