the kind of software you use isn't activism. the kind of media you consume isn't activism.
activism is activism and there's not a shortcut around it.
It's also very weird that we focus on software; the big piece of infrastructure that is not and never can be free under capitalism is hardware. Unless and until we nationalize all metallurgy companies, your computer can't ever really be libre, since the very pieces of it were made by workers in the developing world in incredibly inhumane working conditions.
Ignoring that is ignoring the foundational violence of modern capitalism.
@melissasage like, developing alternatives that are more responsive to community input is good, but I think the problem might be that a lot of people really are just Liberals. Like the mindset that licenses shouldn't restrict businesses, and the idea that the technology shouldn't be regulated is super prevalent
@lesbianhacker yyyyyyep. Libertarian frameworks do a lot of work here imo; the idea that tech is a field of unrestricted geniuses and that government would fuck it up is an argument that the left would rightfully find suspicious everywhere else
@melissasage remember when IBM supplied computers and knowhow to nazis for the purpose of cataloguing Jews?
@melissasage yessssss this bothered me a lot about Infinite Detail too: seems to not recognize that the supply chain is built on planned obsolescence and keeps on going by abusing workers and the environment
Intel started a movement toward ethically sourced materials quite a while ago and has made efforts to have a conflict-free supply chain:
"Like many companies in the electronics industry, Intel and our suppliers use minerals in manufacturing. In 2008, we began work to ensure that our supply chain does not source certain minerals—in particular, tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (3TG)—within the Covered Countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or adjoining countries) from mines under the control of armed groups who exploit mine workers to fund crimes against humanity."
@melissasage Here's the link/source of quote (forgot to add it to previous):
@melissasage would you consider the people working on anti surveillance technology, or against existing surveillance technology, activists? i agree with much of what you say, but still believe there are lots of ways to be an activist / have a beneficial impact
i also wonder if hardware lags because of capitalism’s globalization, making it many factors more complex to organize geo-specific resources than to make a surveillance-free version of an app ):
@alana I think that working on such technology is activism in a similar way to being a street medic: it's an important support option to people actually doing the work of trying to dismantle those systems.
A concrete example: the Signal team has made a great tool for activists, and many people use it for activism, but using it to text memes to your friends isn't really activism (though you can argue it's still beneficial in decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio). Mere use does not activism make.
@melissasage i see the distinction now, thank you!
@melissasage I'm with an organization working for world peace - is that activism? 😂
@melissasage I almost questioned your statement, but then I realized you're right. Simply RUNNING free software isn't activism - however I'd argue that helping others to do the same and contributing to free software in every other way you can definitely could be!
@feoh yeah, my main thesis here is that I think it's a tool - it can be used in ways that are nice, but not activism, and I think that working on it certainly can be, and it can certainly can be used for activist ends
the main thing I was taking aim at here I think was like... free software lifestylism. seen way too much of people thinking that merely using free software is tantamount to revolution
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