[FRIAM] Can Developers be (Rock)stars?

Jochen Fromm jfromm at t-online.de
Sun Aug 8 14:39:35 EDT 2010

People think that Zuckerberg gives them the ability to become
popular, to contact the rich and famous, to see what their
'friends' are doing.. What Facebook actually does is to take
away the privacy and the private data of the users.
And Zuckerberg is only the actor who represents the
company. Facebook has over 500 developers who
are working on the code. Sometimes a thing is attributed
to a single person although it has been done by a whole
group (a kind of attribution error ?).

Wernher von Braun for instance is sometimes called
"the greatest rocket scientist". Although he made some
suggestions for the design of the Saturn V rocket, the
rocket itself and its modules were built by at least
four big companies: The Lunar Module was built by
Grumman, the Command Module by North American
Aviation, the Saturn V rocket itself was produced by
Boeing (1st stage), North American Aviation
(2nd stage, 3rd stage), and IBM was the main
contractor for the computers.

Facebook has not even an own data center, which means
they use contractors to store all the personal data. And maybe
they would not need a data center at all. You mentioned Shawn
Fanning: Zuckerberg has apparently not understood the power
of P2P. I think the fundamental architecture of Facebook
is wrong, it should be more like Shawn Fanning's
Napster, Bram Cohen's BitTorrent. Like a P2P system.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marcus G. Daniels" <marcus at snoutfarm.com>
To: "The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group" <friam at redfish.com>
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2010 8:01 PM
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] Can Developers be (Rock)stars?

> Jochen Fromm wrote:
> > And Maya Angelou said "People will not remember what you did, they
> will not remember what you said, they will remember how you made them 
> feel."
> Probably people do not think dreamy thoughts of Mark Zuckerberg every time 
> they use Facebook.. but then he's a billionaire too.
> Or maybe the names Bram Cohen or Shawn Fanning don't mean a lot to your 
> average Joe, but nonetheless peer-to-peer networking forced the 
> entertainment industry to make fundamental changes.  Perhaps the name 
> Linus Torvalds means nothing to most people, but rest assured Linux is a 
> term that is not foreign to senior management at Microsoft.. similarly 
> Phil Zimmermann and the U.S. government.
> For what it is worth, I do remember reading this announcement as a 
> teenager.. at 1200 baud, paying by the minute for the telephone call. 
> Back before it was a fait accompli and taken for granted...
>>CSvax:pur-ee:inuxc!ixn5c!ihnp4!houxm!mhuxi!eagle!mit-vax!mit-eddie!RMS at MIT-OZ
> From: RMS%MIT-OZ at mit-eddie
> Newsgroups: net.unix-wizards,net.usoft
> Subject: new Unix implementation
> Date: Tue, 27-Sep-83 12:35:59 EST
> Organization: MIT AI Lab, Cambridge, MA
> Free Unix!
> Starting this Thanksgiving I am going to write a complete
> Unix-compatible software system called GNU (for Gnu's Not Unix), and
> give it away free(1) <http://www.gnu.org/gnu/initial-announcement.html#f1> 
> to everyone who can use it.
> Contributions of time, money, programs and equipment are greatly
> needed.
> To begin with, GNU will be a kernel plus all the utilities needed to
> write and run C programs: editor, shell, C compiler, linker,
> assembler, and a few other things.  After this we will add a text
> formatter, a YACC, an Empire game, a spreadsheet, and hundreds of
> other things.  We hope to supply, eventually, everything useful that
> normally comes with a Unix system, and anything else useful, including
> on-line and hardcopy documentation.
> GNU will be able to run Unix programs, but will not be identical
> to Unix.  We will make all improvements that are convenient, based
> on our experience with other operating systems.  In particular,
> we plan to have longer filenames, file version numbers, a crashproof
> file system, filename completion perhaps, terminal-independent
> display support, and eventually a Lisp-based window system through
> which several Lisp programs and ordinary Unix programs can share a screen.
> Both C and Lisp will be available as system programming languages.
> We will have network software based on MIT's chaosnet protocol,
> far superior to UUCP.  We may also have something compatible
> with UUCP.
> Who Am I?
> I am Richard Stallman, inventor of the original much-imitated EMACS
> editor, now at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT.  I have worked
> extensively on compilers, editors, debuggers, command interpreters, the
> Incompatible Timesharing System and the Lisp Machine operating system.
> I pioneered terminal-independent display support in ITS.  In addition I
> have implemented one crashproof file system and two window systems for
> Lisp machines.
> Why I Must Write GNU
> I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I
> must share it with other people who like it.  I cannot in good
> conscience sign a nondisclosure agreement or a software license
> agreement.
> So that I can continue to use computers without violating my principles,
> I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that
> I will be able to get along without any software that is not free.
> How You Can Contribute
> I am asking computer manufacturers for donations of machines and money.
> I'm asking individuals for donations of programs and work.
> One computer manufacturer has already offered to provide a machine.  But
> we could use more.  One consequence you can expect if you donate
> machines is that GNU will run on them at an early date.  The machine had
> better be able to operate in a residential area, and not require
> sophisticated cooling or power.
> Individual programmers can contribute by writing a compatible duplicate
> of some Unix utility and giving it to me.  For most projects, such
> part-time distributed work would be very hard to coordinate; the
> independently-written parts would not work together.  But for the
> particular task of replacing Unix, this problem is absent.  Most
> interface specifications are fixed by Unix compatibility.  If each
> contribution works with the rest of Unix, it will probably work
> with the rest of GNU.
> If I get donations of money, I may be able to hire a few people full or
> part time.  The salary won't be high, but I'm looking for people for
> whom knowing they are helping humanity is as important as money.  I view
> this as a way of enabling dedicated people to devote their full energies 
> to
> working on GNU by sparing them the need to make a living in another way.
> For more information, contact me.
> Arpanet mail:
> Usenet:
>  ...!mit-eddie!RMS at OZ
>  ...!mit-vax!RMS at OZ
> US Snail:
>  Richard Stallman
>  166 Prospect St
>  Cambridge, MA 02139
> ============================================================
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