When you're talking about Linux, it's okay to say that it's "open source".

It's okay to say that it's "free software".

It's okay to call it "GNU/Linux", "Linux", or to mess up its name.

It's okay to refer to it as "the one with the friendly penguin".

Part of RMS' legacy has been an incessant obsession with terminology and pedantry, overshadowing far more important shared objectives which are fundamentally emancipatory in nature.

Pedantry is not activism; it is alienating, not emancipatory.

@eloquence Yeah, like, even setting aside just what exactly rms said about underage sex and exactly how should we be interpreting that, he's just *not a good leader*.

@jordan31 @eloquence To an extent, you're right kind of right. Deeds, not words. If you want more free software, just build it.

On the other hand, after you've done the deed, I think you should also talk about it so people know you had a particular political motive with that deed.

I wish the FSF had done more deeds. It should be the FSF Summer of Code, not GSoC. It should be FSFHub, not Github; FSF-OS not Android.

Under RMS's leadership, the FSF just has had many words and few deeds.

@jordan31 Politics aren't a stigma. Everything is politics.

Politics are like accents: if you think someone doesn't have them, that's just because they have the same as yours.

@jordan31 That's a political stance. You're against software that cares about software freedom. You have a position. You don't want to be told that software should be free. You think that shouldn't be said. Those are your politics: be quiet, you don't want to hear it.

@jordan31 If you don't care, then we'll keep saying it and you'll still be happy.


@jordan31 Okay, we'll keep saying it. I'll keep saying it. We all deserve free software and we should have it and we should keep building it.

We should not need non-free software. We should not have a reason to use non-free software.

And I'll keep submitting patches or building free software whenever I can.

@jordan31 And of course you can ignore because you don't care. But if you don't care you can also hear me, because hey, it's the same to you. It's irrelevant what I say as long as I build software, right?

@jordan31 Sorry, I missed a word. "Of course you can ignore me because you don't care".

@JordiGH @jordan31 @eloquence And then somebody says that they're doing it to "Further the Kingdom of God" (in the end, a political stance), and some people think that this also implies that this must mean that they're against same-sex marriage (which may be true for some, false for others) or whatever else they consider a horrible political position: Instant drama. (For example, made the news much more than it warranted IMHO)

So the only way to be safe would be to explain all politics all the time. That's tiresome for all involved and it likely means that people will focus on the differences, forming social bubbles and reducing cooperation.

Meanwhile proprietary software continues to be built without that friction because enterprises can paper over smaller (and even larger) political differences by establishing a "don't ask, don't tell" framework for politics, because they want to get shit done, and they pay enough to make people follow that policy.

@patrick Oh, proprietary software has plenty of politics: it's okay to spy on people, it's okay to control people via software, we need more ads and more data collection from people, shut up and do what the people with money tell you to do, you don't wanna starve, do you?

These are political positions too.

Politics are just opinions about how we should organise our society.

@patrick Btw, been meaning to say: I really love your sheep avatar.

@JordiGH I didn't mean to say that proprietary software vendors and their products doesn't have politics. My claim is that they have a rather large set of politics that they declared out of bounds for the scope of work, which allows cooperation between their minions (which is how they see employees) without them having to explain themselves all day long.

When you go "everything is political", you'll create an environment in which people evaluate and judge each others' politics and in which a subset of people will aim for some orthodoxy (optimized around their own beliefs^Wpolitics), burning everything down rather than seek _some_ common ground.

Between those, I'm simply not surprised that proprietary software vendors still run the show.

@JordiGH Hah, thanks! At some point I was called "sheeple" for defending cautious behavior around the pandemics and decided to run with it.

@JordiGH @jordan31 "Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone." - RMS

@JordiGH @jordan31 @JordiGH @jordan31 "Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone." - rms

@JordiGH @jordan31 "Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone." - rms

@patrick @JordiGH @eloquence omg is this sqlite thing real or an april fools?

@robey @patrick @eloquence It's real, the lead dev really is religious.

@JordiGH @robey @patrick @eloquence it was in response to calla for sqlite to have a code of conduct. i don’t know whether this part is true, but what he claomed was that since he’s the only developer, having a code of conduct was kind of absurd. so he put up a statement about how he conducts himself.

@JordiGH @robey @patrick @eloquence i have since noticed there may be other developers?

it was borderline- since codes of condict are a good idea, it was read by some to be mocking the idea of codes of conduct. but i don’t think that was the intent

@zens @JordiGH @robey @eloquence It's a core team and according to that page (which explains how the CoE came to be) they seem pretty well-aligned in their beliefs and worked it out together.

Apparently they drafted it in response to checkbox items in contract material that asked "what CoC are you using?"

