Skip to content
Welcome guest. | Register | Login | Add
About | Wiki | Legacy

Free Software advocate. Frustrated.

30 replies [Last post]
memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12

Lately, it seems that a number of things regarding Free Software that are frustrating me is growing, not diminishing. I am sorry to say that this is challenging my ability to continue caring...

In recent months there have been people, including members on this forum, that have said that the Free Software community is too focused on Microsoft while it is not the only proprietary software company and the only offender. I usually agreed with the idea, but the almost natural urge to pay attention to pretty much everything Microsoft does relative to Free Software is still there, which creates a sort of a conflict in me when I read something that makes me want to paint a big target mark on Microsoft and SHOOT!

The conflict is between this anti-Microsoft focus and the concern expressed by these people for yet again I am urged to make another post about Microsoft while expecting someone to tell me "oh no, not Microsoft again". The result of this conflict? Well, honestly, anger.

So tonight I read this: Why Microsoft vs Mankind still matters. And I'm left thinking, what if you guys are wrong? What if we all who assume that Free Software actually has a significantly threatening momentum are wrong? What if those of us who assume Microsoft should no longer matter to us are WRONG?

We may be catching ourselves in our own trap.

Microsoft's new Windows may seem to be failing and GNU/Linux is all rage, at least from our perspective (it's not exactly an iPhone buzz out there in a real world mind you) so we think "to hell with MS, we don't need to pay attention to them anymore, they're big, but that's mostly bloat and we're the real new thing".

True, you know.. that's true actually, but if you assume that this is where the story ends you're already caught in a trap and are missing a point.

That BLOAT, that's the thing. If the world is still suffocating itself in that bloat of Microsoft's monopoly and we are ceasing to pay attention then we're not doing our job properly (assuming that that job entails killing a monopoly).

Time is running. GNU/Linux is actually far better than Windows even in terms of user friendliness. We have support. We have businesses, but we're still the last of the three OS contenders in the worldwide market. The second? That's Apple's Mac OS X, one who doesn't even care as much about winning the market. This is humiliating guys!!! It is humiliating and frustrating!!!

Read that article. Microsoft is, despite it all, still GROWING! With its revenues grows its influence and power and ability to subvert anything. We celebrate our current victories (like the OOXML one) and point to their attempts to subvert GNU/Linux as proofs that Microsoft is scared and going down, yet the ugly truth seems to be that the reason why they are trying to subvert us is not because they are REALLY threatened, but because they are afraid they MIGHT be threatened by GNU/Linux. It's just their paranoia, but the reality is much in their favor still.

If the goal of Free Software was to free the world, and sorry I am not sure if it's worthwhile as a cause to only free ourselves (then I might as well sell this site (and network) and move on), then so far, we can't say we are winning. It may depend on what we define as "winning", but when you look at that big bloated cockroach sucking out on our planet's economy and resources the whole world of Free Software + Apple look just like flies making them a bit itchy, albeit perhaps immortal flies if you will (cause Microsoft can't seem to be able to squash them, they have super-shields).

So we are in a perpetual war which we are neither losing nor winning. Anyone else wonders why I am getting freaking tired of it? We may have super-shields, but if this goes on we might freaking start killing ourselves over boredom cause it's no fun growing forever yet growing up never - it's a paradoxical nightmare. Maybe we feel we're growing, but Microsoft is growing too. Why? Well, maybe because of all the people who never had a computer before and are now getting ones with Windows on it.

I want to blast Microsoft windows and proprietary software out of this planet's computing market. And if I don't see signs of that happening soon, or a process which could actually show me some significant numbers, then I'm afraid I'm gonna just lose the little passion I have left for the cause.

I'm an optimist, but I have my limits, and as some may have noticed I am lately more and more of a cynic, because I'm just tired of this highly charged topic.

Edit: This is one of the posts which I almost canceled. I'm just expressing frustration and reasons behind this, but truth be told I am somehow just bound to this whole Free Software thing and no matter how much passion I lose due to frustration there always appears to be a few pockets of it generated here and there... I just think we have a problem, and I also think I have a problem too.
Thank you.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 10 years 4 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-09-14
Well, true words. Hard, but

Well, true words. Hard, but true.

