Monday, September 17, 2012

Stallman is Correct

  • Confusion around the GPL and its purpose
    • Many folk writing fine FOSS software are condemning GPL et. al. for being what it is designed to be.
    • Indicates misunderstanding of fundamental purpose.
  • The GPL is a weapon.
    • Meant to curb anti-social behavior on the part of people who will not do it voluntarily.
  • Fools vs. Genius
    • Making money is not the same thing as creating value.
    • Non-physical restrictions on copying bit-patterns attempt to create an artificial scarcity.
      • As foolish as attempts to legislate the value of Pi.
    • People are foolishly introducing want and lack where none previously existed.
    • They're not creating value but rather interfering with it, restricting it.
  •  But what about the starving artists!?
    • Bucky calculated that we would be able to work two years and retire, having paid for our living for the rest of our lives in those two years, by sometime in the 1970's.
    • The trick is we have to align our technology with our needs efficiently.
    • If we align our technology with our actual needs we should expect a nearly Utopian system to happen automatically.
  • We make a system where nobody starves, artist or otherwise.
    • The solution to the starving artist problem is global. Nobody starves.
    • It doesn't solve the human condition, but it does alter the set of daily problems with which we all must cope.
  • Do we want to be miserable and venal, or joyful and abundant?
    • Understanding the GPL and its purpose in light of the larger context and sweep of history is essential to the "Open Source" movement and to the very spirit of being a hacker.
    • Hackers are very much warriors against fear and lack and sorrow and the myriad miseries of human history.
    • The GPL is a weapon to prevent ignorant or anti-social people from using the value you create as a "hook" to ensnare people into artificial dependence.
  •  The only obstacles are in our minds.
    • The technology exists to create an abundant Utopian physical environment for everyone.
    • Emotional problems- tons of solutions EFT, Kindness, Prayer, etc. We have that "technology" too.
    • Ignorance
      • Not enough people simply know that this is possible. Now YOU are one of the ones who do.
      • The GPL is a part of this, that's why it is designed the way it is, and that's why it's ludicrous to criticize it in ignorance of its purpose.
    • Will. Choose life, love, abundance, joy, happiness and well-being. Choose GPL.


Simon Forman said...

Perfect example: Brilliant programmer missing the larger frame and as a result making nearly-clever but ultimately irrelevant arguments against the GPL.

Simon Forman said...

Another grueling example: Awesome FOSS software and they don't even make an argument against GPL, simply stating its rational and implying that it is bad.