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Linux for "DoublePlusHuman"

I have a purpose in life. It is the evolution of what I call "DoublePlusHuman" which represents a human individual that is free of all self-contradiction, superstition and coercion. That is the ideal and every progress towards it in my view comes with a tremendous world changing potential. What does this have to do with Linux and Free Open Source Software you might ask? Keep reading.

Individuals who fit the definition of "DoublePlusHuman" do not deny themselves their appetite for growth of personal happiness, wealth and power any more than a flower doesn't deny itself the "right" to flourish as far as the water in Earth and sunlight from the heavens could let it. Neither however seek to do this at the expense of another's personal growth because that would create win-lose relationships which will ultimately come back to harm them (becoming a form of self-contradiction). This means that DoublePlusHumans accept technology advancements as opportunities for growth of personal happiness, wealth and power.

They recognize that technology is just an extension of human beings and a part of what sets us apart from most other species on this planet. It is the tools we build to accomplish what we otherwise wouldn't be able to, and more efficiently. If one dreams of going to space, as so many of us do, and believe it to be one of the next steps in our evolution we need technology. If we dream of augmenting our physical capacities (as some do) we need safe technologies. If we dream of creating artificial sentient life, again, that life starts with technology.

However, by virtue of being DoublePlusHuman, without self-contradiction and superstition and seeking no coercion their uses of technology would always be positive in so far as positive is defined as non-destructive towards the self and the others, ways of using technology which will not cause others to come to subservience to you or you to them. Are you beginning to see how the concept of Free Software (as in freedom) begins to fit into this vision?

This is one of the underlying reasons why I so often insist on not focusing so much on "Linux" as an operating system, but rather an ecosystem from which operating systems can be built in their own right. It isn't merely an alternative OS we are building. It is a brave new world in which intellectual property plays a smaller or ideally no role because it is an incoherent idea, because it gives one the unjust power over the other, because it creates cases where one set of rules is imposed on the other regardless of the existence of prior agreement. The Free Software world isn't completely without this problem, but it's as close as we've gotten to emulating a free society and therefore worth promoting and trying to steer to where I believe it would be most effective in achieving a real free society.

That said, I'm not really on the side of the Free Software Foundation. I don't consider "four freedoms" devised by Richard Stallman to be any kind of a moral code. I believe that if an individual agrees to terms of use that are more restrictive before he is given a copy, he is someone who exercises his own free choice. However, as the first order of business in relation to Free Software I encourage as little as awareness of its existence and the idea that intellectual property laws and the proprietary software industry that has sprung up as a result are not necessarily an ideal state of affairs and that at least using Free Software we can slowly help augment or replace such an industry with something, shall we say, more "consumer friendly".

I also recognize the power of Free Software, as available as it is to everyone, against the institutionalized injustice. A free operating system in the hands of a tech savvy activist is probably going to be more effective in many activism efforts he or she may undertake than a closed down operating system such as Windows or even Mac OS.

This said, not all activists are tech savvy and not only tech savvy users or activists are the ones worthy of experiencing a free operating system. This is why I support the idea of building more user friendly free OS's in which everything just works so that a user can go about his or her business, whatever it may be, without running into technical issues. Unfortunately, there is still some ways to go and I feel that a part of the reason why things are progressing so slowly is because the prevalent mentality among Free Software users, contributors and developers is that all of these "Linux distros" are a one OS rather than multiple OS's which could shine even brighter if they were let stand on their own rather than a part of this "Linux" conglomeration.

So specific distros sacrifice some of their own potential to fit this fold and when any dares to make even little independent moves (such as Ubuntu adding their own notification system for example) many chastise them for it. There's a sense of entitlement that has developed according to which every innovation one makes upon an existing voluntarily freed work must be "contributed back" immediately instead of kept for the marketing purposes of the project for which it was developed. It isn't even that such innovations aren't free to take and add to your own, but people criticize if you aren't the one who do this work for them. This helps to diffuse consolidation of specific distros into operating systems that can stand and compete on their own right, not only with other Linux based OS's, but most importantly with Windows and Mac OS X.

