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some reading material

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User offline. Last seen 11 years 20 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23

I posted this on the shoutbox/speak up box/chatterbox/whatever it's called a few days ago, but noone reacted. To be more precise, noone said anything useful at all! I know it's summer, but you guys can do better than that!

Now, follow these instructions or I'll call you a lazy ***.

1: read this article: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/003171.html

2: discuss it

3: discuss how it is relevant to free culture, libervis, and promotion of free culture. For example I can see "stuck system" = everyone uses proprietary software, "individual who gets it into their head they must do something" = RMS, Linus, ...

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 1 hour 52 min ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Re: some reading material

It's a very interesting article, one that would certainly fit the category of "englightening" stuff, something that is outside of the rest of the same old "stuck" world.

The problems we are in today are very much exactly the problems of "stuckness". Majority of people don't really believe in change. They learned to live with all the good and bad of the social system we're in. They say it's just the way it is and that you just have to play along.

The ones in power are making damn sure that those people stay in such a blind and stuck state. The media and marketing have thus created some sort of a virtual world in which those people are living in, one that is actually making those bad things about our system look good to them. So, if they are finally so brainwashed to see those bad things as good and good things are good things already, why change? It's all good, why make a change?

So, our real situation is even worse. It's not just that people don't believe things can change. A good deal of people think that change is not really neccessery. Ok, maybe not everyone is in such a deep state of "trance", but if they are not in that deepest state they certainly are in the first state: even if they still manage to recognize bad as bad, they don't believe they can do anything about it, they don't believe in change. They thus don't have any motivation to "do something about it".

In your third "instruction" Taco, you say to discuss how is this relevant to Free Culture, Libervis and promotion of free culture. I say it's not only relevant. It is all about it.

I think that the main problem in our social system comes exactly in the way we've come to treat our culture, which includes everything from the world of art to the world of innovation, new technologies, ecology and any other issue-set. Everything comes down to creativity, knowledge and knowledge development, and exactly this fundamental base of all things is being compromised as we speak. Internet has allowed us to share that creativity and knowledge as well as develop it further cooperatively, but has also become the major target of that "dark side" of our social system. Internet is disruptive. It doesn't fit the world in which this old system was created. It inevitably threatened certain people in power and has thus became the target. Internet couldn't just be killed, but it sure could be controlled (or so they think). This is why copyrights and patents has expanded incredibly, and mostly towards putting up chains of control onto the internet, and thus the worlds creativity, knowledge and knowledge development.

There are many people who either agree to this control, or simply don't think they can do anything about it. They are terribly stuck. We, including probably most visitors of this site, are the opposite side, we call ourselves proponents of the Free Culture. We embrace possibilities enabled by new technology and internet instead of rejecting and killing what makes it so positively powerful. Free Software vs. proprietary software "war" is part of the great conflict that these two opposite sides are in.

The problem is that this war is still more of a bickering than an revolution. Some open sourcers which would presumably come from the Free Culture side have started to make compromises. They want to mix with the enemy, heck, they don't even consider the enemy ways as the enemy ways. This is what sets them apart from the Free Software movement.

Even creative commons isn't too revolutionar either. It is just a legal grid set to call you and say, now which licence would you prefer. It doesn't really take on a revolutionary, world changing attitude. It is just another choice within the existing system, and not one painted as the "right choice".

Sorry guys, but even open source, creative commons and such still don't cut it. They are not revolutionary. They are mixing in too much, they are not strong enough in their attitude. They probably don't believe change can happen any other way, so they accepted to get "half stuckified and half-moving". They are making the buzz simply because they are stuckified enough for this world to accept them, but they are just not setting themselves apart enough. This is what Richard Stallman does, to some extent, and this is also why that guy is so often bashed upon by the people who are stuck big time. I believe a situation we're in should probably require a persona even more stubborn and strong that RMS is, and no, Lawrence Lessig isn't that person. He's faaar behind even the RMS. ESR doesn't even have to be mentioned in that context.

Am I being unfair to them?

Discuss.

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Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 11 years 20 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
Re: some reading material
Quote:

... a group that displays schizophrenic qualities, such as being of two minds, will not be able to capitalise of the possibilities of the moment. Instead of acting, theyll spend all their time trying to figure out what they themselves think of the fast-changing situation.

This schizophrenia exists in the free software/open source movement. Too bad. It seems the free software revolution has become a stuck system of endless discussion itself. What can we do about it?
Open sourcers need to show more ideological spirit. Sure, it's going to scare away a few companies, but those are not the ones who will be very helpful anyway. On the other hand, it might attract many others whose main business is not software, and I believe those are exactly the ones that are useful, bringing in new ideas.
Free software people need to give more practical examples of why this freedom thing is so good. I mean, if you don't explain how someone can use the freedom, it's going to be hard to convince him.
Both sides need to move in each others directions without giving up their strengths. Unite!

Quote:

The most effective way for an epidemic, either of ideas or viruses, to spread widely is through people who dont know each other well. Every time we meet an individual we know only slightly, were coming into contact with an entirely distinct web of social relationships from our own. While somewhat counter-intuitive, in a network the existence of a light dusting of weak social links makes the world a small place.

