It sickens me that some of the biggest media figures in and are alt-right or adjacent, making these spaces actively hostile to the groups already excluded from tech and making young people in particular easy to target with hateful rhetoric.

Oh, and just a casual reminder that the mass surveillance and data mining infrastructure you're so nervous about runs on free and open source software, including most prominently Linux servers. No that doesn't mean Linux, its developers, or users are necessarily badwrong or no one should use Linux or whatever, but it does mean that the vague and ill-defined idea that free software is some kind of guarantee of moral purity or would set us all "free" from corporate control was always a lie. To the free software ideologues, here's your freedom: The freedom of corporations to pay pennies to build a digital Panopticon. To the open source utilitarians, here's your efficiency gain: You've helped build truly impressive tools to violate our privacy. Fuck you all and your laughable moralization of technology.

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@xiroux Luke Smith and DistroTube, off the top of my head. Guys like Bryan Lunduke are mighty skeevy, too.

@ljwrites Fortunately, I don't know any of them. But I'll be on the lookout if I see those names, thanks!

@xiroux I really envy you, they were pretty much unavoidable once I started getting into the tech side of YouTube. Can you recommend other, better info providers? Maybe I should just stick to the forums and wikis.

@ljwrites @xiroux I would absolutely stay clear of whatever the "tech side" of youtube is...
as it's A> youtube in general
B> likely to be VERY difficult to follow any instructions (between the "like and subscribe" pleas, and the 'this very important thing that would be on your screen for however long you needed it, if text, will be blurry and on your screen for a half second so you can see my face, my face very important, remember to like and subscribe!"

Also, you can ask ... here, on the fediverse. There are lots of people here who have a clue.

(and yes, I've had to rethink my stance on "everyone should be able to use the software, freedom is important for everyone, we must be sure it is available to EVERYONE period" to "you know this whole making it available to everyone is not working well for the poor... and that's where I came from... so it would not help me in the past... ok this sucks we need better")

@ljwrites @xiroux That said:

The number of people you'll find who have EXTREMELY STRONG OPINIONS who are willing to accept that another idea might possibly have value is... a bit low in forums and wiki's.

That also needs to change.

Which means people like me who have strong opinions need to shut the hell up sometimes and actually _listen_ to people.
This is difficult (for various reasons, and in my case, are cultural + personal, so...)

Let's put it another way:
If the person who's speaking about open source isn't willing to learn: avoid.

@ljwrites @xiroux I only just found out about distrotube's beliefs and I was so disappointed

@ljwrites @xiroux Thankfully another open source/linux youtuber I watch made a political video and wasn't alt right or adjacent so that was nice

@ljwrites @xiroux thanks for confirming my suspicions. I already had a bad feeling when i saw lukes video thumbnails using all those typical right wing memes.

@laufi @xiroux yeah it's why I've been leery of watching his videos despite their being everywhere. I was not surprised in the slightest to learn that he's outright fash.

@ljwrites @xiroux I've heard distrotube and Bryan Lunduke saying some weird stuff. I thought Luke Smith was cool.


When people lost their shit over Code of Conducts I knew the problem was serious. This is winnable. We can make our open-source projects explicitly inclusive spaces.

@zzz that definitely needs to happen, but in the meantime all I'm seeing on Linux YouTube are white dudes clutching their frozen peaches and ranting about how wrong it is to stop using master/slave language in computing and. I just.


I mean if people want to make response videos to the ignorance that's a strategy, but the open source community I think is still mainly steered in the mailing lists and that's where I believe the real effort needs to go.

Not that the mailing lists are any less toxic or tedious.

@zzz That's a good direction to go, but I don't think you can ignore YouTube either. When a curious 15 year old who wants to fuck around on their computer Googles for Linux tips, they're not going to get hits on the kernel development mailing list. They're going to get one of these gross guys talking at them about the purity of free software and cancel culture run amok.

@ljwrites software and video game cultures are sorta pushing me out of being a software engineer.
I’ve been less and less into computing as time goes on, I think the culture is not great and I sorta just see foss as a way for corporations to exploit free labor.
Idk I loved programming since I was a kid but I think these problems that you’re speaking of are getting worse, and it’s making me disinterested in continuing on in the scene, both for fun and professionally.

@stitchandsew I feel you. I was so excited about the possibilities of Linux and free software, and still think it's a practical choice for many desktop users what with the Big Two's shenanigans, but the more I learn about that community the more 😬 I get

@ljwrites @stitchandsew tbh if the community was like it is today back in 2007, 16 year old me would have probably just stuck with rolling back Vista to XP and then waited for 7.

It’s a shame because there are still good people trying to do good things, and they’re usually in the more corporate-backed “Open Source” space in my experience.

Free software as a movement has regrettably become a lot more inward-looking and paranoid, and that has made the culture easy prey for the alt-right.

@ljwrites @stitchandsew fair disclosure: I was one of the people that started Glimpse Image Editor. Some of the things people have said about our project (and acted towards contributors lending their free time to build something helpful) has definitely impacted my perceptions! 😅

@ljwrites @stitchandsew would be neat if people made a wiki of the communities that don't suck.
eg.: Guix is IMHO quite nice to contribute to and the IRC and mailing list are rather helpful. and we really need more people who aren't techbros.

@stitchandsew @ljwrites I dedicated so much time to programming since I was a kid. But I went into theatre, where I could do technical/engineering as well as creative work, and I'm so glad. It's work that is meaningful to me and others, and I *can't* significantly contribute to oppressive systems. The friends I had who went into tech kinda lost their souls.

@s0 @ljwrites yeah I am getting to the dead inside point of working in tech.
Just kinda tired of working in it and talking about it these days. I have to find something else that won’t drain me like my current work does.
I enjoy the act of programming and think some aspects of it are cool but I really don’t like most of the resulting products that it has created.

@stitchandsew @ljwrites just remember you’re very much not alone. There are lots of other folks on fedi and around the place who have left/are leaving tech for the same reasons. I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head but I hope you can find support.

technologies - i'd expand to Techne - have no moral nor ethical need to be.

However, since Techne processes do connect with Humans who live with certain ethics and moral sets -
Technologies do tend to reflect the human societies they operate with - through the way they are being used.


The invasive usage is perhaps a reflection of Human's culture of violence?
Hence IMHO to alter such technologies, it's a question of imagination paradigm switch -
rather than some new techne wizardry.

Hello #art ;)

@ljwrites I think this is wrong. Free software makes no promises about the intent of its users. If you use free software to do bad things. But it does set those users free from corporate control.

The digital panopticon you describe is possible not just because of OSS, but because of centalization and proprietary end-user software (Windows is probably the most insidious). Which the OSS idealogues you're badmouthing have been fighting for decades.

@thoth it's almost like there's a giant disparity of power and knowledge in the real world, and the ability of sophisticated technological actors to use free software to extend control and surveillance was always going to be greater than the ability of the average consumer to defend themselves. It's almost like championing freedom while purposefully ignoring who has the greatest ability to capitalize on that freedom was inevitably going to be a bonanza for corporations. Wow, who'd have thought? 🤔

@ljwrites The stance I personally take is that:

* The Four Freedoms are necessary-but-not-sufficient for clientside & offline software. Though I see them as applying only to those who are actually running the software, which grants more nuance & hence why only clientside.
* Other factors matter more for internet services, though *ideally* we won't need any.
* WHAT we decide to make and fund is far more important than HOW we make and distribute it.

@alcinnz @ljwrites yeah the words "necessary but not sufficient" came to mind when I was reading LJ's toots

@alcinnz @ljwrites but the people who thought it _was_ sufficient should be feeling disillusioned these days

@waterbear @alcinnz Sometimes I wonder if that's why there's so much defensiveness in response to my threads, because people are trying to hold off disillusionment in themselves. Or maybe I'm giving them too much credit lol.

@ljwrites software freedom is always severely compromised as long as copyright is enforced. what keeps tech giant huge and together is their monopolies on software and hardware designs.

@sofia God why do FOSS ideologues sound just like libertarians "anything that's wrong with our model is because it wasn't implemented Purely enough! Let's double down on what has proved disastrous, and it'll work out this time! Promise!" Oh and let's just casually destroy small developers' ability to make a living in the process, because what are real-life consequences in the face of ideological purity? 🤷

@ljwrites i sound like a libertarian because i'm an anarchist 😺.

and "proven desastrous"? are you actually saying open source made surveillance worse? i thougt you merely saying it didn't sufficiently address the surveillance problem…

surveillance is pretty much by definition about unequal access to technology, a select few having vastly asymmetrical access to information.

i also don't think neither open source nor copyright abolition would harm developers, but that's another topic…

@sofia so glad you're happy about sounding like the advocates of an inhumane and failed ideology.

