FWD: Libertarian Programmers' Guild

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko (sasha1@netcom.com)
Wed, 07 Aug 1996 01:59:20 -0400

I received the following from C. David Eagle <eagle@earth.com>
My feeling is that this Guild, if it flies, will look somewhat
different from what is charted below - but in any case, I think
you may sympathize with many of these suggestions - and maybe
will be interested in working on them.

Alexander Chislenko <sasha1@netcom.com> www.lucifer.com/~sasha/home.html

------ C. David Eagle <eagle@earth.com> writes: --------------

I am forming a group named the "Libertarian Programmers' Guild".
The goals are as follows:

1. Make money.

2. Make money, based on the value of one's production.

3. Specifically, reward programmers with royalties based on the
subjectively rated difficulty of their software effort and the
frequency of sales of their code.

4. Promote the use of shared libraries between ALL applications
running on a system:

a) by eliminating the legal & economic barriers to calling someone
else's subroutines.
b) so that total installed software size on a system running our
software can be *DRAMATICALLY* reduced.
c) while creating competitive incentives to programmers to improve
the efficiency of library subroutines.

5. Create a state-of-the-art development environment.

6. Create a state-of-the-art distribution system.

7. Harness the power of the latent software development energy on the
net (a la Linux).

8. Further libertarian goals, which might include:

a. Provide an individual computer owner independence from any large
corporation or government entity. As a minimum, I believe this
requires that the owner of a computer at least have the option
of holding/touching/reading *ALL* the source code for *ALL* the
software running on his/her system.

b. Provide a built-in security system which

i) is extremely easy to use, being mostly transparent.
ii) is extremely powerful, potentially supporting the full matrix
of capabilities-oriented security (2-dimensional security
system; one axis is 'agents' (programs/users) and the other
axis is 'resources' (files/devices/agents))
iii) is integrated with the low-level disk access agents resulting
in a seamless and highly efficient system

c. Implementing applications which rely upon high security, such
as digital cash and electronic marketplaces.

d. Produce software to specifically assist libertarian organizations.
Many possibilities here.

e. Implement applications, such as waldos (remote-controlled manufacturing,
manipulation, etc.), which break the geographic connection between
living and working (and, presumably, reduce the ability of
territorial countries to assign tax-collecting authority).

9. Enable libertarian programmers to participate to as small or large
an extent as they desire, rewarding them with royalties for as little
as a single subroutine submitted.

10. Address and solve many of the annoying issues related to today's
commercial software. Among these are name conflicts, un-installation
difficulties, mysterious files, and legacy carryovers.

11. I must also confess to at least one ulterior motive behind several of
my proposals. There is a reason I want to see a small, fast,
oriented OS. I am interested in nanotechnology. There is at least
one pressing future application which requires such an OS; that is,
a nanite. Ribosomes, our best model in nature, have about a million
atoms, which translates (roughly) into a computing environment about
as powerful as a Commodore 64.

12. Give the software away.

13. Give away all the software that runs on any user's system.

14. Copyright, but make freely distributable, all the software which is
intended to run on users' systems.

15. Make money by

a. Asking for voluntary support a la shareware.

b. Selling optimized, customized installations which perform better
and more to a person/company's liking. Such custom installations
would take up far less disk space because they would not include
software the user was not willing to pay the programmers' royalty
for (probably because they have little or no use for that program).
The custom installation would be automatically built by closely-
held software back at our headquarters.

c. Selling support and training services.

d. Selling the output of closely held software, rather than the
software itself. For example, say we wrote a program which
did a good job of predicting the weather. Then, keeping the
software secure behind our walls and never letting a single
copy out, we could sell weather predictions.

e. Selling timely, guaranteed safe upgrades to our software. In
this way, the customer could, for example, be transparently
downloaded new and improved versions of the software s/he
has already purchased a custom installation of. Ideally,
over time the software would grow smaller and smaller, run
faster and faster, be easier and easier to use, be more and
more bug-free, and be more and more powerful.

I am C. David Eagle. My resume is available upon request if you want
to know my technical qualifications. I need lots of help to get this
set up, but the potential rewards are enormous. For instance, I could
use some help right now enhancing the web page
and I could use some help setting up a mailing list. If you are at all
interested, please email me at eagle@earth.com.