everything wrong with free software
"obedience breeds foolishness"
=> bullshit-of-the-week.html bullshit-of-the-week
*originally posted:* apr 2021
sometimes you hear a story of a girl being raped-- but the judge is so backwards that he tries to smooth things over by having her marry her own rapist. some will argue this metaphor is unnecessary, but it is important to note just how far from just or reasonable a system can be.
forced marriage is an ugly tradition, stemming from the backwards concept that people can be property. corporations like to find ways to dress that same concept up to make it sound palatable, desirable and even enviable.
in open source, some communities are taking after this tradition.
when open source decides to involve itself with a free project, first it hands over a little code-- its alright, that code wasnt good for anything else-- the fish keeps the worm, more often than not. can you tell a fish that a worm on a hook is a token of friendship? giafam can.
after code, we are wooed with real money; and what better token of trust is there than money? certainly no deal involving funding has ever gone south. after money, comes shared branding-- youll look very smart if you dress like we do! then after shared branding comes shared rules, of course. and after shared rules, comes practical takeover. now the corporation decides which projects matter and which contributors are axed. but you wanted freedom-- or didnt you actually want google instead?
now you have a project that a company didnt build, based primarily on free labour, which the company controls. this shouldnt be possible-- but thats the swindle of open source; a 21st century digital serfdom that exploits (primarily) cheap and free labour for projects ultimately controlled and exploited by corporations (who then use the projects to violate the civil liberties of the people who created them, a la android!)
this is the backdrop against which the founder of free software was cancelled-- several times over. and the fsf is the judge that hopes to smooth things over by having us marry the people who have exploited free software-- and its advocates.
the open source companies are after the house, not the people-- but theyll take the people (thats us) as well, as long as theyre cheap and dont cause any trouble. they call it "collaboration" and even "contribution", but what it always was, was poaching. they "contribute" a worm on a hook.
it says something about a person who wants to be part of a free project, who then is willingly poached by a company that wants to exploit that work and make it less free-- while pretending the contributor was the only person who made it happen. thats what happened with gosling emacs, and its what happened with gnome and will ultimately happen (if it hasnt already) with libreoffice-- despite breaking free from oracle and all.
this story keeps happening again and again, and we are supposed to pretend the gpl (not even the agpl3 that stallman wanted, but the gpl3 that clown companies lobbied the agpl down to) is the only thing we need to fix all of this... along with plenty of donations, keep them coming folks! this is a management problem, and at a certain point its a management problem that comes from the people developing free software not demanding any better.
dont get me wrong-- the fault lies primarily with the exploiters. but counting on the exploiters to fix this is foolish to the point of being delusional. and when the fsf does nothing about this, they too put it in the hands of the exploiters to fix this. that too, is foolish to the point of being delusional; and they would like us (if its not too much to ask) to share in their delusion.
the reason that i dont blame stallman for this, is that the whole purpose of constantly dragging him through the mud is to stop him from fixing it. that doesnt mean im confident he would fix it anyway-- but i dont notice anybody else in the fsf pantheon working any harder to do so. stallman is their top man, hes constantly under attack, blaming him for this would be almost sociopathic and essentially blame the victim. so i dont blame stallman. and its good that people have stood up for him at this time.
but the problem that got us here remains: open source, and the defenders of the scam. the problem that open source causes isnt going away just because stallman is back-- its the exploitation of free software volunteers (and of whichever paid workers that dont sacrifice their integrity) to prop up whatever pyramid-building that open source wants.
open source is happy to hand control of its own headquarters over to corporate traitors, just as surely as people opened the capital building doors for the assault on the building. now open source would like to do that with the free software headquarters as well. but its too late, that has already happened.
the fsf wants to leave the door open-- many of us want it closed against the pitchfork-carrying mob. but those people are everywhere, they may be "outnumbered" but they are still in most of the projects we rely on.
what the fsf will ultimately ask of us amounts to a forced community, and a forced marriage.
if free software will not stand against open source, then open source will trample free software. as if 3000 people cannot do further harm to 5000, because we are pretending what? that this is first-past-the-post, when it looks good to pretend it is?
the fsf says it will fight for our freedom. the truth is, it will not allow us to stand for freedom. and it certainly doesnt stand for us.
my problem is not with richard stallman. my problem is with a gaslighting, worthless free software foundation-- that no longer fights for free software.
im sorry, but you arent going to beat marketing and bullshit (like you clearly plan to try to do) with your own marketing and bullshit. the dark side of the force gives you short term gains, but it always destroys itself and leads to an unstable, corrupt empire. if you want to win in the long term, you cant play in a way that sacrifices the future to the present.
the fsf has no real plan for the future, it has no real plan for the present, it has no real plan at all.
i mock this lack of a plan, as i mock and condemn their plan that gave open source a 1-1/2-year (or more) headstart on dismantling everything we do, while the fsf said "wait, it gets better, it gets better!"
FUCK YOU, its not better! this isnt better at all. and while its not stallmans fault, the fsf has demonstrated its failure to handle a crisis in a way that stands for anything...
except for stallman being in office again. which is great and all, but its going to take more than that. its going to take far more than the fsf has got (or will ever have).
this idea of forcing community between traitors and people fighting for freedom is not only a recipe for failure-- it holds the door open for exploitation and serfdom, and it is ethically FUCKED.
open source is bringing the corporate war home-- into our own homes. the war will happen either way, whether the fsf tells us to surrender, to wait for years (which is basically a surrender on an installment plan) or whether the fsf decides to stand against it.
sure, mr. stallman hopes youll have enough sense to not let google eavesdrop on your conversations. but the fsf will still take money from people who do things that are just as unethical, and it has demonstrably softened their fight against them. they show no accountability for this!
we dont even know who they take money from-- red hat just pulled its funding! (what?!) we thought they did that a year ago! red hat was STILL THERE, after we heaved a sigh of relief that the dehomag nazis were finally gone.
those who continue to fight for the fsf are missing one key point-- that the fsfs priority is to fight for the fsf itself-- not for freedom. the more important fight ended several years ago. and the fsf should be abandoned, just as much as they abandoned their true mission and their members.
mr. stallman GAVE US this fight, trained us in this fight, he invented this fight. he still fought on his own, while feigning exile-- so i wont lump him in with the rest of the fsf (as an organisation) at least in this context.
but the treachery of the fsf is the treachery of switzerland in wwii-- it pretends to be neutral or humanitarian, but it holds our money (and theirs) while catering to our attackers. it is no friend to us, and has made itself a stranger to freedom.
its less the point that the fsf "wont" come back. it isnt even possible for them to do so. they have so much catching up to do after fuckup after fuckup-- we would be carrying their dead weight after they stranded us for more than a year, just so they can abandon us again in the future.
the fight for freedom will (and must) go on without their help, and damn them if they should come around later to stake a claim on stolen valor.
yes, the fsf fought for our freedom. but that was a long fucking time ago, they dont even know how anymore. give the whole organisation a nice parade, and send them the fuck home. then perhaps we can have a real conversation about the thousands of backstabbing plantation builders, who would try to offer us tuppence and livery in exchange for our own freedom.