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Re: Documentation Standards was Re: [ox-en] UserLinux

On 8 Dec 2003 at 7:22, august wrote:

It seesmt hatt hose who accept it at face value see information as
some rareified thing that is somehow made immune from
power/politics/law/desire beacuse we say it is or wish it to be. The
whole mantra as you have called it needs to be critically analysed.
As do the equally facile staments about non rivalrous, gift economy
etc. In my own little way I have been trying to prompt such a debate
but people just want to reply with the mantra and its coordinates.

I also have this experience.  I wince and roll my eyes everytime I
hear someone say "information wants to be free".

Wow. Today is a day I must mark in my calender - I have been saying
this for a year now - check the fsfeurope archives for Nov 2002 when
I first laid bare my growing misgivings - but to date, I hadn't
actually found anyone to agree with me on this. I suddenly have two!
I knew joining this list was a good idea!

I'm probably going to get pummeled for this, but I also have a problem
with RMS's "freeness". RMS is basically a capitalist.  he doesn't
really say it, but my guess is the objects of trade in RMS's world of
free software have something to do with ego and recognition.

I'm not really sure what's driving it and it probably doesn't
actually matter. His heart's in the right place - software does need
a good deal of liberalising and it most certainly should come with
source wherever possible. However, software freedom to me includes
the right to commercialise if that's better for the software -
injection of capital lets you do innovation quite impossible without
a government grant under the GPL - and most governments quite rightly
won't put public money towards GPL development, only BSD/MIT etc. I
also don't see why business, the lifeblood of our society, should be
denied the ability to reuse free software just like anyone else - you
can have a license prohibiting exploitation of a copyright holder by
business stealing your code, but still give fair rights for use as a
self-contained sealed package (I know that technically the GPL
permits this, but it's a legal gray area as yet legally untested).

I certainly think creative work should be reworded, but find RMS's
stance to be old-skool, wierdly neo-liberal, and immature (in good and
bad ways).

To me, the whole GPL thing is similar to Marx's Das Kapital vs
Capitalism. Both communism and capitalism are based around maximising
production and growth-orientated economics. They are far more similar
than different - and if you look to their philosophical roots, you'll
find they are very similar. It's why both are doomed ideologies and
both are not long-term sustainable - it's just capitalism hasn't
crashed yet (it will).

However, you can combine the best of communism with the best of
socialism with a large dose of eastern religious thought to create a
viable long-term sustainable economic system. It's what's being
researched at think-tanks globally since the 1970's.

Similarly, the perfect solution for software exists - it takes the
best from many models and blends them.



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