Does your rejection of proprietary software and mass surveillance create issues in your family life?

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stallman_was_right
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Iscritto: 12/06/2016

First post, glad to have joined this great community of free software supporters.

This question is primarily directed at people who live with members of their family (or friends, roommates, etc). I'm curious, in what ways does your rejection of proprietary software (and surveillance engines such as Facebook) affect your family life? And how do you remedy the problems that will likely pop up?

For example, let's say your family members consider you "an extremist" or "too religious about free software". How do you go about convincing them that your rejection of jails such as Windows (or Nintendo DS/Playstation in the case of children) is not because you're a lunatic control freak who wants to make people's lives worse, but because you care about your, and their, freedom?

I wouldn't mind getting married and having kids one day, but the potential for major conflict over my "extremist" views on free software makes me want to reconsider.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

It depends on what you mean by extreme.

To me, It's just common sense, it's like refusing to eat bad food. Though it's ok (to me) to indulge once in a while, but I naturally tend to do it less and less.
And I do it only if it's safe for the rest of my PC.

As for family, just explain why it's harmful.
Try to avoid talking about Stallman and all the decorum and get to the point: data collection, mass spying supposedly for security purposes, but evidences show its importance for business mainly.
In a nutshell: Privacy. Knowing everything you do is collected (not only by governments, but by companies) isn't right. Even the Stasi didn't have the means to go this far.

That's too much power gathered and could potentially used the wrong way.
As for proof, you have the examples listed on the fsf website (can't remember the link).

There's also the 4 freedoms, but to me (and most people) these are more like the conditions that allow better privacy/security/anonymity.

My family is fine with it.
Just don't talk about it all the time, and learn to live and let live. Be a control freak if you want, but for yourself, not others.
It just involves saying "no" when it comes to using proprietary software by yourself (maybe), or not being willing to help if it's not about free software, but I'm not that extreme.
Again, I live and let live, and this naturally created more interest in free software, and a partial switch.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

https://www.gnu.org/proprietary is the link.

Like SuperTramp83 below, I do not only see free software as good for privacy/security/anonymity. It is more general than that: free software gives the users control over the software. It evolves like its users want it to.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

True, I was trying to say that this aspect matters for a relatively limited amount of people. I believe most want a system that is reliable and safe first and foremost.

I do too enjoy being able to tweak and do whatever I want with my software.

Thanks for the link, it's bookmarked now.

stallman_was_right
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Iscritto: 12/06/2016

I agree. Free software is good for privacy, security, and anonymity, but also for other reasons. If the developers decide to implement undesirable or useless features that bloat the operating system (e.g. Windows, it's unbelievable how much crap goes into it), the users can't do anything about that. If Windows was free software, there's no doubt that the users would have forked it and removed a whole bunch of garbage, resulting in a much faster system. Maybe if all the crapware was removed, Windows wouldn't use around 2 GB of RAM upon startup (I remember being extremely annoyed about this back in the days when I used Windows. Those were dark days...)

In general, without the 4 essential freedoms, the users won't be able to modify the software to do their computing how they wish to. They'll be forced to beg the developers to implement (or remove) features, and there's no guarantee that the developers will listen to the users.

But as hack and hack says, most people are more concerned about the privacy stuff than the ethics. Privacy appeals to most users (well, not the users that "have nothing to hide"), so if we want to leave our mark on the users, it should be through a discussion of the privacy benefits of free software. The ethics will probably discourage people from free software, because they'll view it as a religion - even though it's not a religion. It's called doing the right thing for yourself and for the rest of society.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Proprietary software can be seen as religious because it requires a blind trust in the editor when it tells its user that the software does not harm them (although https://www.gnu.org/proprietary clearly shows that being abused is the norm among proprietary software users). With free software, the users are free to study the software to know what it really does. It requires no blind trust, no religious attitude. Demanding this freedom therefore is rationale, not religious. This point holds in a more general context: when users ask for corrections of bugs, for new (or less, in your example) features, etc.

