Free Metaphors

Let’s take the commons metaphor for a moment (I’m not entirely happy with it). The Diggers seem to have been about reclaiming common land, and allotments were a shim for the lack of it:

Let’s ignore the commons metaphor for a moment and look at organisational metaphors for Free Software and culture. These historical models are ironised in Free Software, becoming inclusive rather than exclusive:

And ignoring both let’s look at social or political metaphors. The focus of Free Software is programmers, not programs. The name Free Software is like the name Free Society, don’t confuse the structure with the content. Meanwhile, Mackenzie Wark treats the GPL as cultural security, like social security:

But I think metaphors and precedents can be misleading.

Posted in Free Culture

In Archive