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    The Case Against Microsoft And Github culture rant sneak.berlin
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    If you work at any of these places, you should quit.

    I do work at Microsoft (but I’m posting this on my own initiative and speaking only for myself), and I won’t quit over this. Here’s why: I work on the Windows accessibility team, on software that helps blind people and people with other disabilities, particularly the Narrator screen reader. So I think it’s safe to say I’m doing a lot more good than harm in my current position.

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      This comes up a lot these days. For whatever it’s worth, I think you are better placed than anybody else to evaluate whether you, personally, are doing more good than harm by staying in that role. I would never tell anybody that they have to quit. If everybody quit, there would be nobody able to work for change from within. I think that making change in the industry is going to require a broad coalition including both people who have built power within the system, and people who have built power outside it.

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        Meh, I think it’s hard to really make a convincing argument this way or another based on “doing more good than bad”. Is someone who bought a laptop with windows pre-installed helping Microsoft do crimes? It seems to me that based on Microsoft’s revenue and the relatively small part that a single bundled windows license contributes to it, but also that they would be collaborating with whatever government they can, regardless of your choice, you’re decision is quite negligible. Worse still, wouldn’t Microsoft be even more eager to assist whatever Government they can, if their consumer revenue would decrease?

        And to turn the argument around, what about all the blind bad people (nazis, pedophiles, drug dealers, …) that use Windows’ accessibility? How many good people do you have to help to make up for every bad person you’re enabling the usage of computers?

        I personally do believe there are plenty of reasons not to use Windows or work for Microsoft, but these are mostly issues affecting individuals first (eg. lack of software freedom), society second (eg. dependence on non-free software and vendor lock-ins). Conflating the two and their relation tends to lead to confusion.

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            You assume that the people who decide whether to use Windows actually care about the quality of its accessibility support, and other aspects that don’t affect executives and IT decision makers. The truth is that like it or not, some people are compelled to use Windows, for their education or for the only job that they managed to find. By working at Microsoft, I and other people are, in a small way, making these people’s lives better.

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              Windows mandates were not handed down by some higher power; people made decisions. It was the same deal at one time with buying IBM. Those decisions can be changed.

              You can make a strong argument that, because of antidiscrimination laws, if Windows doesn’t have support for the appropriate accessibility features, it is perhaps illegal to require that people use it to do a job. You can always tell yourself a story to make working for a giant amoral military supplier seem like you’re doing the right thing, whether it’s making disabled lives better, “protecting your country”, “empowering developers”, whatever. But at the end of the day all you’re really practically doing is making sure Microsoft products remain competitive and that Microsoft’s revenue stream continues unimpeded, and that’s still a very, very bad thing that harms our entire society and planet, for all the reasons I wrote before.

              You really should stop doing that. People doing the work that you do is one of the reasons Windows remains a standard, and that is one of the major reasons Microsoft is still around to sell PowerPoint licenses to mass murderers and child rapists. (Well, that and Bungie.)

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                all you’re really practically doing is making sure Microsoft products remain competitive and that Microsoft’s revenue stream continues unimpeded, and that’s still a very, very bad thing that harms our entire society and planet, for all the reasons I wrote before.

                Of all the things that “harm our entire society and planet”, Microsoft is quite far down the list.

                Besides, all the points in your article are just about facilitating others (US military, NSA, ICE). Do you think that these organisations are incapable of running their own GitLab instance or whatnot? And what if the USS Yorktown would start running Linux instead of Windows NT? Would Linux now be “harming our entire society and planet”? Let’s not forget that North Korea runs on Linux, for example, but no one is blaming Linux for the North Korean regime.

                We live in a very interconnected world. As long as the NSA and such exist they will use the existing tools and there will always be some vendor to point fingers at. It seems to me that actually fixing the underlying problems would be much more fruitful than going after vendors who facilitate this in some minor way, which is ineffective and a massive distraction from the actual problems.

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                  Chances are USS Yorktown actually uses Linux now. I’ve seen interesting papers by the US military on that subject, vibration-protected racks for aircraft carriers, hiding commodity servers running Linux.

