Getting Red-Pilled on FOSS

One of my new projects for the year –> a switch to as much free/libre/FOSS software as possible.

Here’s 4 reasons why you should get red-pilled on FOSS with me…

  1. Standardization - proprietary software has all sort of compatibility problems. I try my best to be ecosystem agnostic, but proprietary software tends to make this difficult. For example, I recently tried to migrate all of my writing out of Ulysses and into Obsidian, but Ulysses has a proprietary file format (i.e, they don’t want to make migration easy). Even though it stores my data in my own iCloud account, there’s no way to access it. With FOSS, standards are just that – standards.
  2. Privacy - my private information is all over the internet in various locked servers owned by Google, Amazon, and others. In addition to the things I put there, these companies also collect tons of telemetry data about my usage habits. They probably know more about you than you know about you.
  3. Censorship - gatekeeping is inherently more difficult for companies using FOSS. If a company begins to censor users, their software can simply be forked. Mozilla, the company that oversees the development of Firefox, can try to censor, but the alternatives like LibreWolf and IceCat make this effort fruitless.
  4. Ownership - proprietary software produces artificial scarcity. If I buy a house, I can do pretty much whatever I want with it. I decide who comes in and out, what color to paint it, and what kinds of activities are allowed in it. But if I buy proprietary software, I can’t do any of that. Maybe I can adjust some settings, but otherwise it’s up to the developers. See Discord’s abysmal privacy standards as an example:

So this year, I’m doing what I can to make the switch. If you want to join me, a good place to start is (just filter for open-source). In the coming weeks/months, I’ll be posting some of the alternatives that I’ve decided on and why. I’ll be adding my changes to my pinned tweet.

Also, you should definitely listen to this TedxTalk from Richard Stallman, the creator of GNU and the founder of this movement. (He’s an odd cat with some odd views, but he’s right about this.)