According to Richard Stallman (II)

I have reasons for not translating this article into English, so please try to understand in Spanish.


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Eclipse in the cloud

It amazes me the number of initiatives that have been taken to develop collaborative environments. Recently I discovered an interesting list from Wikipedia articles in which is quite easy to get lost and on the other hand it is an appropriate place to add information about any project related. Some of them, such as Etherpad, clearly show which means a practical implementation of a similar environment, in addition to providing free code that can be useful.

So far, the project that has caught my attention comes from the German university level and has been published under the name of Saros. As shown in the video included on its website, you can install it as a plugin within the Eclipse development environment, although it is not necessary to prove for be aware of its drawbacks. It is obvious that none of users using Saros will have control over their computing, because when one interacts with other members of a possible working team is accessing their development environment. It is true that are established various collaboration scenarios, but this brings us to the controversy that was discussed with Stallman. On the other hand, the code can be very useful both for deploy the part that refers to the passage of the witness and the talk through chat, voice or video as to synchronize personal projects with those that are public.

Advised by Wayne Beaton from the Eclipse Foundation, I met the Orion project. It is an environment for the development of web applications and the fundamental reason for move away from the well-known environment at the time of moving to a web service is simply due to the fact that network behavior differs from the behavior of a personal computer, so for a different problem is more appropriate a new solution. It is a good way of thinking ever keeping in mind what is really happening on the network, since it seems as if it were an abstract entity to which can be allowed everything simply because of being new. But actually dealing with programming from this perspective involves confronting the challenge to provide the control of our computing to others which deprives us of freedom. This does not mean not to be licit to go down this path, but should be aware of what actually happens. In fact, sites for hosting projects that also allow access using version control systems do not perform at all any kind of control, because their aim is to publicize code and in any case, converging to a collaborative environment from this approach seems an interesting option.

I would like to invite everybody to test eyeOS, since it is free software and I think it is a very interesting option, because if it is possible to manage their control by the passage of a witness, only is necessary to install eclipse to have a collaborative environment, in addition to any other application focused to any other field, such as LibreOffice. It is nevertheless important to analyze what happens when eyeos is used and which is the technology used for its implementation, so it is advisable to read the document that IBM has published to understand what virtualization means. You may get lost in the published documentation, but leaving aside the technical terms can intuit what actually occurs in a model of this type. When a user accesses any service of this kind what he does is to share a certain hardware with other users, like when someone uses public transport. Regardless of whether the owner of the means of transport is a state or a private company still has the qualification of public, for the simple reason that it can be used by multiple users simultaneously. There is talk about infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to refer to server hardware, platform as a service (PaaS) to refer to its operating system, and software as a service (SaaS) to refer to the applications installed on it. Virtually the operating system is able to provide the user a machine that he perceives as own, over which he can install, manage and control his computing. In this way, the efficiency in terms of hardware resources utilization, is much higher than in the case that users have to buy hardware individually, but on the other hand it is possible to implant shared virtual machines on which can be installed any work environment and whose control can be managed by the passage of a witness. Moreover, this form of sharing a server is licit and allows to leave behind the controversy.

There are several initiatives that aim to establish open standards in respect to computing in the cloud, such as open cloud manifesto  or Reservoir, the latter focused on standardize the methods of virtualization. Actually the platform responsible for virtualizing services is just software, so most of the projects involved in this initiative have been released under free licenses. Since never ceases to amaze me the number of projects that have been launched, all focused toward the same goal, consider of great importance unifying all efforts on one project with enough weight to achieve a collaborative environment completely free.

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Social Tool

Sometimes I read some pages of the work of Karl Marx and I find great thoughts. It is curious how previously I was not aware of what the word socialism meant. I used to associate the idea of socialism to solidarity one, because to some extent they are related and this is the concept that is perceived through the media. It is also true that a social link involves a bond of solidarity, but they are two different concepts.