                  Then the russian military also officially uses Linux, so one doesn’t even need to carefully choose sides to be able to claim that Linux is harming our entire society and planet. ;)

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                    Then the russian military also officially uses Linux, so one doesn’t even need to carefully choose sides to be able to claim that Linux is harming our entire society and planet. ;)

                    You owe me a new keyboard, jerk! :)

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                    There is an ethical distinction between distributing software that anyone can use, and explicitly selling/providing software to an organization with which you have a direct relationship.

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                    I’m pretty sure most MIL and LEO agencies around the worlds are using FOSS products as well. Should you stop contributing to those products because you are enabling them to do harm?

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                      It seems to me if your overarching goal is to create software and prevent specific organisations from using it, the only practical way is to create proprietary software and then be picky about to whom you sell it.

                      If OP is making a statement that developers need to stop creating software in general because it’s being used for unconscionable purposes, then that would be a pretty bold argument but I could entertain it.

                      If they mean that we should be promoting FOSS instead (as hinted by the reference to Gitea in the article) then I really don’t understand at all. Gitea is more accessible to actors good and bad. Unless the real crime is making money off it? But given the “harm to society” mentioned in the comment above, I don’t think that’s it either.

                      I’m forced to conclude the argument is that it’s good that Microsoft is selling proprietary software but bad that they’re selling it to particular customers. But it’s unclear to me how nobbling the accessibility features would help in this matter.

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                        There is an ethical distinction between distributing software that anyone can use, and explicitly selling/providing software to an organization with which you have a direct relationship.

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                    This is a horribly ableist statement. A better way to make MS unattractive would be for the platform to be bad for developers.

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                  Collaboration with US military for conducting mass murder

                  I’m happy to criticise the US military, but I think it’s a bit ridiculous to claim that you shouldn’t use Microsoft products because they ‘collaborate’ with the US military. They work with the military of the country they’re in. I doubt they could do it any other way. What would it do to their public image and their stock price if they refused to deal with their own country’s military?

                  Problems with the US military-industrial complex should be resolved at the political level, not by refusing to buy MS Windows.

                  Collaboration with NSA for illegal mass spying on innocent people

                  Illegal mass spying? If the spying were illegal or unconstitutional in the USA (which is not the same thing as ‘bad’) then it presumably wouldn’t be happening and would have been challenged in court by now. Whether or not the US law is good or bad, it still is a country with rule of law, and that law is set through democratic processes, flawed as they might be, and settled through courts that respect the rule of law. The US government loses court cases all the time.

                  Collaboration with the NSA for evil mass spying? Perhaps, you could argue that, and I’d probably believe you. Illegal mass spying? I doubt it very much.

                  Collaboration with ICE who runs concentration camps

                  Let me go on a little rant for a moment.

                  The United States has a border, and it’s illegal to enter the United States without a visa. The United States seems to be the one country worldwide where a large segment of the population seem to not understand the very concept of a border. As a complete outsider to the US, if you want to allow people to enter your country from Mexico, create visas that allow people to come to the US to work from Mexico! But right now, they don’t exist, and thinking you can just enter a country with no legal justification because you want to is the height of entitlement.

                  Immigration enforcement is an important part of a government’s responsibilities to its people. A country that runs an extensive public welfare system cannot afford to just allow anyone in that wants to come. People wait for years and years to get visas to go and work in the United States legally despite having extensive skills that are in demand in the US, while unskilled labourers just waltz in through the southern border unhindered and then a large voting bloc seems to want to defend their ‘right’ to do so despite everyone agreeing that doing so is illegal.

                  Like, if you want open immigration, make it legal. Open the border, pass legislation to do that. That’s your sovereign right as a country. But it’s not a human rights issue. People don’t have a human right to just wander the world going to whatever country they like. If the vast majority of your population doesn’t support having an open southern border, then that’s tough luck for you. You’re not in the majority political opinion and you’re just going to have to deal with that just like any other outnumbered political group. I vote for the New Zealand Green Party, who get 6% of the vote in a good election year, and that means I recognise that everything I support isn’t going to just happen because I want it to. I’m not going to boycott companies that work with the government to implement government policies supported by the vast majority of the population.

