the whole concept of "app" as thought of today is a consequence of free software having been completely obliterated as a cultural concept

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instagram is a service which, due to what we in the industry call "complete bullshit", requires an application also called "instagram" to use it

but every single thing is like that so we just say "instagram is an app" and i can't stand it

even with completely nonstandard interfaces free software is necessary, if not sufficient, for fixing this

you could have many competing android photo sharing apps implementing many APIs each. real user choice

free software doesn't fix those apps being bad - we need other things for that - but it at least makes it possible for them to have other motives than "extract money from users' wallets"

the uh. slightly less wholesome conclusion here is that we irretrievably lost some time around 2012 and what we have now is just the scraps the corps are okay with throwing to us

and the FSF and GNU are basically just a distraction. the stallman thing doesn't matter, none of it matters, because we'll never have meaningfully free computing in the hands of the many

@tindall idk about that. i think that right now, we don't have meaningfully free computing in the hands of the many because we don't really have meaningful computing at all in the hands of everyone.

personal computers are one of those things, i think, that's going to be a battleground of technical development for a long time yet to come just because of the range of things they enable.

and, well, i think peer-to-peer networking is going to be the next big thing. we just haven't gotten to mass adoption yet, but i'm eyeing blockchain as one of the things that will get the idea enough popular acceptance to really spark the general imagination. there is quite a lot there that could be repurposed.

@KitRedgrave idk I mean even a feature phone has enough computing power and connectivity to do really cool shit if it weren't ultra locked down

@tindall yeah perhaps but like...

the thing i wonder about is how our idea of cool shit lines up with most people's. we're a lot more extremely online than most, and i think that unfree computing couldn't have taken off as well as it has if it didn't serve people's needs.

there's a lot of free software to do stuff locally, but it's been historically pretty difficult to sustain platforms to do stuff on a network that has an effect offline.

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@KitRedgrave yeah I mean that's the thing right. It does serve people's needs, exactly well enough to get them to buy it over and over but no better

Like a modern family sedan, or a hot dog, or whatever

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