And the fact is that as a result of the reflections of Marx, communist regimes were established in many countries, practical approaches that ended up failing and allowing the extension of capitalism throughout the world. However, this failure has also shown the inconsistency of the capitalist system, now more than ever.

It is true that an employment relationship entails social bonds and that the money used to commercial exchanges proves to be a very imprecise tool, but it is more true that systemic solutions proposed in past centuries are doomed to failure. Although this should not surprise anyone because, has anyone ever wondered what is a social link?

I would have liked knowing the ideas of Marx influenced by Freudian perception of the human unconscious, as well as new research on the so called Dunbar’s number or the potential that ICTs are demonstrating today. Although we can think ourselves.

One should think first in a form of exchange much more advanced than money. Actually money is just information so in the era of information society we can not stay in the methods of the past, much less when everyone uses the mobile phone regularly. Can be posed equivalence equations all complex you can think that allow the exchange of goods and services automatically, just only having the mobile phone operational. The error is in thinking that the solution can be simple, but nobody has said it was.

So I can think of a perhaps highly ambitious project but worthy of being taken into account by all who read this post and perceives it as viable. It must start from a society of a number of inhabitants lower than in Dunbar where the spontaneous and instinctive behavior of all its members makes things work socially. As in “big brother” and without any of its members were aware, as this may disrupt their behavior, they would be observed carefully. This behavior should serve as a model to correct the deviations that social conduct of human being undergoes when the number of inhabitants is increased, such as the misappropriation of surplus caused by greed, the consideration of exploited as “other” etc. Like a buddhist reaches the emotional harmony through meditation, a database managed properly can serve as a prosthesis to relieve our natural deficiencies.

Sure, in order to get enough practical information it takes several generations and since is intended an efficient change of the economic model is not viable a method that requires analyzing the evolution of a society in real time. So a practical solution is to have several parallel societies and analyze their evolution in a segmented way. Can even be make an estimation of the cost necessary and does not have to be very high.

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There is no room for controversy

If you are using a free browser on a free operating system to read this post you will be aware of the importance of freedom against proprietary solutions, which nowadays extend to the term cloud computing to which is mistakenly assigned in his own concept the idea of privacy. I invite everyone to freely edit the publication which appeared on Wikipedia.

Yes, there are lots of collaborative environments already in place, such as LotusLive from IBM, Windows Azure from Microsoft, Google Docs or Google Code Playground, all of them extremely interesting. However the innovative approach does not lies in the form but in substance. Just one of the engineers who created the IBM PC, Mark Dean, predicts the end of an era in his last blog entry. If proprietary software has caused controversy in front of the free software when all consistent reasoning looks for the free options, as progress is made towards a megacomputer distributed by the universal network, it is necessary that the path made by the free software community can be useful for free choice is the only one among all possible.

Is time for think of the OSI reference model, becouse it was designed to break the usual barriers in proprietary solutions. It is essential the existence of a physical layer upon which mount the entire network infrastructure, for those who find it more difficult abstracting, the physical level is equivalent in the case of the simile of the roads to earth surface. This level necessarily have to be implemented by means of what in this blog has been calling as telecommunication infrastructure and for this reason must be public and universal access, as well as water or air.

The remaining levels can be implemented either by hardware or by software. Intuitively it is expected that the levels closest to the user be more flexible, while the levels closest to the physical layer be more rigid and therefore closer to their public condition. In fact, it is abstract levels, so that the boundaries are fuzzy, but in any case it is important to associate a parallel abstraction model to the OSI model, not related to technology but to privacy.

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Compiling …

Always keeping in mind the advice of Stallman, about which has been spoken in a previous post, the project codepad

should provide an interesting insight into how to deal with the part corresponding to compiler.

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Let’s make cars

Recently, spontaneous social movements have emerged for a change of socioeconomic model, in line with what has been said in this blog and reflecting a majority sentiment, empowering the people.

