Free software – at the Gates of heaven or Gates of hell

In the beginning of the computer industry, software was an integral part of the computer to get it to function. Those who designed computers, was also the masters of the software business.

Eventually a highly intelligent person understood that software is not really software, but a language – and the software business became the universal communication standard.

Then some smart people, thought that the commercial software was a bad thing because software should be free, and still an integral part of the computer. They started the free software foundation and their mantra is:

«Free software developers guarantee everyone equal rights to their programs; any user can study the source code, modify it, and share the program. By contrast, most software carries fine print that denies users these basic rights, leaving them susceptible to the whims of its owners and vulnerable to surveillance»

  • Are the free software developers working for free?

We have in previous articles provided a fairly strong connection between ownership and freedom. If you work for free, you have no ownership to your work. Thus, it would be reasonable to conclude that if you are a free software developer, your ownership to your work will deteriorate and you will not be free.

We will explore the two opposites; free software or software that has a cost. What is the best option?

At the Gates of heaven or the Gates of hell?

Software as a language

We know that humans possess traits that no other animal can surpass. We are literate; we communicate and store this communication (knowledge) through generations.

It is interesting to notice that an object in our world have a name, a description and properties. As an example we could describe an object with the name ‘Tree’, with the description apple-tree in the family Malus with an important property: it bears edible fruits each summer.

The object-oriented programming language is similar to our language. You can create objects with a name, description and properties. Let’s use the same example object with the name ‘Tree’, and with the description apple-tree in the family Malus, and with a property called Edible-Fruits. Since this object is virtual, it is possible to multiply it many times, and change the property Edible-Fruits so that the software contains a list of Apple-trees with different edible fruits.

Consequently, despite differences between a software language and human language, it is a language. Thus, we can conclude with a fact:

  • Software is a language

Bjarne Stroustrup is one of the men who have systematically approached the development so that the C++ programming language have become one of the greatest success stories in the business.

His achievement is one of many. There are many languages, like C#, Java, JavaScript, Visual Basic, VB Script, VHDL, Abel, Ada, Pascal and many more. Knowing them all is not difficult, but might be vital since they all define a surplus of knowledge from many people throughout many years.

But if software is a language, and the human language is the definition of our successful endeavours.

Why should software not be free?

Software as a book

If we define a language, we can use it for many things. As an example, we can write a book. This piece of art would of course be a copyrighted ownership. You can sell it to people who can enjoy reading it.

Stealing content from a book is not uncommon, as the scanner and printer technologies (pencil) is available to all people.

But we can easily conclude the following:

  • Writing a book is hard work, by intelligibly combining objects in our language

If you are a great author and you don’t profit on writing, you will stop writing books.

Software programming is almost like writing a book. It is objects in our language combined to a logically description of functions and operations.

These functions and operations are extended objects in our computer language, making software much more wide-ranging than the human language. This is very fascinating, since a language becomes a sentence with an operational command. The software can express “Paint a tree”, and you will see a tree appearing in front of you.

When you have created such an operational sequence called a software-program (application) this will probably become similar to an extremely advanced “book”. This application (book) will be a much more complex piece of art than any Author can ever imagine.

An author will normally sell his book for a good price, and we will have to assume that an experienced and highly educated software-programmer, will be pissed off if his work is provided for free. This means that when people actively promote free software, and forces hard working people to accept working for free, we can easily conclude with the following fact:

  • People who are forced to work for free, will be angry

If writing a book can make the author famous and rich, why is the superior software (book) free and the author poor and unknown?

When software became a language

All seem to pay homage to Bill Gates as the man behind the world’s biggest business; the software business. Maybe he was lucky, or he understood that software is a language, and language is the source to all our success.

Visualisation of software through a graphical user interface (GUI), was the big breakthrough in the business.

It made it possible to visualize software through objects. Suddenly the objects had a visual reference, a name, description and properties; it became a language. Before visualisation of the objects, they were only gibberish provided by a software-engineer who probably got payed too much for the interpretation.

