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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Freedom is not merely choice

From: Richard-qbiciii
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Freedom is not merely choice
Date: Tue, 15 May 2012 20:18:39 -0400

Everyone has excellent points.

How big must a lab rat's maze be before the rat has the illusion of freedom? How many pathways before the illusion of 'free' choice? The fact remains, even a maze the size of NYC does not change the fact that the rat is still a prisoner and his choices are really not his. He may go through his whole life and never see an outside wall, and even if he did, would he know that he has reached his limit of freedom and choice, or is it just another wall from his perspective?

Freedom is not solely about choices, because as been pointed-out, that can be an illusion. It is rooted in the choices offered, and how they got there. Did the choices presented to me spawn organically, or am I being manipulated by intentionally limited options?

Are the masses worried more about the openness and source code of a piece of software, or the openness of those that stand behind it, support it, and do 'care' about the source code. The openness of the software may be important to a hacker, but how many people out there are hackers? They just want to push a button and make a phone call. Where is their choice? Their 'freedom' is realized by not being manipulated by those that do not have their best interest in mind. By being guided by those that can recognize an outside wall when they see it, show them a path through it, and help them to the other-side.


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:55 PM
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Freedom is not merely choice

I think that people can play with words and twist some of the meaning, but what is important here is not choices imposed by others, but my own choice, which is what I understand from Richard-qbiciii 's post.  In the case of the browsers on Windows ARM, my choice might not even be available, artificially, because of proprietary choices to limit users.  To really be able to even have a true personal choice, I think you necessarily need to have the freedom to run whatever you like and modify the system itself if that is the limiting component.  If you don't have that, you don't have true choice.

On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM, J.B. Nicholson-Owens <> wrote:
Richard-qbiciii wrote:
Freedom is choice... not free. I don't want my choices or money
messed with. That is my voice and power.

Actually, if all you focus on is freedom of choice your software freedom can disappear.

A recent example of this is Harvey Anderson's post to the Mozilla blog:

Anderson points out that the upcoming proprietary Microsoft Windows variant (which runs on ARM processors) will only allow web browsers to run in the less featureful "Metro" environment instead of the more featureful "Windows Classic" environment.  He surmises "In practice, this means that only Internet Explorer will be able to perform many of the advanced computing functions vital to modern browsers in terms of speed, stability, and security to which users have grown accustomed."

The solution?  Anderson argues that "Windows on ARM users need browser choice".

Anderson's call for more browser choices would be met if Microsoft allowed only other proprietary web browsers to run like Internet Explorer can.  Anderson isn't arguing that computer users deserve the freedom to run, share, and modify the programs they have.  Choice can be satisfied without respecting users' software freedom.

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