                  The unfortunate result of the laissez-faire policies the American left have been advocating with regard to immigration in America is that when there are genuine issues where there SHOULD be more open borders (like with regard to refugees, which are a completely separate issue from general immigration), they get ignored. If you say ‘we should have open borders’ the natural response from your opponents is going to be ‘we should have closed borders’. That’s how political discourse works. A good compromise would be ‘we should not allow unskilled immigration, but we should accept refugees and skilled migrants’ just like every other western country. But can you do that? Can you actually agree to a compromise on anything in America? No. You have to go around being overly dramatic about everything. Internment of illegal immigrants that have broken the law to enter a country that aren’t refugees? Pretty reasonable everywhere else, but in America you have to paint it as ‘concentration camps’. Come on, that’s just offensive and it waters down what concentration camps actually are.

                  The Chinese have concentration camps for Uighurs and other “undesirable” peole. The Nazis had concentration camps for Jews and other “undesirable” people. The Americans do not have concentration camps, and any comparison to real concentration camps past or present is pretty offensive in my opinion.

                  To illustrate how little they care about the amount involved, GitHub donated $500,000 to nonprofits working to support immigrant communities. (Make no mistake: this is about Microsoft sending a clear message to the US government: You’ve never anything to worry about from us. Please continue with business as usual.)

                  GitHub is pretty immaterial to the US government. The US government giving them $200,000 for hosting services and then turning around and spending $500,000 to nonprofits working to support (hopefully legal) immigrant communities is probably having a bigger positive impact on immigrant communities than if GitHub took $0 from the ICE and gave $300,000 to those nonprofits. ICE indirectly funding those nonprofits is pretty funny, actually.

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                    During the Second World War, we incarcerated over a hundred thousand citizens. We did it because were suspicious of their country of origin. This action was undeniably racist and an abridgement of human rights.

                    Right now, our government forcibly orphans thousands of children by separating them from their family members. We have facilities designed to hold families for indefinite periods of time.

                    To quote from the Wikipedia entry on internment:

                    Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or intent to file charges, and thus no trial. The term is especially used for the confinement “of enemy citizens in wartime or of terrorism suspects”. Thus, while it can simply mean imprisonment, it tends to refer to preventive confinement rather than confinement after having been convicted of some crime.

                    Interned persons may be held in prisons or in facilities known as internment camps, also known as concentration camps. This involves internment generally, as distinct from the subset, the Nazi extermination camps, commonly referred to as death camps.

                    These are concentration camps. They are places where we have neglected at least some few people to death. Both the internment and the neglect are violations of human rights; the right against internment has centuries of legal precedent behind it, and in the USA, child neglect is criminalized, as is death by negligence.

                    Stop being part of the problem.

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                      During the Second World War, we incarcerated over a hundred thousand citizens. We did it because were suspicious of their country of origin. This action was undeniably racist and an abridgement of human rights.

                      Yes, that was definitely racist. It was also what, 75 years ago? What does it have to do with the current situation?

                      Right now, our government forcibly orphans thousands of children by separating them from their family members. We have facilities designed to hold families for indefinite periods of time.

                      Do you think the United States government wants to spend millions of dollars locking people up? Of course not. What other choice do they have, though? There’s a legal process for applying for asylum, and you can’t just let people into the community until that has been approved, or bad actors will just never turn up when you send them a letter saying ‘application denied’. You can’t deport them until you’ve declined the application for asylum either.

                      There are also people that have crossed the border already but are awaiting deportation. Obviously you need to keep them somewhere.

                      Children are separated unless they’re with their parents. Who knows if someone that claims to be their ‘uncle’ really is.

                      These are concentration camps. They are places where we have neglected at least some few people to death.

                      That’s terrible. That doesn’t make them concentration camps.

