Reading Lanier’s book (“10 Arguments...”) had the less-obvious effect of making me think hard about the free-as-in-beer aspect of (most) .

The claim he makes that this was a mistake, or more specifically that the way they “solved for free” (advertising) paved the way for exploitation of users, warrants considerable thought.

Until we smash capitalism, people who make free-as-in-speech things need money to survive,;using ads for this was a mistake.

What to do next...🤔

@jjg I found it hard to agree with that part of the book. Lanier is assigning blame on FOSS for problems created by an entirely different group of people with entirely different set of values.

@sajith I hear you there.

There’s a few things in the book that seem weird to me at first (solutions focused on capitalism/commerce type stuff) but when you consider the culture he comes from his take makes more sense (even if I don’t always agree). Also, I think this makes the book more accessible to “squares” (perhaps that’s the intent?)

That said the treatment of the primary subject outweighs the parts that didn’t click with me.

@jjg Yes, reason why we're all here and not on Facebook. 🙂

My impression is that Lanier fundamentally misunderstands free software/culture movements. In his other book ("You Are Not a Gadget"), Lanier says he had hung out with Stallman in the early days of GNU, and then goes on to discuss "open source".

Also not so sure about his take on 2016 election results. I've read better reporting and analysis by Thomas Frank, Ted Rall, Chris Hedges, Chris Arnade... none of them fans of the winner.


@sajith thanks for passing these along.

Yeah, he seems to have this “short circuit” I’ve seen from other old guys (maybe I have it too) where they “get it” deeply in some ways but then are really oblivious to stuff that you’d expect them to not be.

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Sunbeam City is a Libertarian Socialist solarpunk instance. It is ran democratically by a cooperative of like-minded individuals.