Charles (Chas) Holloway is an American writer, publisher and lecturer noted for coining the term “Open Source Government” and for developing fundamental concepts in that field. He is the author of the book The End: The Fall of the Political Class, Book One in the Open Source Government series.
Born in La Jolla, California, he is the grandson of aircraft tycoon, Reuben H. Fleet, Founder and President of the Consolidated Aircraft Company, the largest manufacturer of Liberator Bombers during World War Two. Although Mr. Holloway’s main interest is the use of science to understand social phenomena, he also has a background in popular media, and has worked on countless projects with famous artists such as Theodore Sturgeon, George Clayton Johnson, Clive Barker, William F. Nolan, Danny Simon, John Truby, Michael Shermer and even Weird Al Yankovich.
Currently, Holloway has just completed Book Two of the OSG series, Breakout: Technology Vs. the Nation State. He also lectures on scientific epistemology and on how social phenomena can be understood using scientific reasoning.
I think it’s my strange upbringing that has motivated me to put this series of books together. My life has certainly not been “normal.” I was born into a family of business titans, and I was aware from a young age that I was expected to grow up and match or exceed their accomplishments. The drive to do something significant has been hanging over me like a ghost for as long as I can remember.
My grandfather (and Boss of the family) was an aircraft tycoon named Reuben H. Fleet. He built biplanes (the “Fleet”) in the 1920s. By the 1940s, his company, Consolidated Aircraft, became the largest builder of Liberator Bombers (the Consolidated B-24) during World War Two. America won the war because it out-produced every other nation, and Grandad is one of the big players who did it.
My mother flew airplanes, kept horses and was an outstanding classical pianist, while her brother, my uncle, was another Titan of Industry. In the early 1960s, he co-founded WD-40, and a few years later created a company called “Fotomat,” a photo service that was the biggest franchise story of the decade. In rapid growth, it was the “Starbucks” of the sixties.
I, however, got off to a shaky start. Bewildered, I went to a Hollywood Art college, hung out with the music, math and science kids, lived in Humboldt County for a while and worked at a little TV station. I played piano in coffeehouses, and drifted.
Then, at age 21, in Los Angeles, I was taken in by a group of intellectuals. I chanced to meet and I hung out with a group of L.A. science fiction writers – Harlan Ellison, Theodore Sturgeon, George Clayton Johnson, and others. I also met a group of actual rocket scientists (they’d worked on the ICBM project during the 1950s and 60s) who, for some reason thought I had potential, and made it their mission to “give me a correct education.” I met heavyweight libertarian philosophers – Ayn Rand, Andrew Galambos, Robert LeFevre, Jay Snelson. I kept company with these guys for years and they taught me how to think. Under their guardianship, I became marinated in freethinking, and skilled in a subject called scientific epistemology. The word “epistemology” means: study of the nature and limits of scientific knowledge. It’s the theory of how to create scientific theories.
In 2001, I decided to stop doing little projects (over the years I’d written music, published a newspaper, done public speaking, sold sci fi short stories, wrote TV scripts, produced music, etc.) and do something BIG. Spectators don’t make history, so I wanted to write about things I had felt my entire life but was only then able to articulate. I decided to be one more in a long line of revolutionaries. I would try to affect global change so human society could become genuinely free, stop war, and migrate to the stars. I was absolutely serious about this and it took fifteen years of intense study and research. You may laugh now, but I think you’ll agree, when you get to the end of this book, Open Source Government is a big idea.