Blog Articles 156–160

Humane — I do not think that word means what he thinks it means

The GOP’s embrace of self-deportation (a la AZ SB 1070) is official. From the 2012 Republican Platform:

We will create humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily, while enforcing the law against those who overstay their visas.

Shrouded in the language of humanity and choice is an insidious plot. For this approach to work, it is necessary to create and present a version of America sufficiently bad that people think it is better to return to

  • watch their children starve to death in abject poverty (or, if their children are lucky enough to have been born in the U.S., leave them in foster care).
  • suffer under unchecked, unaccountable labor abuse.
  • live with persistent, imminent threat of violence.

On Freedom and Network Services

I’ve been on for two weeks now. In the excitement about it, people raised the rather legitimate question about why people are excited about it when and, more generally, StatusNet have been doing it for years. And there has been general questioning of why people are jumping from one closed service to another. And how only open source services are are real solutions.

I’ll table the questions of relative energy for now. I think that is more likely to succeed than has, especially since they’ve already gotten a lot of the types of people that made Twitter fun early on, but that is mostly irrelevant to my primary point here.

In general, I insist upon free/libre software for as much of my computing, especially day-to-day, as possible. Why, then, am I excited about, and do I willingly embrace other services, such as Pinboard, to which I do not have access to the source code?

Many, in their zeal for free software, think that not only software they run, but software they interact with on other servers, needs to have source available, modifiable, and redistributable. This results in things such as the Affero GPL, which requires that administrators who deploy covered software as a user-facing network service make source code available.