I have a feeling that the FLOSS movement in spirit was constructed in the previous centralised computing paradigm with timesharing systems, and in some sense is left there. I wonder what its corresponding movement of our time would be, now that the pendulum has swung back from the desktop computing paradigm and into dumb terminals over a document format?

image/svg+xml Follow

@alcinnz I think so, but not just that. If they used copyright law and GPL, I think we need to do similar forays into other fields, but I'm still quite fuzzy on the details of what that means.

@albin over and above AGPL?

It's all very code-focused on the GNU side. What people seem to get interested in with cloud services is the fact that commercial exploitation of the code gets monopolised by those cloud services. So we get copyfarleft and weird stuff like the "commons clause" showing up.

Might actually be impossible to fix though.

@lupine For me the code is a means, not an end. The most interesting parts of the free software movement to me were always the slightly utopian visions (and I think they are very clearly widely different) about the societies around and through the code. I can imagine both communal centralised computing and individualised libertarian computing springing from the same roots, just to name two.

Do you have a good source on copy far left?

@Shamar @albin self-hosting is niche, and kept that way by overbearing cloud services with huge advantages. That keeps hacking niche too, of course. Quite how to challenge that without excluding those services from using our code, I don't really know.

Some ideological communities will pick self-hosting as long as it's possible, of course. For email, it's still marginally possible, but I wouldn't bet on it long-term. Usenet, IRC, XMPP demonstrate its fate
@Shamar @albin self-hosting seems analogous to grown-your-own food to me. Niche, and as long as these companies can grow/host anything you can, only cheaper and faster and more conveniently, what could a non-ideological hook be to get people doing it themselves?

One could imagine a crop variety that is insanely delicious, but if you put it in the existing commons, you'll find it in the supermarket the very next day. What other options are available?

@Shamar @lupine I'd much prefer no hosting at all. Of course, I agree with your sentiment, and I used to agree with your literal statement about all users becoming hackers as well. I also used to host my own email, domains, web servers, and IRC servers. That was many years ago. Now I use Gmail, Facebook et al for mostly everything, and have almost completely dropped out of the GNU/Linux ecosystem in favour of Apple's software, because it suits my needs better, even if I don't like it.

@lupine @Shamar However, if it's specifically control and accountability you are after, couldn't that be solved through less heavy means than turning everyone into hackers? Also, I think it's worth thinking about how this translates to other fields. According to the same logic, do I also need to be able to produce my own food, or do biotech or medicine? Or is there something specific to software, and if so why?

@Shamar @albin well, the above is some musing on *why* we're not going there.

But if said corporations have access to all the output of all those billions of hackers, *plus* their own resources, why can't they compete? What's stopping them?
@Shamar @albin (I just clicked: you're going to say "my hacker license". I think we're agreeing violently that some form of exclusion must be practiced for this to succeed)

@Shamar @lupine I think it sounds like the useful sort of megalomania, or at least monomania. For what it's worth I'm rooting for you, even if I'm not sure yet I agree with your whole analysis of everything. Just please be nicer than Torvalds, Stallman, et al if you succeed?

@Shamar @albin of all the words I'd use to describe that trifecta, "tolerant" is way down the list.

You can be a hacker and a weirdo and also not be tolerant. It might even be the norm, unfortunately.
@Shamar @albin @lupine Codes of Conduct have always been controversial, but the last ten years - especially post-Occupy - indicates that without some sort of agreed interaction protocol groups will be infiltrated by bad actors and liquidated.

@lupine @Shamar I'd say what's stopping them is either the produced useful things (systems, experiences, communities, etc) not being possible to squeeze into the commodity form (i.e. not being possible to sell or otherwise make profits from), or them being legally restricted from doing so. If we view code / society / law as three sides of the same coin, this makes sense; code and law both program society, and vice versa.

@albin

Dont think we need/want/could have an individualized solution where everyone does it all by themselves

I'm inspired by Community Supported Agriculture, which has quite a variety of models, what I find really exciting are those where the people getting the food are involved, at the level *they choose*, in the resourcing, governance, admin &/or growing

The Solidarity Agriculure movement in Germany is interesting
discourse.solawi.allmende.io/t

See linked github issue there

@lupine @Shamar

@dazinism That would be roughly the shape of my preferred counter-argument to the "hacking for the masses" as well, but thanks for the link, I have never heard of that before!

@dazinism @albin the CSA model id a good one, and i work with a local CSA too - http://turriefieldveg.co.uk - but it's niche, and making it not-niche is very difficult.

@Shamar @lupine I tried reading it before, and the Debian thread you linked previously, but I didn't really understand neither your motivations nor what sets your license apart from previous FLOSS licenses. Do you have a "for dummies" resource available somewhere?

