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Re: One word label for someone who rejects proprietary software

From: Roberto Beltran
Subject: Re: One word label for someone who rejects proprietary software
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2020 04:00:03 +0000

   Let me comment on the three perspectives you discuss:
   1.  "the user uses his software as a tool to further his own ends, if
   you remove his agency in using his tool for your own ends ..."  The
   user's own ends are not usually inspection of source code.  If I build
   a game to teach 3 year olds math, and it works for its intended
   purpose, then hooray!  Three year olds (the users) don't need to see
   the source code and the developer is not immoral strictly on account of
   not giving away his intellectual property.
   2. "free software is generally going to create more utility than
   proprietary software, considering how the user is mistreated ...
   therefore proprietary software is unethical."    I don't believe this
   conclusion was sufficiently motivated by your reasoning in this case.
   3.   "Looking at how we use software as a tool, if we restrict users
   ... "  Objection again.  Not disclosing source code to a three year old
   learning a skill via computer is not immoral.  Ethics and morals are
   supposedly universal truths and thus must apply universally, hence my
   attempt to use a limiting case.   Source code has nothing to do with
   the intended purpose of a learning application which purpose is to
   teach addition of small integers, for example.  There are other args
   for releasing code (community review builds trust and confidence), but
   it does not necessarily reduce the effectiveness of the software, nor
   render people "pathetic".

   Okay cool, that's more like it. I'll discard 2 because like I said I'm
   not a fan of that perspective.

   With regards to the deontological perspective, the point is exactly
   that you may have your intended purpose in creating the tool, but the
   user has their own. You have your ends and the user has his. It might
   be as trivial as the three year old doesn't like the color of the
   numbers. Of course a three year old isn't going to be able to do much
   with the source code, but neither are most people. The toddler would
   rely on his caretakers like the rest of us rely on our community.

   I don't see anything that specifically tries to rebut my virtue ethics

   - Roberto Beltran




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