Free Speech, Open Source Software, Closed Source Software and Robbers

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Communication is always something that involves multiple parties. An interrogator may yell something to the person, who is tied up to some chair and is being tortured, and the person being tortured may even do some parroting to answer something back, but it is always the prerogative of a person itself, whether he gives a true answer or not, even under "lie detector" observation. (The signals of "lying" may just depict doubt, for example, doubt, whether the question was fully understood or whether the interrogator actually asks a very different question than the one that he/she verbally expressed or even, whether the true answer that was accepted by the interrogator, was actually understood by the interrogator.) The same contemplation applies to a situation, where someone tells in a neo-Nazi bar that the Hitler had a few loose screws and that's why he lost the 2. World War in stead of having the Einstein and the Jews winning it for him with nukes and that the execution of one of his top generals, who sincerely worked to make the Nazis win the war, did not help either. The neo-Nazis in the neo-Nazi bar will probably apply censorship. Probably with fists and broken bottles and chairs and whatever else they can grab on site. That is to say, free speech exists only in the company of entities, who are voluntarily restraining themselves from applying censorship.

Now, how likely is that to happen with the Free Software? Let's say, if Russian or Chinese government agencies would like to share the software of their torturing robots on GitHub, under, let's say, BSD or some other very liberal open source license, then how long would it take, till GitHub is going to take down the repository or ban the user? With Trump in the office running the Guantanamo Torture Camp as a reality show theater, the Americans are probably the first ones to publish open source torture robot software on GitHub. Would the GitHub CEO get tortured, if he took that down from the GitHub? Like, in the name of "testing the quality of the software product", or so? Or, may be, now that the western intelligence agencies have already been caught on spying on their domestic populations, may be the American NSA or the British GCHQ would like to catch up with the commercial world, close the 10 year gap between the government IT and commercial IT, stop being 10 years behind the commercial technology, and make their domestic spying software open source, like the NSA already does with many internal Linux kernel development projects? The German authorities already cooperate closely with the American and British spying organisations, so why not to take advantage of the awesome population of German software developers? It has often puzzled me that given the GIGANTIC budgets of the various IT departments of the various intelligence agencies, they have not came up with their own operating system and programming language. It is possible to argue that Perl was defeloped by the NSA to pretty-print intercepted e-mails, but that was an accident, a small side-project, essentially an "illegal activity" on a "company time", not a real planned and intentionally financed project. The Pentagon Ada does not count, because that was financed from the military budget, not from the budget of the intelligence community. Apart from the accidental development of the Perl programming language, from the perspective of contributing to the development of programming languages and operating systems the intelligence community, including the infamous NSA, has been just slacking around. So, all in all, just like there is no central server that hosts all home pages of the world, despite Google tying it hard with its Blogger, YouTube, Gmail, Google Groups, etc., and almost succeeding, the GitHub era and pre-GitHub-SourceForge era will probably be replaced with the everyone-is-running-their-own-Wordpress-Drupal-GitLab-Fossil-or-some-other-code-hosting-site and specialized search engines that specialize on source code repository sites, will be used for looking for open source projects.

A major difference between the open source projects and forum posts is that open source software is never anonymous, because software as a solution to some problem always reflects the style of thinking of its author and the software lists at least some of the other software projects that its author is sufficiently familiar with to be able to use them in its work. That is to say, an anonymization network like the Tor is able to anonymize a forum and its participants, but anonymizing the open source software hosting site will not anonymize the authors of the open source software. A pfoof to such possibility is the deanonymization of the Stuxnet malware (archival copy). The lack of anonymity of software is also one of the reasons, why malware authors publish malware building kits as open source software, because if everybody uses the malware, then it is not possible to prove that the original author also used the malware in some particular case. That, of course, will not save the original author from outright bans, despite the fact that, using the idea of the perished Human Rights lawyer, Michael Ratner, the main purpose of laws is to enforce the hierarchy of the supermafia, but it does level the playing field by giving more people outside of the supermafia better cyber-weapons and moving from a guaranteed loss to a chance to achieve a draw is a huge advancement. Given that development of knowledge intensive products requires free flow of technical information, the colony of people (to avoid using the vague term "community") that has more freedom in terms of free speech and freedom to publish open source software, has an advantage at developing those new types of products. What regards to the counter argument that Russia and the Arab regions do not need freedom of speech, because they can just sell oil and buy whatever the people at regions that have more freedom of speech have developed, then the Arabs and Russians can import products only as long as anybody needs their oil. If the oil price gets a hit, labor price in Russia is cheaper than in China. On the other hand, people still cook on live fire in India and China prefers cancerous smog to modern underground Thorium nuclear power plants. So, the Arabs and Russians can keep on selling their oil to China, India, USA, while the Europeans prefer to breathe clean air at European cities.