"Divided we fall", I suppose, what they fear. But I have another one for you: "competition results in better quality products". Insisting that all that is based on Linux must be developed as part of a single OS, in mutual cooperation, you are insisting on reducing the quality of the end result by diffusing the benefits of competition. The result is that every distro, due to their effort to fit that fold, to some extent feels like a frankenstein. Just look at the current state of Linux audio systems.

The same can be said for the anti-commercial attitude of this "Linux community". Even Richard Stallman would say that his idea of Free Software is not at all anti-commercial. It's not about things being free of cost, yet people typically deplore those who dare charge for anything. If we were a little more open to commercialization of the Linux based OS's ecosystem that too would help revitalize the specific offerings which can offer the best value for money. And we've been through the analysis already. Many Linux advocates know that there's a psychological value attached to things which cost some money as opposed to things which are completely free.

I believe Free Software in general including the Linux ecosystem, cannot realistically be treated as a New OS, but a whole new market of operating systems and applications which operates on somewhat different, more consumer friendly, assumptions and expectations. The markets function best when there is competition and when their actors act fully in their own self interest without coercing the others to act on it. Thus the insistence on integration and unification is harmful. Competition is a form of cooperation as well. The difference is that people cooperate on their own terms and for their own individual benefit rather than for a share benefit over which there may or may not be agreement. I'd say competition is actually the best form of cooperation there is.

Once Free Software movement becomes a fully market driven movement and a new kind of market of its own it stands a chance of running over the remaining proprietary markets as people begin to see real benefits and value in the many excellent offerings (various awesome FOSS operating systems) that are available (which would be better than they are under the current common paradigm). It would be a step in this "DoublePlusHuman" direction.

Comments

Double + Humans

 

We have a name for 'double plus humans in Texas.

We call them fat asses.

Lay off the junk food.

Re: Linux for "DoublePlusHuman"

Nice.

Fortunately however I'm just the opposite of a fat ass.

Once you're done joking try reading "1984" if you haven't already so as to get what "doubleplus" refers to. Eye

Cheers

Re: Linux for "DoublePlusHuman"

 

I like the concept but take issue with your flower analogy. Being that I garden, I can tell you that most plants grow regardless of other plants. So, yes, a flower (if a vigorous specimen) will grow at the expense of anything around it as much as it possibly can. Vines will choke out trees, trees shade things below them, stunting competition...

Re: Linux for "DoublePlusHuman"

Right, but humans are the same species. Plant a whole garden of only a single specie of flower and will they really choke each other or will they simply grow in their space? Should therefore humans really grow at the expense of each other?

Ok, maybe the analogy isn't the best. Analogies are seldom perfect. Either way restricting people by other people is gonna result in people smothering each other far more if everyone was let to naturally flourish. The thing is we need each other so a strategy of smothering each other doesn't work very long, unless the smothered ones think this violence is OK, which unfortunately most people still do.

My goal is to help them change their minds on that.

Re: Linux for "DoublePlusHuman"

 

Haven't read everything yet, but the term "DoublePlusHuman" made me think of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism

Re: Linux for "DoublePlusHuman"

KIAaze wrote:

Haven't read everything yet, but the term "DoublePlusHuman" made me think of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism

Transhumanism is compatible with the idea I branded "DoublePlusHuman", but it isn't a necessary part. DoublePlusHuman is simply defined as a human being which is free of all coercion (by himself or others), self-contradiction and superstition.

This is profound enough by itself because such a human would lead a life that feels much more natural, without guilt and without internal conflicts and would also be very powerful in terms of having a developed skill of critical thinking and gaining knowledge exclusively through reason and evidence, the scientific method. DoublePlusHuman embraces his self rather than chastising it and encourages others to do the same.

So the definition itself is technology-agnostic. However based on my knowledge of human nature and life in general there is an inherent drive towards gains in knowledge and power. There's the drive of curiosity and desire to reach what was so far unreachable. DoublePlusHumans, since they wouldn't have artificial qualms about pursuing such things, would naturally find technology as a necessary tool for such evolution, which is where some may find transhumanism appealing. I personally do find it appealing and it's hard to combine the idea of DoublePlusHuman with the desire to see technology advance without ending up supportive of transhumanism.

But transhumanism in my view isn't so much about going beyond human as it is about extending what being human means. This is because it is exactly the things that make us human which make us want to transcend what it currently means to be human so there's no contradiction. Being human very well includes the desire to be something more.

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