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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] SaaSS

From: Aaron Wolf
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] SaaSS
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 2015 17:39:51 -0700
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On 10/25/2015 12:36 PM, Mike Gerwitz wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 24, 2015 at 21:21:08 -0700, Aaron Wolf wrote:
>> On 10/24/2015 09:05 PM, Mike Gerwitz wrote:
>> Given two worlds, one where proprietary software has no maliciousness
>> and one where it has egregious maliciousness, I can't imagine anyone
>> saying that the importance of software freedom is equal in both cases.
>> Are you really saying that?
> Malicious acts (more malicious than simply being proprietary) help us to
> justify our cause---because software freedom would thwart many of those
> acts, or even reverse control entirely.  But those malicious acts are a
> corollary of non-free software.  The reasons that software freedom is
> essential have not changed; they've been exemplified.
> So it is important that the egregious exploitation and manipulation of
> users be addressed with greater urgency, certainly.  But we wouldn't say
> that human health and a proper diet would be "less important" in the
> United States if the obesity epidemic suddenly subsided.  Health is
> vital to survival.
> Software freedom is vital for society, more so now than ever.  If we
> would adopt the view that it's "less important" at any point, then we
> risk history repeating itself.

I disagree. In a bizarro fantasy world where slavery were a completely
abstract concept because slaves actually had freedoms to travel around,
take vacations, have private conversations and meetings, get educated,
express their views, own property, vote in general elections, and
slave-owners never ever abused their slaves, we really *could* say that
the fight to abolish slavery would be far less important than it is in
the actual world as we know it. The importance of things *is* connected
to practical reality and the real-world ramifications of various systems.

The importance of software freedom is absolutely connected to the
significance of a world without software freedom. When software comes to
mediate our day-to-day lives and even health, it grows in importance,
and so does the corresponding importance of software freedom. When
maliciousness in software is greater, then also greater is the
significance of the software freedom that will ward off that
maliciousness. The only way to disregard this is to view the world in
completely black and white dualistic dogma.

Aaron Wolf
music teacher,

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