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Apparently, were all a bunch of damn commies.

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  • Apparently, were all a bunch of damn commies.

    Found this article on zone-h:

    http://www.zone-h.org/content/view/96/30/

    It's a pretty interesting read from "the others" point of view.

    Just want to get some reaction from the base here.

    cheers
    When you draw first blood you can't stop this fight
    For my own piece of mind - I'm going to
    Tear your fucking eyes out
    Rip your fucking flesh off
    Beat you till you're just a fucking lifeless carcass
    Fuck you and your progress
    Watch me fucking regress
    You were meant to take the fall - now you're nothing
    Payback's a bitch motherfucker!

    Slayer - Payback

  • #2
    pity, i was hoping for some form of intelligent, well-thought criticism of the free software and open source movements. there are legitimate concerns that people have raised in the past... anyone who knows of Bruce Potter's rants against linux code and the problem of forking is aware of the technical opposition that some open source projects can face. but this article... it's just a mish-mash of whining and broken logic. it's roughly equal parts "open source software is eating into proprietary software's market share (and therefore threatening my job as a customer support rep for microsoft)*" and "if you support and use free software the red menace will come and eat your babies and steal your ATM card OH NOES!!!1!!1!"

    while it can be futile attempting to dissect and reply point-for-point to someone who has drank the Thomas Friedman Kool-Aid like this author, i'll drop a few choice quotes here amid my thoughts...

    Originally posted by Mohit Joshi
    Some developers (though they were more of politicians) felt that Open Source movement is all about achieving technical and economic objectives. They wanted to give this movement a moral and ethical angle – to take it from practicality to ideology. Hence a new movement called Free Software movement or GNU movement was born. At the moment I am unable to think of more appropriate quote than this – The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from it. To induct moral standards, to accuse every commercial organization of monopoly and cry out for freedom of people is best trait a communist can show.
    this is an actual, unretouched, unsnipped segment from the aritcle. there is absolutely no segway or transitional logic from the author when he goes into the "FUX0R... it's teh COMMIES!" portion of his piece. he recounts the birth of the GNU movement and then instantly puts words into their mouth. i have read a great deal of Stallman's work and the words of others, and at no time do i recall any of them making claims such as "100% of all corporations are monopolistic thugs" yet according to Joshi, that is the base of the FSF ideology... that corporations are bad and must be beaten.

    to the best of my understanding (and feel free to jump on me if i'm missing something) the FSF and the Open Source movement are both primarily concerned with the public's inability to edit, fiddle with, and freely redistribute code. making money and earning a living has never been something criticized by Stallman and the others. (although they, like many of us, have spoken out at times regarding specific corporations who have acted irresponsibly or unethically.)

    Originally posted by Mohit Joshi
    History has repeatedly shown that [matters of monopoly, unethical business practices, etc] are best left to market forces – which is one of the biggest democratic forces. What is essential to make these market forces effective is adequate competition. When customers have options to choose from, they will themselves opt for most ethical company and that in itself is true freedom. The monopolistic companies will be forced to change their habits or loose business
    no real argument from me here... free markets lead to free people by forcing companies to play by the rules. adequate oversight and regulation is a good thing, in order to ensure that corporations are breaking laws or violating the terms of fair competition... but this is garden-variety free market ideology. nothing i can gripe at all that much. however... it is folly for the author to mention this, since Free Software and Open Source software have chosen to compete in the marketplace. consumers have the choice that Joshi praises. the companies are shitting themselves because the introduction of low-cost or no-cost software with fewer strings attached is threatening their CEOs' abilities of getting mega-million-dollar bonuses for no reason and undermining their chances of trapping customers into lifelong usage contracts and patch/upgrade licenses.

