everything wrong with free software

 "obedience breeds foolishness"

### developing-based-on-profit-is-like-dating-based-on-looks see also: => https://muckrights-sans-merde.neocities.org/the-delusion-of-a-gnu-linux-community.html *originally posted:* jun 2021 *updated:* aug 2021 today i was privy to the latest gossip from the muckrights foundation, which has gone completely open source. whats that? i thought muckrights was about free software. not for long! muckrights, per their own standards, already takes various bribes from corporations. but muckrights is too proud (theyre really not, theyve tried it before) to take money. and why not? muckrights provides a public service. why am i against people getting paid? funnily enough, ive never been against people getting paid. richard stallman isnt against people getting paid either. in fact hes so much not against people getting paid that he and roy both are headed straight for a bear trap called profit. again, why am i against people getting paid?! when people say youre against someone making money (im not) it almost invariably means that you think money ought to be made in certain ways only, and it doesnt include the way THEY want money to be made. for example, relaxing campaign funding regulations (and i think there are way too many regulations in general-- but funnily enough thats also due to profit) has made a mockery of democratic elections. and im not referring to 2020, i mean practically every election for the past few decades. lawrence lessig talks about this in at least one of his books, as well as a talk he gave at dartmouth called "rebooting democracy". im probably against a lot of ways for developers to make money-- including writing non-free software. what about getting paid to (try to) hide security flaws in source code? is that an alright way to make money? if not, then perhaps we agree on at least one way that money should NOT be made from free software. (and this is only if its "hidden" and undisclosed-- if its an ethical, agreed-upon version of the shit pulled at that university recently, and in a branch not relied on for production, akin to hiring someone to do pen-testing-- you get the idea). im actually not approaching this from a security standpoint OR an ethical standpoint per se, but purely out of concern for the sustainability of free software itself. and funnily enough, thats exactly the excuse being made for getting more money INTO politics-- the politics, of free software. the issue here is corporate influence, which (generally) leads to corporate control. for many years, muckrights has made a very big deal about corporate influence, particularly in terms of bribes that are monetary in nature-- the usual kind. but muckrights has written about a variety of services used to buy influence, from hosting services to corporate sex parties. its mostly about money, though the real problem is influence and corporate takeover. so invariably a rational discussion (as opposed to a discussion based purely on the ideology of what is good for corporations and monopolies) will move to how to allow bribes without strings being attached. ive been broadly sympathetic to those discussions, because free software has repeatedly and long overstated its ability to have software that is about freedom-- not corporate perks. it was not about freedom when gdb and gcc moved to being controlled by red hat (now ibm). red hat (pre-ibm) was already a for-profit corporation-- trusting a for-profit corporation based on what they do with your freedom today is like trusting a government with mass surveillance based on what they do with the data today. you dont know when the next president (or ceo) is going to come in and abuse what should have never been allowed in the first place-- based on simple, solid, time-tested principles. when the fsf trusted red hat with gcc, they were giving up freedom for corporate perks. as a result, theyve lost control of gcc, the software-- as well as gcc, the development. the fsf controls neither, and that is a mockery of gnus very reason to exist. beware of perks! nobody believes the system of bounties, donations and simple non-corporate financial arrangements works the way "we" want them to. and why dont they? in part, because they are modest. you might not get "big software projects" like collabora (destroying libreoffice) or red hat (actually just ibm) or debian (really just google / ibm / microsoft at this point). but at least part of the reason you dont have something like gnu (and you dont, actually-- you mean ibm gnu, since they control the compiler now) is because corporations continue poaching free software developers. microsoft has actually had a plan to poach our developers since the 1990s, and eric s. raymond thought that was so intriguing he still hosts that plan on his own website (osi used to, but theyre controlled by microsoft-- through a system of perks). "community" today means poaching, and "perks" really means corruption and bribery, but we have to be careful of the code of censorship, because it doesnt like "bigotry" or "hate" against corrupt practices-- corrupt practices are JUST AS GOOD as ethical ones, and we wont tolerate any hate which bigots call "corruption" when they really just mean PAYING DEVELOPERS, okay? but thats the thing-- bribes bend reality. and so does narcissism. when a certain bastard was diving through dumpsters for printouts, so he could put together a programming language and sell it-- he went on to conflate hobby coding with piracy. because if youre doing anything for the common good (or even just for fun) youre "dumping", and that hurts corporations. if gcc had never been turned over to red hat, it might have taken a lot longer to become as good a compiler as it is today. but thats an open source argument, not a free software argument. the free software argument is that red hat should not control the compiler that gnu relies on. what stopped that argument from being sufficiently made? what convinced gnu to change their priorities and outsource the crown jewels? perks, of course. the FUNCTIONAL equivalent of bribery. back at the muckrights foundation, today i saw the drafting of the OPEN open letter to hobbyists. and there are two "opens" with good reason. the original open letter to hobbyists was written by bill gates, and was all about letting corporations take over software development. this new letter, which was actually just a conversation, was also about letting corporations take over software development-- in the guise of funding open source. now in some ways this is the open letter to hobbyists all over again. monopolies HATE hobbyist software remaining hobbyist software; it weakens their monopoly more than they like to admit-- they also really hate it when you tell people that constantly increasing profits depends on talking people out of doing free stuff that everybody can share. and in some ways this is osi all over again, because in open source, its just a terrible shame when you make something really great thats free and DONT make a profit. its kind of ugly to them, like theres something morally wrong with it. good software equals money. if it doesnt equal money, thats a bug to these people. lets be sure to note that richard stallman doesnt think its a bug if money is made-- and he doesnt think its a bug if money ISNT made. so what has happened to the fsf, is that the fsf (under stallmans leadership) also