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I don't think the open source comment is accurate. Most open source programmers are actually professionals who choose not to take advantage of copyright protection. --Joflynn (talk) 22:12, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

1. AIUI Wikipedia articles are supposed to reference Internet articles. Where are those references? 2. This is an important article, and deserves more attention. The notion that "professional" = "superior", "amateur" = "inferior" doubtless appeals to those who are able to demonstrate that they are in the "professional" camp, including academics, but surely it is obvious that if someone makes a valuable contribution to a field of endeavour - e.g. by contributing a widely-accepted mathematical proof - it is in fact irrelevant whether that field of endeavour is their "primary" field or not (and the notion that people have a "primary" activity is in itself perhaps a bizarre notion that could usefully be knocked on the head.Sixareen (talk) 20:50, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree, but Wikipedia does not exist to change ideas, though sometimes I wish that were an option. Amateur, as used out there in the world has unfortunately come to mean inferior, as reported here. I get particularly annoyed when well-captured video on television is not only labelled 'amateur', but has a viewfinder box put round it as if all amateur video had such a box! -Lindosland (talk) 09:52, 12 June 2012 (UTC)


I am not sure if Darwin can be considered amateur since he was paid for his services on the Beagle, and profited from his work in "On the origin of Species". - -- (talk) 02:31, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't think profiting from an activity retrospectively made him a professional. Professionals generally work with a view to making money. I am tempted to say that he was neither an amateur nor a professional since there simply was no existing profession of 'evolutionary scientist', but then I remember that there were three French professors in the field who perhaps were professionals, Cuvier, Lamarck, and Geoffroy, though they earned their living in the more accepted field of biology. In the end, the word amateur is not perhaps a useful one as it binds together many meanings, often inappropriately, as the article suggests. Better just to say he was of 'independant means', 'unpaid', 'a passionate thinker'. Lindosland (talk) 09:45, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Citation for Open Source community example[edit]

A perfect example of this can be found in Linus Torvalds and the development of Linux. This example and the open source community is detailed in Chapter 10 of Clay Shirky's book: "Here Comes Everybody". Amcnamee (talk) 06:05, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Although that gets a bit confusing, as lots of open source contributors are professionals in the same field, so you could compare that to professional sports players some of which spend a lot of their time playing charity matches and exhibitions where they aren't paid to "give back to the community". -- (talk) 14:31, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Amateurism and Elitism/Classism[edit]

I wonder if something could be made of the historical (see the history of the modern Olympics for the obvious example) link between support for amateurism and elitism/class snobbery - where rich amateur athletes would support amateurism to avoid the chance of being beaten by their social "inferiors" by blocking anyone that couldn't afford to train/compete without being paid for it. -- (talk) 12:07, 6 September 2012 (UTC)