Though I think you should maybe change focus a bit. Maybe just try to spread the word about free software and freedom in computing, but try not to worry about that big monster Microsoft too much.
Of course they are still growing, and this is, in my oppinnion not very likely to change (soon). But we are growing too, as you noted, and that's a great thing. This means that more people take the choice of freedom and get disconnected from the Matrix (yes, your post in some points reminded me of the Matrix).

Of course I am always happy to hear if one of Microsoft's attempts fails (like OOXML), but I am more happy to read that more and more vendors start offering hardware with Linux pre-installed. Linux Preloaded is a good example. The GLM-guys have once again put together a nice site, and it shows that the market is growing. If there was no growing demand for PCs and notebooks companies wouldn't start offering it.
Before Lenovo offered Notebooks with Linux to it's enterprise-customers. Recently I've seen a survey they have launched to determin which distro they should put on their notebooks for the common user. So they also move to offer Linux-hardware for everybody!
That's great, and that's something that should help you to keep going.

For the endless war: Maybe that's something we actually need. Competition brings innovation. And if we are the world's favorite OS, then who to compare with to get better? It's always hard to look at yourself and find something to get better on, no matter if it's about yourself; you can swim 25m in 11 seconds and you're the fastest of the club, so why train harder to get even faster?; or about computing.

So, maybe we need all this. Maybe Linux is a super-hero and Windows is the super-villain. Just like Neo and Agent Smith, or Batman and the Joker.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
I appreciate your calm

I appreciate your calm response reptiler.

reptiler wrote:

Though I think you should maybe change focus a bit. Maybe just try to spread the word about free software and freedom in computing, but try not to worry about that big monster Microsoft too much.

It's hard not to worry about it if it still really remains unchallenged (or at least not successfully challenged). I mean, one of the things I was thinking after reading that article was something in the lines of "this can't be, after all this time we haven't made a dent, and if it's not Free Software who else will stop them". It's sort of an alarming feeling. We thought the dark ages of a monopoly were behind us, but we seem to be right in the middle of it. So it's kind of hard to live in such a dark age without focusing on the one who casts the dark shadow. The natural urge is to somehow bring it down. Consequently, focusing on efforts to grow Free Software becomes essentially a focus at destroying it's biggest obstacle, especially when the obstacle is actually actively working towards bringing Free Software down.

So if Microsoft is focused on us, how can we not focus on them and hope to continue to safely spread Free Software. They're just too big to get them out of our sight, no matter where we turn. Case in point, trying to install GNU/Linux to just about anyone, even those who never used a computer before, will almost certainly require explaining to them the differences between Windows and GNU/Linux and why the latter is better. It's a Microsoft world and almost everything is remind us of it, so it's hard to just forget them, not to mention strategically unwise.

reptiler wrote:

Of course I am always happy to hear if one of Microsoft's attempts fails (like OOXML), but I am more happy to read that more and more vendors start offering hardware with Linux pre-installed. Linux Preloaded is a good example. The GLM-guys have once again put together a nice site, and it shows that the market is growing. If there was no growing demand for PCs and notebooks companies wouldn't start offering it.

I am happy too, of course, and I tend to agree that the increased pre-installing of GNU/Linux on PCs sold by even major vendors is a very big and significant step. I actually thought it was a key to domination as well, and sort of the last thing the Free Software community can put its hopes to. But even after Dell started doing it some people have continued writing about GNU/Linux as a failed challenge and Dell's offering is treated as something targeting only geeks. So it looks like so far, the process of actually taking the market share numbers hasn't exactly started.

I guess yet more patience is in order...

reptiler wrote:

For the endless war: Maybe that's something we actually need. Competition brings innovation. And if we are the world's favorite OS, then who to compare with to get better?

Well, this OS actually has about 300 distros so there seems to be plenty of room for competition. And then there is BSD, Solaris etc. I'm not really hoping so much for the domination of GNU/Linux as for domination of Free Software, so if we continuously have a few OSes competing, as long as they're Free Software, it's great.

But anyway, what you say reminds me of that saying "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance". I suppose it may have some relation to this.. However what I usually understand this saying to mean is "eternal wakefulness" and I have no problem with that. It's another thing when we are vigilant to a point of being more than just wakeful, yet achieving so little so slow in terms of actually spreading that freedom to the world which is still largely locked up...

