Free software and open source philosophies differ, sometimes with radically different outcomes

Mat Witts admin at
Wed Nov 22 05:05:19 UTC 2017


>>  an Open Source advocate is likely to be either 1) Confused [...]

Sorry I don't see how describing someone as confused about a subject
implies a moral judgment about the individual.

Perhaps it would be clearer if I qualified this as 'confused about what Free Software stands for"

>> I would ask that we do NOT label anyone, neither Free Software or Open
Source advocates as "confused". This is absolutely not consistent with
the FSFE's view. It implies a moral superiority which isn't a view we'd
be happy to project.

I am confused about lots of things, but I don't think that makes me a
less human person, does it to you?

I think education is perhaps the best intervention here, not moral
philosophy and I also think in software design, confusion is to be
expected, not buried in the sand.

A person can be confused about one thing, and clear on another. This is
my experience.

It's also possible that a person is confused more generally, in terms of
their aptitude for conceptual thinking perhaps such as people with brain
trauma or because of mental health, and again - I don't see that as a
good basis for any moral judgment.

I am not in the habit of judging people by their mental clarity
generally, and even less so on their mental clarity about Open Source or
Free Software which are very slippery concepts that (clearly) do require
clarification from time to time, even for people that are rational and
knowledgeable thinkers on the subject.

If you are mistaking my description of what I see merely as imperfect
cognition about certain concepts as a moral judgment, and you think that
is against FSFE's view, then I'd like some justification that the FSFE's
view matches that interpretation.

In passing, if you are in the habit of making such judgments about
people yourself, then I think we are not going to agree on much anyway?

/ mat

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