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Re: [] FSF is hiring: outreach and communication coordinator

From: Danyl Strype
Subject: Re: [] FSF is hiring: outreach and communication coordinator
Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 01:04:44 +1200

Kia ora koutou

I'm going to get a bit political/ philosophical here, so if that's not your cup of tea, feel free to ignore this posting.

On 1 May 2013 21:21, MJ Ray <address@hidden> wrote:
Ah my half-baked musings on unions probably won't get us far, even
though I used to work for one and was an enthusiastic member of
another, but I see most of them as a useful but reactionary
counterweight to the inherently autonomy-depleting nature of
employment.  They can restore some autonomy by pooling it with other
workers, but aren't as good as not losing any in the first place.

How much autonomy would one really lose working for the FSF? I understand what you're saying about trade unions' role in the state-corporate sytem, and in theory I agree. I do take issue with the idea that working as a contractor or a small company/ co-operative is inherently more autonomous than being an employee. If you are contacting to the same corporation/ NGO, I reckon you'd be better off as a unionized employee, with guaranteed hours, sick days, holidays etc.

It does depend on the person and their needs. A person with a family and a mortgage might be better off as a employee, while a single person who likes to take a month off every year to go to Burning Man might prefer contracting. It's a choice between being wage-enslaved directly by the employer, or wage-enslaving yourself on their behalf, in which case you do a lot of their managing work for them. There's not much improvement in autonomy until you get a situation like the Argentine occupied factory cooperatives in The Take, where they were networked and starting to create their own economy (that's how the doco presented in anyway).

It's good that FSF is a union shop, as far as that goes.

I'll admit I was pleased to see that in the job description. I can't imagine seeing the same thing in a job offer from the OSI, or O'Reilly ;)
More on this sort of themes at but I
warn you that they've just announced that they're probably switching
(from jitsi or mumble, I think) to Google Hangouts. :-(

This isn't as bad as it sounds. Most of the guts behind Hangouts (WebRTC etc) are free code, implementing open standards (XMPP etc), so like GChat, it can be federated (at least in theory). It's a realtime service, so unlike email lists, blogs etc there's no issue with the orgs archives being held to ransom by the host. Voice/ video costs a *lot* in server load/ bandwidth, so all that considered, I think the Cyberunions folks would get a better deal out of it than Google. If you are in touch with them though, you could suggest they run their own WebRTC server. I'm now sure about WordPress, but there is already a plug-in for Drupal:

Hei kōnā

Danyl Strype
Community Developer

"Geeks are those who partake in our culture."
- .ISOcrates

"Uncomfortable alliances are not just necessary; they reflect and speak to the tremendous possibility of our political moment."
- Harmony Goldberg and Joshua Kahn Russell

"Both Marxists and Chicago-school libertarian economists can agree that free software is the best model."
- Keith C Curtis

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