Subject: Re: slavery and freedom
From: simo <>
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 20:52:43 +0000

On Wed, 2008-09-03 at 13:50 -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:
> Ben and Chris (Tilly and DiBona) are committing a logical fallacy.
> Ben offers an anecdotal "attitudinal survey" of the Perl community
> and Chris offers a sociological attitudinal survey of open source
> volunteers.
> Both report a large degree of contentment among volunteers.
> Both use these observations to argue that volunteers are not being
> exploited.
> The fallacy is that attitude, no matter how accurately measured,
> has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not the subject is being
> exploited.
> Consider the "battered spouse syndrome":  victims of exploitation
> *often* express attitudes of contentment with or preference for
> their situation.   We recognize, anyway, that they are indeed
> exploited, regardless of their attitude.
> The attitudinal surveys are irrelevant to the questions at hand.

One thing is completely missing here. The "battered spouse" has no
choice, she is forced to stay in the house, and be exploited, and the
syndrome is, sometimes, a consequence of this situation.

Free software developers that do contribute voluntarily have no
constriction whatsoever, they decide to contribute knowing how the
situation is from start, they are not tricked or subjugated, they know
very well that there are vendors that use their work.
On the contrary proprietary or even free software developers that work
for hire are more likely to be exploited, but it seem that paid
exploitation is ok for you ? ... I don't get your point.

You may call these people stupid if you really think they are wrong, but
they are certainly not exploited unknowingly and I do not see at all how
you can equate their situation to the "battered spouse syndrome".