I was thinking about a thing today, and I have to share it here.

These are not fully formed thoughts, and this might get kind of long and ranty.

When I'm done, I'll make a blog post probably.

I'll try to post the majority of the thread unlisted, because I don't want to have someones FTL just be pages of me rambling about free software, but please feel free to boost or engage with any of the posts in the thread.

Anyway, I'm concerned.

I realized the other day that there's not a single organization or company within the world of free software that I trust wholly, and that's a bad place to be in when I am depending on those organizations to audit the code that runs on my machines.

For years, I supported the ideological mission of the FSF from a distance, without knowing much about RMS as a person.

The more I get to see behind the curtain of the FSF, the less I am inclined to trust their decisions.

Linus makes questionable decisions with the kernel, and has a documented history of hostility.

Canonical sent keystrokes to amazon, Purisim wants to rebrand a bunch of free software, and charge for access to an unmoderated fediverse instance (among other things.)

It seems like every organization that is pushing free software is doing it with an agenda that is often directly opposed to my own.

So it's like this:

Google coopted a bunch of free software and googlified it and made it spy one us.

Amazon coopted a bunch of free software and amazonified it and made it spy on us and then convinced most of the world to use it to power the internet

Red Hat is IBM now.

The closest thing I have to an org I trust is SPI/Debian, but I'm not close enough to them yet to say anything for certain, and they have a tendency to take *very* hard lined approaches to issues that don't merit it.

We have a world full of software projects that I consider good and valuable.

Those software projects are written and maintained and promoted by people I don't want to be associated with. People with goals that are so different from mine that I can't imagine us having anything in common (and yet, I use their tools every day.)

I guess ultimately, it comes down to a political thing, so I'll CW for politics.

Politics metaphor software Show more

And when I look at the heroes of the internet or the free software movement that enabled the modern internet folks like JPB and RMS, I see people with whom I fundamentally disagree about the purpose of software, about it's place in shaping society, about it's goals, about law and order in general.

It's easy for me to remember that Microsoft and Google and Amazon and Facebook and Apple are not my friends, because they don't even pretend to be.

But Purism pretends to give a shit about the community. RMS went off about being a free software purist for years (and then kept his mouth shut about the IoT as it ate the world, and said lots of shitty stuff)

These organizations and people positioned themselves within the community as allies, and then used us to further their agendas.

I guess the crux of what I'm saying is that we need new heroes.

We need new organizations. We need new blood in the FOSS world that is focussed on protecting the user, on building a community, on doing good rather than just not being evil.

We need less 1960s/70s techno-utopian optimism, and more suspicion and protection.

This tech is a neutral, ultimately, but the people who advocate for it are not. I want to be careful about which people we ally myself with.

I guess I need to make some clarifications here.

I don't particularly care what worldview the maker of my tools had, in general, so long as those views don't impact the tools.

When I do care is if their worldview influenced the decisions they made when building my tools, or if, by using these tools, I am somehow promoting them to be in a position of greater prominence.

@ajroach42 consider who is shaping the tools we use and what assumptions they have

Google has had tremendous influence over the last two HTTP standards, and after fundamentally changing key aspects of TCP turned out not to have been enough for them

the way npm, cargo, and go work by pulling hundreds of packages from the internet to even get started, excludes whole countries of not continents from participating sensibly


@ajroach42 honestly, like, half the tools that come out these days assume you are sitting in San Francisco, and have Google Fibre, so connecting to our data centre in San Francisco will be real fast

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