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Re: [hackers-il] Re: "It is Time to Talk about Free Software"

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  • Gilad Ben-Yossef
    ... Imagine that a superb, free (as in speech) and cheap (thought goverment subsidy) bread existed. Do you think Erez komorovsky would make different bread and
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 19, 2002
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      On Sat, 2002-10-19 at 13:07, Nadav Har'El wrote:
      > Imagine that a supberb, free, robot-control software existed. Do you think
      > robot companies will write their own robot-control software from scratch
      > and not build on the existing free software?

      Imagine that a superb, free (as in speech) and cheap (thought goverment
      subsidy) bread existed. Do you think Erez komorovsky would make
      different bread and not just resell the regular one?

      The answers to both questions is: 'of course they would'.

      Free Software is about commodotizing of software. Up till now software
      has a been a 'luxury' product like Caviar or Champane. Natural
      proccesses turn software into a commodity, but being a commodity *does
      not* get you less of the product, on the other way around - it gets you
      more, cheaper and more diversefied.

      Again and again we forget that software writing is only a 20 years old
      proffesion, so it seems to us that the natrual proccesses it undergoes
      through as it matures from an art and vood craft into a proffesional
      activity is something new, but it ain't. A couple of odd decades ago
      building bridges and houses must've been just like software is now.
      Anyone that built something would keep the plans and method completly
      secret. But building matured, people realised that 90% of building do
      not harbour anything *really* new and we also learnt that without peer
      review you get very lousy buildings and bridges (PalKal, anyone?).

      Free Software is the natural proccess through which the software
      profession matures and lets go of the illusion that we are all terribly
      special magicians and gains through this relaibility and availability of
      the technology to the masses.

      This is why Free Software is not good or bad. It simply is. It's a
      natural force. This is also why Microsoft and Oracle and Sun etc are
      irrelevent - they will turn to Free Software (FSDO Free Software) or
      will disapear. This is also why we are invincible. You can wave you
      hands in anger towards the sky when dark clouds gather but it won't do
      you any good. Unless you prepare for the storm all you're going to do is
      get very wet.

      >
      > This obviously doesn't prove that the number of programmers needed will
      > lower - it might actually mean the number will go up because of the increased
      > potential for creativity and increased use of computers because of cheaper
      > software. This is why the author of that essay called it a "dystopian"
      > (pessimistic) view.

      Actually if you want to go dystopian on us there is a much more
      interesting scenario: The Signularity. See
      http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~phoenix/vinge/vinge-sing.html for example.

      Gilad.

      --
      Gilad Ben-Yossef <gilad@...>
      http://benyossef.com

      "Geeks rock bands cool name #8192: RAID against the machine"
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