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Re: Free Software Lifestyle

From: Tim Smith
Subject: Re: Free Software Lifestyle
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2007 20:12:35 -0800
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b2 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article 
<>, wrote:
> It's difficult to be "hip" online with my friends without the ability
> to fully use YouTube or complicated flash programs integrated into
> Facebook, the social networking site. I can't play the games they want
> me to play, I can't "tag" their "wall" in certain ways. I simply
> refuse to participate, and it set me in a poor position in their eyes,
> as if this is a fault it's cool to attack. I can't play their Windows
> games, and I publicly boycott pretty much everything the average teen
> does on his computer, including downloading music and video illegally.
> I just don't roll that way, and I make it clear to people that I
> don't. If they say, "you can just get it off of Limewire," or "I'll
> burn you a copy," I respond and say, "That's illegal. I don't need to
> hear the song that badly."
> As I've stated before, the result of this behavior is that I become a
> social outcast standing up for what I believe. I know that many do not
> agree, but I see this as the right thing to do and I don't see another
> logical way of living my life. The Free Software Lifestyle, though,
> sets me in a position that is difficult to deal with not in a life-
> long sense (because that's the easy part), but in a day-to-day sense
> in dealing with others. I'm making this post to ask the people of the
> Internet about their experiences and their thoughts on this, what is
> to me, amazing lifestyle. How has it touched your life?

How far do you take this?  Do you have a Wii, XBox360, or PS3, or do you 
avoid those because the software they run and the games they play aren't 

If you have a router at home, is it one for which the firmware source is 

How about your cell phone?  Does it run free firmware?  Or is it 
proprietary?  Your cable box, or DVR, or satellite receiver?  Your 
printer?  Your camera?  The engine control system of your car?

When you buy something at an online store, do you try to pick stores 
that use free software to process credit card transactions on their back 

I bet if you look around, you'll find that you are happily using plenty 
of things that use non-free software every day.  So what do you actually 
gain by avoiding the Flash plugin on your Linux box?  Is it really worth 
hurting your social relationships for that?

Is a blob of proprietary software that you can't fiddle with really any 
more harmful when you run it on your computer, as opposed to when you 
run it on, say, your DVR?

Install and use whatever it takes to interact with your friends--to chat 
with them, and watch the same videos they watch, and play the same 
games.  You'll be a lot happier many years from now if you do that.  And 
you can always keep an eye out, and when you find that free software can 
replace something they and you are doing that is proprietary, you'll 
have a lot better chance convincing them to switch that thing to free 
software if you are one of them, instead of that weird kid that doesn't 
have any friends.

--Tim Smith

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