Last Linux Monday I was all pragmatic about how to optimize the kernel. Now let's get philosphical with the ideological underpinnings of the Free Software Movement:
If you're really really into it, here's a long interview with free software guru Richard Stallman and his anarcho-libertarian worldview:
In that Stallman is such a renowned programmer, if he'd chosen to travel that route, it's not inconceivable that he could be a billionaire like his co-generationists Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Instead, he's never owned a home. Or a car. Or even a cell phone. He admits, "I think my main expense literally is food."
His lifestyle is a pointed rejoinder to this mediated consumer culture of litigiously enforced copyrights, trackable GPS-equipped cell phones, radio-frequency identification chips, and omnipresent surveillance cameras. And his pronouncements — on matters technological, but also geopolitical and environmental — mean to stir us to join his fight.
The tricky part: far fewer people than he'd wish share the courage of his convictions.
David Sterry is on a more down to earth level, but preaching the same gospel: "It is a choice between contributing to a growing community of hopeful free software users or settling for a life of product activation, vendor lock-in, and increasing developer power."
I'm more sympathetic to this stuff than most; I've long admitted that my Linux curiosity was driven largely by anti-Microsoft corporate contempt. Plus there was this old machine I wanted to fix up, no Windows license, and the free as in no money aspect appealed to me. But in the past few weeks, as I re-compile kernels, I've come to appreciate the free as in freedom aspect of it as well.
And, while we're dreaming here, imagine the perfect ISP.