[linux-elitists] Hacker ethic, brogrammer ethic

Teh Entar-Nick nick at teh.entar.net
Sun Jul 6 12:53:11 PDT 2014

Don Marti:
> So how does "extend and subvert technology" turn into "go fast and
> break people"?
> Hacking: copyleft or neutral licensing (promote generic
>          ubiquitous code as a complement to valuable people)
> Brogramming: aggressive ToS/CLAs (contributors are a
>              generic out-group; value is in control of the hub of the
>              network)

And yet, you're seeing plenty of tech bros using Open Source to wring as
much unpaid labour out of people as they can.  It's probably one of the
more irritating and impossible-to-deflect criticisms of the free
software movement: what does this do to the power dynamic between
capital and labour?  How does this not flood the markets with
more easily exploitable programmers, and harm everyone?

Well there's a hint in your next Goofus-and-Gallant bit:

> Hacking: subvert the dominant paradigm by building common space
> outside it.

The GNU solution to this is copyleft: it explicitly protects the gift
economy so that it can be self-sustaining enough to survive attempts at
exploitation.  But even then we worried about "The ASP loophole" (this
was before cloud computing confused people enough to use "in the cloud"
to mean "on a third-party Web service").  Nothing short of the AGPL is
enough to protect the hacker way now.

> Brogramming: subvert the dominant paradigm by monetizing existing
> common space.

I would propose this razor: 

    Anyone who is vocal against copyleft licences (such as Brett Glass)
    is more likely a brogrammer than a hacker.

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list