[Freedom-misc] Don't Kill Our Community

figosdev at users.sourceforge.net figosdev at users.sourceforge.net
Sun Sep 16 07:23:04 CEST 2018

kat walsh caught me in my "free software, free society" shirt at the grocery  
one time.

free software (free computing in general) is absolutely essential to a free  
society. to be honest, if you want the fsf to be the wild success in the 21st  
century, i think critics need to be taken more seriously.

i said the same thing 10 years ago. and heres the problem-- most critiques of  
the fsf are lazy and misinformed. i mean that matter-of-factly, not as a dig  
at critics. also some of the misunderstandings are no ones fault (not the  
fsf, nor the person who misunderstands. when both have really done all they  
can, any misunderstandings are just human imperfections.)

i often think that the fsf (and advocates) are so conditioned to expect  
pointless critiques, that a good one will be passed up.

theres a psychological trick speech writers use, where they say one thing  
that everyone agrees on-- then a second thing everyone agrees on-- then they  
say something they want the audience to believe unquestioningly.

i think free software hears a meaningless critique and responds  
automatically-- then another and responds automatically-- and then from then  
on, just sort of stays on automatic.

it needs to be said that the track record of fsf being "right" is better than  
osi, i think open source is meaningless and deliberately creates confusion.

but free software is sort of the foundation of free computing-- if we want to  
build a free society on that foundation, its going to take a lot more.

i spend more time defending the fsf than critiquing them. this is why--

when i talk to everyone else, i defend the fsf. when i talk to free software  
advocates, i critique it.

the idea is to build this giant bridge from free software, to everything  
else. but i wont get the fsf to help with that, because theyve done a lot to  
isolate from everything else.

open source does this too-- and bruce perens only joined it because he  
thought it was a way to promote software freedom.

i think open source is dishonest. the truth about the fsf is that it has  
acheived its primary goals. trisquel is the best proof of that. ive been  
interested in computers about the same amount of time the fsf has existed,  
roughly to the year. no one wants "just free software" they want "free  
society" too.

non-free computing is just as much of a threat as stallman predicted, so i  
think he chose the right cause. if free software manages to align itself with  
something bigger than free software-- that is just as honest as the fsf--  
that could be a good thing.

it would have to be some kind of movement that intended to sustain itself for  
just as long as the fsf is around.

it couldnt be partisan, it would need a framework that goes beyond just 2  
parties and their respective bs.

a PART of that movement, and several other parts, actually came from an fsf  
board member.

it is tragic that the fsfs embrace of free culture is so overly cautious and  
sceptical. but-- even free culture is smaller than what we need, i think.

"free society" is already taken by libertarians. if you call it "active  
consumerism" i would be on board, but just having "consumerism" in the name  
makes it too narrow.

ive spent the past 5-10 years trying to find the best ways or new ways to  
promote computing freedom, and to use that to make people think about freedom  

i dont care if youre a libertarian, republican, liberal, green-- i want the  
maximum number of people on board-- but i want clear goals, unlike the ones  
that open source has (like me, microsoft! pleaaaaase! we wont put a dollar  
sign in your name like those neckbeards!)

i mean whats "cooler" than shilling for an industry that spies on your family  
for profit? if that doesnt get you cool points, what would?

maybe we should call it the uncool foundation, or the "21st century society"  

einstein said "no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness  
that created it."

if you really want all software to be free-- you need something bigger than  
free software to make it possible. a very giant carrier wave.

its going to take more than free software to make computing free. thats why  
there are organisations like sflc.

we need more. and ultimately-- i mean, i want things like purism-- thats why  
i bought a leemote.

but you need an idea the size of communism or something. obviously, when i  
say "i dont care if youre a libertarian, republican, liberal, green" im  
defintely not suggesting we all become communist. i dont want to be communist  

the free software movement is using roughly the amount of energy that the  
free software movement can gather. this size, the size it is now-- is roughly  
the size of the free software movement.

