cite as: F. Bi. 2009. Heartland Institute has a notion of software freedom. Intl. J. Inact., 2:92–93
I have to admit, I’m somewhat uncomfortable with writing about global warming inactivism, because climate is such a diffuse phenomenon which I can’t simply directly tinker with in a lab. Thankfully, our old climate inactivist friend, the Heartland Institute, started talking nonsense about computer software, something I have somewhat more experience with. After publishing an essay by one James Lakely on their web site about the oh-so-scary Marxist plot behind the Free Software movement, they’ve put up another essay by Lakely which says this: [cached]
Apple has approved the creation of more than 65,000 applications (apps) for its wildly popular iPhone.51 Yet this year, it denied one — Google Voice — for the very good reason it would supplant the iPhone’s core software design and functionality. That decision by Apple prompted the FCC in the summer of 2009 to launch a net neutrality-related inquiry, creating the impression that anything less than approval of all applications may be presumed to be a violation of the FCC’s broadband principles. That is alarming, and absurd. [...]
As more and more smart phones, netbooks, notebooks, and laptops are enabled to exploit wireless broadband, where would the line logically be drawn where the FCC’s wireless innovation regulation would stop? [...]
Well, as you may remember, the other day I wrote a program which crawls through web sites and IP addresses. In the current proto-Marxist regime, I can just load up the program and run it:
$ ./labyrinthvs.pl go http://climatescienceamerica.org/ labyrinthvs: created directory /home/.../.labyrinthvs labyrinthvs: created db labyrinthvs: rolled back any uncommitted db changes labyrinthvs: created any uncreated tables and indices labyrinthvs: created web ua LABYRINTHVS libwww-perl/5.805 labyrinthvs: added pending url http://climatescienceamerica.org/ (priority 4a957c61.00000000) labyrinthvs: processing url http://climatescienceamerica.org/ labyrinthvs: ... resolved climatescienceamerica.org to 188.8.131.52
Now, if I live in a capitalist world with clear product differentiation and perfect respect for property rights, I’ll probably first need to submit my application to the PC manufacturer for approval, perhaps like an acolyte of yore:
Acolyte (me): O Great Computer Manufacturer Most Wise, Most Capitalist, and Most Free, would you approve my application, that I may use it to perform computations in your honour?
Then the Great Computer Manufacturer will carefully scan my program code for any signs of Marxism, or anti-Apple sentiment, or criticisms of Thomas Jefferson — and if all’s clear, they’ll finally tell me that my software has been approved for running, in accordance with the property rights protections as codified in the Constitution of the United States.
In other news, the Bonner and Associates fiasco continues.