    Originally posted by Mohit Joshi
    GNU GPL became the most popular license because of whole freedom philosophy woven around it (read GNU Philosophy). [he then quotes the GPL's "redistribution protection" clause] In plain English this means that if developer uses any code from the GPL’d software then his new software will also fall under GPL license. Thus the number of GPL licensed software increased at exponential rate. And according to GNU philosophy this provided freedom to everyone. This may be true in the perfect world but that’s not where we live in. Human beings are driven by lust for power and greed.
    and those humans (wherever the fuck they are in Joshi's world, because i can't think of many people i know who have an insatiable thirst for greed and power) still have the right to pursue those goals in the closed-source market (or any other business market, for that matter). all that free software does is give consumers a choice that doesn't involve proprietary barrons.

    i'd say it's akin to a mafia-controlled town where everyone must get their construction work done by the family outfit. if a new player arrives in town (say, a trade union with fair access to the ranks) and they're willing to do jobs and then leave people alone if the customers wish to make future additions to a building (or if they just want to buy their own concrete and wood and work on their own projects) then the public has real choice. the public can still go to Mafia Builders and get their work done, accepting along the way the whole bag of bullshit which that brings... or they can do things on their own. no on is saying that businesses have to play by the GPL rules... but they cannot take someone else's GPL efforts and turn them into a profit.

    perhaps another analogy would be a town with a farmer's market and also a community garden. the farmer's market sells goods that are grown in the fields at standard prices, reflecting the value added to each potato and tomato by the workers who planted them, harvested them, etc. and all the machines which were involved. the community garden is a place where people can grow their own food at much lower cost, selling some if they wish or just eating their own vegetables. both of these solutions are valid and have a place... but the workers at the farmer's market wouldn't be justified in taking food grown in the community garden (which has its own purpose, namely the goal of low-cost, locally-produced food) and selling it at the roadside stand. the community gardeners have the right to prevent their resources from being (as they see it) "misused" and GPL developers have the right to prevent the resources they produce from being "misused" (namely, from being incorporated into a closed-source product which would limit freedom).

    people who don't like the GPL rules (much like the farmers who believe in for-profit raising of crops) simply don't have to involve themselves in the whole matter and then the rules of the other community can't touch them.

    Originally posted by Mohit Joshi
    Microsoft Word program or vi (in Linux) is same in terms of functionality since they both allow an end-user to write down his/her thoughts. The effect is the same in both cases. How he/she achieves the end result is the most important, not his/her intrinsic ability of modify Word or the vi editor. Thus, being able to fix or adapt the program is an external additional choice, not an immediate intrinsic choice available to all mankind. Stallman’s whimsical philosophy of free (open-source) software seems to hover around this very basic mistaken understanding of life around us.
    i disagree. i think that the user's freedom to tinker with and do what they want with something they're using is important... particularly in a world where people are losing self-sufficiency. i realize that not everyone is as interested as we are in doing things on our own and figuring out solutions to our own problems, but it's an important freedom to have even if you don't exercise it.

    Originally posted by Mohit Joshi
    corporations, which may organize programmers and necessary managers. But no such organization can survive for long without profit motive and only on donations.
    yeah, because all of those non-profit 501(c)(3) companies are just dropping like flies all around us. yessir, i sure can't think of a single one of them that has ever existed successfully for more than a year or so.

    Originally posted by Mohit Joshi
    the free software model and especially GNU GPL is seriously flawed. It is not a capitalist ideology or exemplification of globalization but communism. The only thing that has been accomplished by its widespread use is enslavement and robbery of software that has cost may programmers dearly.
    i tend to believe that the only programmers who have suffered at the hands of the GPL are people who are too stupid and incompetent to produce a product that works well and has a good use. back in the proprietary days, someone could think up a niece market (i.e. - "people who need a tool that helps them catalog their stamp collection), then shit out a half-assed piece of software which doesn't run very well ("Phil's Philatelist Phun 1.0"), and then trap people into an annual upgrade ("covers the latest state bird stamp series", "fixes that annoying crashing bug present in the last three versions") etc. now, however, it's trivial for someone with a passing interest in stamp-collecting to turn out a nice catalog tool. they can update it and develop it for a while, then just leave it alone since (under the GPL) someone else could come along and make it work better if need be. now, to survive as a closed-source, for-profit software developer, people actually have to (horror of horrors) produce a worthwhile product which has value for many people and adequately support their users.

    this whole thing reminds me of the satire "copyleft==communism" flag...


