Evil in the System

It won’t do to call Microsoft “evil” when the real problem is the system itself.

Perhaps you are aware of a website called “Github.” It’s a collection of software repositories, mostly Open Source, that is offered as a free service to just about anyone. You can also get somewhat better service if you pay, but it’s generally wide open to anyone who doesn’t pay. Generally, I say, because recently Microsoft’s management has instituted blocking some folks for purely political reasons (Caution: automated video playing on that page). Since the developer is in Crimea, it is US government policy to implement sanctions against folks who just happen to live there, and Microsoft is complying with that policy.

The bigger problem is not just the software repository, but that the same service hosts regular websites, quite tempting to people who are suckered by grand promises of freedom and centralized access for the user. The story mentions that the developer has lost all access. It would be a major hassle to start over at this point, but what other choice does he have? The real problem for him is how Open Source works as a community, and the value of reputation and engagement for those who forego the money.

Github wasn’t built by Microsoft; they bought out the operation as part of a campaign to change their image with the Open Source community. Many of us still alive can remember when Microsoft’s corporate policy was to destroy competition any way they could. But this craven cowardly adherence to some vague US political policy is going to get a lot of attention in the Open Source community. For example, it’s on Slashdot, and the discussion about it indicates this is a major mistake.

Don’t get hung up on who is doing what; the real problem is the seduction of centralizing as a human instinct. It does make things convenient and easy to share, until it suddenly doesn’t work at all. The conflict is inherent. The virtual world cannot recognize geographical boundaries if it going to work at all. But that same kind of globalist instinct has no place in the real world. Humans must adapt to understanding the essential difference between the two realms.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of blame to go around, so don’t dump all of this on Microsoft. That devouring beast is just one of many who work together to destroy human existence.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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