The biggest challenge I see in the diversity front is the disposable time issue:
- non-commercial open-source occurs during disposable time
- unless one won the fame game, then indie open-source largely intersects with non-commercial open-source
- diversity in commercial open-source inherits from the diversity of workplaces that engage in it
- diversity in non-commercial open-source inherits from the diversity of those who have disposable time and a principle to spend that disposable time on open-source
Any objective to increase diversity in open-source therefore must focus on either:
- funding atypical demographics to engage in open-source, so it eats into work hours, not disposable time hours; no ethical concerns here
- recruitment into atypical demographics via open-source principle evangelism, of which there is an ethical responsibility from the evangelist that the disposable hours that are traded are not taken away from things that are beneficial to improving their overall outcomes
Focusing on those above the poverty line via evangelism of open-source ideology is fine, as one is generally swapping the content of disposable time from engagements of choice rather than fitness, such as entertainment or affluenza, for open-source productivity.
Focusing on those below the poverty line is delicate:
swapping the content of their existing commercial hours to open-source commercial hours must hedge its efficacy that the trade is holistically beneficial to the subject and not just to the outcomes of the evangelist. If commercial open-source can fill a deficit in commercial hours, that’s a +1. If commercial open-source can fill a deficit in the local-community’s commercial hours, that’s a few +1s. If commercial open-source detracts from cultural obligations, that is a contingent. If commercial open-source has amorphous benefits compared to their existing commercial work, that is also a contingent.
swapping content of their existing disposable hours for open-source non-commercial time must also hedge its efficacy on that the trade is holistically beneficial to the subject and not just to the outcomes of the evangelist. Is the open-source time is filling idle time, that is likely a +1. If the principle that feels an obligation to contribute to open-source is injected, yet with so limited disposable hours that can be detrimental to their outcomes, then that is callous of the evangelist. And so on with similar contingencies from the commercial example.
When evangelising, one has to be careful that their evangelism isn’t assimilation projections but rather is a holistic collaboration which at times may forgo short-term outcome targets as it is a collaboration of mutual telos, and not just the evangelist’s telos.
For instance to increase diversity in open-source ethically, an evangelist must:
identifying the supply of commercial open-source opportunities and the nature of the supply, then finding demographics of which their sample of commercial time the supply can better address their needs than their existing commercial time supply can
identifying the supply of non-commercial open-source opportunities and the nature of that supply, then finding demographics of which their sample of disposable time is better served by the nature of the non-commercial open-source supply, rather than their existing supply
Which also requires a dualism of subjective evaluation:
identifying the supply and nature of the subject’s commercial time
identifying the supply and nature of the subject’s non-commercial time
Which upon identifying, presents these two solutions:
From my experience, the typical approach taken from diversity initiatives: An ideological/cultural colonisation to expand the employable supply market of the evangelist’s industry: focus on globalism, gentrification, and economic-‘empowerment’ efforts to assimilate the market by diminishing the value of the content of their existing time supplies where the evangelist’s supply eventually overwhelms and dispels the existing supply: if holistic diversity is the yardstick, then this approach is a Cobra effect, however if expanded industry supply is the yardstick, this works excellently.
From my experience, an approach I’d like to see more of, however not so much a recruitment initiative as it is a pro-social collaboration: Expand the subject’s awareness of their own supply and alternative supplies, but only if they first sought or are seeking change (we do not wish to impose change). Work with them to find out what is best for their own needs while avoiding coaching. Help the community solve their own problems with shared awareness on what the impacts of such solutions can do, positive and negative. For instance, giving a peasantry culture machines such as tractors can certainly empower them on some measurements, but on other measurements they become dependent on an external supply chain which changes the power and cultural dynamics of their arrangement, which overtime, could be more than what they initially bargained for, becoming at worst a tool for cultural eradication and corporate subjugation. Another distinct example: foreign brain drain of talented people away from the rising tide empowerment of their local communities, it certainly achieves the external yardstick of increasing employee supply by targeting and succumbing diverse markets, but at what cost to holistic diversity?
Is this something anyone here is interested in? Perhaps I’ve just been unlucky. If anyone wishes to discuss this specifically further with me, anytime on https://balupton.com/meet works for me.