Should organizations relating to the defense sector being able to sponsor NixOS?

Please note that posts that we deem too combative, that contain whataboutism or that shift the goal posts will be moderated. This is no way to conduct a productive discussion.

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That is orthogonal…

Sure… but…

… assuming the organization is by local users and not acting as an official vehicle of the community.

This is where the communication breakdown is happening.

There would be no large outcry of this sort if this was an independent event not attached to the NixOS community.

The NixCon name, and this organization’s initial impetus comes from an official community effort.

The community does not want to see their home, their work, their efforts become a vehicle to advertise weapons manufacturer.

This is not about being “butthurt”. This is about the misappropriation and misrepresentation of a community.

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Sorry, to clarify: In that statement, I was referring specifically to a sentiment expressed earlier about how a refusal to accept these sponsorships might make other companies more hesitant to sponsor in the future. Which is to say that I do not think the message potentially being sent to potential sponsors is all that important compared to the message being sent to real people right now. The former seems like an immediate concern, while the latter seems, to me, merely hypothetical.

I certainly agree that would be a poor policy to put into writing. On the topic of what a future-proof, official policy should look like, I admit I don’t have much to say. Policy-making isn’t really my strong-suit.

But as for my attempt to answer the question posed as the title of this thread: If the question is asking whether or not Nix should do the thing, where “the thing” is proving with every post to be more and more controversial. Maybe the answer should just be “No”? I also think it’s perfectly reasonable to cite the controversy itself as the primary reason for deciding ‘no’.

The bungled communication at last years’ con really was bad. But assuming, god willing, that it doesn’t happen again, it’s not like anyone is realistically hurt by declining the sponsorship.

If we keeping poking the hornets’ nest, then maybe we’ll eventually suss out which hornets are on the side of facts and logic, and which ones are driven by emotion, or which ones are truly contributing to Nix and which ones are outside agitators, or whatever. But also, we all see the hornets’ right in front of us. Maybe we should just steer clear of it.

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@AshleyYakeley

[the business of killing people] is a necessary and good thing, in this case.

it is not.

@AshleyYakeley

We should accept sponsorship from companies that are materially supporting Ukrainian sovereignty and Taiwanese self-rule.

we should not - you don’t counter imperialism with imperialism.

@balint

I’d love to know what those people think China/Russia/Iran would do if the west collectively decided to not have a capable deterrent force anymore.

the US army isn’t matched by that of any other nation, so this concern seems far-fetched.

@AngryAnt

I don’t believe anyone in this thread has voiced opposition to the existence of arms dealers - NATO providers otherwise?

for the record, i oppose the existence of arms dealers - particularly ones affiliated with NATO.

@jonringer

This would be a broader scope than just defense, but any entity which has had a [potentially] “dark past or present” ethically. E.g. Nestle, Bayer, Monsanto, facebook, google, etc.

we should indeed consider carefully whom we associate with.

@TravisWhitaker

this policy can be cited to exclude basically any other organization

this is called the community being in charge, rather than being a plutocracy (a.k.a. free market)

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If you moderate posts that say “where is the evidence that Anduril employees were made to feel unwelcome”, please do the same to posts that say “does Anduril really kill people though”. (My apologies if the former post was not hidden due to moderator action, Discourse is not particularly clear about this.)

If anyone is still in doubt about that latter fact, by the way, take it from their most recent news article: “ALTIUS-700M is the most lethal tactical loitering munition available today.”

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I think this is another one of those worldview-distinguishing-only arguments. Some people think that responsibility should be primarily distributed along chains of command. ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ makes sense as a claim about responsibility in a worldview where responsibility can’t spread to the manufacturer of a gun because that manufacturer doesn’t command the user of the gun on how to wield it. Unlike, say, a military operation, in which the responsibility for the failure of a subordinate can extend to their commanding officer.

A different worldview holds that responsibility can distribute along any causal link. ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ is invalid because of course, as a question of fact, a gun can fire a bullet that kills a person. The wielder of the gun might have killed a person even if a gun was not available to them, but if the gun was their method of choice it was presumably the easiest method, and therefore the availability of the gun made it some amount easier to kill a person, which means that some responsibility for the kill must reside with anyone who participated in making the gun available.

I don’t think it’s terribly productive to accuse people with the opposing worldview of being mistaken about questions of fact. Companies in the weapons industry manufacture weapons; let’s agree on that. Members of this community are going to disagree about what that means for distribution of responsibility.

(And again, spending time on criticism of or support for individual companies is off-topic for this thread.)

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I’ll do my only sea-lioning related reply here.

