everything wrong with free software

 "obedience breeds foolishness"

### bait-and-switch-logic other articles: => the-fsf-doesnt-care.html the-fsf-doesnt-care => how-to-deal-with-your-raspberry-spy.html how-to-deal-with-your-raspberry-spy *originally posted:* mar 2021 "From an abstract point of view this is exactly the same as Stallman outsourcing development and infrastructure to GIAFAM. If he spent the FSF's income educating grassroots hackers, he wouldn't have had his life's work kidnapped." -- Gavin Rebeiro bait-and-switch tactics are normally used by someone against other people, but bait-and-switch logic is often used to defeat or compromise ones own goals. its a common way to express denial over becoming reliant on something unreliable. first you say that its just an extra option-- ive done this, most of us have-- you tell yourself you dont really need a tool youd rather not be using, its just a stand-in youre using "for now". im alright with that, but you need to check that again from time to time. sometimes youll find that youve been using a "stand-in" for so long, youre actually sinking a lot of time into keeping it working (debian, devuan) while not realising that 5 years later, things are still getting worse. you may even spend months or years talk about how things are still getting worse, but when someone actually tries to fix it you say "whoa, i dont think that need to be our first priority here". => things-ibm-wont-do-to-help-the-gnu-linux-community.html things-ibm-wont-do-to-help-the-gnu-linux-community the whole free software movement is full of examples like this. gnu is supposed to be for everybodys freedom, but they expect schools to teach free software. but they do, dont they? i mean, many schools do: bait-and-switch logic is when you set out with a real solution and then get caught up in your own circular reasoning. heres how it works with free software: > 1. we need people to be free > 2. we will create software that gives freedom (good so far) > 3. we will teach people the importance of using this software > 4. we will promote the use of this software in schools (good idea) > 5. if schools teach the software, people will find out we made it and learn about freedom (uh oh) this is a major weak point, because it frequently doesnt / didnt happen that way. > 6. if schools teach the software, thats probably good enough because people will learn theyre free from using the software #5 is a weakened version 3, theyre (often) settling on people learning the software in schools instead of learning the importance of the software. this is also where the fsf increasingly focuses on promoting the software, while downplaying freedom issues like surveillance (when they used to refer to unity lens as spyware and today there are more examples like that and worse) and githubs hijacking of development. with #5, the purpose shifts from learning about freedom to learning about software. its a compromise out of laziness and (above all) complacency. with #6 they shift further. now even when they talk about freedom, they arent really even talking about freedom anymore, theyre talking about software. and all that seems to matter is the license-- the rest is not a problem! youre free to fork it! oh its INCREASINGLY unforkable? no its not, theres a free license! step #7 (not mentioned yet) is where a lot of things are at now. > 7. nothing needs to be fixed, because it is ALREADY fixable, and thats what matters. fixable = fixed. bait-and-switch logic. conflating the EXISTENCE of the solution, with its APPLICATION and EFFECT. im not even the first to say this, there was an entire libreplanet talk a while ago about the matter of not bothering with solutions past the step of naming the problem. this article actually bestows more credit than the libreplanet talk, because it acknowledges the existence of real solutions, but bemoans the fact that people frequently dont bother applying them and settle for the fact that they simply exist. its not an entirely useless attitude, funnily enough. its nice to have an ace up your sleeve-- but if youre so complacent that you will never pull it out even when you need it to win, thats when the existence of a solution turns into a non-solution. and this isnt a defence of using a bad solution that should be avoided-- its a complaint that necessary solutions are not even applied. obviously which solutions fall into which category is a matter for debate, but overall i think this problem goes beyond simply choosing the better solutions-- there are still times when better solutions dont exist, when good solutions do, and people still dont want to do anything because "hey, this is good enough!" when really, things are terrible. complacency is the hallmark of this fallacy. people stop caring about freedom, settle for "freedom-lite" and only care about the fact that they have a route to the real thing-- who needs to actually go there? when its less apathetic and more deliberate, its also what open source is about-- replacing actual solutions with potential ones, one at a time, until all actual solutions are hypothetical. in other words, setbacks as a way of life, instead of actually moving towards freedom. sure, there are going to be setbacks on whatever road you choose. but you wouldnt set out to create more of them just to compromise your own freedom, unless you were so complacent with the progress made 10 or 15 years ago that youve decided the rest of it is alright regardless. => https://wrongwithfreesw.neocities.org