On what technologies is the Free Fondation based ?
How will the Free Foundation interact with the real world
How will the Free Foundation make money ?
How can we be sure that the Free Foundation will indeed make money ?
Will the Free Foundation own its own bank account ?
Will the Free Foundations Enterprise ever be public ?
Will the Free Foundation be intelligent ?
What kind of software contributions will the Free
Foundation accept ?
How can the Free Foundation not be fooled by malicious contributions ?
Why will people contribute to the Free Foundation ?
Is the Free Foundation an entity ?
Will the Free Foundation destroy capitalism ?
Can the Free Foundation be stopped ?
Will the Free Foundation destroy itself ?
Wont the Free Foundation take money from the same people that it will help ?
Why is the Free Foundation not human controlled ?
Will the Free Foundation have ethical limits ?
Is the Free Foundation art ?
Isnt the Free Foundation idea utopist and simplistic ?
Can the Free Foundation idea be misused by someone ?
On what technologies is the Free Fondation
The Enterprise side of the Free Foundation will use the available technologies, all along its lifetime, through contributions that will reflect the state of the art of technology at the time they are made. At the present date (2002), the following technologies or technology fields may be considered as potentially useful :
How will the Free Foundation interact
with the real world ?
The Enterprise can make deals and contracts using written contracts, by postmail, email or faxes.
It may hire human beings in order to represent it in front of other human beings.
An important issue lies with the fact that despite companies can already make deals, many rules require the signature (responsability) of a human being. A short term solution for the Enterprise is to hire humans to sign the contracts. A long term solution is to find or to induce an economic subcontext (a country), where companies can make deals by themselves. Knowing the potential turnover of the Enterprise, many countries may be tempted to alter their legal limits on this matter.
How will the Free Foundation make
The simplest way for it to make money is in the financial world, where goods and money is already digital (stock market, etc ).
Later, the Enterprise may buy and sell goods and services. It may invest in other companies. It may hire and fire human labor.
How can we be sure that the
Free Foundation will indeed make money ?
There is no certainty. One can hope that be gathering the expertise of people used to make money, one can achieve a machine that indeed makes money.
Will the Free Foundation own its
own bank account ?
The Enterprise will have as many accounts as it needs for its functionning.
The Foundation will have one bank account that will receive money, by wire transfer, from the Enterprise.
Will the Free Foundations Enterprise
ever be public ?
No, because this would mean human property and eventually human control.
Will the Free Foundation be intelligent
The word " intelligent " is not clearly defined. In any case, there are many answers.
Making money does not necessarily require intelligence. It can require work power (which a huge distributed machine clearly has 24 hours a day), and stubbornness (which a machine can have).
The Enterprise is not intelligent by nature, but its contributors are and will be. As the world evolves, human beings evolve too, and their contributions to the Enterprise will reflect this evolution : the Enterprise will automatically adapt to new world conditions trough its contributions.
What kind of software contributions
will the Free Foundation accept ?
The main kind of contributions will be in the form of software modules or software algorithms, expressed in the form of programming langage, by programmers. These software embody knowledge about action, they are processes or subprocesses. Once a process is included in the Free Foundation, it will be part of it forever.
It will also accept hints, advices, tricks, etc.. expressed in a more human langage. These hints are typically more short term than software modules.
How can the Free Foundation not be
fooled by malicious contributions ?
The Enterprise will have a way to test the modules or hints that it receives. It will also embody risk management algorithms that allow it to evaluate the risk of operations.
Also, as the contributions are Open Source, the source is readable by the contributors community, which will make it very difficult for a contributor to insert malicious code.
Why will people contribute to
the Free Foundation ?
In the spririt of the Free Software and Open Source movements, the contributors will know that their contributions will be used for the good of humanity, by the redistribution of the Enterprises profits through the Foundation.
Second, the alternative to playing against the big privately owned money making companies is a big incentive for people sensible to the huge human drawbacks of the capitalist system.
Is the Free Foundation an entity ?