Honestly, in 2017_02 I do not know, where this is going to lead. There are too many random variables, but the branch of mathematics that is called statistics does offer the nice concept of a probability density function, which essentially says that the center of the target that receives the bullets from a machine gun, tends to be more damaged than the rest of the target. It is, kind of, possible to roughly think about paths in a grassy area, when looking at history. The beauty of the situation is that despite not being able to stay invisible or anonymous, it is possible to stay outside of the attention of the idiots, who want to chop each others heads off with swords, but one should also try to prepare for the case, where the escape from the attention of the idiots does not work out. Sometimes, when the cockroaches or rodents infest a living space, the only option is to kill them all, or, if not all, then at least as many as possible. If the situation gets totally out of hand and an all out nuclear war kills all of humanity like the meteorite (archival copy) that made the dinosaurs extinct, then there's always the line of thought that if humans were able to evolve from small mammals after the dinosaurs died off, then after the all out nuclear war there is still enough time left for some new "smart" life form to emerge before the sun vaporizes all water on the surface of the planet Earth. Besides, given the amount of galaxies and the amount of Earth-like planets in those galaxies the Earth is not unique at all. So our life here in this solar system is really only our own matter. It is up to us to make our living environment worth living.

The closed source software and robbers are related to this contemplation by the fact that it takes some effort for a shark to capture its pray and in average the amount of energy that a shark receives by eating its pray must exceed or at least equal with the amount of energy that it took for the shark to capture the pray. By keeping software closed source the amount of work hours of the various robbers, specially patent trolls, goes up. The amount of resources worth robbing must also be kept to a minimum to minimize the reward of the robbers. Basically, it is important to drive the cost of the capture up and the reward at the capture down. That starves the sharks/robbers. Business wise it means that as long as it is possible to convert crypto-currencies to whatever is being used at local grocery, the crypto-currencies should be used for storing the majority of liquidity. Classical bank accounts can always be robbed, "frozen", but that is not the case with crypto-currencies. One must never compete at a market segment, where there are big sharks with an effective repression apparatus or a lot of lawyers.

(The lack of competition from smaller and more tech-savvy providers probably also explains, why the "big oil" and "big coal" industry will thrive till they run out of coal and/or oil, regardless of alternative options. The Brussels supermafia does not care about the Russian threat and the Baltic supermafia acts like a poodle at the feet of the Washington supermafia, because the Baltic supermafia, including the Estonian politicians, are so stupid that they hire hordes of bureaucrats in stead of a few small teams of engineers and scientists. The engineers and scientists could just fix the military issue between the Russia and the Estonia in the form of a few 10-year long, weapons development projects. The Estonian supermafia at Toompea is mentally incapable of running a proper, 10-year, interdisciplinary physics project, weapons development project, and the result is that even the inefficient Russian ministry of defense gets its tanks developed, but the Estonian side is not able to get even some small, cheap, projects completed. Add to that the utterly idiotic idea that in stead of developing something unique, something specialized for our conditions and against the Russian weapons systems, the Estonian supermafia at Toompea thinks that it is militarily a sound strategy to just buy brand new, but old-fashioned, weaponry from the terribly expensive western market and then hope that the brand new, but specification wise inferior, weaponry gives militarily an advantage against the Russian weapons? God, please help the un-enlightened, "tule-taevas-appi"!)