  • Suddenly the software business exploded as a bomb, changing our world completely

Software engineers could create objects (a language), as in the real world but not limited by the physical obstacles and limitations in the real world. Our new language made it possible to forge new worlds, where artificial intelligence is no longer a question of how, but when.

Our new language has made us richer, but the development of our new language is stagnating; a strange phenomenon.

Is the observed stagnation result of free software?

The logic of free software

Those who already profit on software, are strangely enough supporters of free software. The reason is fairly obvious. If they make money on software, and they support the “free” community, it is almost impossible to compete against the current companies.

One reason to such a strange phenomenon is that the free software foundation is demanding that if you use their free libraries (language) you are bound to provide your software for free (Copyleft), because you use something that is provided for free.

Another more plausible cause, is that an entry into the software world where previous entrants have decades of experience, you need decades of knowledge (written language) before you possibly can compete against current companies. Unless governments and companies ensure that libraries and librarians are assigned the beautiful task of organising and cataloguing our new language.

All our new knowledge is stored in our new written language, and the libraries consisting of this knowledge should be developed and stored by governments. If not, everybody that wants to establish a software company needs to start from scratch, and face the impossible task of competing with a software company with proprietary ownership to a file-system (ntfs, ext3), something that should be standardised by governments because it has a standard function to get a computer to function.

A big highly structured library would lift our level of knowledge, to a point where old knowledge is rarely considered, because it is a only a subset in our advanced libraries.

We already have a long tradition with libraries and librarians, and companies must pay to use and develop these libraries, whilst the community must pay a small entry fee, and students get access for free.

  • Governments have long traditions in providing knowledge for free!

If we regard knowledge as free and we use this knowledge to provide our society with great new inventions or literary work; should it be free?

It is reasonable to expect that when people provide resources and physical objects through hard work , they use free knowledge without any obligation to provide their newly produced resources for free.

The logic would be the following:

  • Free software is not connected to new objects through hard work, but new objects and hard work is connected to free software.
  • Expensive software is connected to new objects through hard work, but new objects and hard work is not connected to expensive software.

I think we can conclude that software-production follows the same logic as everything that requires hard work.

  • Free products are not connected to hard work, but hard work is connected to free products.
  • Expensive products are connected to hard work, but hard work is not connected to expensive products.

The logic states that is unlikely that any products will be provided for free, since it requires hard work.

This is a bit of a contradiction to the availability of free software, and we are left with some very interesting question:

Is the “free software” available, really free? Does it have great quality?

Free software and its absurdities

If we examine the source code provided by free software, it is not entirely generic, not very well documented and difficult to use. Thus, it is producing results with poorer quality.

The obligation to provide your software for free because you used free software, will result in further deteriorate the software.

Another observation today, is that free software is not really free.

One example is Facebook who benefits from stealing your personal information and resell it to information-brokers. This is illegal in most countries since the people’s privacy is protected by the constitution. Still it seem that governments “silently” approve to the collection of data, because of the intelligence collected through this illegal activity.

Thieving is clearly a result of free software!

More free stuff, will result in less work trying to develop something that have a cost related to it. This is clearly an effect of the logic behind free software. This means that eventually the software business will be owned by some few software conglomerates, because no one else is getting payed.

New entrants are not getting anywhere, because nobody will invest in something that already was invented. Getting a patent on software is impossible in Europe, and even in America it seems a bit futile to patent software because you cannot fight conglomerates with a single patent, no matter how great it is.

Would anyone invest in someone who was determined that Windows is not a great Operative System? The answer is probably ‘No’! But it should be ‘Yes, lets do it!’ Because Windows origin is already overdue, and its an old system for old men.

Today we observe that new entrants in the software market are from countries where the economy is less valued. This is a clear indication that we are starting to get closer to Status Quo. A capitalism that deteriorates its origin, and where hard work does not set you free, but imprison your mind.

