everything wrong with free software

 "obedience breeds foolishness"

### the-gnu-mailing-lists---where-freedom-goes-to-die other pages: => stallman-comes-out-against-github-again---sort-of.html stallman-comes-out-against-github-again---sort-of *originally posted:* nov 2021 minor update: ``` Your request to the gnu-misc-discuss mailing list Posting of your message titled "Re: article, stallman comes out against github again, sort of" has been rejected by the list moderator. The moderator gave the following reason for rejecting your request: "The text of your message suggests that you don't want this to be posted." ``` ^ thats entirely fair, and not the basis for the following: (its actually regarding a later event in the timeline than the basis of my complaint and the moderators assessment there is entirely reasonable-- i am not the one i feel is being censored, nor do i think the problem rests entirely on the moderators). people who use the gnu mailing lists, are, unsurprisingly-- no better off than stallman in terms of actually being able to talk about freedom. i think the debian mailing lists were the ORIGINAL place for freedom to go to die. they too were censored (im not referring to events this week, but much more important events years ago) and when things that were so relevant they presented an existential crisis to the project, thats when censorship really took hold. gnu is simply following in debians footsteps. this article may seem like its about censorship, and in a way it is a bit-- its sort of about self-censorship. its really more about what people just arent willing to discuss or even consider. sure, having less talk about it "helps". even if the conversation is uncensored though, gnu is simply not willing to consider the possibility that its making choices that threaten its very existence. thats by design. over the years, as gnu has been taken over by open source, even the bastions (developers) have sacrificed their principles and their broader concept of what gnu and free software are really about. they either cant tell-- or dont care, but theres no way to "show" people who are fooling themselves, and no amount of evidence is going to convince them. its this unwillingness to protect the movement (also users) from its own self-declared enemies and this unwillingness to seriously consider any outcome other than "this isnt a problem" that makes the gnu project hopeless, and even increasingly hopeless. the developers do not care. and yet as ive said even recently (before a few days ago) there are still exceptions, of course. those exceptions will be (as ive said for years) the seed for a new movement or a new iteration of the existing movement. you already see people moving in that direction-- not many yet, i am not getting optimistic. but they at least exist. the movement itself bears every hallmark of "open source"-- revolution has been replaced with ossification (osi-fication) and open source itself has abandoned its posts, because they arent needed. what was once osi is now an occupying force on the turf of gnu, and free software, and this is very bad. it represents the (very easy to see) co-opting, acquisition and ownership of the free software movement by the very corporations it used to stand up to. no reasonable person believes they are here as allies. these are not corporations that want their CUSTOMERS to be free, they want them to be "subscribers" that leave the important decisions up to the companies. why does it matter? these companies want to be in control, because its the only way they can make enough of the sort of money they want. it doesnt matter if "gnu/linux" replaces windows, because if it does, they will make it (are already making it) into a gnu/linux that is nothing like the one that users had before. this isnt progress. when microsoft turned essentially cp/m-lite-x86 into dos, they sought first to copy apple (who copied xerox) and then to tie together dos and windows in a way that only worked with their existing products. this was way before internet explorer. when they made internet explorer (from the same starting point that netscape ultimately came from) they did the same thing. now that they are interested in gnu/linux (nothing new, this dates back to the late 90s at least, and theyve chased it ever since) the same thing is happening to that. gnu/linux isnt free-- it was always a sellout, and it will never be free again. similarly, github is nothing more than an effort to co-opt all free software, which it has done a remarkable job of. i know better than almost anyone how incomplete that takeover is-- but its about 3 out of 4 projects in the f-droid collection (that number hasnt budged in a year) and 1 in 5 projects in the free software directory-- including more than a dozen projects in the gnu project itself (AT LEAST 40% when you consider dependencies). the free software foundation has done NOTHING about this, since the purchase. they prepared for the event with their repo criteria, and then when that event (co-opting of free software by the repos themselves) actually happened in 2018, they did nothing except clarify that it being quote: "unacceptable" for gnu projects to use github (stallman himself told gnu developers in the mailing lists not to use it in 2015) is "not a rule" and doesnt have to be followed. gnu is free to sell out every user to microsoft, hooray! i agree that its unacceptable, but according to stallman himself-- this word doesnt actually MEAN ANYTHING. its unacceptable, but we will accept it if it happens. (he does that its "bad" but i think "unacceptable" is even worse than that-- admitting that something "unacceptable" is also "bad" is no revelation). calling it unacceptable wont even change the projects, because why bother, eh? semantically (and much more in the spirit of the thing, i mean who are you people kidding here?) the gnu project is sitting on a farce, because: * its "unacceptable" * but