Update on 2017_02_06.

The purpose of the current passage is to spell out some premises that I had during the writing of the previous text in this blog post. My premise is that a person has a will to decide itself about the matters that effect its life in substantial manner. A will to decide itself is a sub-will of the will to achieve something or a sub-will of a will to experiment. The will to experiment and the will to achieve something emerge from curiosity. Curiosity is an intellectual trait. People, who have dementia are not curious. The dumber the person is, the less curious the person is. May be one of the the reasons, why new political movements, new ideological movements, are developed and historically carried out by people, who's age is somewhere around their 20-ties, is that the older people have been intellectually degraded to the point that they have become much less curious. The lack of curiosity might have been degraded to the point that the older people do not even care about their living environment or their own destiny, nor are they interested of carrying out any challenging projects. Some extra bright scientists seem to be an exception to the rule and "prove" the rule: the extra bright scientists stay intellectually bright longer and therefore they also stay curious till some older age.

The Russians have always been big drinkers of alcohol, which makes them, statistically speaking, dumber, which in turn makes them, statistically speaking, less curious and if they are less curious, then they have a smaller urge to do something themselves, which in turn means that they will not find the rules that restrict their activity, inhibiting and that in turn makes the various authoritarian regime less repressive for them. People, who never want to swim, are not effected by swimming restrictions. Not citing Edward Snowden, but borrowing his line of thought and his wording: people, who have nothing to say, do not find the lack of free speech to be a problem. In the same vain: people, who enjoy being a salary slave, do not find business restrictions to be a problem and government officials, who only work at one salary based job and look at their income as the net salary, do not care about the tax rates. The tax rates are just irrelevant to such people. At best they might think that if the tax rates go up too high, the overall loot, generally called as "tax revenue", might decrease, but most government officials do not bother to think even that far ahead.

So, all in all, any kind of freedom of speech, freedom of business, freedom of movement, freedom of keeping the fruits of one's own work to oneself are only important to the intellectually brighter part of the population. Bus drivers and train drivers could not care less about the freedom of speech. Supermafia bureaucrats could not care less about the freedom of business and they do not mind living off of a huge pile of loot, which is generally called "tax based state budget". Smarter bunch of supermafia bureaucrats, who are not at the very top of the supermafia, will find the job intellectually restrictive, but, as I said before in some of my other, earlier, blog posts, the mega-corporations are not for the bright people. (I do not consider myself to be particularly bright, but I guess that I am certainly "bright enough" to stumble on many, not necessarily all, limits.)

The same line of thought applies to "free" Estonia. The dumbest batch of Estonians could not care less, whether they are required to live within the limits set by Moscow, Brussels or Washington. As the Toompea supermafia is one huge mega-corporation, it has difficulties hiring the brightest and most curious people and that explains, why the top brass of the Toompea supermafia, the top of Reformierakond, IRL, Keskerakond, SDE, etc. find that it's sufficient if the fighting against the Russian army is left to the Washington supermafia. The top brass of the Toompea supermafia consists of mostly people, who have always been supermafia bureaucrates or gained their income through some hierarchical position at the top of their respective parties, so they do not feel an urge to have the proper freedom of speech and a proper freedom to do business. They do not even see the value in having those freedoms. Hence their lack of interest to develop a proper military capability to handle the defense against the Russian army themselves and the sincere belief that the Washington deal, the NATO, is sufficient. The Toompea supermafia top brass does not mind the price in reduction of freedom that they have to pay to the Washington for the NATO security service. For example, the Edward Snowden deserve an asylum from Estonia just for revealing the fact that Estonian software engineers in Skype collaborated with a foreign security agency, the U.S. NSA, in back-dooring the Skype and with that allowed a foreign security service to spy on all Estonian top politicians and their family members. The top brass of the Estonian supermafia is so dull that they do not even understand that there is anything wrong with the Skype backdooring deal.