Listened to another General Intellect Unit episode on Post Open Source. A bit of a downer this one, to be honest – it’s about FOSS being ‘dead’. Free software having died a while back, and open-source being recently departed. There are many valid points. It’s based on this article. Need more time to digest it and read the article.

@neil I couldn't get past the beginning. If you don't care about software freedoms, why would you care about free software? Then it hit me. It's the other meaning of free:"free as beer". Then its just a complaint that in capitalism there is no free lunch.

@neil And to continue bitching. Oh, did you just move out on your own and realized that everything actually costs money and the fridge doesn't magically fill itself?

@neil I read the article, and agree with a lot of it, but they are missing something that is hinted at in their final statements:

"in a word, capitalism.

"if post-open source wants to not die the same death, it will need to explicitly and aggressively fight its greatest existential threat."

I see lots of anti-capitalist communities creating and/or adopting their own software.

If they can't get at the code, they will fail.

Call it what you want.

Non-dominium agreements might work...

@bhaugen @neil nevermind the irony of them using big-C capitalistic infrastructure to carry a pro-marxist? angle about free software supposedly dying.

it's a lot of dissonance.

@bhaugen @neil

i mean forgetting the fact that argument takes mozilla and makes them the ultimate pass/fail test for all of open source.


@bhaugen @neil the original article proffered by someone who's been programming a decade.

i probably thought i knew everything after 10 years in the field too.

@bhaugen That's the main point I take from the article. That the aim is maximising a commons of software. And that copyleft fails to do it at scale because corporations will route around it entirely. And that open-source licensing fails to do it because it is just a cop out for the corporations anyway.

They seem to be saying public domain equivalent licenses or public/private licenses stand a better chance of avoiding corporate exploitation.

No clue if that's a valid point or not.

@neil I continue to think that one of the solutions to this set of problems is for cooperative communities to achieve enuf financial stability to pay software developers for their community, or better yet, for cooperatives of cooperatives. A nondominium agreement might be better than a license. In other words, if you are a participant in the agreement, you can use the software, get the code, etc. etc.

@bhaugen Thank you, I'll have to read up on non-dominium.

From CommonsTransition I found: "Non-dominium reflects the fact that no agent or combination of agents may have dominant control over the shared resources."

@neil Yeah, I learned about nondominium agreements from Kurt Laitner of Sensorica, but I understand Chris Cook did a lot of work with them:

Kyle Mitchell, a license lawyer, created this license which seems pretty much the same as a nondominium agreement:

@bhaugen Oh interesting, I saw Kyle Mitchell was mentioned in the original article with License Zero. Cross-license collaboratives looks much more interesting at first blush.

@neil I think the death of FOSS is greatly exaggerated. Mostly by people who really wish it was dead, and that they could exploit users in peace. Many of the world's biggest software corporations are in that number. And they tend to look for unexpected ways to put their message out.

@lightweight I think this misrepresents who is saying FOSS is dead.

I say FOSS is dying, rapidly, because of its stubborn insistence that it exist within settler-colonialism, and its outright hostility to anything else.

I have no interest in having users, let alone exploiting them. I have an interest in not transitioning exploitation from one group of unelected colonists to another. From where I sit, capitalist or FOSS doesn't matter, both exist only to live inside capitalism.

Until open-source folk take a firm stance against that, like @bhaugen says, the field will continue to die, just like every part of colonialism.

Ironically, your construction of the issue, which erases the outside world in favor of "open-source v corporate exploiters," plays into the exact sorta habits that mean FOSS people mis-perceive their environment.

Seen (or created) any anti-colonialist software?

I asked in another thread, but am pretty sure than colonialism and capitalism started up together,

But I can imagine anti-capitalism that is still white that colonialism and white chauvinism have been embedded, they won't necessarily stop at the end of capitalism.

@lightweight @neil

@bhaugen I'm working with the best minds I can gather to see if that is possible! We reckon it is, but it's going to take a bit longer before we have an answer. If it is possible, we plan on exploring that opportunity. @neil

@emsenn @bhaugen @neil seems to me that we're all "tilting at windmills" because... well, if enough of us do it, we'll change the status quo.

@emsenn @bhaugen @neil Colonialism and capitalism have shaped the current playing field. Free Software (my allegiance) is a movement built on stubborn adherence to principles. I lack respect for the OS movement due to its explicit alignment with capitalist incentives, which in turn benefit those descended from the beneficiaries of colonialism rather than everyone else.

@emsenn @bhaugen @neil I think corporations, with their single motivation and inevitable abuse of power, are the antithesis of my values. Any solutions which allows them to exist will eventually fail. Any solution that undermines their power will be painful but has a chance.

@emsenn @bhaugen @neil also, the author of the Post Open Source essay who claims they want to not think about their OS and have their computer "just work" & therefore they use Windows... does a whole lot to undermine their cred. I'd suggest the righteous disowning &/or deflecting responsibility for real things they depend on is a part of the capitalist "I'll pay to retain my ignorance of things I completely depend on because I can afford it." Even if part of the price is my freedom.

@emsenn @bhaugen @neil I disagree substantially with the two guys running the podcast (never heard of them previously) regarding the advantages of the Free Software, and what users want/need. I think they're a bit glib, and they give the impression that they're quite ok with proprietary software (my reckons on the topic:


This is such a hopeless and white-centering perspective on what I said that I don't think I have anything more to say.

@emsenn fair enough, although despite being quite interested in understanding it, I'm completely baffled by your assertion.

@lightweight I believe emsenn's objecting that e's not tilting at the same windmills as us. That it's insulting to call surviving as a lokotian, outside of western culture, that.


@neil It is not like FOSS is dead as in "doesn't exist anymore". However in my opinion as a movement it loses ground.

It won't ever be really dead as long as someone does it. However let's admit that very very few people are actively living FOSS ideas (or even have clear understanding of them) these days.

A lot of points in the article are valid.
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