Raymond Emstelman
August 3, 2004

Many members of the Knowthing community have published unexpurgated personal journals, many through Hometown Press. The journals have played a valuable historical role in letting Knowthingologists develop a personal glimpse as if looking through hundreds of snapshots scattered on the ground. Despite its status as an enigmatic community, nearly all of the core members of the Knowthing community have been advocates of the philosophy of openism.

Openism is the general concept of making ideas freely available regardless of their legal or moral status. In 1991, Hometown Press published Conor Fess' book which coined the term, Openism: No More Fucking Guilt. Fess' essential philosophy in the book was divided into 4 categories. From the book:

1. Open Hardware: Keeping the body free to experience external stimuli, both from inanimate and animate objects.

2. Open Software: Ensuring the mind does not close itself off to ideas which contradict one's personal viewpoint.

3. Open Electricity: The understanding that total frankness and truth in human communication is the only way to transmit ideas.

4. Open Output: The concept that any art produced by an open mindset must be made available to the world in some form.

Throughout the Knowthing community, there is a debate as to whether Fess' philosophy influenced or was influenced by the open source software movement.