    Eric S. Raymond clearly stated in an interview once the whole reason why the "communist" argument is a load of crap. Asked if the free software or open source movements could be equated with communism, he replied, "absolute nonsene. it makes me really angry when people say that. communism is an ideology that forces people to share... if you don't share you get thrown in jail or killed... open source is not communism because it doesn't force people." (from J.T.S. Moore's film Revolution OS)

    i couldn't agree more. you do your thing, and i'll do mine... words to live by.



    * i'm just guessing there, but the guy does seem like he works in some capacity for one of the major closed software vendors
    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; June 7, 2006, 09:01.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
      this article... it's just a mish-mash of whining and broken logic. it's roughly equal parts "open source software is eating into proprietary software's market share (and therefore threatening my job as a customer support rep for microsoft)*" and "if you support and use free software the red menace will come and eat your babies and steal your ATM card OH NOES!!!1!!1!"
      While I agree with you insofar as this goes, I think there's some more to it than that.

      the FSF and the Open Source movement are both primarily concerned with the public's inability to edit, fiddle with, and freely redistribute code.
      Which in and of itself is a fine idea. However, there is a lot of zealotry surrounding it (both inside and outside the GNU Foundation) and the idea that this should be the only software distribution model in use. More:

      making money and earning a living has never been something criticized by Stallman and the others.
      Granted. But when someone starts preaching about how their distribution model is the only acceptable one, they've gone beyond endorsement and into proselytising. I find it rather ironic that for all the freedom the Open Source 'movement' (a term I use loosely) claims to want to bestow, there seem to be a sizeable chunk of its adherents who want to do so in the most totalitarian way possible: "end software patents!", "no closed-source code!", and so on and so forth.

      Mind you, I still think our friend in India here is somewhere off on the moonbat side of the scale - but he does have some valid points.

      this is garden-variety free market ideology. nothing i can gripe at all that much. however... it is folly for the author to mention this, since Free Software and Open Source software have chosen to compete in the marketplace.
      Exactly, and it's very difficult for people to get their minds around the concept of, "just because it's free doesn't mean it has no market value". Apache's an excellent example of this: the world's most popular web server doesn't cost a dime to obtain but powers something like (IIRC) 70% of the world's web servers. If IIS were truly a superior product, people would pay to use it instead of Apache because in the long run in a business envrionment, you're better off paying for something that works than using something free that doesn't.

      consumers have the choice that Joshi praises. the companies are shitting themselves because the introduction of low-cost or no-cost software with fewer strings attached is threatening their CEOs' abilities of getting mega-million-dollar bonuses for no reason and undermining their chances of trapping customers into lifelong usage contracts and patch/upgrade licenses.
      Mmmm... This really over-simplifies the situation, I think. The choice is out there, but a large part of the reason that <insert noncommercial OS here> isn't shipping on a wide scale on new PCs is very simple: not everyone has the technical ability to deal with an OS that isn't Windows. Windows is what they know, Windows is what they want, and for the average user there's no reason for them to use something else.

      and those humans (wherever the fuck they are in Joshi's world, because i can't think of many people i know who have an insatiable thirst for greed and power) still have the right to pursue those goals in the closed-source market (or any other business market, for that matter). all that free software does is give consumers a choice that doesn't involve proprietary barrons.
      Yeah, this guy's really coming across as having a suitable-for-blogging level of dramatic licence and lack of objectivity. Whoever was the editor on duty really should not have run the piece without requesting some rewrites.

      GPL developers have the right to prevent the resources they produce from being "misused" (namely, from being incorporated into a closed-source product which would limit freedom).
      Granted, and a fair point. However:

      i think that the user's freedom to tinker with and do what they want with something they're using is important... particularly in a world where people are losing self-sufficiency. i realize that not everyone is as interested as we are in doing things on our own and figuring out solutions to our own problems, but it's an important freedom to have even if you don't exercise it.
      And while I completely agree that people should have the right to do so, I don't feel that anyone should be compelled (either legally or by peer pressure) to have to hand them source. Right now we have freedom of choice in that regard: any entity, corporate or individual, can release software under whatever model they choose; even if only societal societal whims dictate shifting to anything else, then it's back to totalitarianism, and that takes us back to zealotry.