I guess it's just optimism vs. cynicism having a little fight in me because I've got at least slightly overfed while still being sort of forced to keep at it because it's my responsibility to Libervis. To write articles, to actively participate in advocacy projects all needs an amount of motivation and enthusiasm that I'm struggling to keep. Suffice it to say it doesn't feel like it felt back in 2004 when this site got started...

I suppose what I'm looking for is a new twist to the whole story. Smiling

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 10 years 4 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-09-14
I think it's just natural to

I think it's just natural to loose a bit of "personal momentum" once in a while.
I know you, and probably also everybody else here, puts a lot of effort into spreading the word. And it's just natural that people want to see success on what they're doing. We do see success, though it's quite small it's still there.
We all have converted a few (or more than just few) people to the light side of the force, but still everyday we hear these words of darkness hallowing through the halls.
The source of this, in my oppinnion has to be looked for in the past, so, if you like, join me on a little time-travel.
I got my first PC for xmas 1992. A 486-SX25, with a 120MB HD and 4MB of RAM. It came with MS-DOS 5 and Windows 3.1. At that time MS had usable software. An OS (DOS), a "pretty" GUI (Windows) and other stuff (like Office). Linux wasn't much more than a hatchling in it's nest waiting to grow up and become what it's now.
My first contact with Linux must have been around 1996 or 97. I had heard about it, but also heard it's hard to install or use. But since I already was kind of geeky, I used to do QBasic, Pascal, a bit Assembler and a few other languages already, tweaking config.sys and autoexec.bat to get all games running smoothly and things like that, I had an interest in that. A local bookstore sold a collection of CDs with some Red Hat-version (no idea which) and a lot of software collected from different servers.
I never managed to install it. I tried, but I didn't succeed. Even Novell, which I tried not too long before, I succeeded to install, though I didn't succeed using it. ;-)
Okay, back to the story.
In 99, I was using Windows 95 (there I was kind of an early adopter, had the Beta running and then bought it on release-day), I have actually seen Linux for the first time at a friends place. I could play around with it a little, and actually I've been the one who managed to configure X for him so that he could start it.
That made me hot to try it, so I purchased Suse Linux 6.2 and installed it. From that day on I mainly used Linux for everything I do! From one day to the other Windows was degraded to a gaming-system!
Where did I learn about Linux? From the net! No chance to learn anything about it in school, which finally leads me to the point of my story.
The problem is that education-systems focus on teaching usage of Microsoft-systems and -software. Everybody who started using PCs before Linux became really usable (that must have been after 1999, because with my Suse it was still quite some work to get the soundcard running) has learned using it with MS-software.
That's why we still hear the name Microsoft every day, even while explaining Linux to people interested in switching to it.

Okay, let's get back to the past, the 90s have been a great time, but we have to they're over, and we can't change them anymore.
So, as said, the problem is that people grew up with MS-software and that schools most of the time don't even mention the existance of another OS. During my apprenticeship I had quite some work to convince a teacher so that I could install Linux for a project.
What we need to do is to educate the next generation of computer-users, to know about Linux and to know how to use it. We cannot get MS totally out of the heads of the people who had their first steps using computers with their software, but we can have an influence on the next generation, like our children. I know, most of us here don't yet have any, but that's likely to change. And we can educate them about freedom in computing and that using Linux isn't only about being different, but about being free to do what you like.
Since January I am married. My wife already brought two kids into the marriage and we're expecting our family to grow a bit more around next March.
Since my box by default starts Linux, and since they don't even know that Windows is installed, they are "forced" to use Linux. Everybody, my wife and her kids, feel comfortable using it. They don't have any problems and they can do everything they like to do.
And with our child to be born I will handle it the same way. Anyway, Linux has a great selection of software for kids.
That way I make sure that they know about Linux, and that there is more than Windows, and that it's not bad, but also easy to use and that it can do everything they need and like.

That's our leverage. We need to educate our children, so they can educate their friends and finally our grand-children.
That's the way I think we need to go in order to steadily eat away marketshare from Microsoft.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Thanks for that nice story,

Thanks for that nice story, I kind of like hearing about the old days and how people finally got into GNU/Linux. I had a first computer in 2000 or so and oddly enough it was one made in 1989, a classic Macintosh SE, then a PowerMac 7300 and then a PC with Windows 98. Since I seem to have a thing for computers my curiosity finally led me to trying out Mandrake 8.1 (burned to me by a rather geeky looking professor working in my high school's library). How that led me to Free Software you can read here.