doesnt think its a bug if software isnt profitable. the important thing is that its free. sure, they were compromised by bribes from red hat, but thats definitely not what free software is about. its about freedom, not price. monopolies are better at making money, and the fsf doesnt very much care if a piece of software is lucrative, so the result is that monopolies have spent decades drawing gnu closer to themselves by taking advantage of the innate psychological desire for short-term gains. sure, it undermines free software. but it only does it a little at a time. despite the fact that open source has all but overthrown free software at this point, thats no signal to rest-- it only makes them hungrier. open source wants to "seal the deal" and end free software for good, so open source can reign, until the corporations get bored with it and want to go back to being completely proprietary. i know it sounds an awful lot like im totally against money in free software development-- but i did already explain the distinction, and most people wont want to acknowledge that. to illustrate further, ill go back to the title. theres nothing wrong with wanting a cute partner. my partner is definitely cute, but thats not the basis of our relationship. people like to pretend that cuteness/looks arent a factor in their attraction to people, and we all know thats bullshit. but a big part of the reason that we talk about it at all, is that being shallow is ALSO bullshit. and some people (i think its overstated a bit actually) are really, really shallow in what they look for. if my cute partner woke up tomorrow and was ugly, id still love them. thats in part because weve reached a point that goes far beyond the initial attraction, but also because our relationship was based originally on friendship. when i make friends, i dont do it based primarily on what people look like. but i do like to be with someone i can relate to, and there arent a whole lot of people i feel that closely connected with. theres a very long list of attractive models and actors i wouldnt trade someone i love for-- even if i got to be with all of them! free software ought to be like that. and sometimes, it is. i get that this is a quaint, naive notion to self-important professionals who put money first, or who simply make too much of its importance. its a terrible idea to put money FIRST, and its also a terrible idea to put looks FIRST. whether we are talking about sacrificing software freedom for profit or sacrificing meaning in a relationship for looks, both are narcissistic and shallow. someone who knows what a terrible piece of shit windows is can look at all the money its made (over the years) and say "this is the greatest operating system in history". it just depends on what your criteria are. or maybe now its macos, or android. ive used all of these, and theyre fucking awful. and whats more, i dont want them. i want free software. i was very, very, very happy with debian. what happened? perks. like gnu itself, debian outsourced to ibm. it ruined debian, and made it into the horrible shit it is today. but debian WAS the greatest operating system ever created. was. what happened? too much corporate influence. most recently we have the examples of f***node and audacity. audacity moved to github, then it sold to muse. now it spies on you. each step away from whats good for the user and towards perks was a step closer to the end for audacity. when will we learn? corporations turn control into profit. even when you can show greater profits by having less control, they opt for control. controlling the customers typically translates to controlling the business. it must be nice knowing that all you have to do is turn a knob and more money comes through-- even if it kills the product. they can mourn it all the way to the bank. im no more against developers making money than i am against my partner being cute. its a matter of priorities, and all that ever happened to gnu because of putting funding (or other benefits) first was losing the ability to live up to their mission. the fsf cant fight for our freedom, because its struggling to un-fuck the gnu project. but as much as i would like to see the gnu project un-fucked, its like that old (and completely bannable) joke about unscrewing a light bulb. whats the difference between gnu and a light bulb? shit, i already said the punchline. theres another light bulb joke, and this ones a (clean) double entendre-- "many hands make light work". with corporate bribes, i mean perks, you get fewer hands available-- but they (sometimes) do more work, and (sometimes) get more money. when theres freedom, you never know who is going to come through and fix something-- it could be the "lead" developer. it could be someone from left field. with all these fucking google internships and all this help from red hat, we know who is going to fix it-- some corporate dick who will try to cancel anybody who insists on freedom. at any rate, it really isnt a theory anymore. calling it a "theory" that this sort of shit leads to corporate takeover and loss of freedom is like confronting an alcoholic about their next drinking binge and being told "thats just a theory". its not a theory, its a pathology. and just like with shallow people who ONLY care about looks, because they dont know what a personality is, its a common pathology of the controlling and narcissistic-- the perfect traits for someone looking to co-opt a movement for freedom into a way to make a buck. fuck your bribes, fuck corruption, its freedom first or gtfo. nobody wants your corporate bullshit telemetry crapzilla... money has destroyed the web and also the fsf, and it is quickly destroying gnu. the next platform needs to be more like gemini. its perfectly alright to take that stuff and build onto it-- thats what computers do best, is abstract complex and tedious operations. but keeping control in the hands of everyone (and not just on the top layer like with windows, but on every layer, like with DEFINITELY NOT systemd, or gnome which tries to assimilate all other guis via gtk and other bullshit) has to stay the priority. all this profit-seeking (rent-seeking, but not at first) is going to change (has already changed, will further change) gnu to be as bastardised as the web has become-- leaving people who care about computing (not corporate bullshit) to give up and let the corporations KEEP the bullshit theyve taken over, only to reimplement the best shit in a more modest (maintainable) way. the motivation for doing that is always going to be something that money cant understand. and im still not against people getting paid to do that. but if its corporations paying them to do it, theyre already fucked. thats what they really mean when they say they want these people to get paid. they mean they want them to work for sponsors, instead of freedom. the fsf still hasnt fully recovered from all the "help" they got. they might never recover. so these people arent saying they want free software developers to get paid. theyve nearly killed free software development off, and now they want to finish the job. the best way to do that? same as always. same as open source. dont say youre there to end free software-- say youre there to help free software developers! its amazing the shit people will believe when theyre paid to stay agreeable. dont you think so, roy? => https://wrongwithfreesw.neocities.org