Thank you FOSS, for preparing the money train once more

Maybe now is a good time to start a bit of an ongoing ‘Social Coding Foundations’ strategy talk here. I have been advocating for past couple of years, weaving people’s ideas, initiatives together, cross-linking, sketching ideas. All that so we wouldn’t waste the opportunity to grasp the potential that the Fediverse has, and squander it. And doing so while retaining the beautiful culture we have flourishing there. Become stronger together, and a real alternative to toxic social media. In fact, to become a Peopleverse. To Reimagine Social.

Meanwhile noticing that grassroots culture and overly technical focus in FOSS movement left Fediverse in a situation where its growing weaker rather than stronger. Maybe more resilient (resiliency by chaos), but not cohesive and able to evolve the substrate on which it stands.

It was always clear that, should decentralized social networking find broad mainstream adoption (very likely to happen) - whether it’d be with AS/AP or an alternative protocol stack - things might be going rapidly and grabbed out of the hands of Commons and Free Culture folks by the corporate world who do have greater ability to act. It is good to once more ponder why this is the case.

Fediverse may be at a pivotal point right now. The timelines are full of CEO’s, CTO’s of corporates and startups, and laid-off hotshots from Silicon Valley giants. Looking around, sniffing to see if there’s some dollars to be found. ActivityPub hashtag is glowing hot. In some time we may see first well-designed and slick commercial fedi services entering our space. Potentially the Gmails of the Fediverse.

:thinking:How does FOSS and the Commons react?

(Prediction / Hot take: In some years people will sigh wistfully thinking of that old fedi. Yet another nice thing ripped away, for those who still remember Ye Olde Web. And they will complain how everything gets corrupted by hypercapitalism, who only take from FOSS and do not give something back for them to sustain their lives)

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grabbed out of the hands of Commons and Free Culture folks by the corporate world who do have greater ability to act. It is good to once more ponder why this is the case.

Free software enables capitalism.

The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).

What is Free Software? - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation

Actually, we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If a license does not permit users to make copies and sell them, it is a nonfree license.

Selling Free Software - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation

You can look specifically at the GNU GPL and AGPL (which Mastodon uses); e.g. in their “basic permissions”

This License explicitly affirms your unlimited permission to run the unmodified Program. The output from running a covered work is covered by this License only if the output, given its content, constitutes a covered work. This License acknowledges your rights of fair use or other equivalent, as provided by copyright law.

GNU Affero General Public License - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation

Companies and capitalists are just part of the socio-economic system. The environment, and the fact that a “free license” potentializes the issue, leads to the economic system appropriating what people created for the commons. Also, people on the free software community, and those who create it, will capitalize it as well as seen with Gitlab, Gitea, …

Some interesting reads

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Thank you @yuu for this nice food for thought, and welcome to the forum :smiley:

Yes, our Free Culture only further enables hypercapitalism. We continue to gift-wrap great ideas + instruction set to realize and then offer them to the first person to corrupt them.

Loser generated power

On the “Sharism” wikipedia page there’s mention of “loser generated content”. This hot take goes a bit further to trigger more thoughts and discussion.

  • Hypercapitalism is a “winner-take-all” system unfairly balanced to those inclined to bend the rules, i.e. bring their vices to bear.
  • As a result this system is inherently unsustainable, as it feeds on any force that is unhealthy for it. This guarantees its eventual demise, but no telling when that happens and what ruins then remain.
  • Meanwhile hypercapitalism erodes everything that is good. Like Humanity for instance.
  • On the Humanity front we find the well-principled, common-sense applying fine people of Free Culture movements offering resistance. There are many Virtues to be restored, one by one and all together.
  • One such important quality is Transparency. Hold in high regard, free culturists do all their work out in the open. This is very important to inspire other free culturalists and get flourishing collaboration going.

→ Humanity is powerful instrument. With positive energy powerful solutions are created this way.

This would all be great, if not corrupting powers hadn’t full access too and the ability to move with more speed, as it is their hypercapitalist system within which these solutions were crafted. So… Hypercapitalism takes the free (beer) gift and uses the extra power to corrupt some more.

The losers are resigned for that to happen. Disappointed, yes, but still they continue… to prepare and brew their next beer.

Can we be more FOSS Strategic here, with important condition to keep our full set of values and principles in place?

  • Can we diminish the failure conditions we vowed to live by? E.g. does everything need to be Radically Transparent? Or is Eventual Transparency a concession that is warranted, given circumstance?

The Freedom to Corrupt

Being cynical yet with a serious undertones I presented #BOSS:

We give the 4 freedoms of FOSS to everyone, including the ones that can wield our free work the most efficient: The Corrupters of Hypercapitalism.

We feel that that is the only thing we can possibly do, as we are Principled™

Question is if that is really true, and there’s a big flaw in our reassoning.