                      Both the internment and the neglect are violations of human rights; the right against internment has centuries of legal precedent behind it

                      Interning people that are in your country illegally is not a violation of human rights and never has been. If it were, guess what, it would have been challenged successfully in the courts some time in the last many decades it’s been going on.

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                        Yes, that was definitely racist. It was also what, 75 years ago? What does it have to do with the current situation?

                        History gives us tools to explain current events. Sure, the Tuskegee experiments were a long time ago, as were Jim Crow, the Trail of Tears, the 3/5 compromise, and “40 acres and a mule”, but they happened and we can’t just hand-wave them away because they didn’t happen in our lifetime. The world didn’t begin on the day that we were born.

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                          we can’t just hand-wave them away because they didn’t happen in our lifetime

                          Nobody is saying they didn’t happen. What I’m saying is that mentioning them in the same comment that mentions other things you think are bad doesn’t automatically make those other things bad. You haven’t given any actual connection between the bad things of the past and the things of the present. You haven’t explained how the trail of tears existing somehow makes ICE camps “concentration camps”.

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                            I explained that “concentration camp” is synonymous with ethnically-motivated internment. Internment without due process is not just a violation of human rights, but it is illegal in the USA due to the concept of habeas corpus. Follow my links in my original comment for more details.

                            Japanese-Americans were interred during the Second World War because they were suspected of being politically aligned with their country of origin, with whom we were at war. Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, and Salvadoreans are being interred today because they are suspected of being members of violent gangs, drug-runners, or criminals. These policies are rooted in similar racist beliefs.

                            Court challenges to the executive’s position already exist. Here is a summary of the situation. While some challenges have succeeded, not all have, and they have been brought not by those detained, but by those with sufficient freedom to make such challenges. You see (and I must say this, because I don’t believe that you have firsthand experience with the USA’s legal system), once somebody starts to lose their freedoms under the custodianship of the government, those freedoms become incredibly difficult to reestablish. Worse, when challenges have succeeded, the executive often has no idea how to undo what it has done and make whole what has been ripped apart.

                            The connection between the past and the present is in the people and the culture and the country. Americans haven’t changed that much in a century. The same horrible rhetoric is spit from the same disgusting political positions, the police are still killing minorities in the streets, recreational drugs are still illegal, and socialism is seen as a great danger to our way of life. The main difference is that we can’t go to Cuba these days, although we nearly got a reversal on that one.

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                              I explained that “concentration camp” is synonymous with ethnically-motivated internment.

                              I think you’re confusing ‘explained’ with ‘stated’. It in fact is not synonymous. The Nazi concentration camps would still have been concentration camps if they had “only” sent disabled people, gay people, intellectuals and communists. Even then, the ICE camps are not ethnically-motivated. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is. Ethnicity doesn’t afford a right to enter the United States, nor does it take one away.

                              Internment without due process is not just a violation of human rights, but it is illegal in the USA due to the concept of habeas corpus. Follow my links in my original comment for more details.

                              It’s not ‘internment without due process’. The link in your original comment is to the Wikipedia article about habeus corpus. I’m not sure why you’d link me to that article, I already know what habeus corpus is. You haven’t actually explained how or why it applies to this situation, though. What about the internment of illegal immigrants is unlawful? I assume you’d rather they just sent them back across the border immediately, even if their refugee applications are pending?

                              Japanese-Americans were interred during the Second World War because they were suspected of being politically aligned with their country of origin, with whom we were at war. Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, and Salvadoreans are being interred today because they are suspected of being members of violent gangs, drug-runners, or criminals. These policies are rooted in similar racist beliefs.

                              No they are not. People illegally entering the United States through its southern border are being interred today because they’re breaking the law by doing so and have no right to be in the United States. Interring legal residents and citizens on the basis of their ethnicity is abhorrent. Interring illegal migrants on the basis of their lack of a right to be in your country is obviously not the same thing.

                              Court challenges to the executive’s position already exist. Here is a summary of the situation.

                              That’s specifically about family separation, which was ended as a policy almost two years ago and is not actually the topic of our conversation. You’re alleging that ICE camps are concentration camps, which is a separate issue from family separation policies.

