breaking bad habits like Doodle and Facebook with, plugins?

Mat Witts admin at
Thu Jan 18 13:13:51 UTC 2018

> I don't find this argument very strong at all.

I agree that is is not axiomatic under all conditions, and is only salient in restricted circumstances - for example when FS adviocates attempt to manipulate computer users towards software they believe is better (ie/ free software) or prevent people connecting to proprietary software (eg. like the sort of javascript etc. on Facebook).

My complaint was about the obvious problem of FS advocates seeking to manipulate computer users, albeit in the name of freedom through the use of plugins etc.

The comparison you make I believe is 100% apt in terms of the right for a human person to sell themselves into slavery if they wish, yes.

I think there is an element of this in many work and life contexts - at least in terms of employment contracts and in the social contract where we agree to follow the laws of the state even if we do not agree with them on the grounds that if we don't, we may well be punished.

Where you miss the point I think is that I am not suggesting that people should have the right to deny others rights and freedoms, but rather in pursuing the just cause of software freedom, some activists go to far and inflate this well-intentioned and important work into manipulation of computer users, which is to deny the rights and freedoms of others to connect to Facebook for example.

This is evident through the sorts of technologies discussed in this thread, in preventing people from connecting to proprietary software in an automated fashion.

I say this because I feel strongly if FS advocates give up the moral issue of computer user freedom and software developer freedom in their advocacy, then that is a self-defeating activity.

In contrast to your view, I believe that unless the FS movement treats rights and freedoms as something that MUST be negotiated individually, computer user freedom and free software will be unobtainable for the the individuals who are being manipulated into using software (free or otherwise) that isn't respecting their freedoms as much as is claimed.

I'm not a staunch individualist, because I believe the rights of the human person in some circumstances must fold into what is best for society, especially in areas of public health and education and so forth, and the options of the individual to opt out of freedom is a fundamental prerequisite for both liberal and not-so-liberal education programs everywhere.

More information about the Discussion mailing list