Criticisms and choices

Bernhard E. Reiter bernhard at
Thu Mar 17 08:54:42 UTC 2022

Hi Paul,

to me your statements are too general to lead to more insights.
You draw specific conclusions from observations made on a much larger scale,
so I cannot see a valid chain of arguments.
The follow paragraph is an example, but others display the same problem.

Am Mittwoch 16 März 2022 16:33:05 schrieb Paul Boddie:
> There's a pervasive attitude in Free Software thanks to the influence of
> broader commercial and social culture, particularly American-style
> capitalism,

A lot of Free Software initiatives are located around the world, 
e.g. KDE is very strong in Europe. 

Here are some numbers on geographic distribution of Free Software contributers
and it shows that the US is contributing less then a fourth (<25%)
so it is 75% from the rest of the world. 
(See table 1 of Wachs, et. al 2020 [1])

To me it is unlikely and unplausible that "American-style capitalism"
is the decisive influence of a "pervasive attitude" in the Free Software 
movement and leads to

> where there apparently has to be a winner and, therefore, losers. 

For communication software like instant messangers (and chat rooms)
this can also be explained by the
and it is not limited to Free Software or software.

And it is very natural. Your personal choice is under pressure if many of your 
peers or people you want to communicate with are on a certain platform.
So even without any suggested special attitude there is a competition.
And competition can be a good thing as it creates choice.
(It can also be a bad thing, this depends on more factors, I won't expand on 
this here and yet, just explain why your argument is not conclusive.)

Hope it is helpful to see why most of your writings do not convince me and 
they are often not specific enough to be able to answer them without a lot of 
time and research. 
I'd profit from shorter contribution that cover more specific details
or arguments drawn on your knowledge.

Best Regards,

[1] Johannes Wachs, Mariusz Nitecki, William Schueller, Axel Polleres,
The Geography of Open Source Software: Evidence from GitHub,
Technological Forecasting and Social Change,
Volume 176,
ISSN 0040-1625,

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