      On a side note, I once nearly made a hardcore, card-carrying member of the Open Source Party explode. Basically, the guy was into a spittle-flecked tirade on how OSS will save the world from itself, and he knows this for a fact because he *only* uses open-source software. So I asked him for a copy of the source code to the Casio G-Shock watch he was wearing. After stammering for a few seconds as the implication of the question sank in, he finally retorted with, "well, that's different", and went back to answering questions - though his voice was now noticeably shaky.

      now, to survive as a closed-source, for-profit software developer, people actually have to (horror of horrors) produce a worthwhile product which has value for many people and adequately support their users.
      Granted, but it still doesn't compel closed-source software developers to necessarily *improve* the product and actually make it good - all it has to be is marginally better than the freely-available competition, even though it may well still suck overall. It also doesn't mean that free software itself is necessarily any good, either; there's plenty of crap out there to choose from, and one of the biggest problems with OSS is the 'someone else will fix my problems for me' mentality that some programmers have. Bugs are something that're meant to be fixed by the people who use it, right?

      i couldn't agree more. you do your thing, and i'll do mine... words to live by.
      Agreed. I just don't see either one as particularly evil, nor either one as being a shiny beacon of happiness to follow.

      * i'm just guessing there, but the guy does seem like he works in some capacity for one of the major closed software vendors
      Ya think? ;)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
        it is folly for the author to mention this, since Free Software and Open Source software have chosen to compete in the marketplace. consumers have the choice that Joshi praises.
        He's pretty much arguing against his own thesis at this point .. the contrast between $0 and $300 for an OS or Office Suite sounds like pretty damned good competition to me. Obviously you're pitting more factors than strictly quality of product, but there has to remain an underlying reason for people to spend that $300 per head; one could attribute this to improving/solidifying your product in the marketplace. The strength and popularity of Firefox is an example where this has not occured from our favorite giant .. then again, they also aren't making any money by competing in the browser market; the concept of capitlazing on browser software died with Netscape (yes, they are clinically dead.. admit it and move on).

        The author continuously references the evil Free Software people that carry 'freedom' like a chip on their shoulder, pointing out that the world does not work this way.. rather thriving on 'power and greed'. ummm... slap me silly and call me CotMan .. but.. doesn't this completely negate his own argument equating free software and its supporters as Communist ideology? Anarchy apart, the general idea behind a republic is to provide more freedom of choice, while a communist ideology provides freedom from other things that taint daily life, like crime. This is utopian, but the element of 'power and greed' corrupts government (um, duh.. maybe school learning wasn't his thing but he's watched Star Trek before, right?) History has shown that corruption in government is pretty unavoidable .. conceptually the republic commonly known as democracy is to mitigate and limit the amount of corruption infiltrating the goverment. Now relate this and the associated structures to the entities that comprise our software market. One could assert that a closed source business, like Microsoft (not picking on them, just a prominent figure and its their fault for being in the spotlight), are much closer to a communist model of operation; now contrast with the operation of most free software projects or entities and you may even lean closer to anarchy due to lack of structure and direction .. something that the Free Software organizations preach to resolve through their existence (although as Skroo pointed out, often in the wrong way).

        I think Mr. Joshi needs to return to PoliSci 101 before making further comparisons on a subject he must have slept through.

        Then comparing vi and Word? okay.. well, Microsoft sure doesn't have to worry about that market takeover now does it. I know! Let's compare MS Plan with Sun Office's Spreadsheet functionality .. OMG!01zorshits!!! What will they do? Oh wait.. right, they improved their product over years, as did the unix community for desktop productivity. The odd twist is that vi is a tool, and one that I still use more often than I do Office software. Regardless, comparing goats to sheep doesn't help an argument when the reader knows the difference.

        His paper gets teh Fs
        if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

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