You can trust @aral — he's shown long-term consistency, addressed his own issues (moved toward fully-FLO away from Apple).
But the rage-machine concerns are valid. It's one way to reinforce tribalism and manipulate activists. Purism is a witch-hunt style eat-your-own approach. The whole idea of badge-beliefs and of checking whether someone is "one of us" leads to all sorts fo dysfunctions.
That tribalism is exploitable by actual bad actors.
So, I've begun to think about what you might call the "freedom curve", plotted on an axes labelled "freedom" (y) and "reach" (x). I suspect it looks something like an exponential decay, with high freedom plotted at the far left, but with very little reach (let's just say for sake of argument that's where RMS and TdR and a Gideon's Band of others sit). As you move to the right, freedom falls away, but you cover more people.
Assuming one can influence the shape of the curve, what do you do?
Do you try to increase the overall limits of freedom for the few on the left? I think someone should.
Do you try to increase the integrated freedom, under the curve, by lifting the broad but imperfect freedoms of people further to the right? Yes, that too.
I haven't used this model so much to think about privacy but it might be useful there too.
My main disagreement was with your framing that Microsoft's threat has reduced compared to years ago.
They were more obvious bullies before and are more nuanced now, but we're not going to see an Open Sourcing of Windows. And if that ever happens, it will be because Windows has become just a thin-client front to "cloud" computing SaaSS and such.
Microsoft's legal threats to software-freedom and embrace-extend-extinguish strategy are all still here today.
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