2 Mar 2004 haruspex   » (Journeyer)

Archit: Interesting read? Not really. I've read that kind of crap before.

Romantic is what you can get out of that money and that's a decent life with a house, a car and a family. 

LOL! I can't think of anything less romantic.

The whole thing about ``free software'' is a lie. It's a dream created and made popular by people who have a keen interest in having cheap software so that they can drive down their own cost and profit more or by people who can easily demand it, because they make their money out of speaking at conferences or write books about how nice it is to have free software. At the bottom of the food chain are people like you, who are easily fooled by the ``let's make the world a better place'' rhetoric and who are so enthusiastic about technology that writing open-source - or any source for that matter - is the absolutely best imaginable way to spend their time. It doesn't matter whether you love what you are doing and consider this the hobby you want to spend 110% of your time on: It's exploitation by companies who are not at all interested in creating stuff. They want to use your stuff for free. That's why they trick you into doing it. 
This nonsense hardly merits a response. The writer is seriously delusional and projecting his own fears and inadequacies on to an ecosystem and value-system he doesn't understand. Perhaps he is jealous of the Tim O'Reillys of the world.

What's spooky is the writer's random sprinkling of the word "family" throughout the text... he is making a subliminal emotional appeal instead of making his points with evidence.

The way it's written, it could have been planted as part of a coordinated FUD-Astroturf campaign to attack free/open source software on a "populist" level. A groklaw user has summarised the lies which comprise this "strategy":

  • Open source destroys the value of programmers' labor
  • Programmers who code OSS are putting other programmers out of work
  • Programmers should stop coding OSS and start thinking from a traditional career value perspective (they will present this as an either-or choice)
  • The OSS ideologues (Stallman et al.) want all software to be free (as in beer) and you to be out of work
The gimmick here is that they're trying to radicalize the debate and to portray both sides as slippery slopes. This is a way of herding people and excluding the middle.

The middle of course is that OSS represents a way for the free market to escape from the lock-in entrapments of commercial operating systems by commoditizing the basic OS and working environment of computing. In turn, this provides an open platform on which any kind of solution (commercial, free, hybrid, etc.) can be developed without the encumberance of proprietary lock-in to a single platform.

This is the reality and the excluded middle that they don't want you to see: FOSS as a free-market response to lock-in and a mechanism for constructing an open platform on which to build new levels of business and technology.

I have added emphasis to the points which specifically refute the bullshit quoted at top.

Welcome back, Lobster!

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