Hm well seems it's healthy to remember the past sometimes. Smiling

reptiler wrote:

That's our leverage. We need to educate our children, so they can educate their friends and finally our grand-children.
That's the way I think we need to go in order to steadily eat away marketshare from Microsoft.

That's a very good point, although it requires a certain critical mass of the Free Software loving current or next generation parents, but I think we are pretty much achieving at least that, which makes this idea encouraging to think about.

Education makes me think of changing the mentality. Education is not just marketing so it can go further than trying to just plant awareness of a certain brand. And it sometimes seems to me that the ideal way for Free Software to win is to somehow change the way people think about software and computers in general. It'd be a sort of a paradigm shift (which I suppose never happens fast). That's sort of what we touched on in this topic. With freedom comes more power and hence more responsibility, which pretty much contradicts with the idea of making Free Software as easy and "dumbed down" as non-free software. But to ever hope of masses accepting this, we pretty much gotta change the way whole world thinks..

Btw, I wish you all the best with your kids and marriage. Smiling

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
As you probably all know, I

As you probably all know, I decided to stop being a Free software advocate a while ago. What I actually meant by that decision was to stop being an anti-proprietary activist.

Constantly watching the proprietary software companies and wondering whether whatever it is they are doing is an attack on Free software is tiring. The price of freedom is constant vigilance, but I'm too tired of this task to do it well enough. Time for "younger" and more awake people to take over.

So I shift my focus more to the other side of creating software freedom: creating the software itself. Without the tools to do what you want, the freedom to do it is meaningless. Something similar goes for Free culture.

By the way, showing the right way to do things is just as effective in convincing people as showing that someone else is doing things the wrong way is.

dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08
Motivation is indeed hard to

Motivation is indeed hard to keep at times, I've suffered from motivation's flood and ebb quite a few times; it can be disheartening.

I suppose I would align myself, in the Free Software world, as being 'anti-proprietary', ending restrictive licenses for the masses rather than 'pro-Linux' or 'anti-Microsoft'. Indeed I agree that Microsoft is a monopoly and as with all private monopolies it crushes the world with its leverage in the desktop computing market. Yet I see many monopolies and personally find it hard to just target Microsoft, despite being the monopoly of monopolies, and not target e.g. Apple too.

Revolution sadly doesn't happen overnight as it were. Looking at Communism, there was a gap of some 69 years between the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848 and the first real communist revolution in Russia in 1917. The Free Software movement has been going for some 24 years so far, with much stronger growth in the last 10; I hope and believe that in the end Free Software will prevail, sadly though it may take years more to come.

Also if one measures just the growth of Free Software, looking at how some companies now ship their computers with GNU/Linux, how countries plan to use GNU/Linux in their schools (Russia and Macedonia come to mind in the past few days) and the OLPC. As you say Microsoft is not not stagnating, nor dying, but neither is Free Software, which seems to grow slightly stronger every year.

User offline. Last seen 7 years 26 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
Sorry to hear you've been

Sorry to hear you've been having a tough time with this, it's a kind of curse in this imperfect world - "who cares hurts". But there are ways to care and oppose brigands whilst having true contentment in your life. It's a bigger challenge than ever in this online world to face the truth of everything from war and famine to global warming and pollution, and still keep ones head.

First thing I'd wonder about is if you have balance in your work and life. Do you budget time for good enjoyable things in all spheres? Every day is a page in the book of your life. How much of the story of your life will be about upset and anxiety, or getting into discussions on things you don't really care about just to keep the site lively? No one person should shoulder that burden.

You've done more than enough in setting up and maintaining this facility, and I salute you for that. It is having a definite effect, I've moved the steering wheel on my own strategies thanks to insights freely shared on this site. Active posters are dwarfed in number by anonymous visitors, so the full achievement can not be measured, who knows what new projects have blossomed because newcomers to the idea of free software gained a vigorous connection to their ethics here.

This is a long game we're playing, and the topics can be very deep. On another political theory forum I use it's not uncommon for several months to go by between small flurries of posts on a given thread, then we all sit back and reflect while we're going about the rest of our lives until the next encounter. Meanwhile those discussions are informing our decisions in life and elevating our horizons of what is possible.