                              I’m not sure, by the way, why you think that children should be put in cells with adults they happened to have crossed the border with but who can provide no evidence they’re actually their parents.

                              The connection between the past and the present is in the people and the culture and the country. Americans haven’t changed that much in a century. The same horrible rhetoric is spit from the same disgusting political positions, the police are still killing minorities in the streets, recreational drugs are still illegal, and socialism is seen as a great danger to our way of life.

                              Ah, I see! Cannabis is illegal therefore camps for housing illegal migrants while they await deportation are the moral equivalent of Nazi death camps. Gotcha! I didn’t understand why ‘gassing people on the basis of their ethnoreligious identity’ and ‘interring people while they are waiting to be deported’ were morally equivalent until now, but it must be because cannabis is illegal. That makes a lot of sense.

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                    I did quit GitHub back in November, for exactly this reason. It was a cool, high-profile place to work, doing what I loved most (working on developer tools and the systems supporting them). Senior management treated those of us who had concerns with contempt, and it only seemed to deepen the more we insisted that this wasn’t just going to blow over. Alas.

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                      Am I misremembering? I thought gitlab (recommended in the article) had ICE contracts too. They have at least publicly stated that they are open to them.

                      I can’t decide whether I think it’s reasonable to expect a company to refuse the business of the government whose authority it is subject to. But the fact that that is where reading this piece sent me, makes me think it might be off-topic here.

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                        Oops, I forgot all about that. Thank you for reminding me, I will remove that link ASAP.

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                          You could also add sourcehut to the list of alternatives. Its mailing lists and usage of git’s built-in email-based pull-requests are much better than standard web-based issue trackers and pull-requests that serve to lock users into one platform.

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                        … decide to maybe drop not the whole of the US government, but at least the child-torturing part, from their customer list?

                        It’s hard to take this article seriously when it calls out that there’s a “child-torturing” part of the government. I think that needs a lot more evidence to use such a serious term.

                        I think it’s indicative of the whole case presented in that it requires many assumptions to follow the author’s logic. But even then, I don’t agree with the conclusion. So even if everything was true, I don’t think vendors need to worry about the uses of their tools. Especially when the misdeeds are so subjective. I can’t imagine trying to code software that checks for whatever the vendor things is just and confirms the absence of whatever is unjust before it works.

                        I don’t think I would like to exert the effort of explaining myself to the author so ve could determine if I was suitable to run software.

                        One of the reasons I like OSS is because there’s such an overhead to checking for licenses and piracy. It would cost a lot of money to build in and operate the checks to make a difference. And that’s if there is really a clear right and wrong.

                        I think I feel like even ax murderers should be able to drink coke and run grep. I find murder abhorrent, and ax murdering especially abhorrent. But I think they should be able to use software.

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                          I think I feel like even ax murderers should be able to drink coke and run grep. I find murder abhorrent, and ax murdering especially abhorrent. But I think they should be able to use software.

                          If I had written a nice axe-blade-curvature-design algorithm and released it freely, but then some axe-murderer used it to make their killing-people axe, it would make me feel pretty bad, even though it had not occurred to me that this might happen when I was writing the software.

                          In a situation like that, there’s nothing strange about changing your thinking RE free-release-of-software after that.

                          NB: I had a look at the evidence for ‘child-torturing government’ quote. There’s quite a bit of noise and very little in the way of hard facts.

                          What I could get from reputable sources is that ICE agents, in the course of their work, have definitely tortured children (confiscating mattresses and blankets on a cold night).

                          Nobody ordered them to do this, so it couldn’t exactly be called an official policy, but there’s no evidence the agents were reprimanded for their behavior either, which makes it hard to claim the government are not doing it.

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                            I make an axe murdering algorithm, but if I made a log chopping algorithm and an axe murderer used it, I wouldn’t change anything I do.

                            Taking mattresses away from kids is a bad thing, but it’s not torture. Torture is a defined concept [0]. I think it’s possible to condemn people who do this to kids without lessening the definition of torture so it can still be applied to war crimes.

