Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The Magic Black Box Paradox of Freedom

Filed under
OSS

The free software community understands that free software gives the user more freedom than proprietary software. Proprietary software confines its users, prohibits them from making changes that would allow everyone to benefit, etc. Free software advocates (myself included) have a habit of claiming that using free (libre) software means the same thing as having freedom. But does the fact that someone is using free software necessarily imply that the person has as much freedom as is possible?

Freedom is the ability to do what one wants. Some restrictions to freedom are understandable and necessary. No sane individual would argue for the freedom to kill, or the freedom to steal. In modern society, restriction on an individual’s freedom are most acceptable if said restrictions protect the freedom of others.

In computer software, the application of this idea is less straightforward. Each person must make a choice between free software and proprietary software. Those who value freedom will always choose free software. Those who have less respect for freedom, though, will likely choose the proprietary software. To these people, the restrictions of the software are not worth the possible loss of “the freedom to understand how to use an interface at first glance” or “the freedom to use one’s computer the same way one has always been using it”.

Full Post




More in Tux Machines

Second Alpha Build of Liquid Lemur Linux 2.0 Brings LibreOffice 5, Based on Debian 8

Edward Snyder, the creator and maintainer of the Debian-based Liquid Lemur Linux distribution, has announced the release and immediate availability for download of the second Alpha build of the upcoming Liquid Lemur Linux 2.0 distro. Read more

Manjaro Linux 0.8.13.1 Fluxbox Edition Gets Linux Kernel 4.1 LTS, Download Now

The Manjaro Linux team, through Bernhard Landauer, has proudly announced the release of an updated version of the Manjaro Linux Fluxbox Edition, namely 0.8.13.1, which features an updated Linux kernel and numerous improvements. Read more

NVIDIA reveals GPUs for blade servers, Linux desktop support

VMworld 2015 NVIDIA has announced the second version of its Grid desktop virtualisation software, complete with a pair of GPUs for blade servers. NVIDIA is pitching GRID as a hardware offering tuned to the needs of graphically-demanding desktop virtualisation (VDI) workloads. If that sounds a bit exotic, consider environments like the resources industry, where on-site engineers need CAD and modelling tools, but miners are loathe to deploy desktops in the remote sites where stuff gets dug out of the ground. VDI works a treat in such spots. Read more

GNU Linux-libre 4.2-gnu is now available

Many new drivers required cleaning of their blob-requesting-and-loading machinery. Various others needed deblobbing updates due to blob name changes and false positives. Read more Also: