Free Software? – It’s Anthropology, Stupid

Screenshot_2016-09-04-07-41-08When I saw the call for papers, I submitted a proposal titled “The Anthropological Dimension of Free Software: a Philosophical Argument” as you can see in the announcement in the program.

Anthropology is the study of various aspects of humans within past and present societies. There are many cases one can make for Free Software but I believe if one is an advocate for or an opponent of Free Software ultimately depends on one’s idea of human beings – or anthroplogy.

I have to admit; sometimes I use Google and Google services.

We are having a family dinner in a nice restaurant, the food is marvelous, and I take out my cell phone and take a picture of the antipasti. When we are ready for dessert my phone vibrates, there is a notification from Google asking me to contribute my photo to the collection of the restaurant’s photos on Google maps and comment on the restaurant.

You all know what’s happened. Google knows my location, my photos are geo-tagged and uploaded to Google photos, Google uses this information to ask me for more information – and if I share my photo on Google maps and rate the restaurant, then I further contribute to Google’s world-wide knowledge. I will not focus on privacy issues but on the aspect of sharing. When asked, it is a reflex for many people to help. They freely give their information to Google without realizing that Google does not reciprocate by making this information available under a free license but controls who gets access to this information. Mehr von diesem Beitrag lesen