if someone does it, the fact that its "not a rule" means theres NO COURSE OF ACTION but the one to simply ACCEPT it. i mean, the REAL gnu project would simply DO something. all this talk about a rule just fucking avoids the issue and moves towards the existence or non-existence of a POLICY. here the policy serves as a distraction from the problem-- and that too, is by design. but thats a perfect example of how gnu no longer stands for freedom. im not happy about it, but im not going to sugarcoat and bullshit about it like the gnu mailing lists do. speaking of bullshit, muckrights is doing a (truly) interesting series on github RIGHT NOW, and while roy himself said that its the most important issue in free software today, he also said this series wasnt urgent and could take a backseat to the epo stuff. i dont blame him for making that decision, though now that nat is resigning, i guarantee hes going to downplay things again very soon. every time there is a HINT of progress, muckrights goes into full chest-beating mode and pretends he single-handedly saved the world from whatever, maybe github this time. the series is truly damning and may even be a factor, but thats just speculation-- chest-beating is so much more impressive. the problem with this is that github is not going to stop being a problem just because nat resigns. its STILL a stronghold for microsofts efforts to control the movement. nats resignation wont change that fact at all. but its positive, so wait for roy to act like we are halfway to victory now. and ultimately say this is less of a problem. it wouldnt be the first time he downplayed the issue, he simply keeps one foot on whatever side of the fence best suits his narrative from day to day. its absolutely bullshit. but back to the problem this is about, which is gnu itself-- or rather the lack of stewards that gnu (or free software) has anywhere within miles of the fsf. they arent going to take this matter any more seriously than muckrights. if anything, they will downplay it even more than roy-- they HAVE TO, because the fsf isnt about freedom, its about appeasing corporations. roy mistakenly thinks (or at least claims) that because they no longer have the same bad sponsors, that now they will fight for us "again" after selling out to ibm, for example. hes missing the point. theyre NOT only pandering and kowtowing to corporate sponsors who are PRESENTLY funding them, theyre ALSO sucking up to OTHER corporations that they may fund them in the future. that should be obvious, really. makes you wonder why roy doesnt get this. at any rate, its november and the fsf is pretty much as much of a pushover as it was before stallmans return. its going to stay that way, and thats the real problem here. yesterday, someone forwarded my article (most of it, the editing was both minimal and my own doing) to the gnu mailing list. this was not an objective of mine, i think the mailing list is hopeless. im not surprised that the email has not shown up in the archives-- i didnt write it for them, i didnt conform to their rules either, i didnt know if someone would tell them about it (its public, so they could have linked if they had asked where) but the only reason i forwarded to po lu was to let them know its not TWO projects that are part of gnu, its more than a dozen. and i included a list. the rest was context, but not the point of sending it. and what im getting at here, is that (of course) this is not going to change anything. first, the matter wont even be discussed on the gnu public mailing list. yes, i know thats per stallmans own recommendation, but hes only citing policy. the policy itself is ridiculous. in my opinion, its a flimsy excuse to avoid a public debate. even if its not, the debate isnt going to happen. the outcome will be the same whether its public (where people will be able to see it and comment on it outside the mailing lists, for better or worse) or private, and it goes like this: the most pedantic and "neutral" parties on the list will explain why this is just business as usual, and nothing to get excited about. its not a takeover, its not a real problem, go on about your business. what they wont discuss is that its not even their business anymore. the "business" now belongs to microsoft, and the fsf and even the gnu mailing lists are ushering in an era of corporate serfdom where people WORK FOR MICROSOFT for FREE, and microsoft (or whoever else gains control of this) steers the projects in the direction CORPORATIONS want, they pay VERY FEW people (like the one person they pay sometimes to supervise self-checkouts) and... this is basically uber, self-checkout lanes, one more corporate scam to get customers to do the work for free, and the corporations pay fewer people and get bigger profits. you write code for microsoft for free, they ultimately control design and participation, they pay less for code to be written than they did when they outsourced to countries without unions or labour protection laws. thats all gnu will be, until it is forked. thats all its been since ibm took over half a decade ago, and nothing (at the fsf) has gone in any other direction since. "the revolution wont be televised", roy said recently. it wont be at muckrights, either. nor will it be at the fsf, and you wont find it at non-free planet or the gnu mailing lists, either. and THAT, right there, is exactly the problem. they dont fight anymore. just like with gnome and bogus patent lawsuits, THESE PEOPLE DONT FIGHT FOR FREEDOM anymore. all they do these days, is settle. so you see, censorship and hiding problems on private lists (once again, like debian) is only a mere fraction of the problem. the larger issue here, really, is theyve abandoned their mission entirely. and on top of that, as i predicted, stallman is merely a passenger now. just like everybody else at the fsf-- just like every user of gnu. => https://wrongwithfreesw.neocities.org