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

Praveen A pravi.a at gmail.com
Tue Jan 22 08:43:54 IST 2008

2008/1/21, john saylor <js0000 at gmail.com>:

> i would definitely concur that freedom is important. and it's much
> more easier to make a computer run than to convince someone of the
> value of freedom [esp when it contravenes capitalism].
> but shouldn't we support getting free[-ish] software in the middle
> schools? maybe one of those students will take it further. it's not
> perfect, it goes against a statement of st. ignucious, a good point.
> free software is more than switching a computer from windows to
> ubuntu. no doubt.
> is it better to take no steps?

The point RMS makes is people supporting the two stage approach never
tries to do the stage 2. If everyone does only the stage 1, who will
do the stage 2?

"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."

The problem is there are a lot of people and doing stage one where as
not many people doing stage one. And hence there are so many of
"linux" users out there who never come to know about GNU or Freedom
and are not taught to appreciate the importance of Freedom. The result
is, we get a weak community and it is so easy for them to lose the
Freedom. When someone show them something is better they have no
second thoughts about switching back.

Free Software movement was started to protect user Freedom and
teaching people how important it is to be able to collaborate. Free
software never was a movement to overthrow Microsoft and put Adobe,
Nvidia or ATI there.

I know it is tough and I have also done stage one without stage two.
But we need people like RMS to remind us why we started it and what
will happen if we forget it.

You know what when one student sent me a mail saying.

... i had said "We have had enough of philosophy, now we want more
technical sessions".. That time i was not much bothered about the
philosophy.. now i'm.

I find this one user finding the value Freedom more worth than the
hundreds of people who use "linux" because I gave then CDs or helped
fix their problems. If we had listen to them and stopped at stage one,
we would have never been able to build such a great community there.
We need more people to do stage two because there are a great number
of people who have crossed stage one but can never make it to stage
two because they don't see anyone teaching them importance of Freedom.

See http://fci.wikia.com/wiki/Bangalore/BMSCE for more about what we
have been doing there.
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