[Dev] *URGENT* Proposal to organise Parabola

ingegnue ingegnue at riseup.net
Sat Dec 6 01:54:56 GMT 2014

I hope you don't mind me butting in. ;) Just reading this and I'm overjoyed because one thing I would really like to see in a distro is a very little, if any, hierarchy.

Parabola seems very horizontal, and that is a big reason why I like this distro. Since introducing money into the situation has got some people worrying, I thought I would give a suggestion based on a concept that already exists: co-ops! 

But then I saw someone already mentioned that, awesome. :) 

I empathize with the revulsion at money flowing into the project, but in capitalism money is a resource: everyone needs money to stay afloat. The only people who don't have to worry about needing money are the 1%, the CEOs, the bankers... In Parabola's case, income for the project could help it grow and stay alive. I think that the less time developers of Parabola have to worry about other work commitments, the more time they can spend spreading free software. 

To me, corruption occurs when unjustifiable hierarchy is introduced. Lost motivation and poor quality craft occurs when we replace intrinsic rewards (like fulfillment) with extrinsic (like being motivated by money, fear, your boss, etc). However, introducing money doesn't have to do either. People who work in self-managed co-ops often do it for the intrinsic rather than extrinsic rewards.

I think this article sums it up well: https://libcom.org/library/workers-self-management-faq

There are many examples of co-ops in the world, both large and small. Such groups have found a way to deal with money while keeping it democratic. Riseup.net, my mail provider, is one example of a "tech collective" (their phrase) that has done well and existed for 14 years now. They just finished their fundraising for the year. Valve might be a co-op (idk)... Mondragón is the biggest co-op in existence today. Yada yada... 
If you want to be motivated by a higher purpose (spreading software freedom!), you don't necessarily have to operate like a business: it can be nonprofit. Nonprofits can be hierarchical or not. Obviously I prefer to support the latter: not hierarchical. :P

I will be happy to donate whatever resources and labor I have to Parabola provided it retains a cooperative, not-for-profit structure (which it already seems to have), invests back into the project, and also that each developer gets paid according to some measure of fairness. (That is not to say that it has to be on legal paper or whatever, but that it is demonstrated through behavior.) I am still a student, still learning things, but I hope to also contribute as my skills improve. I could also write about it on my blog... 

I hope I was not too redundant with what others have already said (rest assured, I did read everything). I like the links on consensus. Anyway, good luck and best wishes!

IngeGNUe (formerly: la igualdad)

On December 5, 2014 6:59:41 PM EST, hellekin <hellekin at gnu.org> wrote:
>Hash: SHA512
>On 12/05/2014 07:10 PM, Nicolás Reynolds wrote:
>> another model is to offer services based on parabola.  most of the
>> servers i maintain, for monetary benefit or not, are parabolas B)
>*** Another COMPLEMENTARY model, and certainly not the only one, and
>certainly not available to users.  That is a strawman argument that
>simply confirms my argumentation.
>In the case of the GNU project, that would mean hiring more people just
>to take care of the paying services, because the current team of
>staffers is already under water.  Yet, they provide gratis services,
>such as Savannah, LibrePlanet, etc.
>There is a huge and gratuitous misunderstanding in the free software
>community about some ideal of purity that involves gratuity.  Gratuity,
>especially in the domain of computing and Internet, usually is a
>by-product of vast capital that uses it to destroy competition and
>it into submission or self-reliance.  Unfortunately, as the accent is
>put on efficiency and quality, i.e. open-source, instead of solidarity,
>any attempt at including payment or retribution in the free software
>community is met with gratuitous hostility.
>Version: GnuPG v2
>Dev mailing list
>Dev at lists.parabola.nu

More information about the Dev mailing list