"Everything is political" quickly leads to demanding that people discuss matters that they wouldn't discuss otherwise and then not liking their answer (maybe merely because it's unusually phrased as in the CoE, which is why the reaction to it became my go-to example for the problem).
It's a divisive philosophy and I'm not sure Free Software can afford balkanizing its ecosystem that way.

And just for clarification, somebody who just won't shut up about their controversial beliefs despite being told that they make people uncomfortable is an entirely different situation ("push" vs. "pull" information flow):

Pushing an agenda because "they're right", with no regard if that makes others within a group uncomfortable, poisons a community and there needs to be a way to evict such people - even if they have a claim to fame from 40 years ago.

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence it’s precisely that situation that a code of conduct is for- and it’s certainly not some weird trend in software, codes of conduct are standard in pretty much all other industries, if anything it’s software that’s weird for thinking it doesn’t need them.

it’s like a contract- it doesn’t really matter what’s in it, so long as everyone understands up front what they are agreeing to. leaving things unstated and assumed leads to problems worse than balkinising.

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence and its situations like the fsf, and ICE’s use of software against its author’s wishes, and lots of other unintended consequences of the concept of free software that has led to a reckoning. we shouldn’t treat foss as an infallible good, like it’s a cult. it has failed us and we should question it, absolutely. stating all political agendas up front is part of that.

@zens @robey @JordiGH @eloquence The CoE _was_ written to be used in the software industry, so apparently that "trend" of not having rules of engagement only affects a subset of software. And I'm not arguing against codes of conduct in general.

In the industry (no matter the field) the purpose is to clarify "what's your handbook for dealing with bad situations?" We seem to agree on that, given your last paragraph.

The CoE explains that pretty well and yet it created a shitstorm - by the way, that's something you won't get in the industry: your contract might fall through, but your would-be contract partner won't put up a NYTimes ad "they have a weird CoC so they are horrible people."

The motivation looks _very_ different to me and the catch phrase for that motivation seems to be "everything is politics".

In the industry they doesn't care about "politics", they care about being able to work together. Preparing for the worst (that's why contracts are longer than "you do X, we do Y"), but still, work together.

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence if industry doesn’t care about politics then surely they don’t need all those lobbyists?

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence a contract might fall through, but at least your employees won’t hire a fleet of paid PR “employees” to slander the concept of trade unions?

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence everything *is* politics, and i really don’t understand what you are getting at, other than just objecting to a kind of politics *you* don’t like.

@zens The opposite of "everything is politics" isn't "nothing is politics".

But yeah, that "don't care about politics" was meant in the context of parties working together, I should have been clearer about that.

Trivial and rather stupid example: Fanboys tend to be stupified if their love-brand and their hate-brand cooperate even though they imagine that there must be some undying hate between the workforces of the companies behind them.

@patrick stupid people
say stupid things, and nothing brings out the stupid like communication mediums with extremely low barriers to entry, no cooldown periods, forced brevity, and features that encourage the deletion of context

@zens @robey @JordiGH @eloquence So what kind of politics do you image do I not like? Except the notion that "everything is politics", of course - I'm quite clear on that :-)

(digging a bit because this is such a worn out phrase that I wonder if it comes from some rhetorics course)

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence i am really not sure, about even whether we are arguing woth each other or just talking about a subject in vague agreement. as a guess, maybe you are worried that pushy people vocal about their politics will discourage cooperation in the free software realm? i think i see the phenomenon you’re describing but see it more as a reaction to uh, monstrously abusive figures in the free software realm that have been tolerated so far using excuses like that

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence a thing i have gradually learned is that we really don’t know what happens behind closed doors that might lead to ads in the new york times. it’s not fair to assume that what is publically known is all there is to know

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence also, is the nyt reference to something specific? i’m not sure what that is

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence if i am gay, or black or jewish or trans, i would certainly want to know up front whether or not the founder believes i deserve to exist or be treated as a full equal human being. it’s the privilege of the favoured class of people to not need to worry about the politics of an organisation. for everyone else it’s a matter of survival.

@zens @robey @JordiGH @eloquence I imagined a nyt ad to be the corporate equivalent to twitter activists railing up their followers. Stuff like or

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence twitter’s gonna twitter. it’s a ahame that the medium encourages that viral knee jerk reactionary shit, but i am pretty suspicious of any claim that it represents a coherent group of people, or a movement, or some kind of scary phenomenon. i thought everyone just overreacted to a misunderstanding. in their defense, sqlite guy is not a skilled PR person, which is normally what it takes to avoid these sorts of issues.

@zens @robey @JordiGH @eloquence "twitter’s gonna twitter" as in "boys will be boys"? That feels rather reactionary when the vocal proponents of CoCs are all there.

