[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Hacking License

On Tue, 18 Dec 2018 at 17:22, Ian Jackson
<ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> Giacomo Tesio writes ("Re: Hacking License"):
> > On Wed, 12 Dec 2018 at 10:49, Simon McVittie <smcv@debian.org> wrote:
> > > When
> > > faced with a non-standard license with unclear terms and no community
> > > consensus on its consequences, it's quite a rational response to think "I
> > > don't have time to think about this" and decide to contribute to something
> > > else instead.
> >
> > This is not a rational response, just a lazy one.
> On the contrary, laziness is often very rational.

Laziness is blind cost minimization.
It can be a lucky choice some time, but I don't think it's rational to
minimize costs blindly without looking at the return of investment.

Today the lazy choice is to run Google Chrome on Android.
Years ago was to run IE6 on Windows.

Not reading a contract you sign is lazy, but not rational.
Not reading a license you accept is just as rational.

> We all have a limited amount of time and energy.
> We have to make decisions about what to spend that on.


But software is not just a tool, it's a method of expression.
Debugging and programming is more or less what reading and writing
used to be: a precondition of freedom, now and in the future.
So I feel as an ethical mission of ours, as programmers, as scribes of
this age, to teach people how to hack software.
And a condition of this fundamental skill is being able to read a
simple license in English.

So ultimately, it's totally your right to spend your time on something
different, because you are already able to hack.
You are already aware of your power and rights, you seek your own
freedom, and you are at home with an operating system that while
suboptimal it's probably the best out there.
But while welcome to hack Jehanne, you are not part of the people I
want to serve.

> Perhaps you don't care about encouraging, into contributing to your
> project, people who are short of time and who are picky about what
> they spend time evaluating.

Well, actually this is true.
I'm not looking for contributors, I'm trying to contribute.

> > To give a rational response, you have to consider the alternatives and
> > the outcomes of contributing to that specific software under that
> > specific license in that specific time and place.
> And most people are not licensing experts.  It doesn't make sense for
> them to try to decide all this stuff for themselves.  Rather, they
> will reasonably defer to the consensus of some other community, that
> they trust.

Trust is a very important tool of human progress.
I have nothing about it.

But imagine if you had to pay and trust someone else to read and write
your letters. Or your newspapers. Or your contracts. Or your laws.

Then a group of crazy guys start advocating for "Free Scribes", people
who come at you and read or write for you, for Free and for Freedom.
They are nice crazy guys that truly believe into what they do because
they want to free people from the power of the Pharaoh.
Obviously the Pharaoh will fight back, as well as he can, with his
adepts, FUD, money at all.

And the poor guy strive to keep up to his power, but still keep
reading and writing for free as well as they can.

Then one of these guys decide it's better to create a completely new
operating^Wwriting system that can be easily taught to everyone.

Would you try to convince him that trust is a good substitute for
learning such system?

> > But such cognitive load is the price of Freedom.
> Freedom is also the freedom not to think about things.

The freedom to be slave is freedom?
I don't think so.

Trust empowers human progress, only if it is a conscious and free choice.

> Personally I
> think true software freedom comes when it is quick and convenient to
> use software which, if and when I decide I want to get more stuck in,
> makes it possible to modify and share - with a amount of energy
> commensurate to the depth of the changes I want to make.
> The Free Software community has not always recognised this, but we are
> starting to.  That's why we have bigger arguments in Debian now about
> defaults that we used to in the past.

And the result of this new awareness is coupling everything with systemd? :-D

Just kidding, I agree with this.
I just think that we are far, far away to reach that convenience, on
all mainstream operating systems, free or not.

True software freedom comes when it is quick and convenient to write
it yourself.

> And, freedom is also the freedom to engage *collectively* and do
> things *together*.  The freedom to trust the judgements of others
> (including, sometimes, other communities) - knowing that sometimes
> that trust will be misplaced, but knowing also that the benefits from
> trusting usually far outweigh the costs.  Trusting relieves us of the
> need to constantly re-make others' decisions in areas where we lack
> expertise.  It allows us to build on the work of others instead of
> redoing it or dismantling it.  It allows us to combine our efforts.

And through trust you get Meltdown. Hearthbleed.

Many trust Mozilla.
How many know that people can tunnel into a firewall protected private
network through Firefox without leaving any evidence of the attack?

Only scribes^Wprogrammers.

> To put it bluntly: I have more trust in the collective wisdom of the
> GPL-3 and AGPL-3 drafting processes, and the general Free Software
> licence development community, than I do in either your judgement on
> these questions or indeed my own personal skill at licence drafting or
> review.

You are free and welcome to.
As with free software, my hacks provide NO WARRANTY. :-)

As I said before in this thread, I wasn't looking for drafting help.
As for review, I was mislead by the Debian wiki to think that this
mailing list was the right place to analyze the freedom of packages
contributed to Debian.
To be honest, now I'm a bit confused about its purpose... but I don't
dare to discuss the text of the license anymore, as apparently it is

> And now I will exercise my freedom to direct my energy by not engaging
> with the rest of your message...

Good work!
And thanks for your time.


Reply to: