FreeSoftwareNextGen

Where to take the ideas of FreeSoftware next?

It all has started with the article on RichardStallman and this thread.

By many accounts RMS isn’t a stellar human being, but he believes his ideals with great purity. Is it possible – as the classical Western ideal says – for an idea and the idea-carrier to be separated?

The problem is that where as they can be separate you can’t keep them separate by writing in-depth profiles of the idea-carrier’s personal quirks. When you have a strong pre-existing association between idea & idea-carrier like this, you have to actually do things to deliberately break this connection.

Surely there are other interesting free software advocates to write profiles about, but RMS is towering. Even if you were to have a purely idea-based discussion, you’d be relying heavily on his work, even in critique. It’s hard to name another idea based free software advocate. Many people doing, few people thinking as a primary action.

Some think he takes up too much space in the movement, to be honest. Has he taken oxygen out of the room or have very few people gotten deep into the idea set?

MarcinCieĊ›lak related an anecdote:

I visited his recent talk with a friend, who had seen him for a first time. The talk was bad: RMS was annoyed that his talk wasn’t promoted enough; he was definitely not in good shape.
But my friend stayed and said, ‘You know, he’s right’.

This is interesting to observe: his sermons have an effect on the public. People, even if for few minutes, start to realize their sins.

Others have noted that years ago, decades ago, they had listened to RMS talk and now they realize that RMS had predicted a number of other things (or analogues of same) years prior. That’s when they decided that yes, it’s time to take him seriously and presume correctness.

So what about his criticism of the Internet as a whole? What if you grew up as a true believer and now you are left with your dreams ruined?

We need to develop what it means to have free sofware in a Software as a Service and Internet of Things world. RMS’s tactics are very desktop and workstation oriented. His strategies and ideas need to be built upon and refined. Enormous man-decades are burnt in having as many choices as possible, and encouraging that. That’s why the desktop point of view failed.

Perhaps this looks like a new web without compatibility, with new protocols and so forth.

The other thing that has gutted the Free software movement is the Open Source movement with ESR, Tim O’Reilly, etc. They set things up to be exploited by corporations.

EditNearLinks: FreeSoftware RichardStallman

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