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Re: What would an "An Official" GNU Emacs Book look like?

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: What would an "An Official" GNU Emacs Book look like?
Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 07:33:24 -0400

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[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

  >  > It would be good to show how nonfree software is at the root of this
  >  > wrong.

  > No, it wouldn't, because it simply isn't true.

Of course it is true.  If the software in those devices were free, the
users could fix these problems.

  > Those of us who care
  > have already rooted our phones,

I suspect that only a fraction of those who care somewhat
have done this.  Many people choose an iThing because they are
ordered to, or swept into doing so, and if they start to care
about how it treats them, they find rooting it difficult.

Just rooting the device does not liberate all the programs on it, and
those that are nonfree will continue to deny users' freedom and in
many cases mistreat them.

  > and the demand for freedom has forced
  > even Apple to back down from its original draconian restrictions on
  > programming languages for iOS.  (Just a small win, but it's real.)

It may be an advance, but (according to what I've been told)
you can't write and run a program in any fashion on an iThing
unless you pay for a developer's license.

  > But the "millions" (actually, nearly a billion) were *never* "would-be
  > independent computer users, they were consumers *before* they had
  > smartphones, and now they are consumers *with* smartphones."

That is true, but I don't think it contradicts what I said.

  > I really don't see how we can make progress if we don't accept the
  > fact that the vast majority of human beings are consumers of software
  > who gladly trade software freedom for the "freedom" to play Angry
  > Birds and listen to itunes for $1 each.

We can accept the fact that many people do this when they have the set
of choices that businesses have arranged for them to have.  We can
accept as true the claim that many people value their immediate
convenience more than their freedom (though this is a result of their
cultural environment, and the same millions are choosing freedom over
their own safety on other issues such as handguns because they have
been taught it is important).

However, you seem to be suggesting that it is a "fact" that people
will always totally let companies dominate them.  

I don't see what "progress" _means_ if we accept that as a "fact".

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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