We should have a new internet group called The Vigilant—a group of open-source code maintainers that steward and protect our top 1000 open-source applications.
Here’s how it could work.
Step 1: A group of internet technology and security leaders are elected and put into place. They are the oversight board of around 25 people who will vet whether someone can become part of The Vigilant based on reviewing resumes, commit history, etc.
Step 2: The oversight board then finds the top 1000 open source applications.
Step 3: The oversight board selects the first Vigilant members from people who have been maintaining those codebases for years.
Step 4: The oversight board, and the first Vigilant, go on a marketing tour to raise money from multiple sources—most importantly the MANGA companies and the government—for an annual budget of tens (or hundreds) of millions of dollars for critical infrastructure safety.
Step 5: That money is then paid out to The Vigilant as supplemental income for securely maintaining the code that runs the internet.
Step 6: The oversight board will also create and distribute elite-level swag for The Vigilant, including The Vigilant Coin, making it very respectable to be part of this group And once you’re part of it, you always are.
TL;DR: We create an organization that raises our internet maintainer heroes to the status they deserve and provides funding to actually pay them something for their invaluable work.