IrishUSA
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Iscritto: 12/03/2016

"If Windows was free software"...

You're probably aware of the existence of ReactOS, which is a from-scratch effort to create a free clone of Windows. Currently in alpha status, its mimic target is Windows Server 2003.

The system requirements are 500MB HDD and 96MB RAM. Not too bad!

Unfortunately the FSF rejects listing ReactOS as a free OS on the grounds that its primary intended purpose is to run proprietary apps and drivers.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Iscritto: 10/31/2014

To me it is not a matter of "extremism" but coherence and being rational and decent. It is about taking a side and sticking to it, completely. If I know proprietary software is bad, for several reasons, very bad for all of us, then I can not accept any compromise. Especially when one is aware of what is happening. If you know how proprietary software helps the powerful to keep control and power over those who have no control and power at all, and when you also see how often proprietary software is related to mass surveillance, then you understand how it is unacceptable to agree to any compromise.
If taking a side that is ethical, if caring, if not accepting bullshit, unjust control and power makes me an extremist or a terrorist, so be it. I'm not afraid of labels, I don't care what someone thinks about my stance because my stance is rational, strong and informed.
I usually explain my stance and why proprietary software is unacceptable to those I care about. If they understand (which they do quite rarely) I am a very happy guy. If they don't, believe me, I don't lose any sleep over it: there is something very amazing and powerful, something very strong and liberatory in doing/believing/protecting something that is decent and ethical.
Also, I'd like to point that my vision of free software has nothing to do with anything "religious". On the contrary it was and is a very rational decision.

Jodiendo
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Iscritto: 01/09/2013

superteam said:
To me it is not a matter of "extremism" but coherence and being rational and decent.

That is true, but to others been an extremist person is not coherence, rational and decent is the opposite.
All ways depends on the legal AND legality of the subject and intent AND PURPOSE of the matter, complex rationalism and morality values of the case render will determine the final results.

For example: copyrights, copyleft, free software.
Another example: religion and software, what is ethical to them to others is unethical.depends on your religion.

Well enough for know of the fake quija crapper..

stallman_was_right
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Iscritto: 12/06/2016

> unwillingness to Skype and join the family Facepalm page is a direct result of lack of intelligence caused by my lack of penis and/or melanin in my hair when I was a toddler.

Haha! This made my day. I'm sure RMS would approve of the Facepalm name, it's the type of humor he would appreciate.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

Oh, yeah, I do share that stubbornness regarding Skype.
If only Jitsi was already reliable. Something like:
1. Know where to create 2 xmpp addresses, and in an easy way.
2. install the software (this is working fine, regardless of the OS)
3. Log in and it works. I mean from the first attempt, not the 3rd or something (if not more).

inkoia
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Iscritto: 01/25/2016

I'd say the common reaction around me is: You don't use whatsapp? REALLY?!?!?!?!

Comparing to that, the rest it's easier to handle, ;P

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Imagine "You don't use a cell phone? REALLY?!?!?!?!". The common reaction around me. :-)

stallman_was_right
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Iscritto: 12/06/2016

It must be wonderful to not have to use a cell phone! I'm still in high school, and far from being independent of my parents. Their rule is that I have to have some sort of cell phone to contact them if necessary, and I don't have much of a choice but to follow that rule.

I compromised by accepting a dumb flip phone, but I keep it turned off at all times during school (my excuse is that school doesn't allow the phones to be on). It's also wrapped in 3 layers of aluminum foil to block signals from reaching cell phone towers, because who knows, the phone might not actually be turned off. It might still be sending/receiving signals. I have no reason to trust the proprietary software in the phone.

I do keep it turned on otherwise, not much of a choice. I need to become independent of my parents before I can get rid of the phone.

Jodiendo
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Iscritto: 01/09/2013

ill BET YOU, I WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH WITH MY CRAZY HUMOR AT MY AGE.

