everything wrong with free software

 "obedience breeds foolishness"

### a-toast-to-the-foolish *originally posted:* mar 2022 people used to ask me to vote for war criminals, because it would help the poor, they said. i never did, i dont vote for people who commit war crimes, i dont vote for traitors who turned against the law of their own country and against human rights. i dont care if they promise to buy every homeless person dinner for the next 10 years, its a lie and ill have no part in it. dont vote for traitors and war criminals. if you dont know me, you might think im one of those people who think the american election was rigged. not at all, i dont think the election was any more rigged than constitutional law professor lawrence lessing said a decade ago. its the american primaries i think are rotten. by comparison at least, the general election doesnt even matter. the whole thing is a farce from start to finish all the time, including the last guy and the guy before that-- just ask the green party. or maybe you think im against health regulations, but ive spent roughly none of my time on that issue since 2020, 2021, this year-- its not terribly interesting to me though it certainly is to some people. ive heard them out and been on my way, ive been harassed by strangers for FOLLOWING protocols, whatever, you cant win with anybody. im not even sure about it myself, what i can tell you is that its not my fight. i feel for people who are unhappy either way and for anyone who has suffered either way. but as far as mainstream politics goes, the problem is that the difference between sides is incredibly distorted and more than a little exaggerated-- opportunism is what runs most politics, and im not interested in liars. we used to joke that you could tell whether a politician was lying because his lips were moving. now every politician is either god or the antichrist, it was so much closer to true when we said they were all liars. i still dont vote for war criminals. i dont vote for traitors, either. to me, this is a good rule to follow. today someone told me (yet again) to support the fsf. its a thoroughly fucking obnoxious thing, you know-- it always starts with a complaint and ends in someone trying to make a sale. imagine walking into a shop and having this happen: "hello, yes, i want to complain about this toaster i bought the other day." "and what did you not like about the toaster?" "i placed two slices of bread in it, and when i turned it on flames immediately burst out from every direction, the slices ejected with such force that they flew across the room and killed one of my goldfish. other than that, its a very nice model and if not for this glaring shortcoming i would recommend it to anyone." ### "i am really sorry to hear that, i think i know just the solution to this." "whats that, exactly?" "you should buy more stuff from us-- youre sure to be happier if you continue spending your time and money here." ### OH, GOOD! AND HERE I THOUGHT THERE WAS NO REAL SOLUTION! i was hoping they could, you know-- maybe take this to someone who would inform the right people about the toaster problem, possibly add a warning or even take the toasters off the shelf-- i mean, i dont necessarily expect them to take my word for it, but just imagine if you spent FIVE YEARS going around and investigating this same problem and finding out-- yes, its increasingly becoming a nightmare, customers are angry and being lied to and people are resigning and meanwhile, the horrible smiling person who said "keep spending money" was telling the THIRD PERSON TODAY the very same thing in response to the very same complaint! you might even be furious. THEN SUPPOSE that you spent even more time going around and telling everyone in the world what happened, pointing to solid evidence and even PREDICTING the next two or three terrible and dangerous products from the same people. what would be a good way to handle that, from a public relations perspective? obviously, you would fire the only person who cared whether the toaster works or not-- no, we can do better than that. you would invent a scandal that involves the inventor of the toaster doing unnatural things to barnyard animals (which wasnt actually so, but you did read something he said that sort of sounded like that in an email if you misquote it, and-- thats as good as proof obviously, plus a rival toaster company was in fact doing exactly this and it was the perfect cover for it) and then youd get the inventor of the toaster to step down. problem solved! the company then does pretty much fuck-all to improve the toaster for the next year or two, and profits sink. NO PROBLEM! lets bring the inventor back and let him help to get profits back up. by now, no one is really convinced things are going to improve, and this is a "too little, too late" pr stunt because you can fool some people some of the time, but any plan that counts on LITERALLY everyone to be fucking stupid is a failure waiting to happen. and they know that, but maybe they can pull it off just a little bit longer, eh? anyway, they dont actually let the inventor do anything to fix the toaster. instead, a team of know-it-all marketing people (who figured if enough people saw the inventors face again that trust would be restored) only need him for show, while they figure out a foolproof plan to sell this absolute piece of shit. ### as a fun aside: the only reason the toasters started to suck in the first place is because they hired some idiot to take the original design and make it cheaper. but this is just company trivia, really. "but i can fix this." "no, no! youre doing just great, um, why dont you go to your office and check some emails. remember the non-disclosure agreement!" "i guess so..." remember me? the guy who hates the toaster and has been on a crusade about it for half a decade because he actually LOVED the toaster (for even longer than this) they used to make years ago, and hates the people who have done this? so i not only point out that the return of the inventor is a farce but that the toasters arent simply taking forever to get BETTER, theyve actually gotten WORSE since i started calling them on it. every single year, theyve continued to get worse. so i continue talking to people, i gather a team to research how to fix all this, i keep sounding the alarm and meeting people who have had the same problem-- i stay close to the company even though they continue to censor everyone who is working to change this, and finally i meet someone from the company who says: "i didnt know it was this bad! what can you tell me about it?" so we talk back and forth for a week and i bring them up to speed on the past few years. and then THEY SAY: "oh! thats terrible. you know what you should do?" "im almost afraid to ask..." "YOU SHOULD BUY MORE OF OUR PRODUCTS! seriously, weve been working our tails off to make these things perfect and the BEST WAY to improve them further is SUPPORT US". ive a got a better idea! instead of buying another toaster for MYSELF, why dont i buy YOU one of these wonderful toasters and you can SIT ON IT and turn it on. what do you think of that? ### THIS is the fsf. ### this is what they do now. ### caveat emptor. => https://wrongwithfreesw.neocities.org