We all have a tight cluster of relationships around us, if these clusters are then weakly connected to each other, we get what is called a small world.

Right now, libervis is a tight cluster. We're just a bunch of people who like to come together at this site and discuss our common interests. I think we should change that. Let's create a team of libervis members, the "libervis free culture promotion team". The task of team members should be to promote free culture OUTSIDE libervis.

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User offline. Last seen 1 hour 52 min ago. Offline
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Re: some reading material
Quote:

Taco said:
Open sourcers need to show more ideological spirit. Sure, it's going to scare away a few companies, but those are not the ones who will be very helpful anyway. On the other hand, it might attract many others whose main business is not software, and I believe those are exactly the ones that are useful, bringing in new ideas.

Exactly. I think there already are many people among the "open source" community which already are thinking in a bit more ideological spirit and have some ideological awareness, but only didn't yet come to fully understand how much exactly it is important to develop, use and support exclusively Free Software. And that exclusivity is one of the main differences between Open Source and Free Software "camps". Open Sourcers are willing to compromise, Free Software supporters rarely agree to compromise (such as mix proprietary with free just because it is currently the most convinient solution). I agree that OS should move in the direction of becoming more headstrong and selfpreserving than it may currently be.

Quote:

Taco wrote:
Free software people need to give more practical examples of why this freedom thing is so good. I mean, if you don't explain how someone can use the freedom, it's going to be hard to convince him.

Again I agree. As long as freedom is not brought down from the ultimate thrown of ultimate importance, such changes and urges would be more than welcome. We should strive to live in freedom in such a way that it is apparent to people around us how beneficiary this freedom is for us, making them interested. Sometimes it may seem that compromising freedom and going for the more so called "pragmatical" solution is better, but in the long run, a solution that wouldn't compromise freedom would have been better. So, what we have to do is strive to broaden the horizons of those who make decisions of whether to compromise or not, so that they can see beyond the current point, to the future and see how a solution in freedom WILL bring better results in the end. We should highly spotlight events and cases that already happened or are happening and use them as proofs of why freedom is always the right way.

Speaking of practicality, there are some small things, but a good deal of those things in which FS could use some improvements (and recently I think things have started to go to better). There are alot of practical things we can do to promote Free Software without even considering to anyhow compromise the ideal of freedom. I am mostly thinking about "marketing" here, practical ways of promotion. Here is one small, but in my mind significant example:

FSF web site was until recently located under two domain names (fsf.org and gnu.org both pointing to one same place, to gnu.org. The design of GNU.org wasn't really the most modern or appealing one, even though I kinda got to like its simplicity and "content only" approach. It could have still used some cool touches to make it look more like a 21st century web site that would appeal to masses. Also, I don't think it really fit the FSF homepage role that well also.
However, this has changed. FSF.org is now a separate site, powered by plone content management system, featuring blogs, a clean, nice and modern design. Finally it is the kind of site that would fully fit an organization of such importance as is FSF. Now I even like it more than the quite boring looking site of the Open Source Initiative. GNU.org is left intact, as a background philosophy resource, but the Free Software community and newcomers now have a nice and modern entry to introduce themselves to Free Software properly. I believe that means alot.

That's just a small example of how we could be a bit more practical without compromising anything at all, and still reach out to the greater lenghts. We don't have to compromise, change our name to something that looks more like a brand name and dance with the devil like open sourcers to reach the same masses that this capitalist-friendly open source reaches today.

And there is also the fact that anything can be marketed, if it is marketed well. I do believe the term "Free Software" (with big "F" and "S") could become quite a recognizeable brand for Free Software. :-) One other practical thing in service of freedom.

Quote:

Taco wrote:
I think we should change that. Let's create a team of libervis members, the "libervis free culture promotion team". The task of team members should be to promote free culture OUTSIDE libervis.

That sounds like a good idea. To reach the greater number of free thinkers, people that might or do embrace the same ideals that the Free Culture stands for, but aren't really familiar with that term, we have only two options: One is to change the name from "Free Culture" to something more imposing and sounding, a term that could spread fast, or we could promote the original term with these ideals and make that one so resonanting. Creating this team could contribute to doing just that.

I think such a theme should have a certain code, some kind of organization of how would this promoting be done: a clear list of activities which can be taken to promote Free Culture.

So, who would be in this team? :smurf:

Thanks
Daniel

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User offline. Last seen 9 years 49 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-11-11
Re: some reading material

I-am-PK, He-was-PK, Taco and Tbuitenh said:

Quote:

Right now, libervis is a tight cluster. We're just a bunch of people who like to come together at this site and discuss our common interests. I think we should change that. Let's create a team of libervis members, the "libervis free culture promotion team". The task of team members should be to promote free culture OUTSIDE libervis.

I also agree with you, Taco. :yes:

I'm a bit busy to develop the ideas I had, but I promise I'll write them down as soon as possible.

See you, Rijik.

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