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

man, you are not the only one. If those people that say YOU DON'T USE FACEBOOK, or ,WHATSUCKS, or, PROPRIETARY CRAP, I mean, SOFTWARE?!! see this forum, this conversation, and that you're not the only one, maybe that would demonstrate them that this is serious.

Alij
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Iscritto: 05/08/2012

Not at all.

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

LIKE A BOSS

Turtleman
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Iscritto: 05/22/2013

Not in my family life. I did lose touch with a lot of friends on Facebook, but I have made new friends too. I guess that's life, but I do miss my old friends sometimes.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

The problem with social media is that you have between 50 (or less) and 300 friends (if not more).
How many of them do even the most social people meet on a regular basis?

Sure it looks way better to have tons of people around you, but I personally can't manage more than, maybe 30, family included.

What I'm saying is I'd rather have fewer but more meaningful and consistent interactions with people.

Jodiendo
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Iscritto: 01/09/2013

What is a friend? I could tell you by experience, a friend is the person that will stand behind you and respectfully acknowledge any disagreements, BE ABLE to settle the matter in a courteous matter and still is your friend.

for example: Supertramp, I might not agree totally, but he has the art to listen patiently, even he does not agree with your opinion , he has the ability to EXPRESS HIMSELF.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

I can relate to that definition of friendship. That's pretty much it I guess.

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

there is a similar topic in the spanish forum
https://trisquel.info/es/forum/%C2%BFc%C3%B3mo-te-sientes-al-ver-un-usuario-esclavo

since I left whatsucks, it was a hell. Everybody told me "use it", "is the only way to communicate", "don't isolate from the world", "it's awesome, instant messages from any part of the world, and gratis". But I didn't heard. I knew and know that that's not good, that is for ignorant and mediocre people that do not have awareness. But for me the person is over a philosophy or ideology.

Now everybody knows I don't use and will never use nonfree software, and at least they do not tease with that so much now.

I think that that it comes with the package. Use free software = digital freedom = slave-users won't accept.

Anonymous (non verificato)
Anonymous

Perhaps you can convince them to use XMPP for instant messaging (or at least to contact you). Show them how to set an XMPP client up on their phones. You can tell them the same things they told you when they wanted to persuade you to use Whatsapp, plus the argument that it is secure and Facebook doesn't get to read everything they type and send. Unfortunately people are very reluctant to switch to services that DON'T track you.

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

Well that's the power of social pressure.
None of my friends (not even family members) decided to switch to libre social media (let alone a libre OS).

Unless the "cool kids" decide to switch massively, most will stay there, and that's gonna be like that for a while.
I wonder if it will ever change.

Anonymous (non verificato)
Anonymous

I know most people won't switch any time soon, but maybe he/she can convince some close friends and family to get an XMPP app like conversations just to stay in touch with him/her. That doesn't seem like so much to ask.

I think that, as digital surveillance increases, more and more people will switch to free software. Sometimes people just need to realize how bad it is already.

stallman_was_right
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Iscritto: 12/06/2016

> I know most people won't switch any time soon, but maybe he/she can convince some close friends and family to get an XMPP app like conversations just to stay in touch with him/her.

I got my dad to agree. We are now chatting using DuckDuckGo's XMPP service (dukgo.com). However, I think the only reason he agreed was that he's tech-savvy. My other family members are either not tech-savvy enough to setup Pidgin and XMPP, or they think this stuff is really weird and antisocial (and will get them in trouble with the police). Worst of all: some people in my family obstinately believe that mass surveillance is good, and WANT the government to spy on their chat conversations to "keep them safe".

Some people though.

PeaceGuy
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Iscritto: 11/16/2016

Hello I just registered for DuckDuckGo's XMPP service we should find each other there.

stallman_was_right
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Iscritto: 12/06/2016

> None of my friends (not even family members) decided to switch to libre social media (let alone a libre OS)

hack and hack, given this, do you still provide tech support to your family/friends? For example, if their iJails have a problem that you know how to fix (usually the fix is just rebooting), do you willingly fix it? Or do you refuse, saying something like "I can't help with this, I don't want to dig you deeper into the hole of non-free software by fixing this problem"?

