re: last boost

my dad's noticed this in FOSS for y e a r s, and in comp sci in general. there's very much an attitude of do-it-yourself-gone-wrong - that if someone doesn't want to do your suggestion, that's correct, no matter how right you may be, because just getting a computer science degree and working a free job should be effortless and if you can't hack that then you can't be in FOSS.

this results in a lot of software that is clunky and awful to use, because basic userfriendly design? who's that? and this just breeds more elitism - if you can't understand all of this, then you aren't good enough for FOSS.

then everyone in FOSS wonders why free open-source software hasn't taken over the world when they are making shit pieces of software that require eldritch knowledge to use.

as my dad laments, if you're going to take upon yourself this privilege of being equivalent to the landed gentry, making yourself the upper class because of your specialized knowledge, the least you can do is recognize part of feudal lordship is taking care of your serfs and having a proper attitude of noblesse oblige.

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and like. as a sidebar here. capitalism is bad for many things, especially capitalism in its current form where monopolies are so pervasive.

but the ideal state of capitalism is at least pretty good at giving a harsh incentive to make a product people can actually use.

there are ways capitalism works around this, of course - monopolies, snob appeal and marketing, brand as cultural identity - but it's not like FOSS is exactly immune to those, either (LINUX BROS.)... but FOSS does a lot of dismissing the accidental good this pressure can create.

if grandma can't understand how to install your free software or how to use it, there should be no surprise that grandma is going to go buy something from microsoft instead. that's not a grand conspiracy. that's not the big guys suppressing information about the wee underdog of FOSS. that's grandma making a rational decision.

be less mad at grandma and more mad at creating incomprehensible boondoggles.

@[email protected] when your entire identity is built around intellectual superiority because of a victim complex due to being "a nerd" and an antagonistic attitude towards the "normal people" in society, you're not gonna fix things to make them more accessible, you're gonna build as many walls of obscure bullshit to raise yourself up on as possible

@wigglytuffitout this is ultimately true but if you look closer in many cases the reason why she can't install certain software is not accidental - patents, intentional barriers by monopolists etc.
Now always. But happens.

@charlag it does happen, but i'll be honest - FOSS as a culture is really laser-focused on that and has made it into a scapegoat. it's become more and more an excuse to not look at the log in one's own eye, but just obsess over the splinter in someone else's.

the fact that there's an overlap between this and the incel-esque, "MRA" misogyny's logic is... not, i think, an accident. their line is that it is everyone else's fault but the man's. it's the fault of stupid shallow bitches who want alpha males, it's the fault of them for rejecting him, it's the fault of biology for giving him thin wrists and a weak chin making him an irrevocably beta cuck; it can't be the fault of the 'red pill', that's just opening eyes to the truth! and it certainly can't be the fact that women are not inclined to date someone who spends all his time obsessing about how women ruined his life.

instead of self-reflection and self-growth, it's just passing the buck to make it not their fault anymore. so they can continue pretending to be the poor, poor wounded underdog, the noble david trying to kill goliath, ultimately heroic in all respects.

...but don't have to consider "maybe you should try taking a shower" or "these installation steps which require intimate knowledge of how linux command prompts work are perhaps not very user-friendly".

@[email protected] @[email protected] a hypothetical question which i think clarifies a lot of the attitude problems in FOSS is: how many people who believe strongly in FOSS software would be willing to provide real, helpful technical support so their family could make the switch? who in the FOSS community would do the work to get their grandmother set up with FOSS software for all the things she wants to do?

@InspectorCaracal @wigglytuffitout I'm no die-hard for foss but I've set up Linux and other software for non-tech-savvy people couple of times. Sometimes unsuccessful, sometimes successful like latest time when relatives wanted to buy new laptop (which they don't use for anything heavy) because of the Windows 7 losing support and I said "nope".

@InspectorCaracal @wigglytuffitout I would be wiling to provide tech support to any people with any software, I would find myself more useful, I said it couple of times and I think others should do the same.

@[email protected] @[email protected] I think that's good but also that you're missing the forest for your personal tree

@[email protected] @[email protected] if the answer to the hypothetical is "me" and not "I know lots of people who would", then that's not really a characteristic of the community, is it?

@InspectorCaracal @wigglytuffitout fair enough but I'd say many would do it gladly because ego.
Fewer can do it in endurable, non-patronizing manner tho.