                            [0] https://apt.ch/en/what-is-torture/

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                              By that definition I would argue it clearly applies.

                              Exposure to cold and sleep deprivation is severe suffering (especially for a smaller person such as a child who lacks thermal mass), and it was deliberately performed as a collective punishment by a public official.

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                                The reason why these people aren’t prosecuted is because it’s not severe. It sucks, it shouldn’t have happened, but it’s not criminal, this no prosecution. These people should be fired and not have this authority. But it’s not a crime.

                                Water boarding is torture. Organ damage is torture. Sleep deprivation for a night is not severe.

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                                  I can see your argument, but I fundamentally disagree on both points.

                                  The lack of a prosecution is, imo, because it would be a career limiting move for any prosecutor to push the case. Prosecutors do not cross the administration that controls their promotions.

                                  Even firing these people would be an admission that ICE had done anything wrong, which I believe is why they weren’t publicly punished at all.

                                  You have not even tried to argue over the cold exposure side. Additionally, that retribution was the intended outcome is key evidence of severity. Mild discomfort would not make very satisfying retribution.

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                                I make an axe murdering algorithm, but if I made a log chopping algorithm and an axe murderer used it, I wouldn’t change anything I do.

                                On the other hand, if you know people will use your log chopping algo for axe murder, things get a bit more murky. This is essentially also the same discussion as gun control, there are many law-abiding citizens, but also some … not-so-law abiding ones.

                                People sometimes use trucks/cars as an analogy here too (“look at the attacks in France and Canada”), and I think these kind of absolutes kind of miss the point: it’s all about cost/benefit ratios. How much will your log chopping algorithm (or guns, or cars, anything) benefit people, and is the price we pay for it worth it? IMHO this rephrases the discussion in a much more useful and constructive way.

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                                  It does get murky. I think it depends on the volume. If my axe-chopping algorithm was rarely to murder, I would feel bad, but do nothing. If ended up being used the majority of the time, I would probably stop working on it.

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                              Please read this: https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/inside-a-texas-building-where-the-government-is-holding-immigrant-children

                              GitHub is a service, not software.

                              I agree, everyone should be able to use grep. Not everyone should be able to easily buy services from decent people, however.

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                                I think my analogy holds. I intended the wide reuse as my major point, rather than the type of software GitHub is.

                                I also think jaywalkers and mass murderers should be able to order a coffee from the vend-o-mat in the break room.

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                                  I also think jaywalkers and mass murderers should be able to order a coffee from the vend-o-mat in the break room.

                                  This is a bad analogy, though. Convicted people might have their freedoms restricted. Also, coffee - similar to food - is generally considered part of basic life necessities, where access cannot be removed without violating basic human rights. That doesn’t fit the description.

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                                    The idea a convicted person whose rights can be legitimately restricted by the state because a state-run legal process has declared them guilty of a crime is exactly as much of a legal abstraction as the idea of a citizen who is entitled to a set of rights within a particular state or a noncitizen who isn’t. There’s no fundamental difference between jailing a citizen who a court said broke a law against committing murder, and interning a noncitizen who ICE caught trying to cross the US-Mexico border without authorization. Both situations presuppose the existence of entities with the right to use violence or the threat of violence in order to enforce a set of laws in a given region.

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                                      GitHub access is more a basic human right, I think, than coffee.

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                                        Neither coffee nor GitHub are mentioned explicitely in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so your statement is, technically, a non sequitur.

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                                          A non sequitur? On a thread responding to a blog post about why anyone who works for Microsoft or any of their subsidiaries should quit their jobs, because their company sells goods and services to their country’s government, which OP considers immoral? Who could have foreseen that? Only a disgusting cynic would expect that such a discussion would quickly reduce to an unproductive morass that would usually be considered off-topic around here.

                                          I just called myself a disgusting cynic, which means, even if it was tongue-in-cheek, I should show myself out for a bit.

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                                            The Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not list a set of services or good, as it is intended to be applied in practice in a second step.