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

uffff, it happens to me. I simply say: "I do not guarantee anything"
I think that the worst of all is when people have multiple issues with nonfree software, e.g. automatic updates, restrictions, licenses, etc. Then you offer them software libre but they do not accept.
Then you think, how can I understand that sicology? There is sth. you do not like, there is another option but that person doesn't accept, WTF?

hack and hack
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Iscritto: 04/02/2015

It depends, for the less tech savvy, I do spend some time on non-free software. Just letting them stay blocked would be ridiculous. I'm talking about older people here ;)

But for others, I tend to spend very little time on non-free software. I answer questions for example. I just don't feel like encouraging them further (I feel it's a waste of my time, and a disservice to them).

But frankly, such occasions are fairly rare.

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

Perhaps you can convince them to use XMPP for instant messaging (or at least to contact you).

I normally teach them Kontalk instead of Jabber, because it's as easy as WhatSucks.
https://kontalk.org/
What makes Kontalk easier is the fact that your phone number is your ID. Although XMPP is easy too and it has more features, people always want something that does the work for them.
Kontalk now supports group chatrooms on its recent beta releases!

Anonymous (non verificato)
Anonymous

I didn't know about kontalk yet. And indeed, it looks like a better alternative to whatsapp than XMPP for the not-so-tech-savvy.

Thanks

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

that's why I like it and use it

Megver83
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Iscritto: 12/21/2015

The problem of slave users is that they think the proprietary software they use is awesome and cannot be replaced, in spite of al the issues and problems the software makes.

Silver Wolf
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Iscritto: 04/26/2016

I am surprised nobody here mentioned Telegram messenger? its FOSS and a clone of whatsucks.

Geshmy
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Iscritto: 04/23/2015

It's a little cathartic to read this thread. I guess we all get viewed as nuts.

Last year at a block watch party I approached some of my neighbors and expressed an interest in teaching anyone interested about freedom and privacy using GNULinux and this Christmas I discussed with a cousin and her husband my feelings about the erosion of privacy going on with all devices. Some of my neighbors looked at me like 'we always thought he was wierd,' but at my cousin's the reaction was, from my cousin, "I know but I really don't care because I love to use all the apps on my Galaxy smart phone" and from her husband, "Yeah, I know and am kind of concerned but, what you gonna do?" My son is an avid gamer and been with Microsquasht forever and Skypes with his not very technical girlfriend out of state. He at least uses Firefox now but in no way will he use free software. He has pretty well kissed his privacy goodbye

But if anyone thinks this free software idea is gonna conquor the world, I think they should embrace religion because it's gonna take a miracle. It's just the simple fact that though in some ways it may be superior software (freedom, privacy and security) it can't keep up with the everchanging ways humanity is discovering to entertain itself with the commercial stuff. I don't gloat to say that, it makes me sad but so does the thought of a president Trump.

libredrs
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Iscritto: 01/29/2012

The nation of sheep that elected Trump (and, for that matter, Presidents Obama and Cheney) is the same nation of sheep that can't wrap their heads around the injustice that is non-free software.

I think our efforts are still worthwhile, even if we are only able to carve out a little (though significant) niche for ourselves and do our best to persuade others when we can... but it shouldn't interfere with relationships, personal, work or otherwise, when possible. I mention the benefits of ethical computing once or twice, and if there is no interest, I let it go. There is nothing I can do beyond that and I'm not going to bang my head against the wall trying to change it.

For a previous high-school teaching position, I made it very clear before accepting the job that I would not use free software in any of my work. Period. The school administration was skeptical and I assured them that my method of computing would be transparent to them and it was (they actually noted that when I left). I also gave them a copy of Free Software, Free Society, which collected dust until I took it back. The only friction I encountered was an attempt to persuade me to use iPads with 4th grade students. I refused, stating that it violated my code of ethics. It was clear that I wasn't backing down. They let it go. They asked me back for the next academic year, so I guess it wasn't that important to them.

