Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Disavow the Use of Coercion

We have been relying on coercion for millennia and suffering the natural consequences.  I sensed this several months ago and it had shut me down.  I want to be involved in lots of things, but bitcoin development and dealing is the only one I've been comfortable with since that realization.  It was not a conscious decision.  It was simply withdrawal and a lack of interest which I now can pinpoint to the reliance on coercion.

Oracle owns Java.  I love Java, but I kind of abandoned it because Oracle is a corporation which will use the full weight of the (unfortunately acceptable) coercive power of the governments in whose jurisdictions it operates to prevent people from doing whatever it doesn't like.  Fortunately (and I just learned this while researching this post), Sun committed to making Java open source, so Oracle can't do much along the lines of using coercion with regard to it.

I've been using PHP and HTML.  In June of 1995, Rasmus Lerdorf released the source code for PHP Tools to the public.  Tim Berners-Lee (the CERN employee who developed the http protocol and html, albeit from earlier ideas) encouraged others to build upon his ideas and to design further software for displaying HTML, and for setting up their own HTML documents ready for access.  I see in my own past that when I sensed coercion in the maintenance of something, that thing became less attractive to me.

This post comes from a deep place within me.  I publish it to urge everyone to encourage Oracle, Google, Apple, and every other company, group, or institution to disavow the use of coercion.

I am just starting out on a journey to develop apps for the Android OS, which is a creation of Google, based on Linux, which was released to the public by Linus Torvalds.  In this effort, I find that in order to run the Android Studio, I need the Java SDK from Oracle.  This realization brought to the surface my own disavowal of the use of coercion.  Disavow it.  Ask others to disavow it.  Hurting people, punishing them, or making them suffer for doing what we do not like is not the way forward.

If you use PHP or HTML or Java or Linux, you have no obligation to Lerdorf or Berners-Lee or Torvalds or Sun, but it's nice to remember how they have helped you.  As the webmaster for voluntaryist.com, I am working on a new section (under the direction of the site's owner, Carl Watner) that addresses the disavowal of coercion with respect to ideas, which are often called "Intellectual Property" and used to justify the use of coercion in defending them.

2 comments:

David Burns said...

Tim Berners-Lee developed the http protocol and html. The idea of hypertext and hyperlinks is much older. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink#History

Dave Scotese said...

Thank you, Mr. Burns! I updated my post.