I compare it with science and witchcraft (or alchemy). Science may take a few hundred years to figure out how the world works, but it does actually get there, exactly because people can build on each others knowledge, and it evolves over time. In contrast, witchcraft/alchemy may be about smart people, but the knowledge body never “accumulates” anywhere. It might be passed down to an apprentice, but the hiding of information basically means that it can never really become any better than what a single person/company can understand.
And that’s exactly the same issue with open source vs proprietary products. The proprietary people can design something that is smart, but it eventually becomes too complicated for a single entity (even a large company) to really understand and drive, and the company politics and the goals of that company will always limit it.
In contrast, open source works well in a complex environment. Maybe nobody at all understands the big picture, but evolution doesn’t require global understanding, it just requires small local improvements and a open market.
Cent’anni fa aveva ragione con il paragone, ma dopo Steiner, Bardon e altri anche il sapere occulto non lo è più. Ma il concetto rimane quello, l’open-source alla fine ha le carte migliori in mano per il futuro.