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[liberationtech] Why are we leaving mesh networking to FireChat?

Al Billings albill at
Sat Jan 17 11:06:24 PST 2015

I love how certain free software advocates will go on and on about “why is no one further developing technology X?!?” without any discussion of the incentives, financial or otherwise, that cause people to engage with certain projects.

There is a reason (or many reasons) why people don’t engage in the various free software mesh networking projects. It is because there seem to be very few incentives for people to do so. If there were incentives, people wouldn’t have to plead with people to get involved. They would just do so. So, proponents of these projects should really be asking themselves “If our projects are ethically and technologically superior, why are people not motivated to use them and contribute to them?” That is the question to be answered.

Unfortunately, much of the discussion in the free software community is a collective circle jerk of people who already agree with each other than certain philosophies congratulating each other on their superior reasoning and really not doing the work to convince anyone outside of their fairly small circle (especially on the scale of the world) that theirs is a solution and a way of doing things.

This is the same group of people that shows up here and says “I don’t know why anyone would ever use Twitter!” or “No one should be using iPhones or Android phones and I can’t stand the stupidity of people who do!” Talking down to your potential audience from on high doesn’t convince people of your reasoning or to help with your projects.

By all means, keep patting yourselves on the back and fail to ask, year after year, what you need to do in order to recruit others to your cause and convince them of your correctness. 


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