There used to be Culture Clash. What we have now is Culture Stagnation.
The difference between Corporate (proprietary) programming and Hacker (free) programming is that the former creates a program to create a need, and the latter creates a program to fulfill a need. The former creates a program and markets it through advertising and PR, the latter creates a program and presents it to the world to be taken on its own merits. The former treats inquisitive users as a pain in the ass, the latter treats inquisitive users as an asset.
One can imagine a "corporate culture" of rich old white men sitting around in high-sky suites drinking brandy and smoking cigars while discussing more ways to bilk their "customers", which, just so happens, is us.
So too one can imagine a "hacker culture" of a disparate group of young men and women spread throughout the world sitting at computer terminals in bedrooms, basements, apartments, schools and libraries, discussing more ways to gain access to the information that corporate culture amasses — including credit card numbers, which, just may include ours.
Into this mix comes some trying to create an "open culture", trying to take the best of both, trying to remove the "proprietary" stain from the former and the "hacker" stain from the latter — trying to produce goods that they say can be both "free, open, or closed". Yeah, the vagueness of their message bothers me too.
Sure, there exists EFF and EPIC and Creative Commons and Mozilla and Linux, but Google and Apple and Microsoft and Time Warner and Comcast are larger than ever, and Mickey Mouse still has everyone in his clutches as all the self-called "good hats" have failed in almost every way to even slow down the "bad hats" who not only just want your money but want to force you to have to continually give them your money just for the basic necessities of modern life, all the while telling you how cool you look doing so.
But, back to the point.
Every web application these days seem to love to call and label themselves "Free and Open Source". Usually with a bang. "Free and Open Source!"
"For free!" is the new marketing slogan for purveyors of Internet freedom. I always thought that Richard Stallman needn't of had to emphasize "Free as in freedom, not free as in beer," because his message of freedom just seemed obvious.
We do the things we do not because of money, nor fame, fortune or glory. We do the things we do because we have to.
Achieving fame, fortune or glory is nice, but not the reason. There are millionaire software entrepreneurs, but their ideas are about the exploitation of other's ideas. And there is no glory in that. And they do not write code. And many of them are arrogant pricks.
Quothe the programmer, "later more..."Notes
- "Good hats" and "Bad hats", are not "White hats" and "Black hats".