everything wrong with free software

 "free as in speech"

### after-the-treadmill *originally posted:* nov 2022 roy uses everyone-- lies to everyone. his sympathies are insincere. his motives, are insincere. anyone with sense will tell you to avoid people like that. but people like that wear disguises for just this reason. i spent 4 years on the techrights treadmill, the first two as a volunteer. i was exploited the most during that time. i spent another 2 years fighting back. roy paid me for everything by attacking me with lies over the holidays and telling lies to my personal hero-- things he knew were not true, which can be proven untrue. but the thing about compulsive liars is, proof doesnt matter. i know that. confrontation leads invariably to denial and reversal. the key word here is "invariably." its not that i thought confronting him would lead to anything else. i really do know better than that. there are other people who confront him, being unaware of this-- unaware that he really is completely pathological. if they dont give up, its sort of their own problem. im not saying its not his fault, it totally is-- but you do have to walk away eventually. i had my own reasons for confronting him, other than expecting anything besides what he gave in return-- if i confronted him for another 20 years, id get another 20 years of denial. i didnt do it for satisfaction, nor for closure, nor did it i do it for "the principle of the thing", but my reasons are my own. ultimately, it is like debunking a cult. its a good thing to do-- when people are leaving a cult, debunking websites and videos and blogs can be useful to them. of course, no matter how thoroughly you debunk a cult and its nonsense, the cult still exists for years and years. it may help some people escape, and i helped at least one person avoid wasting more time there-- ive helped nudge people out of roys gravity/bullshit field before. i can feel good about that. if all i cared about was finding better things to do, in theory i could have walked away sooner. i left two years ago, i never went back to helping roy. he had the audacity to ask me to proofread for him. i glanced at a couple things but only went through the motions. he was teasing me with links to new articles i had a mild interest in, and i pretended to care enough to proofread. hes such a dick. ive never written for him again, i was never part of his chat before i stopped working with him, and i only went there to poach a couple people and learn a couple things. i did a bit of confronting, trolling (more for fun than anything-- roy is an incredible prude who takes his image incredibly seriously and its fun to poke at that) and informing other people. who knows if it worked to any advantage. for the past few months ive felt very much like im wasting my time there. but i made a friend or two and thats great. but lets talk about the treadmill for a moment. the first step of the treadmill is youre drawn in with actual issues-- techrights covers real problems, regardless of whatever angle roy chooses to address them from. then once youre drawn in, the problems are downplayed and roy acts like the problem doesnt matter anymore. this locks out anyone (including roy) from actually doing anything about the problems. name the problem, wait a bit, pretend "we" are "moving on" from that, and thats it. ive spent a lot of time making fun of roy for using this trick on people, referring to aspects of this as "the treadmill", "the scooby doo maneuver" (or how he hijacks everything) and pointed out the delusional way that he insists everything he dislikes is going away, while everything he likes is fine. he actually denied this by saying he didnt like amazon but never talked about it going away, because theyre doing well. two days later (ive also poked at the halflife of a claim he makes before its exact opposite comes around) he said amazon was in trouble! roy is a joke. techrights is a joke. if the way roy treats every problem is in a way that makes it impossible (within the framework that techrights provides) to actually fix anything, what is the purpose of techrights? to stage a fight, to pretend to care-- to make people read bullshit, and thats it. yes, people will read more if they feel theyre being informed-- and a lot of the information is factual, so it feels useful-- but then techrights deliberately engineers material to discourage ANY and all forms of resistance, other than reading articles. this really is a treadmill. the chapter "fake-progress" i wrote for my book was about things like techrights that draw people into a cause just to absorb their energy and give them a fake way to address issues (which does nothing-- it simply perpetuates the problem while neutralising all solutions). its hilarious that the original purpose of the website was a boycott-- a boycott is action. the best way to absorb such a thing is to downplay problems (which the treadmill does, immediately after playing them up) and move people from actual boycotts to talking about talking about boycotts instead. and techrights is great at talking about talking about boycotts. really there isnt a single open source tactic that techrights hasnt used-- it lies, it rewrites history, it promotes non-free software, it holds people who are serious to impossible standards while demonstrating laughably low standards for itself. i said its not a cult, because there are no real followers. people who promote techrights are promoting infotainment. its a gossip column, with the all the journalistic standards of rita skeeter. if you want to be constantly manipulated into thinking youre getting useful information, by all means go read techrights. i can promise that some people will find it addictive-- i did. youre getting a drink from the firehose, from roys rss feed beamed directly at you with all of his upplay/downplay spin. like blues traveller said in "runaround", "what a rush! okay, so be that way!" but ultimately what youre being told is that we are beset by x y z, but dont bother doing anything about it. this is the core message of techrights for the past few years. and until recently (im sure i have a copy somewhere, but ive deleted the first one and ill probably delete the others too) i had an archive of pretty much every interesting techrights story from 2006 through part of 2021. hand selected from 15,000 "articles" or whatever. more than 100 of them were written by yours truly. but i did this so i could search that (single file) archive instead of going to the website to look up something i had already. and at the time this