Richard Stallman – Hacking and Freedom.

During class, references were made to Richard Stallman, GNU and Copyleft. Below are some helpful related links and information.

This is all stuff that pertains to end-user freedom, and not just in terms of cost but in terms of programming, re-distribution, hacking, etc. The terms here get terrifically pedantic in their meaning, by the way, because somebody had to get all cult of the dead cow on you at some point.

Stallman is an interesting dude. He challenges a lot of the beliefs that are deeply ingrained in us as consumers and computer users, and I think it’s a healthy thing to question those tenants. You should challenge yourself every day… being restive can be good for you if you apply the energy properly.

Obligatory wikipedia link:

Short video essay on free software:

Why software should not have owners is as good a place to start as any if you’d like to read an essay. Excerpt:

“What does society need? It needs information that is truly available to its citizens—for example, programs that people can read, fix, adapt, and improve, not just operate. But what software owners typically deliver is a black box that we can’t study or change.

Society also needs freedom. When a program has an owner, the users lose freedom to control part of their own lives.

And, above all, society needs to encourage the spirit of voluntary cooperation in its citizens. When software owners tell us that helping our neighbors in a natural way is “piracy”, they pollute our society’s civic spirit.

This is why we say that free software is a matter of freedom, not price.”

You can also read a ton more GNU philosophy links here. Surprise: he’s also not so keen on SaaS.


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