In my current position, I'm facing undue pressure to use Facebook so that I can 'friend' (such a stupid term...) my organization and spread the word (not sure how that really does this, but fine...). I've refused. When told that it's important for the job, I've refused. I won't relent. I'm in a position where I can refuse and handle the consequences (i.e., termination) at this point in my life. I guess I'm lucky in that respect. I would probably take them to court if they threatened termination, just to make a point as well as a public spectacle in order to shame them - though I don't think it will come to that.

Discussing privacy-killing social media at work is now the same sort of taboo as discussing religion or politics. When the latter two subjects are topics of conversation, I nod and leave the room. The same thing is now happening with discussions of Facebook, Twitter and other similarly inane topics involving sheep and computers. They know my position. I now just walk away. It's guess it's better than offending someone. Sheep are so easily offended. It just amazes me that otherwise intelligent people fall for this crap.

Edit: While reading this over for typos, I just realized that my 5th anniversary as a not particularly active forum member is approaching and that I've been using Trisquel for 6+ years (since Fall 2010). Cool.

libredrs
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Iscritto: 01/29/2012

Major edit!

For a previous high-school teaching position, I made it very clear before accepting the job that I would not use ***non-free*** software in any of my work.

Big oops. I guess my proofreading skills aren't what they used to be.

libredrs
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Iscritto: 01/29/2012

Not too much improves with age I'm afraid. Perhaps moral and ethical clarity, though I'm not sure... that might be self-aggrandizing on my part.

A few schools where I've worked previously (and taught non-free Macintosh software in the mid-90s - makes me so ashamed) now have so-called 'maker spaces' and also emphasize 'coding' (i.e., programming) as a necessary skill set for future success. I find this interesting since all of this work is undertaken using proprietary software, so kids can't inspect existing code that might interest them and/or wish to improve or change to their liking. Educators and school administrators don't event recognize this paradox and could never accept the reality that they are actually stifling innovation and creativity. As long as it all fits in with STEM, STEAM (SCREAM!!!) - whatever the latest educational flavor of the month is now called, that's all they care about. If it looks good, it is good.

Your kid(s) is/are lucky to have a free software advocate as a parent.

One of the reasons I asked about free software schools and programs in the other thread is that I'm mulling over a plan to discuss the use of free software with local school administrators (i.e., where my tax dollars are being misused) and perhaps organize a non-profit group to promote free software use in my community. Perhaps set up a small free-only lab in a vacant store front. No firm plans yet, just exploring.

stallman_was_right
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Iscritto: 12/06/2016

> The nation of sheep that elected Trump (and, for that matter, Presidents Obama and Cheney) is the same nation of sheep that can't wrap their heads around the injustice that is non-free software.

I agree with the use of the term "sheep" to describe such people, I use it myself on several occasions. What does a sheep do? It meekly obeys its shepherd without even thinking. If the shepherd beats the sheep with a stick and tells it to move forward, the sheep does so without much resistance, except perhaps yelling "BAAAAAAAAA!"

The sheep thinks, "Why not go along with what my shepherd says? I will get food and shelter in the end, so I might as well put up with this." That same sheep will one day be brutally murdered by the farmer for its meat. I fear that something similar will happen to our nation of sheep. People need to realize that while convenience is certainly good, prioritizing convenience over freedom is dangerous for democracy.

We must be able to hold the businesses and government accountable for their actions. We can't do that with non-free software, as it's very difficult to prove that a program did something malicious without the source code. With non-free software, we have to trust that the companies are going to do the right thing. In practice, this rarely happens. Once the companies get tempted by big money, they are going to give up all ethical practices, if that will make them more money. And in that event, we the people must be able to hold them accountable for their actions. Not only that, but we must be able to modify the company's malicious program and remove the malicious feature, so that our freedom is once again respected.

