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Free Software Magazine: The Will to Code

Dec 08, 2005, 02:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David M. Berry, Lee Evans)


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

"Free software has been described by theorists such as Benkler (2002) as commons-based peer-production. It is hailed for the revolutionary potentials inherent in its oft-described decentred, non-hierarchical and egalitarian (dis)organisation (e.g. Moglen 1999; Hardt & Negri 2004). However, in this paper we intend to see whether reading Nietzsche offers an alternative insight into the workings of free software projects. In particular, an insight that starts from a different point to that of an egalitarian theory and points, instead, to explanations that may cohere around a coding aristocracy. Does an analysis that focuses on the will to power (or perhaps more accurately the will to code) provide any explanatory value in understanding the extremely complex interactions and processes involved in software development within copyleft groups? How might reading Nietzsche help us to question the morality instantiated in such software and associated cultural projects? This short article is a preliminary sketch of how we feel a reading of the practices of the free software movements could be usefully understood through Nietzsche..."

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