Being a GNU/Linux user is a peculiar thing in that you stand a great chance of being pulled into such hard to define brackets such as "Linux community", "Free Software community" or "Open Source community". Words such as "community", "sharing" and "cooperation" are tossed around so much that it really shouldn't be so surprising that some have went so far as to compare the FOSS (Free Open Source Software) phenomenon with some sort of a communist or socialist ideology. There is so much emphasis on the collective yet so little talk about the individual.
Unfortunately, whenever one puts so much weight on a collective precise thinking is seldom what's being practiced, for a "collective" is merely an abstraction for a "number of individuals". A collective therefore doesn't actually exist. So explaining the FOSS phenomenon in terms of collectivism leads to severe and even dangerous misconceptions. To see what's actually going on we only need to look from the perspective of individuals involved, and that would be a practice of thinking that's much more precise. Answers then become more specific and even simpler, because we don't have to use vague abstract sounding words in our explanations.
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