In contrast to reflection on and discussion of philosophical topics, there is the war on freedom to fight. On this whole 'respect microsoft' and 'sound moderate' issue I'm in the pull no punches camp. It's not personal, like when scolding a child you say "I'm not saying you are bad, but what you did was bad and I'm very disappointed".

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation have done tremendous work lifting countless people out of poverty and educating the poor, most laudable, and the Microsoft tax that has enabled it means microsoft could be seen as a charity fundraising organisation to an extent. But the means do not justify the ends, there's no fudging the issue, the strategic destruction of freedom is not acceptable, and let's continue to call a spade a spade. We give to charities, great, but there's no case for a portion of that being used to fund bad deeds by an intermediary, at best what Bill does personally with his m$ takes some of the sting out of the money issue, but that doesn't amount to outright justification for the rest of it. No wonder Bill is leaving, his conscience must be at him and he knows he'll feel a lot better doing good things.

But back to your good self. Overall I get the impression that discussions alone are not satisfying your need for achievement (even when we all agree), that you want to see problems analysed, solved, and solutions implemented with progress that is clear to see and feel good about. I may be projecting here (thanks Freud), because that tends to be a big frustration for me every so often in the long march, but it also fires me out of a rut when needed.

If that perception is close to the truth, and I suspect it is thinking back to the threads on starting a business and the virtual global movement (your hunger and enthusiasm for definitive action come across very stongly), then would it be right to conclude that you will only get more frustrated and disillusioned over time unless you get your teeth into the type of project which can properly satisfy your need for tangible positive achievements?

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Taco wrote: The price of
Taco wrote:

The price of freedom is constant vigilance, but I'm too tired of this task to do it well enough. Time for "younger" and more awake people to take over.

So I shift my focus more to the other side of creating software freedom: creating the software itself. Without the tools to do what you want, the freedom to do it is meaningless. Something similar goes for Free culture.

I think you are aware enough of the issues not to fall prey to the freedom deprivation strategies. So to a point, even as you shift your focus to the work of engineering the tools one can use in freedom you probably aren't completely ceasing to be vigilant or at least the next best thing to it, with regards to your freedom. The proof? Well, you're still coming and participating here on Libervis, for one. Smiling

I respect the way you are trying to contribute to the cause. In fact, I am thinking you might actually get more of a kick from it than I would from writing all the articles, topics etc. Eye There's a certain attraction in just going down to the technicals and getting excited about how stuff down there works, trying to improve and create new things on it..

dylunio wrote:

Yet I see many monopolies and personally find it hard to just target Microsoft, despite being the monopoly of monopolies, and not target e.g. Apple too.

I agree we shouldn't target just MS and that there are other monopolies. Well, the following isn't much of an argument, but it explains the prevalent feeling; Microsoft is simply the scariest and as such the most interesting target to observe. I'm thinking, if Microsoft monopoly would be shut, wouldn't that have a tremendous effect on other proprietary software monopolies as well? Most of the proprietary software industry today one way or another lives off the Microsoft's monopoly. Shutting that is sort of like killing off the head of the beast. The rest of the job seems almost automatic at that point.

So, I suppose what I'm saying is that Microsoft is perceived as a strategically most desirable target. The feeling is that if we kill that off, the rest will much more easily fall into place.

But alright, maybe the right thing would be to maybe focus on Microsoft as a target the most, but still not lose sight of the others.

* I'll respond to democrates post in the next reply.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
democrates wrote: First
democrates wrote:

First thing I'd wonder about is if you have balance in your work and life.

That's an interesting question because I'm increasingly thinking I don't, to be honest. Also, I find the line between work and play and life in general rather fuzzy. But this might not be so surprising considering the nature of internet. It is always available and most of my virtual socialization is with the people related to the "work" that is Libervis. Most of the interesting conversations are also related to the subject matter covered by either of the Libervis sites. So to a point even the "off time" if I can call it that, is lit with Libervis-related activities.

I sometimes consider that an advantage, but that's when I find the topic exciting and fulfilling. So, yeah, once it ceases to be exciting this can become a burden I suppose.. (You know, that's part of the reason why I've been looking for ways to make new projects on LN more exciting and differentiating. An example is the gaming tourney on Nuxified.org. Gaming is a nice way to escape and I thought I'd make a real Free Software promoting project out of that).

