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Re: Vertically Integrated Permaculture Mosaic

From: Mark Holmquist
Subject: Re: Vertically Integrated Permaculture Mosaic
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 14:16:43 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:12.0) Gecko/20120430 Thunderbird/12.0.1

Repost from libreplanet-discuss, where we've already talked about this briefly, because I'd like to hear thoughts:

>> [Patrick had been asked how this is relevant on an FSF list]
> This extends User Freedom into the physical realm, where Free
> Software must always be hosted.

Well....I'm not sure we can consider these two categories to be the same.

Digital freedom has to do with the freedom to use your own tools, things you own, any way you'd like. This is the same as allowing people to use hammers to create anything, even picket signs the hammer manufacturers may disagree with. The hammer can also be disassembled, modified, and reassembled easily. Anyone who wants to show off the hammer's design may do so.

What you're discussing here isn't about individual freedoms, it's about changing the economic system in which we live. We would technically own the MOP, but we wouldn't then be free to go in and tinker--people need their milk, so going in and accidentally breaking the dairy machines would be suboptimal. There would almost certainly be laws, or at least rules, to prevent such things.

I mean, there might be some merit to these ideas, but it's not something that the FSF necessarily wants to promote. As far as I can tell, the FSF tries to reach out to companies, saying that free software is compatible with viable business models that work in a capitalist society.

And in general, as free software advocates, it's a lot harder for us to fight for individual freedoms *and* massive social change at the same to stick with what we know, especially since digital freedom would (probably) work in either situation.

Anyway, those are my two pennies. Sorry to go on so long about an ostensibly off-topic post :)

Mark Holmquist
Contractor, Wikimedia Foundation

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