draft of an essay I'm writing on things I wished I could say to all new OLPC community members.
OSS is not magic pixie dust. Open-source in word (licensing) is not the same as open-source in thought and deed (community processes).
Operating openly preserves privacy. Your work and the ability to participate have to be available to people who don't explicitly ask for permission.
From Kim Quirk, on the mailing lists:
I have been trying to understand it, explain it, live with it , and improve it for a year now. What I think is going on is a unique and somewhat chaotic (perfect storm?) intersection of non-profit, open source, research lab cultures with the need to ship a real product. The non-profit provides us with excess emotion towards a mission, where heated discussions are extra heated. Open source brings us a regionally and culturally diverse community of people that need lots of good communications and teamwork to be focused and productive. The research background brings an individualism, little or no management structure, and a lot of really smart people. On top of all that are the 'company' like things we have tried to achieve: create a production quality product with 7 new technologies, and launch over 300,000 of them in the first 4-5 months of production.