GPL is hack - that's why it works...
Posted Oct 22, 2010 15:01 UTC (Fri) by khim
In reply to: Well, it's only natural...
Parent article: How not to recognize free hardware
Most manufacturers simply don't care mouch about openness or closedness, as long as they can use code to speed up
development significantly. If they have to release source code then -- what the heck. This part of how the Linux explosion has worked.
Yup. People are irrational. They behave like monkeys.
When you present carrot (high-quality code, free advertisement, etc) first and then show the stick (demand payment in form of freedom) later - they will often accept the bargain because, let's be frank, most manufacturers are not evil and lock-down the devices to simplify their own life, not to rob user of the freedom.
When you present stick first and then your demands look truly onerous (why do you want to decide if I will offer support for Windows or not?) then you'll need much bigger carrot to overcome the first impression.
In a sense FSF campaigns are designed to fail because they assume that people are rational - and in the end most of them end up a failure. Some few of them succeed because someone else presents the same idea in a sane way - but is it really a good way forward? I think "The perfect is the enemy of the good" dogma applies to FSF 9 times out of 10 (if not 10 times out of 10).
The infamous example of this problem is the Nopedia vs the Wikipedia. It took three years to create 24 high-quality articles using experts and thorough per-review process (and some 74 articles were in the works when Nupedia was closed down). Wikipedia got more articles in few days after launch! And in one year it had more very high-quality articles then Nupedia got in three years! Sure, most articles on Wikipedia were (and are) complete rubbish, but... the topics covered by other encyclopedias are great in Wikipedia - and "rubbish" topics cover things which will never be even mentioned in Britannica!
Does it mean experts and per-review are irrelevant? Sure as hell no - but by themselves they are not numerous enough to move "free world encyclopedia" idea forward. And the same is true for the people who care enough about freedom to accept onerous FSF's requirements related to this mark...
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