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Part 0 — Do we need Free Software? — Introduction

20130110 (2013 January 10 Thursday)

Introduction

How can we bring about a socially just, environmentally sustainable, and spiritually fulfilling human presence in our computers?

This article is inspired by the Be The Change Initiative from the Pachamama Alliance. But it is not endorsed by them. There mission is to bring about “A socially just, environmentally sustainable, and spiritually fulfilling human presence on this planet”. My goal here is smaller it is to explore one aspect of how we use our computer.

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

— George Bernard Shaw.

We believe that software should be free, to be software. A photo of the statue of liberty

  • 0. We believe you should have the freedom to run the program for any purpose.
  • 1. We believe you should have the freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
  • 2. We believe you should have the freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour.
  • 3. We believe you should have the freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

What do we mean by Free Software? We are meaning freedom, not price. Though it is not about price, freedom 2 will lead to low prices, but this is by no means the main reason; If we value our freedom then we should be willing to pay more for it.

Outline of the articles

In the coming articles we will be looking at 4 question, one per article per month. Click the article below, but check the dates to see if published yet, if not you will have to wait.

  1. Where Are We? – an examination of the state of software, and how this affects environmental, social and personal well-being. (published 2013/02/10)
  2. How did We Get Here? – tracing the root causes that lead to our current situation. (published 2013/03/10)
  3. What’s Possible Now? – discovering new ways of seeing software and looking at the emerging Movement for change, and what has already been done. (published 2013/04/10)
  4. Where Do We Go from Here? – considering our stand and our personal and collective impact, and ask what can I do. (published 2013/05/10)

Watch a video by Stephen Fry, then read the next chapter, next month.
See a list of all my blog posts on Free Software

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One Comment leave one →
  1. davesdad permalink*
    20130118 (2013 January 18 Friday) 21:20

    Someone asked: “Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against crackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?”

    First let be assure you that the freedoms to read/modify/distribute/use do not apply to your personal copy, people do not have the freedom to go onto any computer running Free Software and change it.

    Next we ask about security. There has been studies that have shows that Gnu/Linux, a free software operating system, is more secure than Unix. And that Unix is more secure than Microsoft Windows. So without any plugins Gnu/Linux will be much more secure than Windows with all the anti-virus stuff. However there are additional programs that can be installed, including plugins for Firefox (another piece of Free Software), that can improve security.

    Free Software/Gnu/Linux is used by about 80% of the top websites, because they need security, reliability, scalability and maintainability.

    If there are any more specific questions, then ask and I will try to answer.

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