[Fsf-friends] [ifsa] The Free Software hardliner, the corporation, and the shotgun wedding

Praveen A pravi.a at gmail.com
Mon Jan 21 05:26:27 IST 2008

2008/1/20, Christian Einfeldt <einfeldt at gmail.com>:
> IMHO, the fight for freedom is a numbers game.  The higher the locked down
> installbase, the more power goes to the dark side.
> At the public middle school that I am moving to Free Software, the teachers
> just don't care about freedom.  But they do care about educating children.
> IMHO, we must be humble and serve the needs of the end users first.  We need
> to convince them that Free Software will do what THEY want it to do.  So
> now, all of the student-facing computers at this public school are Free
> Software computers, unless you don't consider PClinuxOS or Ubuntu to be Free
> Software.  There are still some non-Free software components on those boxes,
> but we are working steadily to get them off.  Rome was not built in a day.
> It will take patience and perseverance.
Lets see what RMS has to say about it.

"Many people suggest a two stage solution. They say, first, let's
teach people to use Free Software, and then, once they're using it,
we'll teach people to appreciate the freedom.

Well, this two stage solution might work well, if it were properly
tried, but when people propose this, almost always they go and work on
stage one. In fact, I've come to recognise that this two stage
solution idea is really an excuse to work on stage one and ignore
stage two. Stage two is what I work on. So if you really believe in a
two stage solution, come join me and work on stage two because the
problem is that so much of our community has focussed on stage one,
and so much of our community has talked about practical benefits while
ignoring freedom, that in fact, at this point, if you start using the
GNU/Linux system, you may not hear anyone talk about freedom for
years. In other words, our community has not just begun to forget
about the goal of freedom, it has almost completely forgotten. With
the result that now it is a struggle to teach people in our own
community about the freedom which is the reason why we built this

Of all the operating systems in history, all except one were developed
for commercial reasons or technical reasons. GNU was developed for the
sake of freedom. The users need to know this. And I would like to ask
you to join in helping to teach them this. This is why I dedicate
myself now to spreading these ideas of freedom. There are more than a
million contributors to Free Software now. The community doesn't need
me that much as a programmer, and besides, I'm getting older, I
probably can't do it as well as I used to. But there are not a million
people teaching the users to appreciate the value of freedom and the
value of specifically the freedom to cooperate in a community. This is
where we urgently need more people. "


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