Much has been said separately, here on the Blog and on the Global Internet Ecosystem about the Free Software Movement (SL) and the Hacker Movement. However, there are many who do not fully or fully know the history of both movements. And they usually have the doubt, if one is related to the other, or if they are opposite or related.
Even the question "If we use Free Software, are we Hackers?" and its essence is usually the object of ridicule (Memes and Jokes) by its own and outsiders to the Communities of both Movements. But what is true about such a question? Which move came first? Did the first influence the creation and / or development of the other? These and other questions we will try to clarify with this humble little post on the subject.
Table of Contents
On other occasions in the DesdeLinux Blog we have touched on similar topics or related to one or both concepts, that is, Free Software and Hackers. Among the most recent articles we can mention from me:
- «Hacking Education: The Free Software Movement and the Educational Process" Y
- «Crypto-Anarchism: Free Software and Technological Finance, The Future?«.
From the Blogger «ChrisADR» the article called: «What does Hacker really mean?«.
And for many, the relationship and origin of both «Techno-political and Techno-social Movements» may be unknown. However, the truth is that they have a very common origin, and share the same history with very similar objectives, both from a technological, political and social point of view.
A common story that is usually told from the origin of current Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) less than 100 years ago., especially from the launch of the "Internet" and the technologies associated with the concept of the "Internet of things".
And some common objectives that are usually related to the privacy and security of individuals. And with the ability of each one to learn, teach, create, share, use and modify everything (technological or not) within their reach within today's society. All this in a broad way but with a radical, effective and innovative effect on the largest possible number of people of any social, economic and political level, and without stopping at geographical, religious and cultural borders.
And with a shared purpose of giving rise to a new generation of citizens and citizen movements that favor and / or achieve changes in themselves, and in their respective societies and governments. That in turn generate new and innovative paradigms in the models of governance, coexistence, production, education, training, learning and creation, under the following honorable and respectable principles: "Free, Open, Accessible and Safe."
As Humanity has developed technologically, it has gone through different stages, at different rates or degrees, depending on the region of the planet, that is, the countries or continents. From the last industrial technological revolution to the recent digital technological revolution, many political and social changes have occurred, which in turn have changed the economic and cultural rules (bases) of people and / or societies.
And thus, before, during and after each relevant epoch or stage of Humanity, different have arisen and will arise. movements based on the use of technology and knowledge of each respective moment. Movements that stand out among others, for their impact on the development of the history of Humanity. But today, the movements that sound the most are:
The Hacker Movement
Being understood in a broad and practical sense that a "Hacker" is a person who masters a knowledge, art, technique or technology very well or perfectly well, or many of them at the same time, and continually seeks and manages to surpass or surpass the same through study and continuous practice, in favor of himself and others, that is, the majority.
From this concept it can be inferred that the "Hackers" have often been confused with the "Geniuses" of each era, and therefore, they have existed since the origins of humanity itself. Allowing or favoring changes and revolutions through the technological advances available in each era.
And with the arrival in our modern era of ICT (Informatics / Computing) and especially the Internet and the Internet of things, Today's "hackers" are those who achieve through ICT, the important and necessary changes on them.
To achieve, in turn, changes in other important sectors such as Education, Politics or the Economy, for or against certain sectors or interests, which generally harm the dispossessed or violated majorities, in one way or another.
The Free Software Movement
Being understood in a broad and practical sense as Free Software to all that piece of Software developed individually or collectively under certain basic principles or the four (4) freedoms that are:
- Use: Freedom to use software to be able to use it freely regardless of its purpose.
- Study: Freedom to study how the software is designed to see how it works.
- Share Freedom to distribute the software to ensure that we can help others to have it.
- To get better: The freedom to modify its elements, to improve them and adapt them to different needs.
Taking this into consideration, the origin of the SL Movement can be traced back to the time when scientific computing became common around the 50s / 60s. Where most of the software was created by the same computer scientists, academics and groups of researchers.
All these people worked cooperatively with each other. And with the help of user groups, they distributed said final products in order that they could modify to achieve the necessary arrangements and / or improvements later.
And it is around the 80s, when it takes shape and visibility, which is currently the »Techno-social» Movement for Free Software and GNU / Linux. This is due to the emergence of a movement and a community willing to satisfy the need to carry out free and free projects. In order to combat the overwhelming and majority development of the prevailing Private Software.
Going back to the time when the development of the first computers and software was a deeply collaborative and academic act. Until today, when the SL and GNU / Linux Movement occupies a place of honor in the recent technological history of today's society. Since of all the Software created, Free Software and a large portion of what is currently the Software Development Industry is based on its principles (freedoms).
This contribution being a valuable technological-cultural expression, individual / collective (citizen) and even commercial (business) important worldwide, with great relevance in some countries more than in others. Other movements no less important and in the same line with great contributions in this regard, are usually the Cyberpunks Movement and the Cryptoanarchist Movement.
Relationship between the Free Software Movement and the Hacker Movement
In short, we can say that the relationship is more than evident and symbiotic. Since the Free Software Movement arises naturally from the Hacker Movement in the 50s / 60s. And it remains to this day as a natural response from the Technological Society.
An answer to not be left through the existing Commercial, Private and Closed Software (SCPC), misgoverning or manipulating entirely by higher power factors in the technological, economic and political fields.
And in turn, the Free Software Movement provides the Hacker Movement with the correct means of Software technology. Means that allow them to carry out the task of achieving and maintaining modernity and technological freedom to an immense portion of Human Society. Without disregarding the loss of your rights to privacy, security and individual and collective freedom.
A modernity and a technological freedom that also tends to be exclusive due to the high costs, limitations and disadvantages of the use of the SCPC. Especially in societies whose countries do not offer sufficient levels of income or wealth to obtain and keep them updated.
Or in countries where Governments or Economic Sectors try to model or control the citizen masses through the use of certain SCPC. Programs or Platforms that deliver, receive and / or market our data with or without authorization, invading our privacy or manipulating our opinions and realities.
After reading this publication and the recommended publications within the Blog, we recommend continue reading the following «Digital books related to the topic of the Free Software Movement and the Hacker Movement»In PDF.
We hope that all this material will help you to understand in its proper dimension the relationship between both Movements, that is, between the Free Software Movement and the Hacker Movement. And that it is to the liking and of much personal enrichment on the subject for the majority. Any contribution, doubt or question that arises, do not hesitate to comment on the publication.
Remember: «If you believe and / or use Free Software, you are already a Hacker, why are you contributing technologically with just struggles and political and social ideals.»- Until the next article!