A few broad thoughts have been coalescing in my mind since LibrePlanet 2018, and I'd like to offer them for whatever use they might have for anyone. I'm not asking for information or necessarily any response.
I have three main thoughts: 1. The existence of a community compassionately interested in the role of information and computers in society is a more compelling argument for Free Software than our software itself. (That's not a comment on the quality of our software.) 2. The percentage of humanity who has even thought of software as something that /could/ involve freedom, as we understand it, is approximately 0%. 3. When I tell people about Free Software, I think they view it within the framework of a brand choice, which is the wrong frame with which to start a discussion. Consequently, I'm going to change my elevator talk to "It's a community of people interested in the role of information and computing in society." And if that piques their interest, I'll talk about the four freedoms and taking control of our computers. Some observations that have led me to these: * I didn't truly understand the larger issues around software freedom before attending LibrePlanet. Seeing the community together and hearing the discussion occurring within it opened my eyes. I was expecting a technical conference instead. This year, for the first time, my wife joined me at LibrePlanet. I think it made an impression on her, as it had me. * I proudly wear my GNU hat, and occasionally people ask me what "GNU" is. I say something like "It's the project for software freedom," to which I get a puzzled look. Then I say, "It's the basis of the operating system that uses the Linux kernel," and they nod and feel satisfied. I sense that they perceive that I've made an operating system choice for whatever utilitarian reasons they think people make such choices, because /they can't yet imagine other reasons/ for choosing software. o The fact that I work in Cambridge, MA, USA, not far from where LibrePlanet occurs, and where Free Software began, and that the person I'm talking to is often with a well-informed PhD scientist, only underscores how little the message of software freedom has penetrated mainstream consciousness. (If in fact PhD scientists are better informed than anyone else, typically. But no worse-informed, I'd imagine.) Jim Garrett _______________________________________________ libreplanet-discuss mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org https://lists.libreplanet.org/mailman/listinfo/libreplanet-discuss