A balance of freedoms

knowing-card's picture
Submitted by knowing-card on Fri, 12/19/2008 - 02:44

I was reading this comment on a story submitted here on FSDaily and started thinking that life's all about balancing freedoms.

We balance freedoms (sacrifice one freedom for another) everyday. We sacrifice the freedom to do whatever we want to live in a society where laws keep us safe. And we'd rather be safe than do the things that are illegal (well most of us anyway). So we sacrifice a freedom we wouldn't exercise (to commit crimes) for ones we do want to exercise (to live without being the victim of crime).

Software example: Skype

You could sacrifice the software freedom so that you can have the freedom to communicate with family and friends who use skype.


You could sacrifice the freedom to communicate with friends and family via Skype so that you can retain software freedom - the freedom to use/study/modify/share the code.

In this case most people will happily sacrifice software freedom (which they don't want to excercise) because there is no point in being able to use/study/modify/share Ekiga (for example) if you are the only person you know who uses it.

In this example we are a bit like crabs in a box but we know that if we get out we will be cut off from our family so we don't even try to get out.

RMS and the FSF etc. are all on the outside of the box saying come on "Jump out! Come on you can have freedom" but at the moment software freedom isn't the main thing on the minds of the majority of society.

Ultimately if we make an informed decision to sacrifice one freedom for another then... well... it's our choice isn't it?

I support software freedom, however, and I think it is very important for us to all be fully aware of what we are sacrificing and what exactly we are gaining from those sacrifices. This is the only way we can all really come to the realization that it would be better to get out of the box.

Just my opinion... any thoughts?

sameerthahir's picture


10 years 42 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago


Can we make this a wiki or something


I believe you are the one who posted the lengthy comment on


The comment was awesome but if it could be made into a wiki, it would be great, It brings out the real essence of freedom.

Sameer Mohamed Thahir

spikeb's picture


10 years 42 weeks 6 hours 36 min ago


third option

ask them to use ekiga or something you can use too ;)

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