breaking bad habits like Doodle and Facebook with, plugins?

Mat Witts admin at
Thu Jan 18 13:42:55 UTC 2018

On 18/01/18 13:06, Stephane Ascoet wrote:
> These are two of the main differences between libre software
> advocacies(Linus Torvalds and Eric Raymond for the first, RMS for the
> second) and I think it would be hardly solved now and here..
I think the Torvalds / RMS split is an example of this internal
inconsistency playing out, yes.

I suspect though that each person is intelligent enough to see it as an
internal contradiction within the FS movement that cannot be resolved
dogmatically by either coming down on one side or the other - but ought
to be left open for individual activists to work through in their own
lives without reference to either luminary.

It seems to me there is not a black and white moral fence that we need
to jump over to acheive a fairer society but a moral and functional
gradient available, and that ought to be left to individual activists to
work out for themselves what is right for them in the conditions they
are most concerned about.

For a debian developer, having software that secretly connects to
proprietary surveillance / telemetrics would I think be totally
unacceptable, but for a 'free', progressive web app games developer, the
use of the FB API just for login for example to boost adoption may be
acceptable for them, and both ought to be able to identify fully with
the FS movement in an egalitarian way.

The point being that the role of the FS activist needs more room to
maneuver than is often admitted in forums, and apologists for modest use
of proprietary software perhaps ought not to have to contend with the
ridicule and moral crusading that comes with more zealous standards in
pursuit of an imagined utopia of total proprietary software annihilation
when a more modest goal would perhaps be better for computer users,
developers and society more generally?

The idea of 'good' and 'bad' here then is problematic because it is a
moral judgment being made about software when we know free software can
be used to accelerate terrifying consequences and also the reverse is
also true - in the case where a discussion about the benefits of free
software could easily take place on a proprietary platform like Facebook
for example.

The fundamentalist complaint then is about deflating the moral
categories of a liberal lifeworld, and turning the critique on those
that would use the rhetoric of software freedom to control and
manipulate computer users in that way, which is possibly as 'unhelpful'
(or if you like - 'reprehensible') as the 'evil' of Facebook and the likes?

If you have ever wondered why people are suspicious of the Free Software
message then this would be by wager, that the FS movement hasn't yet
reconciled its own internal contradictions on the issue of what software
freedom includes (in that it cannot exclude proprietary software on
moral grounds, but only through technical measures such as some versions
of copyleft) but until it does, not many will want to listen to the
messages Torvalds or RMS would prefer they hear?

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