As many of you know, I’m considered to be both pro and anti Free Software and Open Source, depending on your side. Although I consider myself to be pro free and open source software and this entry is highly critical of the FSF, be warned.
Basically the Free Software Foundation is a poor provider of grass roots energy for it’s cause. In fact its obstinate, angry views combined with it’s anti-community culture, serve to suck the life out of the movement. In fact if Free Software philosophies are to become successful, I think it’ll be despite the actions of the FSF. It seems to want to serve as a top-down father figure, and very much not a bottom-up grass roots organisation, like all political movements it’s falling for it’s own inability to work with people on the ground to effect change.
Today they’ve sent me another email asking me to become an FSF Member. So concerned are they will increasing their membership money that I can’t remember when I last got an email asking me for my ideas, my concerns, my involvement. What is also sad is the wording, it’s very obvious that the organisation has become the worst kind of charity, empty of compassion but big on quotering it’s money making membership. Part of the email:
If you believe that the technology we use should be free from
arbitrary restrictions, the best way to put that belief into action
is by becoming an FSF member.
That’s such a poor argument, it doesn’t even bother to say what they want the money for, or be honest enough to say that’s what they want, Parody: “If you like puppies, rainbows and bank holiday mondays, then the best way to put your joy into action is to become an FSF member”. What I want to be asked is “We need some money to support this cause, we reckon we’ll need this amount of money, can you share some of money to help us push this forwards”.
I know I must seem like I’m unfairly digging into the FSF a bit, and I am. But that’s only because I really believe in the Free Software ideology and believe that this officious front end combined with Richard’s vicious front end is hurting what it claims to want to support. Take the “Powerful new video message from Jeremy Allison” they sent last month.
It made me want to claw my eyes out in shame, this guys is probably a great programmer, but he shouldn’t be allowed on camera, never mind promoted as a powerful speaker. I haven’t seen someone that condescending since Blue Peter. It illustrated to me just how out of touch from other people and a feeling for the common man the FSF is. What is it that makes these people believe that everyone else is merely too stupid to understand Free Software? For me it’s disrespectful to confuse ignorance with stupidity.