But it is necessary that people of the global village in which we live be able of exerting force upon the oppressors. Of course, without using violence. In times when oppression was violent the most appropriate response was a violent revolution, but today we find ourselves in encapsulation of true power, which makes inappropriate a violent response because the pseudodemocratic capsule imposed by manipulated media would end up giving the reason to the oppressors.

The owners of the world are “the markets “, to which we must tell about give our money back, but not even let us talk. Because these people, with name, are hidden behind this situation it is necessary a way of exerting force on them so people take back the power they deserve.

A good simile for programmers is the GNU operating system, an alternative to digital colonization imposed by proprietary software. In so far that everyone uses free software, great monopoly power will be diminished and computer users will be able to take control of their computer.

Translating this philosophy into social and economic model it is possible to propose alternatives to disempower the owners of the markets. For example, let’s consider one of the symbols of capitalism, Ford, the car fabrication company. It is known that if we give the means of production to the proletarian class we would be facing the failure of the soviet model, but this does not prevent may be proposed new efficient forms.

Consider making cars, given the energy crisis caused by the owners of the markets, cars based on hydrogen fuel cells. In order to build a production plant is needed a significant investment, but if it is done by anyone who wants to provide what he considers appropriate, does not necessarily entail any disorder. One can thus think of free investors and entrepreneurs and face the work of the entrepreneur as a teamwork.

Once be having an alternative, the support of people would unset the market, at least in the automotive. But it is possible to think of solutions for all and each one of the “markets”, and I consider it very important channeling through this way the social demands arising spontaneously.

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Towards a new Democracy

There is abundant documentation about the functioning of democratic systems implanted in the developed world, but away from the technical terms and the concrete data, we all have an intuitive idea about what democracy means. Apparently, and in contrast with authoritarian, oppressive or imperialistic regimes of the past or even in mind today, is the best solution, but it is nothing more than an illusion, because the power is not in the hands of the people, not even in hands of the leaders elected by the current electoral system. In fact, and in spite of what media could make us believe, we are such slaves of the capitalist system as they were in ancient Rome. The new emperors are so owners of money and the “markets” like everything else, but unlike other times, today have no cutting head.

Democracy, power lies in people. Well, this must be so, but how can people express their will? In extreme oppression situations, the only thing that people can and must aspire is freedom, so that tools like the guillotine, the sickle or hammer may be the most appropriate. In times where education was not affordable for everyone and where the means of transmitting information was limited to personal presence or postal mail, they were acceptable democratic systems still in place today. For example, choosing an unknown deputy every four years for just to give their vote to the representative of his group of deputies, made sense when the media were not what they are today, but at the time of the information society seems like a form of democracy obsolete and inefficient.

Obsolete model of Democracy (Wikimedia Commons file)

It has to think about a new model of democracy that truly grants power to people. Given the potential of mobilization that social networks are demonstrating, cannot still be used a democratic system designed in earlier centuries. So we could speak of free representatives away from the turbid concept which now we have about a politician. Apart from the parties, sign up for one of the most popular sides or manipulation of information, nowadays is possible to devise a new model of democracy. I say democracy, not political, because the figure of a person dedicated to persuade and mobilize the masses would be out of place. It has to think of a transparent model where each individual is aware of what he choose and why. Of course, the complexity of each particular subject makes it impossible for everyone to know about everything, but this does nothing but highlight the need to bring creativity to their development.

For example, suppose that everyone has Internet access and use it regularly. It has to vote a new law regulating the age at which you acquire a certain legal autonomy. Most people do not have sufficient knowledge on legal, moral, social or ethical to make a coherent decision, so call a massive voting would be a mistake. However this does not is an obstacle to electing representatives with sufficient knowledge for them to vote properly. Through an telematic electoral environment the new deputies would be dynamic. Anyone may submit their resume to fill one of several voting representative positions, one for each vote. Could be established even several turns systems that offer greater dynamism, etc. In any case in the era of information society can not spare no effort in developing an electoral system, however complicated it may come to mind.

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Towards a new Democracy by Mark Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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