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Re: New animated video: Fight to Repair (alternative storylines)

From: Paul D. Fernhout
Subject: Re: New animated video: Fight to Repair (alternative storylines)
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2021 00:15:34 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

On 1/19/21 3:38 PM, Paul Sutton via libreplanet-discuss wrote:
> On 16/01/2021 10:14, quiliro wrote:
>> That is a very enlightening analysis.  Thank you very much for your
>> input Paul                                       .
>> I would like to see some good reference to non-violent examples, beyond
>> the classical King and Gandhi, in order to visualize what a non-violent
>> free software promotional video could be.
> Agreed, I was thinking of a storyline such as
> Video starts with text in the corner saying present day
> User is operating a device, e.g laptop,  the screen flashes error and it
> turns off,
> user tries to find a way to dismantle device,  and finds he / she can't
> calls up manufacturer and is told she / she is not permitted to do that
> device is thrown in to trash,,  video zooms out to a whole city scape
> then zooms in to a landfill, filling up with broken devices.  Date in
> corner shows a year go by with devices filling up the landfil
> a message flashes on screen,it never used to be that way
> the video then rewinds back, (think back to when you rewound old VCR
> tapes) with a clock date in the corner to say for example 1970s when we
> could just take stuff apart and fix it with a soldering iron
> same thing happens, user is able to fix the device
> fast forward back to present day + 5 years
> message comes up right to repair allows us to fix devices, give them new
> life / use and is better for the environment.
> Shows people fixing devices and giving to the more needy, extending life
> and swapping parts to help with the above.
> also shows install of free software to refurbished devices.
> Just a thought on a different storyline,  due to the environmental side
> of this perhaps a partnership with them, to help with sponsorship.

Thanks quiliro and Paul S. for your comments and ideas. Great new angle
with the environmental side.

Here is an additional possible non-violent storyline which is a spin on
the original Fight to Repair:

* Hospital board decides to use complex proprietary software because the
initial costs is supposedly cheaper based on some sales pitch and
because it has a lot of fancy features with supposedly easy-to-use
interoperability with proprietary protocols.
* Hospital IT director quits in disgust and goes to work for another
hospital after warning that patients could die if that software has
various predictable problems which can not be fixed by his IT team.
* Patient is being rushed to a hospital in life threatening situation.
Ideally the viewer cares about this specific patient for some reason.
* Hospital suffers a malware incursion or ransomware extortion due to
their unpatched proprietary software, and all their vital equipment
shuts down. Panic ensues.
* Ambulance arrives at a hospital with patients about to die.
* Patient survives because it turns out the ambulance was going to the
*second* hospital where the IT director went to work at which uses
up-to-date patched free software.

I don't want to think about what happens at the first hospital, but here
is one real-life example:
"That day, though, Ms. Cargill did a double-take: When she tried to log
in to her work station, it booted her out. Then it happened again. She
turned to the system of pneumatic tubes used to transport lab work. What
she saw there was a red caution symbol, a circle with a cross. She
walked to the backup computer. It was down, too. “I wasn’t panicky,” she
said, “and then I noticed my cordless phone didn’t work.” That was, she
said, the beginning of the worst 10 days of her career. ... Cyberattacks
on America’s health systems have become their own kind of pandemic over
the past year as Russian cybercriminals have shut down clinical trials
and treatment studies for the coronavirus vaccine and cut off hospitals’
access to patient records, demanding multimillion-dollar ransoms for
their return. ... Administrators at the University of Vermont Health
Network acknowledge that restoring services proved far more challenging
than they expected. “If you look at what some other hospitals have gone
through, it was days, not weeks,” said Al Gobeille, the system’s
executive vice president for operations. “We thought that was what this
would be. And we were wrong.” He said a large number of professionals on
information technology — 300 hospital employees, plus 10 members of the
National Guard — were deployed to rebuild and clean 1,300 servers and
5,000 laptops and desktop computers. A team of seven F.B.I.
investigators was on site for two days after the shutdown, he said, but
has had little to no contact with administrators since then. With the
restoration of the electronic patient record system, he said, the
hospital’s systems are 75 to 80 percent recovered."

