“The hacker ethos once championed as a method of subverting prevailing power has become at last its greatest lieutenant … I am not hoping for programmers to organize as a class, not anytime soon – you dudebro losers haven't got the guts – but good software simply won't be possible until we accomplish at least that much. There will never be the time or money to satisfy the guarantees our ethics require until we demand them with all the power we possess.”

@aral it's hard to offend dudebro losers into organizing as a class when the dudebro losers are paid enough not to feel exploited

@aral I wish I could boost this a million times.

"Far from being a priest class, software engineers strive to eliminate their own power by making their works generalizable and accessible."

OMG this is so good

@antanicus It really is, as is everything else I’ve ever read by @garbados

@antanicus @aral This finds voice in the GNU GPL, which was never simply about making it easier for a exclusive priesthood of developers to share code among themselves, but rather explicitly to radically empower all users.

@tychosoft and yet a priest class of white, wealthy, libertarian males is all we've got, 32 years after the GPL was first introduced.

That's not the GPL's fault, of course, but we're in such a dire situation because a licence, which is a legal agreement, cannot address non-legal matters such as the patriarchy, global inequality and capitalism itself. Solving those requires devs take a hard sance on subjects that are inherently political in nature. Unfortunately that's something they're (mostly) not willing/able to do, partially because of how neoliberal academia frames technology as "neutral" and "agnostic", which it's not. The sooner we realise there's a power concentration problem in the FLOSS community, the sooner we'll be ready to address it.


@antanicus @tychosoft Couldn’t agree more. Free software is just one aspect of the solution, it is not the solution by itself.

@antanicus @aral in a world where all software is free, or as rms once suggested, all software has no owners, the gpl would become irrelevant and unnecessary. But yes, specifically as a legal instrument designed for this present dystopia where ideas and their expression, human thought and culture, can be owned and coercively controlled, it cannot itself make that world happen alone. I like to say it exist only for its own eventual obsolescence, but we have a long road ahead to get there.

@Aral Balkan Thanks for the pointer. This was an excellent article, and so was the linked ones. Especially this one: use computers to store data!

@aral this article linked interesting too

It's about a general database program and how programmers have given up on creating such things.

@aral @garbados I think 'dudebro loser' should be on every CV ;)

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Aral’s Mastodon

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!