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence needing a pr department to avoid these situations is not a thing twitter invented either. it’s just made it more visible, something that you would ordinarily only see in the mail room of the organisation.

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence i don’t think noting public square commentary is a thing that exists is comparable to excusing sexual assault

@zens @robey @JordiGH @eloquence As in, the difference between a sealed investigation report in a court case and a nyt ad. No problem there, right?

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence these bows you are drawing, are very long bows. be careful you don’t get snapped.

@zens @robey @JordiGH @eloquence Of course it can be compared. It's a shitty comparison, I agree, but in either case troublesome behavior is excused because of sympathies.

And I thought it's about raising the standard.

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence so you reckon it’s possible to file a court case against twitter for hosting people who publically talk about sexual assault, and this is the same thing as holding a registered legal entity to account for its employees behavior?

@patrick @robey @JordiGH @eloquence setting up your own argument ad absurdium, it’s a bold strategy cotton.

@zens @robey @JordiGH @eloquence It wasn't Twitter who posted these, it was proponents of CoCs who claim that CoCs should exist to encourage decent behavior. I don't think those posts are decent behavior, so any defense of that conduct smells eerily like "but these are our folks!" (which, besides a fair amount of misogyny - placeholder for "shitty behavior", even if a crass one - is the main driver behind boys will be boys: that excuse never applies to _those_ boys.)

To not only disassociate themselves quietly (like a contract that falls through) but to use their community reach to blame sqlite's customers for putting up with that seems similar to running an ad campaign against them (adjusting for the available means and preferred communication channels).

So why should I listen to hypocrites even when they build their claims around a kernel of truth (as all good liars do)?

@patrick @JordiGH @zens @eloquence i think you might be making the same mistake as the sqlite people in this case: a code of "conduct" is different from a code of "ethics". COE is what they believe inside. COC is a statement of expected behavior. it prevents misunderstandings about someone's actions.

if i ask a project for its COC and they tell me they worship the pangolin gods of venus, i'm going to very naturally be concerned. :)

@robey @JordiGH @zens @eloquence

An earlier version of the CoC document ( contained the following paragraph: "However, comments posted on mailing lists or forums are expected to be courteous and professional, and should be worded as if they were written by someone who is a follower of this rule. [...] Violators brought to the attention of the project leader will be reproved, gently at first but with increasing urgency, and may ultimately be banned if the behavior is not amended." (note: it doesn't ask people to "follow The Rule", just to behave in the community in a way compatible to it)

Isn't that the missing link from "professional" CoCs which provides a pledge to honor the company manual in interactions with another company to a "community" CoC that deals with an unbounded set of people interacting together by demanding CoC adherence on everybody "Terms of Services"-style?

@patrick @JordiGH @zens @eloquence the paragraph you quoted would -- to me -- suffice as a perfectly fine CoC on its own. it's a good example of the form. it declares expected behavior and how they handle violations: the very definition of a CoC.

i can't comment on the rest of it because i couldn't even make it past 3 items on their cult declaration page before i closed the tab.

(i don't understand your "company manual" paragraph but i haven't really been following the thread)

@eloquence I agree with the general idea here, but WRT "Open Source" I don't. That branding was deliberately invented to be confused and conflated with Software Freedom, so as to deflate the emancipatory movement into a sort of voluntaryist, CV-enriching, capitalism-compatible unprotected commons. To push back on that in favour of Free/Libre, Emancipatory Software is pretty important.
Of course, RMS did a poor job of that by choosing "Free" as the keyword and sticking to it with characteristic obnoxiousness even as it continued to confuse people.

@seachaint @eloquence @furkachi These issues are why I'm now advocating the term "cooperative technology" to move on from both "free software" and "open source". It gets the point across better than either and I think it will be harder for capitalists to coopt. Interestingly, it was discussed at the meeting where the term "open source" was settled on, but "open source" was chosen because it was watered down ideologically and therefore acceptable to capitalists.

@seachaint @eloquence @furkachi I think we need a new vocabulary that isn't a sell out to capitalists and also isn't associated with Stallman's pedantry, misogyny, and other problematic behavior.

@be @seachaint @eloquence An interesting proposition! I know from experience within queer spaces that new terminology can be complicated to spread outside of in-groups, but seeing the state of vocabulary and the FOSS movement as viewed from the outside, rallying around simpler terms that are more explicit are less specialized would definitely be an improvement :3

@furkachi @seachaint @eloquence Try using the terms "cooperative technology" or "cooperative software" with people unfamiliar with FOSS. IME they'll understand it quickly without needing to explain much if anything. And there's no need to explain what source code is.