Recently, there was a lot of discussion of the `funding` package, which shows ads during npm install. I found this recap very insightful and helpful:

Linode, one of the sponsors, pulled out with a "we'll be more careful with experiments in the future".

This is a result of online discussion being rant-based instead of respectful. A "Whelp, this experiment didn't work out" would've been *so much better* than "we'll be more careful about experimenting in the future".

Experiments are important. They need respectful discourse.

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I wish linode offered to support open source, like they said they did, even after the experiment by making donations and not expecting ads/developer mental space in return.
I guess they made their intentions quite clear by their actions; no sympathy might be owed to linode.
#funding didn’t have to go, the ads did.

@prasoon Wouldn't telling them be more useful compared with telling me?

Certainly. I was just trying to participate in the discussion. Sorry to bother you.

@juh Sorry, I must be missing something: What are you trying to tell me?

@rixx I am very depressed that obviously nobody knows about the most famous sentence of Adorno: "Es gibt kein richtiges Leben im falschen". (There is no right life in the wrong one.)

There is no right open source in capitalism.

@juh Oh how convenient! Just by quoting a quip, and stating that there is no perfect solution, we can all stop looking for solutions that at least help a bit!

@rixx It was not meant as a quip, sorry. If we drop back behind some crucial theoretical insights of critical thinkers of the past we won't help open source developers or, for example, people running a Mastodon instance for others. I found some hints to this in the text, you shared. If we want to change the situation there is a lot of collective work ahead of us.

re: recap of the "funding" experiment 

@rixx feeling like that's a lot of words to talk about not unionizing

@garbados I don't see how unionizing would solve this particular problems. Other problems in tech and software development? Absolutely, sign me up. Open source funding for intermediary libraries? … Could you expand on that, please?

re: why should devs unionize? 


think about the costs of programming and who can see or understand those costs. when the article talks about compensating devs of transitive, error-free deps, who would even know to pay them? only other workers. only when transitive deps bring down the ecosystem does anyone else notice.

a dev guild would know that value. it could perform the necessary audits to fortify the ecosystem with secure norms and robust guarantees for workers and users alike, because only tradespeople will understand those aspects of the trade.

expecting we can get clever with ad money just runs around the problem, which is that as a trade we lack the collective power to assert the true cost of our craft, and so those costs fall on us in the form of unpaid labor, or labor that simply never occurs despite all the risks.

re: why should devs unionize? 

@garbados A guild and a union are markedly different things, though. And I still don't see how a union would help in a practical way – would there be fees by large companies? Measured by employees? Or by income? Taxation? And the union would distribute these fees by what?

Or, as you mention audits, the union would offer audits in return for money? That … doesn't seem sustainable or even something I'd like to see.

re: why should devs unionize? 


> A guild and a union are markedly different things

yes, and they can work together. think about a trade guild and a company union working together to establish safe norms and just pay.

> would there be fees by large companies?

the specifics of the collective bargains we'll have to strike to afford a just craft will unfold with the tactical landscape of pursuing such. do you believe such bargains are impossible, or merely complex?

> audits in return for money

no. profit makes software bad. if corpers want to use the craft to profit, they'll have to pay what it costs -- a value they have no incentive to discern.

re: "profit makes software bad" see also:

re: why should devs unionize? 

@garbados Of course a guild and a union can work togethere, but you claimed that the article was avoiding the ~obvious solution~ of unionizing, and when asked for details, you talked about a guild. This topic is complex enough that expanding it makes it even worse to reason about.

If profit makes software bad, then I guess we shouldn't try to live off software. Bye, cool projects. I think our worldviews are sufficiently different that we should leave it at that.

re: why should devs unionize? 

@rixx 😐

i don't want to come off as aggressive about this. you and i are comrades in this endeavor -- shared interests, shared needs, shared contexts. but i feel a lot of hostility from you about this, and i don't know why.

yeah, squeezing an essay series on labor and technology and their intertwined histories and struggles into a toot can make things messy. i'm sorry for being unclear, but i don't understand the hostility.

re: why should devs unionize? 

@garbados I'm not intending to be hostile, though declaring a conversation over from my side only to be ignored might get me seriously annoyed (going to hit the mute button once I send this, since "we should leave it at that" doesn't work).

I was a bit surprised at having posted a link only to be snarked at, since I know this behaviour from Twitter, and had hoped that it hadn't caught on here yet. I seem to be mistaken, and will find a way to deal with this.

re: why should devs unionize? 

@rixx @garbados Sorry, I wasn't aware of this. I try to manage my engagement on this topic.

re: why should devs unionize? 

@garbados @rixx I think unionizing is a way to go. We need much more structure, a higher grade of organization. And we have to free our minds from neoliberalism, individualism and the toxic startup culture that is so popular in our community.

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