02.07.21

Daniel Cantarín: Informatics, Progress, and Technocracy — Introduction

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 5:18 am by Guest Editorial Team

Original version in Spanish here.

The techno box

Summary: A new mini-series from Daniel Cantarín, a longtime follower and occasional contributor to Techrights (since more than a decade ago)

Some days ago I stumbled upon an article that got my attention for several reasons/motives.

The article, originally from the people behind Sabotage Linux and focused on some Free Software issues, shows us some examples of how sometimes the idea of progress turns into exactly the opposite. And between or among other conclusions, the authors suspect or are sceptical of the dark hands of shareholders behind so many problematic decisions. It is in light of of this article, and the comments it has generated, that I would like to argue or share some of my own ideas about it.

“I consider these to be or regard them as symptoms of a profound political immaturity in our field — an issue that we must learn to consider much more seriously when we take a look at the actual role of informatics in society.”In advance, this will be my arguing line: in an overwhelming majority of conflict cases inside informatics-centric communities in general, discussions seem to tend or lean towards gross simplifications of technical orders. And it also seems as though diagnoses of problems are unanimously concluded with the only idea in mind of degraded ‘purities’: the constant shadow of corruption, or people that don’t comply with guiding principles (or don’t understand them, and therefore these people are idiots). I consider these to be or regard them as symptoms of a profound political immaturity in our field — an issue that we must learn to consider much more seriously when we take a look at the actual role of informatics in society.

However, as arguing this may be coming across as indoctrinating, I very much long for current Internet standards, and from time to time diverge from simple notions to problematic generalisations, as I prefer to split all this essay into parts, as follows:

1. Technocracy, and contemporary technocracies, as in the example of economics.

2. The philosophical nature of progress.

3. Informatics, society, and Free Software: some conclusions.

Stay tuned for parts 1-3.

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2021/02/07/informatics-progress-and-technocracy/

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