Sadly, most sheep don't care about this. They just want convenience, even if that means giving up their essential freedoms. They have taken freedom for granted - and history shows us how much of a bad idea that is.

"Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. "Don't bother us with politics," respond those who don't want to learn." - Richard Stallman

stallman_was_right
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Iscritto: 12/06/2016

> Some of my neighbors looked at me like 'we always thought he was wierd,' but at my cousin's the reaction was, from my cousin, "I know but I really don't care because I love to use all the apps on my Galaxy smart phone"

It's this type of reaction that genuinely makes me fear what is to become of democracy. If this mentality of "who cares about freedom, that's just some political bullshit" continues, the effects will be disastrous.

I'm not saying people need to go cold-turkey and throw away their spyPhones, but it would be nice if they at least gave some thought to freedom. To be a freedom fighter, you don't necessarily have to "fight" - not everyone in the 13 colonies was a soldier in George Washington's army. But the thought is very important. Even if you can't practically do anything to stop an act of evil, it's important to think, "This is evil. This should not be happening.", and to voice dissent. To ignore the evil and go about your daily life as if it doesn't exist serves to enable the perpetrators of that evil.

I apologize if I'm ranting too much. Most of my family won't bother listening to me about this stuff, so I need to vent it out somewhere.

libredrs
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Iscritto: 01/29/2012

From the 3rd edition of Free Software, Free Society and marked this (p. 254):

"One goal is a world in which software users are free, but as yet most computer users do not even recognize freedom as an issue. The have taken up 'consumer' values, which means they judge any program only in practical characteristics such as price and convenience.'

Consumer values are, sadly, what drive just about everything in the U.S. People, especially flag-waving 'patriot' types are great at giving lip-service to the importance of freedom, dying to protect freedom and thanking others (suckers) for their service in defense of their freedom etc., but how few of us actually take steps to exercise their freedoms? Now, we have an intellectually and emotionally stunted tyrant about to assume the power of the Presidency - a person whose only skill set is that of shepherd. Presidents and other officials come and go and we all win some and lose some elections (or perhaps we always lose), but this one is very different. For the first time in my life I'm really afraid for myself as well as my neighboring sheep. They either don't see what's coming or they don't care. As long as politicians keep 'Americans' of the U.S. variety (who, incidentally, don't realize that other non-U.S. people in the Western Hemisphere consider themselves to be 'Americans') fat, happy and stupid everything is fine and we are 'free.' Happiness being defined by the quantity of goods that we are able to consume.

Makes me sad...

It may sound sadistic, but I kind of, sort of hope that the Trump administration takes away a few important freedoms in order to get sheep to finally wake up. What it will it take? Eliminating a semi-workable health care system in the name of spite (I still haven't heard an objective and sound reason for repealing the Affordable Care Act). Removing the press corp from the White House (steps are apparently being taken to accomplish just this).

The United States wields its power over its own people and people of other countries through thinly-veiled corporate fascism. On January 20, overt fascism lands on our doorstep.

Geshmy
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Iscritto: 04/23/2015

More ranting baaahhhhs...

A friend from Oaxaca told me that Benito Juarez said, "Cada cabeza es un mundo." I think I might paraphrase that to "Each head has its own world."

I voted so I am a sheep. I also went to a 'vigil' on the steps of my states capital building the night before the electoral college stamped final approval on Trumps election because I felt so burdened. It was too late, but I just had to do something. Some news people were there. I was too shy to interview. I think all I really wanted to say was that the big winner in this result was 'dirty politics,' lies, insults, smears and voter suppression. The big losers were truth, reason and civility and that hurts us all.

‘'For the first time in my life I'm really afraid for myself as well as my neighboring sheep. They either don't see what's coming or they don't care.' - Or they feel powerless to stop it, or they do not feel they can handle it. I need to find more ways to be involved

This sheep voted for Obama and cried with gratitude when the U.S.A put a good black man in the oval office for the first time. I say good because though I was so fed up with the neocons of the President Bush, Vice President Cheney years I would have voted for the Democrats donkey if it were nominated, by the time the election came around in 2008 I had happily decided that Obama was a good man. I still think so, at least as far as men go.

