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Re: A GNU “social contract”?


From: Kaz Kylheku (gnu-misc-discuss)
Subject: Re: A GNU “social contract”?
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2019 10:58:05 -0800
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/0.9.2

On 2019-11-10 08:40, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
Hello,

"Kaz Kylheku (gnu-misc-discuss)" <address@hidden> skribis:

By the way, "contract" seems like a misnomer, because a contract is
a signed-off agreement between two parties (or more) in which they
exchange something of value; the contract requires a contribution
from at least two parties.

I found Andreas’ explanation of what is meant by “social contract” and
how it differs from a civil law contract to be clear.

My point isn't that it just differs from civil law. The word "contract"
in all other uses derives the basic concept from the civil law usage.

For instance "interface contract" between program modules: mutual
requirements are imposed on caller and callee.

From WordNet:

  Overview of noun social_contract

  The noun social contract has 1 sense (first 1 from tagged texts)

  1. (2) social contract -- (an implicit agreement among people that
  results in the organization of society; individual surrenders liberty
  in return for protection)

According to that definition, these documents don't look like social
contracts. They are promises to behave in some way to a "community"
that isn't itself agreeing to the social contract. It includes users
who are not members of the project and just run the programs without
so much as reading the social contract. If they don't redistribute anything,
they don't even have to read the license.

“Pledge” is also a good word, though my understanding is that it does
not capture the social commitment that “social contract” entails.

Well, "social pledge" would do that, probably.



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