Understanding the Ethics of FOSS

Here’s another eth­ical ques­tion to con­sider when you invest in your next tech item. Do you want to buy some­thing based on its appar­ent hype, or invest in some­thing just as if not more usable and ethical?

Will you con­tinue to buy from Apple des­pite their zeal­ous­ness in lock­ing down what you can do with the products you buy from them? Not to men­tion the spate of pat­ent law­suits which can only be clas­si­fied as international-level douchebag­gery.

Altern­at­ive to Apple? Any other PC man­u­fac­turer that allows you to modify your product legally.

Will you still use products from Microsoft know­ing that they have an excel­lent track record of sab­ot­aging com­pet­ing community-created free altern­at­ives and char­ging hard­ware man­u­fac­tur­ers a few dol­lars of roy­alty (USD 5 in this instance) for each Android device sold?

Altern­at­ive to Microsoft Office, and Android when basic­ally Microsoft is sub­sid­ising their Win­dows Phone with Android roy­al­ties? Lib­reOf­fice and a small smat­ter­ing of poten­tial phones oper­at­ing sys­tems.

Do you still use Face­book to cata­logue everything in your life des­pite wide­spread cov­er­age of the many ways your per­sonal life is being exploited for profit? Face­book may be free, but you are cer­tainly pay­ing a greater price than you ima­gine. Primary reason why the only extent of my activ­it­ies on Face­book are post­ing things I want to be pub­licly known, like links to this blog, and com­ments on posts by friends — is the now out­dated notion that data pri­vacy equates to per­sonal privacy.

Altern­at­ive to Face­book? Join me on Dia­spora.

These are ser­i­ous ques­tions to pon­der, and the choices you make, do reflect the per­son you are. And in this instance, Dan Gill­mor has suc­ceeded where many have failed by recog­nising the way his pur­chas­ing pat­terns sup­port uneth­ical busi­ness prac­tices, and chan­ging them to the max­imum extent possible.

If per­chance you wish to make the switch to be a more eth­ical tech con­sumer, do get in touch and I’d be glad to help you for free, if you join me on Diaspora.