                                            The clause in question is:

                                            (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

                                            What it means to have an “adequate standard of living” is subject to change over time and location and that’s intentional. Coffee is an interesting example given that it may be a consumer good, but it’s generally found important enough to put it into food rations and included in the calculation of the low income barrier. It might be an edge case, but it is more an edge case then GitHub Enterprise, a B2B product, where the customer is not even a human!

                                            (also, loving how the use of the comma in “social services, and the right” would change meaning drastically if left out)

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                                              I found that section of the UDHR too and figured it was a “moving target” .

                                              GitHub Enterprise, a B2B product, where the customer is not even a human!

                                              Corporations are people too! ;)

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                                              I think to understand my comment, it will help me to read the thread and ancestor comments.

                                              I don’t think GitHub is a basic human right. Not do I think that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights contains all human rights.

                                              However, I responding to a comment “ Also, coffee - similar to food - is generally considered part of basic life necessities, where access cannot be removed without violating basic human rights. That doesn’t fit the description.”

                                              So I’m comparing GitHub to coffee. While I don’t think either is a human right, I think GitHub is closer than coffee. I don’t know if human rightness is an ordinal value so I can’t know how close they actually are.

                                              I hope this helps you participate better in the thread.

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                                                I thought that was your point… just thought I’d check. Sorry if I came across as snarky.

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                                                  No worries. I get mixed up sometimes in the discussion when we get into layers of abstraction and ad absurdum reasoning, used properly even, I’m glad to clarify.

                                                  I’m a fan of non sequiturs though

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                                    It is not up to me to talk about why people should or should not quit something but, if you’re quitting Microsoft for being a supplier of the U.S. military, then, you’d probably should quit a ton of other companies as well. Also, the U.S. military is doing what the U.S. government tells it to do, so maybe, you should quit companies who supply the U.S. government… There are a ton of thinkpads in the military, but I don’t see people quitting thinkpads. I bet there is a bunch of Linux, and maybe even contracts with the likes of Red Hat. But where is the outcry to quit Red Hat. Who is supplying energy, logistics, hardware to those ICE camps? Are people quitting those suppliers as well? Is the U.S. military using Apple devices? Are people quitting them too?

                                    Of course there are plenty of reasons to quit Microsoft, or quit any proprietary solution providers. You should always choose solutions from individuals and companies which value your values if possible. It just feels like a very selective bias to me as it ignores all the other vendors and companies involved with the aforementioned evil entities.

                                    Let’s not strawman this, it is not a “no true scotsman” situation of since you can’t quit everything it is not worthy quitting any. I just think that if that issue is strong with you, that, there might be helpful to go deeper and evaluate what else should you be doing beyond just quitting microsoft. Yes do that, but does that affects policy? If Microsoft has a change of heart and stops working with the U.S. military, does the ICE camps end? Should your energy and effort might be able to effect more change if placed elsewhere?

                                    Changing stuff at that level requires political participation and organized effort. If the problem is the actions, policies and methods of the U.S. government and its military, then quitting suppliers is not the way to solve this. It is through political education, organized civil movements, and electing better people. All of which requires much more action than quitting microsoft.

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                                      The history of man is the history of war. Pretending otherwise is juvenile.

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                                        What is the point of any advancement if not to outgrow our history?

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                                          That’s a rhetorical question if ever I saw one.

                                          The point is: to take an absolutist position on violence is to succumb to the paradox of tolerance.

                                          I would have rather put this more bluntly, but some people on this forum are awfully touchy these days.

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                                        I’m sympathetic to the cause but this feels like a cutting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face situation. A few users leaving GitHub (or even canceling their Pro accounts) will not force GitHub’s (or Microsoft’s) hand and get them to drop the ICE contracts.

                                        It will almost certainly negatively impact FOSS projects. Users will be confused by the move and devs will have to spend time getting tooling, issues, wiki, and other non-git data ported over.

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                                          As far as FOSS project devs being affected, who do you think is making the move happen?

                                          GitHub sales are largely driven by their position as the preferred host amongst developers. A shift away from that attacks their core advantage in sales.

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                                            Yes, a mass shift. That is extremely hard to coordinate.