As to the sheep that voted for Trump, the world that exists in their heads is not a place I am intimately acquainted with but I can hear their words and relate to their fears. The world and our country have changed so much and the pace is accelerating. Coal miners need new skills because we need to adopt cleaner energy for the sake of our planet and all that dwell within. Ford will expand its production in Michigan but many workers will be replaced by robots. And our good old English is now joined by tongues from every part of the globe, they say we are a nation of immigrants but that isn't the America I grew up in – my suburban schools were white and English speaking as far as the eye could see. I think future shock has gripped the hearts of many Americans and they want to force a return to happier, simpler times and think Trump wants to do the same.

I do not agree with the lack of tolerance exhibited by many nor their unwillingness to face the truth regarding the polluting of our water and the warming of our planet being caused by human activity but I can empathize with their mourning over the passing of by gone days.

'With free software, the users are free to study the software to know what it really does. It requires no blind trust, no religious attitude. Demanding this freedom therefore is rationale, not religious.' - Yeah, I don't trust many companies, their stated reason to be is to make money for themselves and their investors.

'Also, I'd like to point that my vision of free software has nothing to do with anything "religious". On the contrary it was and is a very rational decision.' - But..

‘Trusting proprietary software is the 'opposite of religious in the sense that it is just about always evil and meant for no good.' - I am no programmer but if the source code is available for all to study, discuss and improve, I have more faith in the conscience of developers around the world to do the right thing than I do in the developers working in dark places built behind walls of proprietary law and code. And if they do the wrong thing I may at least be warned.

'For a previous high-school teaching position, I made it very clear before accepting the job that I would not use free software in any of my work. Period' - Congrats both that you made your stand going in and that you got the job as well. My last job I had to use the tools that everyone else used, XP and then 7 for starters. There wasn't even an ear to hear anything regarding free software. I needed the job and was glad I got it.

'I fear greatly for the upcoming generation who are being forced to use proprietary software in the schools.' - When I got my first computer I got the feeling that it was designed to force the mind to think along 'acceptable' lines which might not work for me (this sheep has his quirks). I like free software and its increased configurability. It's still a great struggle for me to make my PC do what I want it to do and I often give up, but I have made progress as has free software and I appreciate the way free software respects my desire and right to be the boss of the software rather than the other way around.

‘Pity more people don't choose the same path on my wavelength.’ - I agree, but maybe you and I will serve a special purpose someday. :)

And wjith that he bleets his final baaaahhhh, gives his wooly body some vigorous shaking, turns and walks away.

IrishUSA
Offline
Iscritto: 12/03/2016

One way is to never accept the burden of proof being placed on you. If you are challenged, and only then, ask them (calmly!!) why they give their money and personal information, why they give up control, to programs that violate and disrespect them, instead of to companies and programs that respect them instead. Say you think the norm should be companies that respect their customers, and supporting anything else should be what needs explanation. Say you're not attacking them, but wish they took better care of themselves.

Make it a matter of simply choosing a better alternative in the marketplace, a company that treats them better, instead of a crusade to change the world.

Another is to emphasize that you are not rejecting them, or rejecting being connected, or being part of modern life and technology. Instead, you are embracing them, and living modern life and using modern technology to the fullest - simply with better technology.

Maybe also remind them that what is "normal" now in terms of tech can quickly change. AOL was the king until people left it for ordinary ISPs and Netscape. Netscape was supplanted by Internet Explorer, which in turn has been toppled by Chrome and Firefox. Apple was once the weird company that was about to go out of business; now it's the richest company in the world. MySpace was the dominant social network until FaceBook came along. Nokia and Blackberry, once the kings of mobile phones, have all but vanished. So when you use programs like Trisquel, LibreOffice, and Abrowser; when you use networks like Diaspora* and GNU Social, when you use email providers like Protonmail or the like, you're simply ahead of the curve.