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<h1>Don't put up bars.</h1>
<p class='date'>Tue, 18 Jan 2022 08:44:25 +0400</p>
<p><b>Computer development and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.</b> You'd probably find this difficult to believe, especially coming from an <code>avid l33t LUNIX h4xxor</code> like me, but more and more people are waking up to this important truth. <i>It only takes a short browse through Twitter, a couple of posts from 4chan and a brief look at Facebook's practices to realize that we went wrong.</i></p>
<p><b>But where exactly did we go wrong?</b> Here, some people will point towards the ideal of "free software"; software that respects the end user's freedom.
<i>"We went wrong when we allowed for software to be published, sold and distributed without meeting the adequate transparency and legal requirements to do so; Making the source code completely public and allowing for permissive licensing (ie. GPL, MIT...) is the only way to restore software to its former glory."</i>
<b>Now this is very good, and a positive development and all,</b> however one must realize that making software with the intent of making it as freedom-respecting and transparent as possible <i>doesn't guarantee that it's going to positively benefit society.</i></p>
<h2>Twitter VS the Fediverse</h2>
<p>Take the Fediverse, for example. Fediverse protocols (such as ActivityPub) are often used to create Twitter clones, like Pleroma and Mastodon. <b>Unsurprisingly, these places tend to be just as inappropriate, filthy and brain-rotting as Twitter itself.</b> This is despite the Fediverse being designed to be <i>free and open source!</i> So maybe "free software" itself isn't as important as a computing <b>philosophy</b> that <b>includes free software!</b></p>
<h2>Muh bloated DEs</h2>
<p>Another, more subtle example are big desktop environments like <b>GNOME and KDE.</b> <i>Don't get me wrong,</i> I love KDE and GNOME, and their software is perfectly freedom-respecting, but I think I wouldn't be the first person to point out that <b>they keep trying to be like their proprietary alternatives.</b>
GNOME's user interface especially seems to get more and more similar to MacOS with every update, and the releases keep getting more and more bloated.
<b>There is an unhealthy obsession with making things "user friendly"; what they mean by this, is "windows/mac friendly".</b>
And while there's nothing wrong with designing software that's easier to use, (it's very beneficial actually) there clearly is something wrong when an obsession with support and user-friendliness leads to poor programming practices, security issues and bloat.</p>
<p>A side-note: A lot of these "FOSS companies" signed the <a href="https://rms-open-letter.github.io/">anti-Richard Stallman letter.</a> <b>Look, I don't admire Stallman's political views. Like at all.</b> But he quite literally founded the modern free software movement, and is the perhaps the physical embodiment of what software freedom is all about.
<i>If any of these organizations actually cared about free software, they wouldn't sign a document like this.</i></p>
<h2>"Free Software" is meant to <i>liberate</i> you.</h2>
<p>At the end of the day, free software is only as good as it liberates you; not only from the restrictions of proprietary companies and licenses, <b>but also from the detrimental habits</b> that these companies are <b>incentivized to spread.</b> It's in Twitter's best interest to keep you scrolling; it's in Microsoft's best interest to keep you using bloated software, so you'll buy more powerful (more expensive) hardware from the manufacturers they're partnered with; these practices and habits <b>are certainly enforced by the proprietary and closed nature of software,</b> but one must also stop to consider how these attitudes can seep into the open source world as well. <b>A license can never save you from the stupidity of certain people.</b></p>
<footer>by <strong><a href='https://denshi.org/'>Denshi</a> <a href="mailto:alex@denshi.org?subject=Don't put up bars.">(Reply-to)</a></strong></footer>
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