foss is a failed ideology because it always had fucked up social and moral priorities. it only ever empowered privileged tech nerds and never achieved anything more than piracy didn’t also do.

for real, I can swear that 90% of the refurbished pcs from your non profit that you installed some linux distro on and gave to people ended up with a cracked version of windows xp installed by someone else after 3 months because it was too fucky/the software didn’t run.

I have nothing against the idea of free and open source software but it doesn’t deserve meaningful consideration until the individual and organisational figures of the movement retire permanently and are replaced by people who aren’t cishet white nerds who think the root of all evil is the windows vista calculator they can’t see the source code of rather than capitalism at large.

If you’re not a cishet white dude and you’re still getting defensive over this you need to turn yourselves towards all of the women and trans people and non-white people who got pushed away from FOSS because of the environment it fostered over the years. This is not about you and I’m not coming to wipe your linux partition.

@Siph I could write a whole blog post replying to these toots.

Having experienced the toxic culture of my local LUG back in the early 2000s, I think this all came from how much of an ass Torvalds was, and how prejudiced at lot of the tech nerds from the Linux camp were. If I'd disclosed I was gay I'm sure I'd have gotten it even worse. I've found this to be less true with the BSDs, where there's a core group of people making decisions instead of a dictator for life. (1/?)

@Siph That said, I take issue with your saying "it only ever empowered privileged tech nerds and never achieved anything more than piracy didn’t also do." The difference between FOSS and piracy is if I use FOSS, no one cares whereas if I pirate there's a chance I can be sued. It extends to any organizations I do work for, which now is the community radio station I do volunteer tech work for. Putting them in a position to get sued is something I'd never do or advocate for. (2/?)

@Siph That community radio station makes a point of serving marginalized people, by the way. It getting sued out of existence because I or some other volunteer pirated software they used & got caught would mean it couldn't do that anymore, and paying for software would easily eat up their shoestring budget. FOSS allows us to avoid that quagmire.

There are FOSS OSs geared towards non-tech people, though they don't get much attention. I'll go into those in my next toot. (3/4)

@Siph They're both not production-ready, but there's ReactOS (, which aims to be for Windows what Linux is to Unix, and Haiku ( ), which is the FOSS spiritual successor to BeOS. Ironically Haiku is closer to being production-ready than ReactOS is. (4/4)

@Siph or, perhaps better yet, remade systems/organisations that don't rely on 'leaders' at all and instead on people co-operating and working together, learning, listening, having fun and building software and resources that actually work for everyone and not sticking to philosophies when they don't work to empower everyone. :)

free software politics 

@Siph I'm not an FSF or RMS fan and don't want him back, just wanna point out that at least RMS specifically does criticise capitalism (or at least its current form):

There was also a very good article from Africans doing some... idk, I think agriculture and mapping related stuff, that argued very strongly in favor of developing open source software instead of paying for closed source licenses, both to keep money local instead of funneling it to European companies, and because it enriches the commons.
Sadly I can't find the link right now, but I'm pretty sure I saved it somewhere, so I can dig it up if you want. I also have a good guess as to who shared it, but can't remember the exact spelling of their username, but I could dig harder if needed.

free software politics 

@Siph Basically my point is that "free software is a failed ideology" is a stretch.

@Siph FOSS should be inherently communist and anarchist by nature

@Siph I think the way you compare open source to piracy here is a really insightful angle to see how much of a failure open source is

@Siph Like, what can open source do that piracy can't? So much less other than being legal.

(And of course, a small handful of nerds being able to see the source code, oh wow, our horizons have really opened up here)

@dzuk so I havea thought on that. And I'm going to use a car metaphor.

Open source isn't going to help a lot of people. But it does make computers more accessible by giving your computer a hood you can pop.

Proprietary software, when you open the hood, there's just a swirling mass of space and static that makes you question if it's safe to even look at.

Open source, you pop the hood and there's an engine. It's generally big and complex and messy and nobody really understands what's going on, but it's an engine with oil and wire and hoses and stuff.

Does the distinction matter to the majority of people? No! Only a minority ever _want_ to pop the hood of their car. But it's probably a good thing that "anyone" (for certain definitions of anyone) can get in there and work on it.

@astraluma yeah, like, there is that element, but open source advocates treat this incredibly minor thing that a tiny fraction of people will ever want or get to do as if it's the thing that's gonna change everything. Instead of the software not being utter crap.

Developing and editing software is on a completely different level of complexity beyond the want or understanding of regular people that I think many FOSS people truly do not get.

@astraluma like, very few people are going to drive a car that looks like shit and runs like ass if their only saving grace is 'if you're a certified mechanic and you have the spare time you can easily tweak it if you want'.

And the fact is, many larger FOSS projects pretend that their software is for the masses, which is just quite frankly laughable.

@astraluma and also the original point was to improve the ways that computers were used in society, not to just help out a handful of IT technicians or coders

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