Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Oct 2015 22:32 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

In the past few weeks, Marco Arment, co-founder of Tumblr and creator of Instapaper, released version 2 of his podcast application for iOS, Overcast, for free. There's only one in-app purchase, which doesn't unlock any additional functionality, but just sends some money Arment's way. Call it patronage, if you will. Coinciding with the release, he published a blog post in which he states that any indie developer can just give away their full work for free, so his 'new' model should work for everyone.

Obviously, this caused a bit of a ruckus, since it's easy for a multimillionaire like Arment to give away his work for free. His situation is clearly unique, and most independent application developers barely get by as it is. Or, as Samantha Bielefeld puts it:

The issue isn't that Marco is successful, there are many app developers who would love to be in the same position. He has earned his time in the spotlight, and it's only natural for him to take advantage of it. Though to state that anyone can simply do the same thing and be successful, is just plain wrong. He has accelerated the race to the bottom for the podcast app category, and he comes bearing a huge following of people who will give him money for nothing in return except for the possibility of further development of Overcast. The average developer isn't being called out by name by Phil Schiller for something negative they have written about Apple. The only thing "indie" about Marco is that he works by himself. He is far removed from the typical experience of app creators, and even if it's deserved, it wouldn't hurt for him to be a little more humble, and realistic.

And she's completely and utterly right, of course.

This doesn't surprise me, though. Over three years ago, when the first Retina MacBook Pro came out, Arment and I had a Twitter exchange about something he said: he said that any web developer should immediately run out and buy this €2300 laptop because retina would be the future, and if they didn't, they weren't taking their work seriously.

I pointed out to him that for the majority of people working on the web, €2300 is a lot of money, and most of us don't have that kind of money just lying around. It might be pocket change to a millionaire, but it's almost a full month's salary for me (now - not so much in 2012, when I earned much less than I do now), and in many places in the world with active web developers, it's probably several months' worth of salary.

This exchange with Arment has always stuck with me, because I wanted to make sure that I would never turn out this way. I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination (i.e., Dutch standards!), but despite my income being decidedly middle-class, I still belong in the, uh, I don't know, top 5% or so of the world - just by virtue of being Dutch. I'm 'rich' enough to buy several new phones, tablets, and computers a year to make sure I remain familiar with as many platforms as possible for OSNews, but I realise damn well that I'm incredibly lucky I can do so, and would never just assume that everyone else can as well.

So no, this kind of attitude doesn't surprise me at all. I call this the Donald Trump reasoning: everybody can be rich, if only they were Donald Trump.

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RE[3]: So True
by dpJudas on Fri 16th Oct 2015 06:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So True"
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So it’s not the matter of citizens “realising” democracy is a good thing and try to achieve it.

I completely disagree. The structure of a society is largely based on the beliefs of their citizens. Behind every dictator there is a middle class and a military that, for one reason or another, has decided they would rather maintain the status quo than start a revolution.

For that very same reason you cannot simply topple over a dictatorship (like the west did with Iraq) and expect things to get better. When majority of the western societies switched gradually over to democracy it wasn't external forces that did it. The elite of each society simply decided they preferred this model over having a king and either started a revolution (i.e. US and France) or forced the hand of the king (as here in Denmark). Even if you take a country like Japan that was technically defeated in war, it was still the choice of the Japanese emperor and elite to support the transition.

Talking about your democracy loving ancestors, some of the most tyrannical countries nowadays used to be democracies that their governments undermined and changed to dictatorship by west.

The things going on in the Middle East are way too complex to be simply blamed on the west. If anything, that region is getting so unstable exactly because their populations highly disagree within what rule of government they want.

I'm not saying that being a democratic western country doesn't mean they can't do dick moves (like that coup you're referring to), but ultimately you can't do a coup in another country unless you have a powerful part of the population supporting you indirectly.

And even nowadays some of the most tyrannical countries are strongly supported by west, too. So it's not that simple that you mentioned.

Not saying it is. The world is complex. However I don't see why I should see the world from the perspective of a guy behind the Great Firewall of China. Yes, I was lucky to be born in a country where they chose not to censor like that, but really, if that should change it has to come from the Chinese people. Not from me. You just linked a coup, so clearly you don't think I should work on toppling their government. ;)

Please don't pretend that it's not your fault, because they are your elected officials.

Ah, so I'm the guilty one while the poor Chinese citizen is innocent. In both cases the individual does not have much say in the matter. It is only the combined opinion of the populations that can change things. Who is most guilty? The country whose population finds it OK to sell monitoring equipment, or the country whose population thinks its okay to censor things?

So in direct contrast with your statement, it is your (or ours, because I live in western world too) -not fault-, but responsibility to understand the world more, that our actions and lack of actions have severe consequences for humanity, not to mention being less cocky about our “ancestors”.

I just don't buy into this concept of the west being responsible for how the world looks like. Even when taking our imperialistic past into consideration. Just because someone in Nigeria might not be able to buy a MacBook Pro doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to state that developers should go out and buy one ASAP.

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