Richard Stallman's new article: Overcoming Social Inertia

Marcus Rejås marcus at
Thu Nov 8 10:55:03 UTC 2007

On 11/06 13:45, Alex Hudson wrote:
> 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.

It's very true that you need to tailor your arguments so they fit the

> 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
> mechanic.

I agree with you totally. But I see using the price argument as a last
resort. We can use our freedom arguments more than I see are done by
tailor them to fit the audience.

The ability to modify the source is a very useful argument even though
the customer do not know how to do that. That is what stops the
customer to being locked in by the software vendor. If they are not
happy with each others the customer can switch. It also opens up for
competition between the companies offering services for a piece of
software. That keeps the price down.

Remember that that you, if you cannot do it yourself, can hire someone
to modify the source for you. This might be most appealing to businesses
though. Again make your arguments fit the audience.

To your car analogy, it could be very useful for the customer to know
that others than the manufacturer of the car (or anyone at all) can
replace the drive train if the customer wish.



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