[Libre-soc-bugs] [Bug 374] add repo on github that points to git.libre-soc.org as a way to increase searchability

bugzilla-daemon at libre-soc.org bugzilla-daemon at libre-soc.org
Tue Jun 16 19:56:13 BST 2020


Cole Poirier <colepoirier at gmail.com> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
                 CC|                            |colepoirier at gmail.com

--- Comment #12 from Cole Poirier <colepoirier at gmail.com> ---
(In reply to Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton from comment #10)

> it sounds reasonable, doesn't it?  simply mirror the code, therefore
> we're not actively endorsing unethical practices.
> unfortunately, this is a false correlation, that takes some time to unpack.
> normally i would explain it in detail, however unfortunately with whitequark
> and many many other people who are prominent free software developers
> with respected positions and responsibilities believing that i am ordering
> people about, dictating to them what to think and what to do, i'm not going
> to
> do that, because if i do so, it would seem like i am simply trying to force
> my quotes beliefs quotes onto you.
> so i'm going to leave this one to you to work through, to work out what the
> false correlation is.

In my reflection on this I came to the conclusion that it is indeed a false
correlation because *mirroring* our code there disassociates *our* work from
*our* organization and development practices. The difference between
open-source and libre development is fundamental in understanding this. We are
not merely open so that others can use our code, we are open with libre
principles so that others can use our code but do so without harming others.
Open-source says "have the code we don't care if you use it to harm people."
Libre says "please have our code but understand that this code is being
provided to you with the expectation and responsibility that you will continue
the ethical practices that this code was developed by. So by merely putting a
README on github for searchability that points to our *libre conformant*
development and development resources we will have the benefit of maintaining
the whole purpose of our project, "to bring ethical hardware and software into
the world by adhering to ethical development principles and practices" while
having the benefit of gaining greater visibility through appearing on github.

I read the below when it was posted at some point last week, but wrote the
above before re-reading it. Upon finishing the above comment I reviewed what
Luke had outlined below and it turns out that I think I've responded to each of
the six reflective questions pretty precisely :)

> imagine that there is a person, technically capable, who hears of libre-soc.
> this imaginary person, they are both ambivalent and also completely unaware
> of the ethical aspects of "Libre".  nobody has ever had a conversation with
> them about the unbelievably damaging aspects of arbitrary application of
> technology without thought.
> nobody has ever discussed the Hippocratic Oath as adapted to Technology
> and Engineering with them.
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Engineer#Oath)
> now let us imagine that there are thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds
> of thousands of such people.  given that github probably has tens of millions
> of users by now, this is not unreasonable.
> however the reason for mentioning it is because that implies that there
> are thousands to hundreds of thousands of engineers out there who will
> see our project and have *NO IDEA* about the ethical responsibilities that
> are associated with software and engineering in general.
> thus if we have any way of influencing that, we achive a far larger impact
> than we might otherwise have expected.
> so that is background.
> now let's ask some questions.
> 1. when these hypothetical (ethically ambivalent) people come to a straight
>   *MIRROR* of our code, on github, what will they see?
> 2. what *ACTION* will they take?  in GUI web-development terms, what will
>   their browsing profile look like?  what landing pages will they go to?
>   what pages will they click through?
> in particular - bear in mind that you (and others) have been advocating that
> all documentation - basically the entirety of the wiki - be moved to a
> "docs" directory, because "this is how github does it".  so this should be
> taken into consideration as part of the answers to the questions.
> now let us move on to what we would *like* their browsing profile to look
> like:
> 3. where would we *LIKE* them to be browsing?
> 4. what pages and services would we *LIKE* them to be looking at?
> so here is the key:
> 5. do we want these people to remain 100% on the github pages?
> 6. do we want them to be on http://libre-soc.org and
> http://systemes-libre.org?
> so, let me know.  (6) is really important.  we might *actually* want people
> to completely fail to come to our websites.  we might actually want to send
> out the message, "hey, we are completely technically incompetent, we are
> unable to find the technical skill and take the responsibility for hosting
> our own material, we completely abdicate that responsibility to an outside
> third party known by the name 'github'."
> whilst this may sound completely ridiculous and over-the-top, i *genuinely*
> and honestly don't know, Yehowshua, because you keep advocating that we
> should use these services.
> so please note: there's no "demands" here.  these are *open* questions that
> people need to decide *for themselves* whether they should be discussed and
> evaluated.
> or ignored.
> i have, personally, gone through these questions over a period of about 20
> years and come to my own conclusions.
> however it is clear to me - and continues to be clear - that many people
> simply *do not* go rigorously through this process of evaluation.
> i cannot force *anyone* to go through this process.  that is not how it
> works.

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