So, when work is so entangled with real interests and the time of work is almost indistinguishable from time of play, things get a bit complicated and confusing. It's not the usual 8AM to 4PM job time and the rest as off time where boundaries are set by others instead of myself..

democrates wrote:

How much of the story of your life will be about upset and anxiety, or getting into discussions on things you don't really care about just to keep the site lively? No one person should shoulder that burden.

Well so far most of it wasn't about anxiety and being upset. Up to 2004 and especially after it I felt quite good about all this most of the time. The slide begun around the beginning of 2007, interesting clashing with the time I started deriving more financially from the whole thing...

That signaled that it became not just an enthusiast's hobby with hope of becoming a full time job, but that it already become a full time job and with that a responsibility to keep it flowing, by all means.

So what happens when the motivation to keep at it is lost? Most other web "entrepreneurs" might advise me to sell the sites and use the money to start over with something else that may be more fulfilling at the time. Thing is, I feel it would be a sort of a betrayal to do something like that to Libervis community. I basically pledged not to sell it out and just stick to it. I feel that to be the right thing.

Maybe I should get a full time partner. Hmm..

democrates wrote:

You've done more than enough in setting up and maintaining this facility, and I salute you for that.

Thanks for the sentiment. I'm not sure though.. I sometimes find myself measuring the amount of real effort compared to the effort of many other people doing similar things. For example, people behind GNU/Linux Matters or The Tux Project and I don't really come out all that impressive...

I'm sure there was quite a bit of good influence flowing from this site, I wont engage in false humbleness regarding that, and I'm glad about that, but we're not the only ones. There's always a feeling that more could be done yet that I didn't even live up to all the plans already laid out. For example, the bumpatune.com was expected to start much sooner. The net-states thread stopped (predictably). The podcast isn't done yet. Some cooperative articles in the wiki are almost forgotten. Yet new ideas keep coming from good folks like Taco and it just feels like "right, yet another awesome idea, and we haven't even implemented those from months ago". Looks like my lack of momentum is beginning to stall things and that's where my doubt about real "efforts" and achievements are coming from..

democrates wrote:

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation have done tremendous work lifting countless people out of poverty and educating the poor, most laudable, and the Microsoft tax that has enabled it means microsoft could be seen as a charity fundraising organisation to an extent. But the means do not justify the ends

It may not be surprising considering my distrust for everything Microsoft related, but my opinion about the Gates Foundation is that it is nothing but a yet another of Bill's great triumphs, not in a very noble sense though. I've read somewhere that Bill Gates is a person that just cannot handle being second in the race. So the reason why he is leaving Microsoft may be that despite its continued strong monopoly it is increasingly seen as mediocre and "second" in everything. Basically he is leaving while it's at the top, before the fall. And the Gates Foundation is now something else he could be the "first" in, at the top. As you may know, Gates Foundation gave more money for charitable purposes than any other foundation, so there you go, once again Bill's at the top.

While this money can help a good deal of people, this band aid approach will never solve the fundamentals of the big problems. Free Software on the other hand will. You can feed a man with fish all you want, but once you cease to do so he'll still be hungry. Teach him how to fish and give him the freedom to do so and he may be well fed for the rest of his life. Free Software gives this freedom and helps poor people who otherwise wouldn't, to gain the knowledge of the world through internet. That and only that will help, for example, poor African countries rise up above the disaster they're in today, not Gates' band aid. So his foundation is just a very nice good publicity generator for him and a way for him to justify his past to his conscience I suppose.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08
Quote: Well, the following
Quote:

Well, the following isn't much of an argument, but it explains the prevalent feeling; Microsoft is simply the scariest and as such the most interesting target to observe. I'm thinking, if Microsoft monopoly would be shut, wouldn't that have a tremendous effect on other proprietary software monopolies as well? Most of the proprietary software industry today one way or another lives off the Microsoft's monopoly. Shutting that is sort of like killing off the head of the beast.

I understand what you are saying here, and indeed believe that it would weaken the system of monopolies in the computing sector. My personal worry is that people are conditioned to monopolies in this sector - when I was younger I thought computer == Windows == Microsoft - and when MS dies a death another existing monopoly would take its place, thus I think we should destroy all monopolies in the sector to show that they are bad. This is merely my opinion on the matter, and is rather pessimistic and damning portrayal of the feebleness of the human mind, so much so I want you to be right in your assertions.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.