|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] SourceForge now blocks Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sundan, Cuba
|From owner-hangout-outgoing-at-mrbrklyn.com Wed Jan 27 22:51:10 2010
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Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 22:51:47 -0500
From: Ruben Safir
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] SourceForge now blocks Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sundan, Cuba
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On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 11:24:29AM -0500, Ah Pook wrote:
> On Wednesday 27 January 2010, Chris Knadle wrote:
> > SourceForge blocks access from these countries now. This is
> > troublesome, but after reading their reply I sort of understand
> > their position, even though it's not in the spirit of open source.
> Pathetic. Land of the what? America's certainly trying its best to
> make itself irrelevant in the technological world.
That is nonsense. And I don't know what that means that it is not in
the spirit of Open Source. The spirit of Open Source is one of the most
maligned concepts currently available.
Lets get a few facts straight. First of all, the term Open Source
really sucks and isn't particularly well defined, where as the term
"Free Software", as used at least by the FSF, has a clear definition
that one can hang a hat on.
Either way, Sourceforge isn't Free Software or Open Source. I don't
even want to go into the history of Source Forge. Those of you too
young to have lived through the initial Source Forge fiasco can just
google the history and all the flame wars and controversies.
Thirdly, Free Software is a hard boiled Copyright regiment. And almost
all successful free software projects, if not ALL of them, have some
benevolent dictator who owns the copyright, and sets hard and fast
decisions that everyone else lives by. And a major part, the most
important part, of the benevolence of that dictator is that the code
base is released under a license that permits a community of other
people to participate in said project, study it, or, as in most cases,
not do a darn thing but download the source and compile it.
OTOH, most GNU distro's are so package dependent, often broken package
dependent, and users have become so brain dead about compiling things,
we've nearly come full circle. Only a select few people know how
anything works anymore, let alone knows how to properly compile source,
edit config files, et al. So instead of depending blindly on Redmond's
tech stupid greedy behemoth, we are almost completely dependent on other
"benevolent dictators" who are standing over those other previously
mentions benevolent dictators...none of which says a darn thing about
political ideology, lazier faire democracy, grass roots political
movemnts, support for terrosit organizations, or nations that support
terrorist orgazitions, populist ideologies, the Green Movement, or
saving the third world.
What free software does, is very complicated, and why it is absolutely
critical, is also very complex. I should probably have a PHd for my
exploration and writings of the issue. But for one thing, it isn't what
anyone who ever touches a GNU run OS thinks it is. It's not, "here is a
high sounding black box - fill it in with your own emotional and
political ideals" for people to project on...like the "Audacity of Hope"
and many other stupid politcal and commercial slogans bantered around (I
don't want to blame the President for being the only Politician to use a
useless and purposely ambigous slogan to gain some personal benefit).
Free Software, ideally does the following things that are beneficial for
society, in fact critical for a Liberal Democracy, and more generally
civilization. These are functional realities. Not ideologies.
A) It gives society a huge library of accessable software code. This is
important because computers run more and more of our symbolic existence
and having an open library of code is essential for future and present
public participation, education, and historical archive of digital
B) It gives individuals, if they chose to, a platform on the most
important communications medium ever created, which they can exert
individual control over.
C) It gives a neutral platform for the archival, storage and use of all
other kinds of information, so that humanities cultural inheritance
doesn't slip away in a barrage of selfish and destructive privatization
of our shared culture.
That is what it does.
It doesn't mean that individuals, governments, companies, and
organizations shouldn't, couldn't try to prevent the use of software or
the distribution of software to peoles and organizations who might
decide to point a nuke at us, or spead a biologoical weapon in the
subway. Those are large political and legal issues which need to be
addressed and resolved in Government.
I'm just sick of the, America BAD, everyone else GOOD. Let me hit you
with a clue stick on you. America generally GOOD, everyone else is pretty
much suspect. Everyone else before the America hemogony , sickeningly bad.