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Re: [ox-en] Re: Cooperation in Free Projects

Stefan Merten wrote:

But yes, I agree that in the realm of computers it is more normal in
the industry that non-educated people have jobs. However, I think this
is so due to the fact that too less well-educated people existed at
some point and I'm rather sure that this will change over time and
formal qualification is a requirement. Not so for Free Software.

I don't quite agree. The question is not so much about non- vs. well-educated,
but about where the education is coming from. "formally educated" usually means
schools and other formal training. The software industry is still too young,
and too much of a moving target for such institutions to be able to give
appropriate training (they could in fact focus on methodology, and teach people
how to *think*. But well, we all know how close that is to real life. ;-) )

As a result, in the software industry more than anywhere else 'real life'
is the most important school, i.e. people become trained and educated by
actually practicing the art. And, as it happens, Open Source projects provide
an excellent ground to do just that.


   No votes on people
Though there are a few exceptions such as a few roles in Debian
statistically this seems to be simply true to me.
Hmm, we may look at what 'vote' actually means. Does it refer to a
specific formal practice of counting how much support a single person
would have in a particular role ? Or does 'to vote' mean support
(even moral one) in general ?

I meant the formal procedure.

If many people contribute to a project, this may be counted as a form
of 'vote', too.

Well, if we understand everything under a certain concept, then we
understand nothing.

OK, I didn't mean to over-generalize. But it is important to look at how
different cultures use different means to achieve similar goals.


Let's not stick to an image that might have been true 15 years ago. In particular,
if we are interested in an understanding of how FS transforms our society at large.


However, AFAICS if we are talking about cooperation in Free Software
projects the main change is that now corporations more or less
officially engage in Free Software projects - and inject their
alienated goals - for which you gave a very illustrating example.

Now that is a very interesting topic: What about those goals people (and 'corporations')
pursue when using / contributing to Free Software ? What does that mean for the
dynamics in the community surrounding a particular project ?

(In particular, what makes a goal 'alienated' ?)

There is no black and white, and, as you say, those boundaries exist
to make the development of the project more efficient, not because of
whatever 'external' economical or social reasons.

Yes, in reality there is never black and white. Instead there is
always fog. The problem with fog is, that you can't see anything. The
purpose of a theory IMHO is to make interesting structures visible in
this fog of reality. And - especially if done in a short way like in
this example - to reduce to the interesting structures.

I agree. However, I don't agree to your illustration of the spectrum
as 'fog' filling what is in between white and black. The goal is not
to blur our perception of reality (I'm glad we have left this argument
behind now !) but instead to have a more nuanced look that allows us to
better understand the dynamics.
Representing Free Software as something 'pure' which all commercial interests
only alienate to / from doesn't help our understanding anything, IMO.
Free Software evolved in *this* world, and if we want to understand
how it works, and whether it can help us solving any problems immanent
to this society, we need to look at those interactions.
This is the old WiK / WaK theme again, I guess.



      ...ich hab' noch einen Koffer in Berlin...
Contact: projekt

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