@albin @Shamar it *looks* like the magic is in grant 4 - "Humans" get something close to a GPL license, whereas "organizations" do not.

It's not something I'd use - not all organizations are evil in my worldview - but the more people experimenting with these kinds of licenses, the better, I guess.
@lupine @Shamar @albin

I'm not really certain this is relevant, but your analogy breaks down because they have no way, no way at all, to get produce to the supermarket in a comparable quality to what a *competent* grower can put on his own table.


Partly because we will not always agree on what is a desireable quality, but also because produce in the supermarket has to stand up to the process of getting there.

So, for instance, all else being equal, fruits must have thicker skins and longer shelf-life to be suitable for the supermarket.

The first is an obvious determinant sometimes. The second is a complicated tradeoff between height of the peak and speed of deterioration.

It is said, around here, that potatoes lose 90% of their quality within the first hour after leaving the ground.
@albin CFL is http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Copyfarleft - it's not really written with software in mind, though.

re: visions of society, rms vs esr (or FSF vs OSI) was always an interesting tension. Corporate centralised computing squashes both flat at present, though.

@lupine Ah, Kleiner; I should have suspected. I'm slightly familiar with his work, if not this one. Thank you for the link!

@lupine OK; I have done my homework now. What Kleiner seems to be after is roughly the same thing as the Commons Clause people are trying to fix in some sense, that is the appropriation of labour from FLOSS by companies. It's an interesting side-effect that both of these proposals are violating some of the software freedoms specifically because they are formulated without any distinction of power, etc. (1/2)

@lupine I think this is to be expected? Anything reasonably different from the GLP (in terms of scope or intention) can be assumed to end up with incompatible rules in some sense. A more important question, I think, is if copyright law is even the best place to fight this battle. There ARE other options; blockades (DDoS?), campains, strikes, etc. It seems a bit...cargo-cultish to me to try a license just because it "worked before". (2/2)

@albin I touched on this a bit in a redecentralize talk, actually. Would twitter be terrible if its ownership model differed? What happens if it becomes a user-owned cooperative - does centralization even matter at that point?

I don't really see that denying the four software freedoms to our enemies must be a bad thing, but it does seem hella controversial from the experiments I've done.

@lupine I kind of like the form vs content argument inside of that, but I think the answer is "yes, but it wouldn't work the same if it was user-developed, depending on which user's needs developed it"

@lupine It would be interesting to investigate the source of that controversy. Is it: a) actual differing interests and/or perspectives and/or lived experiences, or is it a matter of semantics or cargo-culting FLOSS licenses?

@albin Well, Stallman, Maciej Cegłowski, later @aral , etc have talked about the concept of a General Data Minimisation Regulation (Aral's term).

I do think we should be campaigning for that. I don't know what else.

@alcinnz Without having read anything about it, it sounds reasonable to me!

@albin I'll look up some articals for you, but the idea is that if you can do your core job without uploading a piece of data to some central servers you are forbidden from doing so. And you can't say "but we can offer more conveniences by collecting this data".

@albin From Stallman's artical:

"There are so many ways to use data to hurt people that the only safe database is the one that was never collected. Thus, instead of the EU’s approach of mainly regulating how personal data may be used (in its General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR), I propose a law to stop systems from collecting personal data."

@alcinnz @albin this is a libertarian fantasy. Data has power for good and evil it's a choice and has been since we invented numbers and writing.

@Hamishcampbell @alcinnz Could you please expand a bit on that for me? I think I agree to some extent but I'm not sure if I see a (necessary) conflict between that and eg Stallman et al.

@albin @alcinnz

It's not the act of collecting data, that's the human condition in society, it's the society we live in use of the data is the issue.

Ie. We need social change.

@albin @alcinnz Not being human (geek disfuctional fantasey) is the idea of not collecting data as a good path.

Libertarians have a limited view en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libert :)

@Hamishcampbell I...partially agree. I mean, of course the society in which the data collection happens matters, as that affects who collects data on whom and what they can use it for, and I would certainly be sceptical of purely libertarian perspectives, but I still think some variant of Stallman's policies might make sense, if nothing else then as harm reduction for our particular society at this point in time. Would you agree to that?

@albin yep, fair point, but good to point this as disfuctional mediation and clearly not as a desirable outcome. Its inhuman.

@Hamishcampbell Do you mean that *all* sorts of data collections are a necessary part of the human condition? I am not sure I follow your argument here, but it sounds interesting.

Also, when you talk about "not being human", how do you relate this to eg the concept of the modern human as cyborg. which I have heard some people use in these discussions as well?

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Scholar Social

Scholar Social is a microblogging platform for researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully. Read more ...