Long post 

@wigglytuffitout yes, there's incelism against stallman and it's disgusting
yes, it's mostly about nerds serving themselves instead of others
I hate fossbros, believe me

I just disagree on "oh, look, hobby project made by one person in a couple of nights is worse than this professionally made product made by a team of high-paid developers and designers". no shit it is! Things start rolling when things get funded.

@charlag so @InspectorCaracal already said this, but basically - this is kinda what i'm talking about.

there are definitely challenges! i'm not going to say that all resources are the same. but the thing is saying 'well it's a hobby project!' often gets used as a catch-all excuse to not improve. "it's free! you get what you pay for! stop complaining!" gets used to shut down necessary critique.

and, really - if it's a hobby project that people shouldn't expect quality from - then it's not the conspiracy that FOSSbros think, right? it's not huge corporations paying people off and sabotaging open-source software. it's just... well, hobby projects that aren't so great up against projects that are receiving a lot more attention and care. at some point it's a pretty obvious cause and effect, and the question of "why is nobody using FOSS for everything" has... a pretty obvious answer.

there are economic realities pushing this, yes - but it's also become a scapegoat of "i shouldn't have to improve", and that has bred a LOT of snob appeal and gatekeeping, which was my point.

@[email protected] @[email protected] it's also not a case of hobby projects being held up to some sort of gate-keepy standard - NOBODY expects hobby projects to have widespread use. it's the big projects that have lots of people working together on it, like mainstream linux distros or mastodon, and the attitude of the community about the reasons why people may or may not use their software, about how much of the lack of adoption is due to accessibility issues vs corporate dominance

@[email protected] @[email protected] i'm a techy kind of guy, i went to school for computer systems engineering, i've used linux for a billion years, i think that open-source software is a really great and important thing in today's extremely technology-driven society and that being able to break the increasingly strong stranglehold of walled corporate gardens would be an incredibly important thing

i also have found every single community of FOSS supporters to be driven by smug jerks

@[email protected] @[email protected] there's plenty of people out there who feel FOSS software is important and who are decent people who care about the quality of their software and genuinely want it to be accessible and adoptable by the average person but like

we're outliers

the vast majority of the community is not like that. the vast majority of the community is smug and toxic and wants to keep their own personal privilege more than actually improve technology

@InspectorCaracal @wigglytuffitout I agree with everything you said above, I'm sorry that I got into defensive position here.
I guess my thesis is "we need to make foss inclusive and safe because that's the right thing to do and not because it will boost quality right away, being able to invest time & energy into foss is a privilege and it can't be changed without broader social change"

@[email protected] @[email protected] honestly i think more of the community recognizing that privilege would be a good start, which I dunno about harp but that's kind of where i was coming from

a lot of foss software is built by AND for use by people who have the privilege to gain that kind of technical knowledge and a lot of the foss community looks down on anyone who doesn't have that technical knowledge

@[email protected] @[email protected] the problems with accessibility etc in FOSS is more due to that assumption of technical knowledge than anything else, in my opinion

@charlag @InspectorCaracal yeah, it's definitely "shit's fucked out there fam" which is why there's a lot of these issues

but it's easy to let that become another excuse of 'well can't do this today, so we'll just keep putting it off until the revolution, whenever that is'. FOSS is already so hamstringed by this sort of attitude that it's bred entirely new hamstringings, mostly of the snobbery variety. so much hamstringing they've accidentally made a pork flavor version of silly string in a can.

i don't know quite where i was going with that metaphor but it exists now!

the calls for inclusivity are definitely needed, but there's a lot of this just... living in a bubble of FOSS being in love with itself. and for inclusivity to have any chance, that attitude needs to be attacked on all sides. (it also means a much firmer rebuke of creepers that have used their FOSS prestige and being 'a big name' to sexually harass others - can't be in love with that shit because someone is the number one top nerd if you want to address it.) (in summary for this digression, tho, fuck richard stallman, can't wait to piss on his grave)

@[email protected] @[email protected] also i want to just take a moment to add that charlag we aren't talking specifically about you, we're just fed up with the general foss community, lmao

@InspectorCaracal @charlag also yeah what cal said, i'm not mad at you as much as i am 'silicon valley delenda est' which is one of my base attitudes basically 24-7

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