seemed like it could be very useful. indeed, it made me FAR, FAR more familiar with techrights as a body of work. few people can say theyve seen as much of the website as i have. but who cares? charlatans have fans. i could spend the next two years debunking alex jones and telling people what a complete dick he is, and it wouldnt stop alex jones. i could spend another two years debunking techrights and maybe nudge a couple more people out of their orbit around him. mostly though, he does it himself. people smarter than i am see what hes doing and find better things to do. and honestly, good for them. we need more people like that. this is a story about how people walk away from manipulation, lies and exploitation. and i was comically thorough and methodical about it. im like that about most things i do, too. and i absolutely cant say i got nothing out of it. some of the things im doing now, im doing now because of people i met along the way. i still find solutions, but i look for them without roys help. i used to say, after leaving techrights, that i still looked at the website from time to time. i still found useful stuff there. that was the hardest thing to debunk, because im sure i could still find something that LOOKS important and useful there. and it used to make me really curious where i could learn more, and thats the whole purpose of it of course. ive avoided using the word clickbait-- other people have used it, fine if they do. but whether its clickbait or not, its not useful enough to me at this point. its just a treadmill, and the farther you go with it youre in pretty much the same place when you step off. sure, other places bullshit too, but just because techrights bullshits in a different way doesnt mean you arent being lied to. roy exploits every single person who reads him. at best, they know hes full of shit and have to read around all of his crap. i had a great idea to do this for people, to "unspin" his shit and provide it "unspun." but whats left from there is-- the realisation that its too late to do anything about it. going to techrights is like watching the cheerleaders instead of the game, and trying to follow whats going on based on cheers alone. roy has the things he likes and the things he doesnt like, and he cheers and talks smack accordingly, and thats it. theres no honesty, facts are treated like hostages and readers are hostages too. but you wont learn much about the game or the players just listening to "yay team! yay team! the other guys suck!" of course they do. and its fine to say that. i guess most cheerleaders dont try to discourage the fans from getting more information the way that roy does, but hes a monopolist that does a great impression of someone who cares about the free exchange of information. instead of controlling the narrative through censorship, he controls it through (constant) lying. thats it. thats the big scam. you can even catch him doing it-- doesnt matter, he just keeps lying. techrights has nothing to say, when it does it misleads people about it, and these days it has even less to say than usual. and im utterly bored with it. ive been through the shock, the revelations, the backstabbing, the lies, the patterns of bullshit, the treadmill, the clever dances, the denials-- ive been through every trick roys got for years. and im bored. obviously i dont go there for him (seriously-- dont take my word for it, im just telling you so youll know if you want to) but i had other reasons for a while, and those reasons no longer exist. i stuck around to see what else might turn up-- thats pretty much dried up too. im like five kinds of bored now. or this is how you tell yourself its time to do something else. i tried leaving in august 2020. i was thwarted with bullshit, and didnt leave for a few more months. i never did anything for roy again. i stopped contributing, stopped emailing, and many many months later i did basically spy on his channel after poaching one of his people, but this was a channel id never been to (not even once) as a contributor. i never considered it a return. i never "went back" to being part of roys lies or being "part of" techrights unless he did it himself. i was an outsider. i prefer it that way. but even if the next step for techrights is to become a website dedicated to fucking me over with everything roys got (and honestly, he doesnt have that kind of attention span because his audience generally doesnt either) i probably wont care at this point. roy will insist this was a game that i bowed out of, and thats true, just not the way he thinks it is. when i left techrights i still thought it had something to say, even in the form of opportunism and lying. i dont even care about that anymore. roy tries to tell me that some story covers something i care about. i know its a trick, just like when lucy offers to hold the ball for charlie brown. shes a sociopath-- and he knows what shes going to do. even though i know the story will be less interesting than he insists, ive looked-- frequently it doesnt even answer the only question i had. roys an idiot. he could spend all this time informing people, instead of misinforming them. i dont even go anymore, i got bored with him saying "oh, this link" im like, yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. i know that everything he writes now is a teaser for something. techrights would need followers to be a cult, but it still pulls the old trick where it takes forever to move up. with the articles, it takes forever to find out whats going on. i used to make excuses for roy, believing those excuses were legit (i believed them myself). i know better at this point. ive deleted my techrights archive and i dont care what roy says anymore. maybe he will get me one more time, more likely he will get other people and take a jab at me occasionally for having the balls to confront a raving shit who stabs everyone in the back, including his friends. but hey, some people are like that. im bored, roy. ive got other stuff to work on, whether its exciting or not. but you? you can just fuck yourself. be warned-- techrights is a scam. youre being lied to, every minute you spend there. license: 0-clause bsd ``` # 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 # # Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any # purpose with or without fee is hereby granted. # # THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES # WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF # MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. 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