Is Microsoft and other software conglomerates imprisoning your mind?

Microsoft – and it’s access through windows

Microsoft in its birth was gaining power in a machine world, where it was easy to connect different hardware to your computer.

Microsoft supported a multitude of hardware developers through its “dynamic driver development”. This created an enormous popularity for those who invented new hardware and wanted to get its functionality implemented on a common platform.

Still, the multitude of hardware sold in a computer shop is using the simple implementation in the Operating system Windows to gain access to the hardware market. It seems a bit strange that what Microsoft did for the hardware industry, they are unwilling to do for the software industry.

A simple example is the calculator. Since most people use simple calculus, they do not need a fancy calculator software. They can use the one, who is built into Windows. If you want a different one and the calculator has a cost related to it, you will probably just use the free one. Or you can find another free calculator, unless you distrust its creator like you would distrust Mark Zuckerberg when using Facebook. Nothing is for free!

Since Microsoft provides the software for free, it is reasonable to believe that they develop and support free software for the benefit of their platform. With free software nobody would care to develop something new because they does not get payed, and the profits is guaranteed to be an uncertainty.

An example is the web-browser. In the early days, it was believed that if you owned the most used browser, you would own the technology giving everybody access to internet. The competition was so fierce that Microsoft probably decided to incorporate the browser into its platform for free.

Again, the browser market collapsed into a low quality, low security, badly documented piece of software, when Microsoft took a leading position because the alternative was the less trustworthy free software. Companies who could benefit through hard work, was struck to the ground, by a strange philosophy called free software.

The operative system still supports the hardware world and the greatness of supporting a multitude of corporations, and the hard work they provide. In the software world we tragically observe that freedom and ownership is squashed by the multinationals who support ‘free software’.

Maybe their mantra is that you shall get access to software according to your need, and work according to your abilities?

Who is John Galt?

Languages, books and windows

It is expected that governments support the development of languages through libraries and librarians. Access to it should be free, and the development should be driven by our institutions. If you want great government of your surroundings, investing in languages improves everybody’s life.

Limitations of its usage through MIT licences, GPL licences or Copyleft licenses seem to support “privately” or government owned conglomerates. Its construction is an example of total insanity due to the anti-capitalistic requirement; an obligation to provide your hard work for free.

Is it possible to compete against something that is free? The statement “Lets create a new version, through hard work and provide it for free, and we will be rich!”, is clearly an example of the stupidity we have seen the last decade. We all know the effects of long-term stupidity.

Soon we are unable to create new books, and provide it in our book-shelves and visualise it in our windows.

Someone need find a solution to our current problems before it is too late, and ensure that ‘almost free software’ is a better version, since it enables competition.

We always have a choice when we arrive at a crossroad.

At the Gates of Heaven or the Gates of Hell.

Notes about Open AI and ChatGPT

Open AI and chat GPT have provided a great access to software and “libraries”.

ChatGPT is so advanced, that you would be able to consider it as an artificial code-library, and it’s capabilities are working like an advanced neural network, where coding is its main learning-capabilities.

We talked earlier about how a computer easily can create apple-trees, and how a computer can create different types of apples.

Now the game have changed completely. Now you can ask your computer to generate the code needed to create the objects in the language or library for you.

This will create a new revolution for our languages. Let us show you our simple test, and see what OpenAI can provide for us in language creation:

The code is generated for us in seconds:

Not only is it provided in seconds, but the example is so well formed that anyone can start to build extremely advanced “books”, and building libraries and languages.

The interesting thing in this example, was that the AI implemented an example using all functions in correct order; plant, grow and pick, despite the question’s order.

This is nothing more than a revolution, despite being only the beginning.

Version ChatGPT 3.5.

But, remember that learning the basics of programming is a necessity for both asking the correct questions, and using the answers to create software (“a book”) or a software library.

It is about time we start to build new interfaces and new operative-systems.

One question remains; how long will OpenAI stay open, and for how long will the system (“book”) be free 😀

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