The fellowship meeting in Italy

Stefano Maffulli stef at
Wed Sep 27 11:00:04 UTC 2006

On Wed, 2006-09-27 at 09:59 +0200, David Picon Alvarez wrote:
> Back to open source, just towards a different direction, then? Now instead
> of selling FS to CIOs it's selling FS to non-programmers? Genuine inquiry
> here, not accusation.

Not exactly what I meant to say.  Let me try with one example: when I
started my involvement with Free Sw I tried explaining to my mother what
I was doing in my spare time.  She didn't use computers at the time, and
I had as only reference Richard's basic speech and the GNU Manifesto.
Well, my mother didn't understand anything, and it was that bad for many
years.  Then I read Lessig's 'Code is law' and I happened to hear one of
his stunningly good presentations.  I went home and explained to my
mother her everyday world of DVDs, cell phones, credit cards and all
digital things she had around.  Now she starts understanding  what I
mean with "freedom in digital society".

So, we still have to talk to CIOs but mainly we need to address the
whole society because what we have at stake is not in the basement
anymore: we won there, Free Software is already in everybody's basement
powering business.  We need to convince our dads and moms that digital
citizens risk of being governed by technology companies instead of
elected parliaments.  The battleground is now what they call the
'consumer' and what really is a citizen: we need to prepare, otherwise
citizens will get used to HDMI and other DRM, surrendering freedom
without fighting.

> Software isn't like in the 60s, a province of a few. Almost everyone uses
> software one way or the other these days. While I don't see the average
> person becoming a kernel developer, it seems clear that the level of
> ignorance about software and computers is unsustainable and cannot continue
> into the future indefinitely. People have learned what electricity is, after
> all.

Exactly, this is a good point.  Culture is important, so we have one
important point here: advocacy of free software should start from
culture of the digital world.  How would you start the lesson about Free
Sw to a class of high school students?  Lets find practical suggestions
and examples so that the values of our community spread within younger


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