NixCon sponsored by military

The problem isn’t accepting money. The problem is doing their fucking propaganda work for them.


Well, it’s clear there’s no agreement and a lot of strong feelings on this issue. So, perhaps it would be a good idea for the future to make the process more transparent and even directly involing the community (a poll or some discussion) before accepting a sponsor.


I have not been very involved in Nixos matters so far but I want to bring forward a counterpoint.

Some objections have been very unspecfic. Like the subject of this post, “NixCon sponsored by military”. If that was the objection, it would be factually wrong, as military means the actual armed forces.
Instead it was a company in the defence industry that was the sponsor. Is the problem that the sponsor was from the defence industry in general, or was it this company in particular that was the problem?
Unclear when reading all the posts. Many kinds of arguments have been brought forward, often with quite emotional and broad sweeping arguments.

About Anduril in particular, I didn’t know about this company so can’t comment on it. But in general, my own opinion is that military defence is not morally wrong, national defences needs equipment as well as weapons of different kinds. I take it not everyone shares that opinion, but many also do.

Perhaps it is better to not have sponsors from this industry but it did not motivate this type of panic. I don’t think anything was gained from it. Anduril can continue to use Nixos for whatever purposes they want to, and likely, if you contribute to Nixos, you will contribute to their mission indirectly.

Finally, some words about “community”. What brings people together around Nix and Nixos is their excellence as software products. We haven’t come here because we share political opinions. No one can talk for the Nixos community as one in political terms. I think that is important to keep in mind when looking back at this.


Then please speak for yourself only. I have not just come here “for the tech”. And such a “politically neutral” stance is not actually neutral; it defaults to being in support of the status quo, which unfortunately includes gratuitous murder (as is visible here once again). There is no such thing as a politically neutral stance.


We don’t agree. I will leave it at that


The fact we are disagreeing proves the point the community doesn’t form on the basis of shared political beliefs. Thankfully politics have a very marginal role in accepting patches or approving RFCs, otherwise the process would be hell.


I’m with you (I think?)

I do agree about not condoning more specificities such as “autonomous killing machines” that are worked on by a very specific company vs. “The military or government is bad and can’t be a sponsor”.


I feel like the opinions surrounding this matter are so strong and polarized that, if we don’t frame the problem correctly, we will end up hurting each other very badly…

I think that the issue to address here is not the ethics of war, whose discussion is really not something that belongs in this forum, but the matter of alignment. Accepting to be sponsored by someone might be perceived, in certain cases, as an expression of endorsement of the actions of that sponsor, especially if that someone is particularly controversial.

I think it’s difficult to rationalize around the appropriateness of aligning with certain organizations and to trace a line between the acceptable and the not acceptable, especially in big and diverse communities like ours seems to be. But I believe it is obvious that certain sponsorships are bound to be questionable and, as in this case, contrary to our stated intent of being a relaxed, welcoming and diverse community.

Let me come up with down-to-earth example. Assume that, one day, the Nix organization gets sponsored by some public European institution, and its logo starts appearing on the list of sponsors at I believe that, even for a user/contributor who has no connection with Europe and may even have some antipathy for the entire continent and the people inhabiting it, the appearance of such a sponsor wouldn’t raise any contempt or particularly strong hateful sentiment toward the Nix community as a whole.

Assume now that Nix Org gets sponsored by Anduril, and the name and its logo starts to be associated with Nix. Surely, someone who’s parent has been killed by an ALTIUS-M loitering munition dropping on them while on combat duty during the invasion of ****** in year 20XX wouldn’t feel particularly welcomed by our community, and could definitely get hurt by the sight of the sponsor’s name alone.

I think the exact difference between the two cases is difficult to put into words, but I hope it can be understood.


How is this example down-to-earth?


I find the fact that this organization is adopting any political stances at all that are unrelated to software very sad. Inevitable in the current climate and given the active demographic I guess (a.k.a. “the department of No Matter What Your Deal Is”), but still very sad.


Alternatively, NixCon could also opt to go all-in. The Russian military structures are presently very interested in outreach like this. Seems an ideal target for just “apolitically” “extracting money”?


For context I’ll add in the statement of said company:

I think it’s clear NixCon kicked out a company that’s highly beneficial to the community and should reverse this decision.

Edit: Link to the statement:


@mlindner Could you link to the page where the statement can be found?

Sure. Here’s the link:

I’ll edit the post to include the link. For clarity Palmer Luckey is one of the founders Anduril and the official Anduril twitter account commonly retweets comments from him.


I’m glad they dropped them.

I don’t think nix should be associated, in any way, with the military industrial complex, even less with killer robots.


So the fact that Anduril is helping the Ukrainian government defend against the Russian invasion has no bearing for you? And more so was one of the few companies helping the Ukrainian government even before the invasion occurred? Is NixOS’s official position that they favor Russia winning?


The lesser of two evils is still evil to me.

I can wish for the Ukraine liberation while still finding it gross that companies like Lockheed Martin and Anduril are making profits and helping spin the perpetual wars wheel.


I might regret asking, but why are we working off the apparent assumption that “defense == bad”? Or is there some specific thing this particular company has done that can be seen as unambiguously unethical?

Further, is there a list of sponsors somewhere so I can overly scrutinize each one and find some political or social offense that would disqualify them as well? I’m sure I can find at least one that can be seen as “contraversial” on one spectrum or another.

Lastly, if we are going to start making politically motivating decisions, can we decide as a community what our political ideals actually are, instead of remaining shadowy and ambiguous, so that those who disagree can promptly disassociate themselves?

Or are we just going to silently enforce a given political idealogy on the community for as long as it can stand it, until we have successfully driven away any and all detractors? That is the real intent isn’t it? Or was it just a knee jerk, cowardly reaction to complaints?


@bbigras So to be clear, you’re claiming that assisting Ukraine with offensive weapons is “the lesser of two evils”? And that assisting Ukraine “spins the perpetual wheel of war”?


If true, and because this is also the first time anyone here knew of Anduril using/sponsoring nix software; they were using nix in secret. The irony of them coming out of the closet only to be likely removed and forever strongly scrutinized against any future contributions, sponsorships, initiatives to the project; well the proliferation of “make use of but never contribute back” is antithetical to the bazaar / free software development of the nix project.

This isn’t the first time here the Cathedral has smashed entities for their outside views, irrelevant to their large contributions. Is the Cathedral familiar with how this story ends?