Free Coding


Free coding is different from free software:

Free coding and free software complement one another.

Download link: The Free Coding Manifesto was published through the viXra.org e-Print archive, viXra citation number: viXra:1711.0117


Abstract for the Free Coding Manifesto
(if you want to cite this abstract please cite it directly from the manifesto, not this web page)

Abstract: Working-class coders and vulnerability researchers the world over are subject to prior restraints on their speech imposed by the institutions they work for. The restraints are in the form of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and employment contracts that are typically enforced using a process called pre-publication censorship. Industrial pre-publication censorship chills contributions of source code to society and chills the publication of vulnerabilities found in code that has been given to society. This has a harmful effect on the depth, breadth, and information assurance of society's foundation of code. Restrictions on the human spirit call for new liberties to be defined and upheld. This manifesto defines Freedom A and Freedom B as follows. Freedom A: you have the freedom to write code and give it to society under conditions of your choosing. Freedom B: you have the freedom to write and publish, under conditions of your choosing, a critique or documentation of code that has been given to society. Free coding is defined as Freedom A and Freedom B. Obstructions to free coding are identified and measures are presented to uphold free coding. The measures presented include a proposed corporate policy that balances institutional equities with personal liberty, a software license term tailored after Freedom B, and an experimental free coding software license. Utilitarian, philosophical, and theological foundations of free coding are given. Obstructions to free coding form a subset of the problem of knowledge hoarding. I present my interpretations of the Book of Genesis, namely, the Original Command and the Original Paradox. I believe that these interpretations reveal the root of the problem of knowledge hoarding.


The abstracts of the first four chapters are given below.

Chapter 1: Utilitarian Foundation of Free Coding
(if you want to cite this abstract please cite it directly from the manifesto, not this web page)

Abstract: Employment agreements and institutional policies and procedures, such as industrial pre-publication censorship, are intended to solve a tangible problem faced by the institution: preventing the exposure of critical business models, processes, data, patentable inventions, copyrighted material, and trade secrets. However, such controls, when overreaching, negatively impact the individual liberty of employed coders and vulnerability researchers. Overreaching censorship has a chilling effect on contributions of code to free/libre and open source software projects, thereby diminishing the depth and breadth of society's foundation of code. Similarly, it has a chilling effect on publishing vulnerabilities found in free/libre and open source software, thereby diminishing the information assurance of society's foundation of code and exacerbating vulnerability hoarding. This chapter addresses this problem by presenting methods to help balance industrial censorship controls with personal liberty. It shows the practical benefits of free coding to institutions and individuals alike, thereby establishing a utilitarian foundation of free coding.

Chapter 2: Philosophical Foundation of Free Coding
(if you want to cite this abstract please cite it directly from the manifesto, not this web page)

Abstract: Prior to the 1980s source code was, for the most part, universally shared gratis. Then NDAs and industrial pre-publication censorship were applied to hoard source code. In the 1990s software bugs transitioned from being widely perceived as defects to being widely perceived as vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Today, the CIA and NSA hoard software vulnerabilities, placing the privacy and safety of individual Americans at risk. So, now even software vulnerabilities are being hoarded. What is happening to humanity? Where are we going? One can only wonder what's next. There will be something next. Insert the next harmful hoarding practice here: X. New restrictions on the human spirit call for new liberties to be defined and upheld. Chapter 1 introduced free coding to uphold the freedom of coders and vulnerability researchers to give knowledge to society. This chapter leverages rational arguments and principles from Western philosophy to establish a philosophical foundation of free coding. I present a new philosophy that I call coder consciousness that is aimed at inspiring coders and vulnerability researchers to embrace the spiritual nature of coding.

Chapter 3: On Lady Wisdom and Knowledge Hoarding
(if you want to cite this abstract please cite it directly from the manifesto, not this web page)

Abstract: Free coding embodies the freedom to give knowledge to society. In particular, it consists of Freedom A and Freedom B. Freedom A is the following: you have the freedom to write code and give it to society under conditions of your choosing. Freedom B: you have the freedom to write and publish, under conditions of your choosing, a critique or documentation of code that has been given to society. These freedoms are restricted by practices such as industrial pre-publication censorship. Restrictions on free coding form a subset of the larger problem of knowledge hoarding. In this chapter I present my findings on the problem of knowledge hoarding and establish a theological foundation of free coding. Writing this chapter involved extensive research and deep spiritual introspection, filled one day with tears and the next with dreams of the most awe-inspiring kind. In particular, I convey my interpretations of Genesis 2 and 3, namely, the Original Command and the Original Paradox. This leads to what I believe is the root of the problem of knowledge hoarding. My conclusion: that humankind was explicitly created by God and Lady Wisdom, that Knowledge is sacred, and that only by raising Knowledge to the stature of Life can humankind solve the problem of Knowledge hoarding.

Chapter 4: The Experimental Free Coding License
(if you want to cite this abstract please cite it directly from the manifesto, not this web page)

Abstract: Humankind has come to understand, owed to no small sacrifice of whistle-blowers, that the U.S. Government favors the hoarding of vulnerabilities over having them remedied. This is evidenced by scandals this year that include the Vault-7 trove of secret software exploits hoarded by the CIA, as exposed by Wikileaks, and the MS Windows exploits hoarded by the NSA, as exposed by The Shadow Brokers. To diminish government surveillance run amok and defend human rights, I endeavor to exalt the industrial coder and vulnerability researcher commonly girded by pre-publication censorship. Overreaching pre-publication censorship chills contributions of source code to society and the publication of software vulnerabilities. I adopt a positive reinforcement approach to solving this problem by presenting a new software license that grants the privilege to modify, redistribute, and distribute derivatives of the covered work to institutions that: (1) affirmatively support the contribution of code to society under conditions of the author's choosing without any prior restraints, and (2) affirmatively support publishing, under conditions of the author's choosing, critiques or documentation of code that has been given to society without any prior restraints. Institutions that do not affirmatively remove obstructions to contributing code to society and that do not affirmatively remove obstructions to publishing critiques or documentation of code that has been given to society are not given these privileges. I call this a free coding license. A highly experimental free coding license is presented that might be enforceable based on copyright law. A mature free coding license has the potential to increase free/libre and open source software contributions, diminish secret vulnerability stockpiles, and amplify freedom.

Chapter 5: Acknowledgments

Chapter 5 acknowledges the reviews, input, constructive criticism, and moral support from the following people: Moti Yung, Bruce Schneier, Eben Moglen, Jonathan Zittrain, Jon Leonard, Michael Makarius, and Adam Greene.

Chapter 5 concludes with a deep expression of gratitude to God and Lady Wisdom.


You can download The Free Coding Manifesto here: The Free Coding Manifesto.
Published through the viXra.org e-Print archive, viXra citation number: viXra:1711.0117

Adam Lucas Young

To reach me: ayoung235@gmail.com


Copyright © 2017 Adam L. Young

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