Is it acceptable to use proprietary software (platforms) to promote software freedom?

Nikos Roussos comzeradd at
Fri Jul 28 09:26:28 UTC 2017

On 07/28/2017 10:07 AM, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> On 27/07/17 14:05, Nikos Roussos wrote:
>>> I remain concerned about defining the reason we want or need these
>>> followers and then measuring whether that objective is being met.
>>> To give another example: Greece's government successfully mobilized
>>> enough of their citizens to vote against a bailout in a referendum[1],
>>> but then the result of the referendum was simply ignored.  Getting 1000
>>> people in a room or 3,558,450 in a ballot box is potentially a lot of
>>> wasted effort if nothing actually changes.
>> That's actually a good example. Since I live in Greece let me emphasize something. Yes, in theory the referendum didn't change anything. But for most of the people who participated (regardless what they voted), this was their first time they got politically active. They engaged in political discussions, participated in rallies, challenged mainstream media propaganda, etc. And most of them continue to be active. So, regardless of what the government did, everything changed.
> It is worth looking at impact on people's lives, three things come to mind:
> 1. Youth unemployment - down a little bit, but still obscenely high:
> 2. Using the Euro: Greece is still using EUR (no change)
> 3. Long term solution to debt problem (e.g. redistribution of taxes
> between Eurozone countries or debt write-off): No, no change
> Those are the things that matter and the mobilization of 3.5 million
> people to successfully vote against a bailout hasn't fixed any of those
> things.

These are not the only things that impact people's live though. Despite
the above facts, people are fighting to improve their lives more
actively than before. For instance, solidarity networks are many more
and much more active these days. Even for things that are not directly
related with the country's crisis (eg. refugees free shelter & food
squats). This is a direct effect of people being more active and
politically engaged. Trying to measure change by debt relief policies
you actually miss the actual change that is taking place.

> In free software advocacy, what are the outcomes we should really be
> measuring?

That's a good question. But same as above, small victories matter. If
you are measuring change by only looking at the immediate outcome (eg.
how many of our followers switched to free software) or only at highest
institutional levels (eg. has the EC software policy changed over the
past years), then you are missing most of the impact that our message
may have. Does a FOI request changes that same decision or policy?
Probably not. It has already happened. But it still has impact for
people to know the answer, in a way that you can't easily measure.


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