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[Software Philosophy] The Hegelian Triad of Software Development

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One question that was pretty interesting to think about in recent days was to try and explain what could be an expression of Hegel's Triad (the anti-thesis, thesis and synthesis of ideas or more directly the "Abstract - Negative - Concrete") as it pertains to development/engineering of software.


How to Stomach Hegel's Triad 
Hegel was a ground breaking philosopher who thought up ways to explain our own experience of fundamentally experiencing consciousness and these beasts called "conscious structures" - hyper organizations of collective consciousness experience.

He, in other works not only critiqued history with regards to how it paints a picture of our own experience of conscious structures (allows us today to ask questions in a very enlightening way for instance: "is anonymity the same as it was in ancient rome?" "did the mayans have a concept of privacy- is it different ours" etc etc) - but is credited by inventing the very idea of …

Toward a critical phenomenology of closed source security

In my critical view and by argument here I claim that closed sourcing imposes a limitation of everyone's view of the software and fair determination of its properties. In other words my argument is essentially even though closed source achieves ANY properties in software it does so by maintaining a practice that actually limits fair determination such a property can even be provably achieved. There mere idea that companies who distribute closed source (from the perspective of users and developers) can perform a pantomime convincing people that they ever achieve security at some point (in a way apologetic sincerely to the subjective domain of the user) - does not sway my ability to take crucially the lack of actually evidence for any claim (due to the lack of source code as proof at least!) for achievement of these properties, and the constant and almost publicly accepted complete failure of their security efforts (Mac Root Bug  failures, Oracles notoriously bad patching history e…

On Forced Open Sourcing of End of Life Software

Recently I heard of a regulation France introduced (or was proposing be introduced internationally at least) in order to force companies developing closed source applications to open source them once end of life is declared for the software. And again I shall state this is almost purely in an effort to be fair to the users of the software. Why is this "fair"? What does it reflect about the rest of the life of the software? i.e. What is the impact on the non-end of life- life of the software and the user?

If it is fair to force declaration of the source code because the users are no longer supported with updates and maintenance of the software. Then this means it is recognized that forcing users to use software that doesn't remain in appreciation of their security needs is seen here as ethically wrong. In essence we recognize here that users cannot be held captive by software they are not allowed to understand or change by the imposition of the company that owns the soft…

On the ontological duality of Software and Hardware II : and What it means for Open Source.

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Folks in France had the brilliant idea of requiring software companies to hand over source code for software they have ended support for. Obviously this is done in an effort to protect the users who suffer from needing to use their software. But of course this means much much more for the future of software, and highlights a key insight the French have on the reality of software and how it actually affects society.


Why does Source code matter? Because its all source code!
Computer Scientists have since before the existence of computers argued the break in ontological duality of hardware and software (most recently I think JH Moore's "Three Myths of Computer Science" being the last major blow to it from a philosophical stand point). Essentially they've been screaming at us that there is no difference between hardware and software - no means to actually differentiate them according to the ontological realities. And whats more because of the advent of quantum computing…

[Philosophy] The ontology of software

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Being a computer scientist before I am a hacker means I spend a lot of time thinking about the general ideas we use to process information and produce meaningful algorithms and computations. But of course being a philosopher before I am even a computer scientist means I think also a lot about what things are, how they are, why the the way the are and how we manage to say the are in such ways. (top-down)

I like asking questions and this aggressive question asking has led me to thinking about the ontological nature of software.  This post is a collection of a few potentially meaningless stabs I'm taking at what I perceive is the currents state of affairs (this was a typo at first, left it in as a joke for reasons obvious later) with regard to the nature of software's philosophical ontology.