Richard Stallman's new article: Overcoming Social Inertia

Alex Hudson home at
Tue Nov 6 13:45:18 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-11-06 at 14:00 +0100, Torsten Werner wrote:
> Hi Sam,
> > Freedom always comes down to politics.
> very true. In such situations the argument about saving money /
> minimizing costs can become the most important one in getting things
> changed. But such arguments should not be used because that violates
> our ideology as we could read in the blog of Marcus Rejas.

That's perfectly true, and a valid viewpoint, but it's not convincing.

If you're trying to persuade another person of something, you have to
use arguments which are effective with that person. If cost is an issue
for them, then talking about cost will help persuade them.

On the other hand, trying to convince them on the basis of things they
don't care about (like the ability to modify source, which is a common
one) isn't going to work: that's like trying to sell someone a car on
the basis that you can replace the drive train when the customer isn't a

The basic issue is that software being free isn't reducible to a
black/white issue to consumers in the same way that (for example)
platform compatibility is. It's not an issue of "can not", it's an issue
of "I chose not to", and different people will make that decision in
different ways.



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