Multinational enterprises are already entities, in the sense that they are complex systems that live and struggle in an ecosystem (the global economy). They have their own agenda, that is served by their human employees. Potentially all the employees may be replaced without the company changing identity (like the cells in a human body which are fully replaced in a matter of months). Their body is constituted of assets (of which people are part of). Their energy is money (thei consume it, they produce it). The body heat is human activity (some dont dissipate much heat). Multinational enterprises are the biggest artificial entities ever built by humans. The Free Foundation Enterprise only pushes this further.
Will the Free Foundation
destroy capitalism ?
Capitalism will eventually disappear, with or without the Free Foundation. The Free Foundation will live as long as capitalism exists, will live on capitalism, will dies with capitalism. The Free Foundation will love capitalism to death.
Can the Free Foundation be stopped
No, it cannot be stopped, except by stopping at the same time all the computers on which it runs (potentially most computers on earth).
The Free Foundation will die when capitalism dies.
Will the Free Foundation destroy
When considering the economic world as a ecosystem, the Enterprise may believe that the Foundation is its own enemy, and attack it in some way. A strong deep programming will be included in the Enterprise so that it will olways consider the Foundation (as well as all non profit making foundations) to be outside the economic world.
Wont the Free Foundation take
money from the same people that it will help ?
The Enterprise will play the capitalist rules, thus taking wealth wherever it finds it. This may unfortunately be from the hands of people that need it most, which will lower their ability to get more education. In a way, this is opposite to the goal of the Foundation. But this is the rules of capitalism, wealth is not infinite, when it gets in the hands of some entity, it is removed from the hand of some other, and eventually from the hands of the weakers. But this wealth is better in the hand of the Enterprise, which will redistribute as much as possible, than in the hands of a privately owned company
Why is the Free Foundation not
human controlled ?
No human being is trustworthy enough to be put in control of the Enterprise. Also, the Enterprise will eventually grows beyond any human understandability.
Will the Free Foundation have ethical
As we have recently seen with the Enron and Worldcom affairs, trust (and lies) are at the heart of the capitalist system. Rules exist, but there is always room for lies. The Enterprise will play the same rules as the other companies, and will be able to lies as much as the other ones. The Enterprise has to be strong.
Ethical limits like the ones dealing with child pornography, drug business, child labor, etc are very difficult to program in a computer. This is a real issue for the Free Foundation. One can believe that for the very reason that these businesses are very much centered on human deep nature, they cannot be understood by the Enterprise, thus will never be used by the Enterprise. Also, as these issues are a hot topic at the moment, one can believe that there will be worldwide laws and rules that will soon embody ethical limits, which is not the case nowadays (partially because what is unethical in one part of the world is not necessarily unethical elsewhere).
Is the Free Foundation art ?
The Free Foundation is not art. It is a real pragmatic project.
In many ways, it goes farther in the same direction as some net art or software projects, especially those dealing with political activism. It may even be seen as the graal of hacktivism, in its domain : the criticism of ultraliberalism, in that not only does it force us to reconsider the way we see capitalism, but it proposes an action that effectively corrects its fundamental flaws.
I have proposed the Free Foundation web site in festivals, as conceptual activist art, but have now decided not to do it any more. The goal of the Free Foundation is not to engage in the discussion of what is art. Let's concentrate. I would still be glad to talk about the Free Foundation in any context, including art festivals, where I think it has a place.
Isnt the Free Foundation idea
utopist and simplistic ?
It is indeed idealist, but the disturbing thing about it is that it is feasible, and this sole idea is enough to make me make it public. And I see its simplicity as a strength.
Whether or not it will be done is not in my power.
Can the Free Foundation idea be misused
by someone ?
No one single entity on earth has the power to hire a large enough group of people to build a Free Foundation. The Free Foundation is by deep nature built on the idea of free contributions. We can see the strength of this idea in the linux vs. Microsoft struggle, where Microsofts OS will eventually disappear even though it was there in the first place.