The four freedoms
Adapted from the Free Software Definition.
- The right to know how a tool works.
- The right to modify a tool.
- The right to repair a tool.
- The right to distribute both original and modified designs of tools.
1 - The right to know how a tool works.
Either Farmers control their tools, or tools end up controlling the Farmers.
When a farmer's tools are providing decision support, it's crucial that the farmer has access to the source code of how that decision was reached. For example, Facebook's "news feed" feature contains an algorithm that claims to show us the news from our friends that we most want to see. It is a decision support system in the sense that it helps us decide what we want to read. In 2014, Facebook admitted to allowing researchers to manipulate the algorithm in hopes they could find a way to make users themselves post more depressing content (source). Imagine the massive power an entity could yield if it had the power to secretly manipulate how farmers managed their soil.
2 - The right to modify a tool.
3 - The right to repair a tool.
4 - The right to distribute both original and modified designs of tools.
- Farms working together make themselves more competitive.
- Farms have an incentive to contribute designs for modifications back so that the community may base future modifications on top.
1 - Complete library of designs and modifications for physical tools that follow the four freedoms
2 - Software for collecting farm logs
A software product for farm management that is 1) useful to Farmers when manually collecting data about their farm; 2) capable of accepting automated data streams from other location; and 3) capable of sharing data sets and data streams to third parties over the Internet.
3 - Decision support tools
Software tools for farmers that lowers the barrier to entry to interacting with Farm OS. ie. Automated data collection, apps for better data entry using other devices, data analysis tools.