It’s about whether or not Anduril is a weapons manufacturer. Making hardware meant to deliver explosive payloads, I would consider makes one a weapons manuacturer.

I typed “Anduril” in a search engine, went to the News section, and found press releases rehashes from reputable media.

Here’s some context:

This one I don’t know if it is a legitimate source, but explosion pictures:

So yes. They are a weapons manufacturer.

If you cannot appreciate* the understanding of this definition of weapons manufacturer, don’t bother replying, you will absolutely be talking beside and past the point.

understand (a situation) fully; recognize the full implications of.
“they failed to appreciate the pressure he was under”

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It seems that the majority are against the open letter.

https://www.reddit.com/r/NixOS/comments/1befnhr/open_letter_nixos_users_against_mic_sponsorship/

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That picture is actually from Anduril’s website as mentioned by sorrel here: Should organizations relating to the defense sector being able to sponsor NixOS? - #140 by sorrel

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It seems that the majority are against the open letter.

https://www.reddit.com/r/NixOS/comments/1befnhr/open_letter_nixos_users_against_mic_sponsorship/

How are you determining this?

If it’s by the comments on the thread you linked, I do not think a 14-hour-old thread with 70 comments (as of the time of writing this) is necessarily a representative sample of the community.

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It seems that the majority are against the open letter.

This seems to a rather bold conclusion to arrive at from a reddit thread with less than half as many comments - including those critical of the sponsor in question - compared to signatures on the open letter.

Neither of those should be regarded as representative for the community as a whole, but I do recognize more names from nixpkgs commits log on the letter. Not that it matter’s too much: It’s not a popular vote in the end, but an appeal to the responsible Foundation board members & NixCon organizers by community members, based on social trust.

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https://nixos-users-for-western-mil-and-govs.github.io/

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Following the open board call, one of my action items was to update the sponsorship tiers to reflect the most updated reality. I made the edits to the post but also sharing them here.

Made Edits to address the change of the sponsorship tiers following the discussions this week. If anyone is impacted by this please let us know at the NixCon NA team:

  1. We will not have promo videos.
  2. We will not have logo on screens during breaks

@ajaxbits tagging for visibility as you helped bring up this action item, thank you! (I hope that this is the right handle)

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I suspect this open letter was crafted with ulterior motives. Had its authors truly intended to advocate for the NixOS Foundation’s objective of accepting Anduril as a sponsor for our conferences, they would have chosen a more impartial title. Instead of “NixOS Users For Western Military and Governments Support,” a title like “NixOS Users Against Biased Political Discrimination” would have more accurately conveyed a genuine effort to address bias and promote inclusivity.

My interpretation is that it was designed to misleadingly portray the first letter as reflective of a unanimous agreement.

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I see that you’re not familiar with the concept from the Haskell world of avoiding success-at-all-costs. Free Software is prior to corporate needs, and there’s nothing wrong with an ecosystem composed entirely of hobbyists.

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Sharing for visibility:

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Familiar with the term, but was unaware it was an intentional desire of the community to remain niche. Really a shame, fell in love with Haskell in 2014, and always wondered why it just existed in a few pockets around the world; but never had any compounding adoption side-effects (pun intended).

Either way, pursuit of Haskell led me to discovering Nix. Now I’m here.

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For me this is not a desire, but just an unwillingness to grow at all costs. Also this community currently has enough growing pains already, so no need to accelerate things even further.


I just wanted to share the link to the letter for completeness. But yes, I have trouble taking the letter seriously—If not for Hanlon’s razor, I’d seriously consider it a “false flag” operation as well to be honest. Especially with the wrong links and the footer still not fixed … (my most charitable interpretation of this is “knee-jerk reaction”)

I interpret this as a three-way split in this discussion. There is a difference between opposing a ban of certain sponsors for various reasons, and full-on propagating armed western imperialism. And in my impression, the latter are only a couple of very loud people, actually harming the interests of the former position in the process.

I would like to see an open letter which both I and the people I disagree with could take seriously, and that actually aligns with the interests of a nontrivial part of this community.

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The creator of the message posted a message at the original thread at NixCon 2023 Sponsorship Situation from the NixOS Foundation - #116 by maxkokocom too. A false flag would involve fake profiles signing up.

As for the original question here: Should organizations relating to the defense sector being able to sponsor NixOS? The answer for me is yes - I’m surprised the amount of energy and bickering that has gone into this thread over a $5k sponsorship.

Though to be perfectly honest, as I read some people’s replies on this thread - I was wondering how many of them had any realization that they were basically engaging in a petty form of fascism.