I'm guessing UVM uses mostly Windows?
"Starting in January of 2020, Microsoft will no longer support the
Windows 7 operating system.  With this change, Windows 7 computers will
become a security risk and will not be allowed on the UVM and LCOM
networks. We understand that this will force many LCOM and CNHS
departments to purchase new computers capable of running Windows 10.  To
assist with this deployment and cost of the process, COMTS has made a
bulk purchase of standard OptiPlex desktop computers ... The Larner
College of Medicine recommends Dell and Microsoft business machines for
our computer standards. Dell Latitude for a laptop, and Microsoft
Surface Pro 4 laptop/tablets and Dell Optiplex for a desktop.  These
computers are in stock, and available, at a discounted price ($762,
saving ~$125 per computer)."

As a rough guesstimate, UVM must be spending around five million dollars
just to upgrade their hardware to run Windows 10? Meanwhile
custom-configured GNU/Linux systems likely could still run.

Sadly, a lot of expensive medical equipment was made using older
versions of Windows as part of an embedded device and is essentially not
upgradeable. The best you can do is firewall it somehow.

That said, unpatched Free Software can be a malware target too. Even
up-to-date software may have hidden flaws someone exploits. So, one
needs to argue statistically things are safer with open systems, even if
they may still have risks. Equifax got hacked because they were not
up-to-date on patches for Apache Struts, putting 143 million people at
risk of identity theft.

A further spin on this would make a PSA about using free software
collaboratively created using open/free standards to make a system that
is designed intentionally to be simpler overall. That way, the system is
more likely to be correct and less likely to be vulnerable by having a
smaller attack surface. Tangential to that, see also:
"Simple Made Easy"

So maybe there could be another FSF PSA just on complexity -- as some
scary multi-tentacled creature to be avoided by choosing appropriately
simpler tools.

And also another PSA on proprietary vs. open/free standards. Not sure
what a good visual would be for that -- maybe dirty vs. clean?

Of course, so much mainstream medicine itself is proprietary and also
profit-oriented and ignores freely available options because there is
little profit in them. For example, at least some of UVM's patients
suffering from cancer and heart disease could have been treated
nutritionally years earlier by dietary changes and also in some cases
possibly fasting. But where is the profit in that compared to $100K
worth of heart surgery or chemotherapy?

Example of an alternative for preventing some cancer:
"”G-BOMBS” is an acronym that you can use to remember the best
anti-cancer, health-promoting foods on the planet. These are the foods
that you should eat every day, making up a significant proportion of
your diet. They are extremely effective at preventing chronic disease,
including cancer and promoting health and longevity."

But that is a whole other rant... :-) And why I suggested to RMS about a
decade ago (2012-05-11) he eat more salads and so on after he fell ill
at conference.

""I mean, honestly, we talk about health care. The best solution is not
to need health care," Mackey told Freakonomics Radio host Stephen Dubner
in an episode. "The best solution is to change the way people eat, the
way they live, the lifestyle, and diet," Mackey says. "There's no reason
why people shouldn't be healthy and have a longer health span. A bunch
of drugs is not going to solve the problem." Americans are not taking as
good care of their own bodies as they ought to be, Mackey says: "71% of
Americans are overweight and 42.5% are obese. Clearly, we're making bad
choices in the way we eat," he says. "It's not a sustainable path. And
so, I'm calling it out.""

There are a surprising amount of parallels there as I think on it now
between proprietary medicine and Free Software challenges. And as with
trying to get hospitals or other groups to use free software, eating
healthier is much easier said than done (including for me). The movie
series "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead" and especially its sequel explore that
theme of health as a social thing requiring mutual support.

So maybe that other hospital also offers intensive nutritional
interventions as well as free software? :-)

--Paul Fernhout (
"The biggest challenge of the 21st century is the irony of technologies
of abundance in the hands of those still thinking in terms of scarcity."

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