The Pro-Am revolution
No, not golf tournaments in which professionals team up with B-list celebs, but the title of an interesting Demos pamphlet by Charlie Leadbeater and Paul Miller about how amateurs are increasingly doing their hobbies to a professional standard — and in the process doing a lot of good for society. I’ve always been irritated by people who use the term ‘amateur’ as a term of disparagement. In doing so they impute connotations of incompetence or frivolity. But the word ‘amateur’ actually means doing something for the love of it (Latin amo = I love) rather than for mere money. The open source movement is a terrific example of a powerful movement driven by ‘amateurs’ who produce code to a ‘professional’ standard. Indeed, sometimes to a higher standard than the stock-optioned professionals working for certain software monopolists.