if you want it to be bigger, you need more energy. the snowden stuff should  
have given free software a bigger push than it did. the fsf i think responded  
well to that opportunity. i dont know why it didnt get a bigger push, but it  
did get a push.

i know stallman says that the fsf has already achieved more than he thought  
possible. for all my critiques, i think free software is one the best things  
society has done.

there are reasons other than the old marketshare nonsense to want free  
software to be bigger. i have lots of ideas about that, but the ones that i  
got the farthest with were:

1. give away computers with free software operating systems (i used debian--  
without the non-free repos. i discouraged people from installing adobe when i  
could, explaining that it makes their computing slower and less secure, which  
is true.)

2. teaching people to code. people are curious but lazy. make learning to  
code ten times (20 times) easier, and free software is much much much easier  
to promote.

even if you never do a single git commit, any interest in coding makes using  
gnu/linux SO MUCH more fun. i already loved the command line, it took 5 years  
to get comfortable with bash. really.

if you want a nice easy-to-learn programming language (easier than python, i  
designed it myself) mine requires python 2 (or pypy) and is cc0 licensed (gpl  

we can make a package for it. but a free education foundation (oer does more  
to promote free culture than anything else i know of) is just one of several  
ideas for building that free society we actually want.

but it has to be a bigger idea than free software. free software is only a  
part of what we want.

and then everything we DO for this free society, we can put free software  

free education? rebuild it on free software.

free culture? rebuild it on free software (just do it. dont ask the free  
culture movement to, they like apple.)

free software keeps asking society to adopt it.

do it the other way, find all the people interested in making free software  
adopt their free society instead, and free software will gain the energy it  
needs to double. it hasnt got that now, and it really isnt looking for it  

a lot of the things that have made technology work on a larger scale are  
related to defense and space exploration:

microwaves, weather radar, the internet, bsd (dod funding). computing itself  
(grace hopper, the navy). heavier-than-air flying.

a few technologies (edison-era ones) seem to have gotten their pushes through  
non-defense, non-space-related endeavours. and you know what direction that  
went in:

whether the movie/entertainemnt industry or defense industry is a worse  
bedfellow, im not entirely sure. one seems bent on making the world stupid,  
and the other seems bent on killer robots flying over everyone in the world  

we need a third option. it would have elements of anti-consumerism, and  
elements of consumerism. otherwise, you get to choose between not attracting  
anyone to it (anti-consumerism only) or not making any sustainable progress  
(consumerism only.)

open source has failed to do anything good because it wasnt ever honest. open  
source acheived its real objective-- which is to help corporations exploit  
free software and look good doing it.

but its purported objective, to help free software-- it hasnt done that at  
all. that was never its real objective, which is why bruce perens left about  
the same year he cofounded osi. it took less than a year for them to switch  
from "helping" to deeply undermining.

perens is the one that held them to their words, false as they were.

we need more richard stallmans, too. we only have one, i cant imagine him  
doing this when hes 80, i think about "who will take over" all the time.

1. ben mako hill
2. kat walsh
3. alex oliva (wont happen! too far)
4. denis roio (wont happen! too far. already runs dyne.)

denis roio would be perfect in many ways. hill seems like the most obvious  
choice for the past 10 years.

maybe you know someone.

not trying to replace rms-- but so far, no one has managed to produce a  
viable clone, either. "who else can really lead free software" is an  
important question. i dont want the future of fsf to be like the present of  

(im not an apple fan, and im not a steve jobs fan either-- but there was only  
one of that guy for sure.)

i wont say "think different" but think really really big. ive been watching a  
lot (hours) of buckminster fuller talking about the universe and how it  
inspired new house designs, and then after that i wrote a short book. (20,000  

figure out how to make free software double, using less than twice as much  
fsf funding. its doable if you want it enough. its less doable, if youre  

More information about the Freedom-misc mailing list