However we spin it, it can't be denied that the status quo of our (western) society is not perfect. With the massive recession, pollution (and global warming), general unhappiness and stress leading to depression, cancer, low birth rates etc. etc. etc. I think it's safe to say we're sinking ever deeper into the cacky as a society.
I've just stumbled upon this great 10-minutes animated presentation how studies show that money is only a good motivation for pure physical work. On the other hand for anything demanding even a slight cognitive process huge money awards are counter-productive and the true motivations are the working/thinking person's autonomy, its strive to achieve mastery and the feeling of fullfilling a purpose. Which is a good explanation why FOSS exists in the first place and why it continues to grow.
In connection to that Simon Phipps has blogged about why the freedoms FOSS carries are more important even to businesses then the open source development model.
Currently the probably most brilliant project I've seen in years is the Design for the First World which invites all who are born and living in the so called 3rd world to help find solutions for problems that bother the developped world. They name e.g. obesity, consumerism, integration of immigration, low birth rate and aging population, but there's more. You could look at that sarcastically, but IMHO these are real problem we're facing and to which our society has so far failed to find working solutions.
The cruel reality remains that the current state of the 1st world is troubled by many things, doubts arise in both capitalism and individualism and elsewhere as well. It's time to stop, smell the roses and rethink our strategy. And in that, I think, we have to learn from both the FOSS community and the rest of the world.
hook out → halfway comprehensive news brought to you by the guy who should be studying his arse off right now, but is not :P