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Explaining Free Software

Someone recently linked to this interview with Richard Stallman. I'm not sure I'd ever seen him speak before. I thought the interview made him look pretty good, although the fact that he was being interviewed by such a moronic boob probably cut some both ways. Like when the boob says, "If God wanted people to fly, he'd have given them wings" and Stallman replies, "Well, there's no god, so it's not really a meaningful question."

The central topic was Free Software, of course. Stallman tries to explain what Free Software is and why it's important, but it's totally outside the boob's frame of reference. Stallman tries to explain that it used to be that when you bought something, you controlled it. But that when you buy a piece of software, if the software isn't free, the software limits and controls you. The boob just doesn't get it. It was like watching Stallman try to argue with a prisoner in a prison yard:

Prisoner: "But I can walk around anywhere I want in here, can't I?"

Stallman: "But there's a whole world out beyond those walls!"

Prisoner: "Walls? What walls?"

Stallman: "ARRRGH!"

To be fair, Stallman did not say "ARRRGH!" But I did watching him patiently try to explain to this boob, over and over again, in small words, trying to get him to grasp the point. As I said recently, things are only getting worse in this respect. I've got great respect for Stallman that he keeps pushing against the flow.