Unlike you I don't moralize tools, but there is moral content in how we advocate for tools to be ussed and shared. So yeah, I advocating for "freedom" without considering, and in fact explicitly forbidding consideration of, power disparity has made it a whole lot easier for large corporations to exploit the work of developers while giving nothing back and to use free software for repugnant purposes. Not exactly rocket science.

Lmao so copyright is the only disparity of power between corporations and average users? And given the exact same free & open source software Google and the average consumer have exactly the same access to technology and information, right? 😂

@ljwrites so anachism is a failed ideology too? oh well…

and who is it exactly who forbids considerarion of power disparity? are you proposing a particular way if addressing it that is incompatible with FOSS? like a license excluding big corporations and governments or something?

"copyright is the only disparity of power between corporations and average users?" no, but it's a key component in maintaining it. that's what monopoly-enforcement is for.

@sofia The way you espouse it, disregarding power differentials and putting ideological purity over reality, it's a failed ideology, yeah.

In order to be considered free software you can't exclude corporations from the license. This is written by Richard Stallman and is up on the Free Software Foundation's website.

I think communal software is a much better formulation than free software, where those who use the software to make profit are required to pay back and it is possible to set limits on usage.

So it's almost like you're admitting there are other power disparities than copyright and so copyright going away by itself won't solve all problems, hmm.

@ljwrites i do agree that many libertarians (basically all "right-wing" and "centrist" ones) are regrettably narrow in their criticism. but the oppression and exploitation remains a real issue worth criticizing and resisting. but their critisism would be a lot more impactful if they would consider the oppression though bosses as well. it's probably similar with FOSS.

"So it's almost like…" almost like i never suggested ignoring power disparities in the first place. but fine, let's move on…

@ljwrites regarding communal software, i'm not sure how you think this could be ensure in practice? how would you exclude big corporations and states without excluding regular users?

i don't think that can be done though licensing, it's as long as the the validity of licenses is decided by state-owned courts, anyway. i think the best we can do is resist them and build resilient structures outside their control…

@sofia I'm saying that the free software movement puposefully ignoring power disparities in their pursuit of software freedom resulted in more benefits to corporations, because sophisticated actors will always have more power to capitalize on free software than average consumers will. And that is why I argue that abolishing software copyright will have only limited effect, because even if all software were free Google will still be miles ahead of the average grandpa. Plus, under free software licenses like GPL corps don't even have to make their mods to free software public unless they distribute the binary, so server-side applications and internal corporate software are allowed to be opaque 🤷‍♀️

Limited software licenses have existed for a long time. It's the free software people who want to get rid of them, not the big bad state-owned courts lol.

@ljwrites Free software and open source especially has failed, but I still hang onto the hope that we can salvage it. (Partially just because I don't just want to despair)

There are still people trying to build privacy and freedom preserving software thats accessible to less- or non-technical people. Though its hard going, sadly.

@ljwrites Then there's the side of the community who expects everyone to want to tinker with their computers, and have chased away people who quite rightly want to do other things with their time. And they get quite judgemental towards some of the OS components.

Apparantly I haven't seen the worst.

There's so much wrong in our community, and I'm glad I found the people I have on the fediverse. It's largely worth ignoring.

@alcinnz @ljwrites I have been fortunate enough to only work with good, welcoming free software communities so far.

But I didn't really start in free software. I was trying to make privacy-preserving software. Over time, I realized that without source code transparency, any claims of privacy are baseless. To this day, I see free software as a prerequisite to privacy and to me that is its most important function in the post-2000 era of surveillance capitalism.

@ljwrites "the fight" is real and free software is the battlefield -
are you really going to let those pricks (corporate powers that abuse free software and exploit the labour of free software developers) destroy your dream and your energy?
Or could we not rather create tools that make their influence and their platforms redundant or obsolete?
I know it sounds idealistic, but that is the war we're in, and in my opinion there is only one way to win it.

@falgn0n wtf who even talked about quitting and what war, like did you even read the op lmaooooo

And like, even if this were some kind of "war," complaining that your allies are kinda racist and shitty means I quit? Omg go write your videogame fanfic elsewhere

@ljwrites Alps, I am curious to know which people you think are alt-right in the free software movement

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