Bonum Certa Men Certa

Richard Stallman: Freedom is the Goal (Updated)


11M



Summary: What Richard Stallman (RMS) told me in person on his trip here (I stand next to him in this video, hence he speaks to his side)

Update: Transcript below.

[00:00]

(intro music)

Roy (RSS): Let's say you are presented with a situation where GNU/Linux gets a market share considerably above say, 50%, and a lot of people are using computers that are in many ways proprietary. They run something like the Steam Engine and they run things like proprietary drivers, how would you relate this to the goal of your work?

RMS: Well, our

[00:30]

goal is that all software be free, so that all users of software are free. If people are running mostly free software, we've taken a big step towards that goal, but we haven't necessarily gotten all the way there. Because if you are running a non-free driver or a non-free application, then somebody still has a chain

[01:00]

or cords tied around part of you. So, how are we going to get all the way there? We're going to have to make continuing efforts. And why would people do that? Only if they value freedom. If you want to reach a goal that requires a long journey the crucial point is to remember the goal. If you forget the goal, you won't get there.

[01:30]

If we're going to get to freedom some day, the crucial requirement is remember that freedom is the goal, teach others that freedom is the goal, so that we don't forget it and wander off in some other direction.

Roy: To what degree to your think that GNU and the FSF should be seen as important to the focusing on freedom as the goal?

RMS: Well, I

[02:00]

already explained that. The name helps only because the name GNU is associated with our ideas and the name Linux is associated with other ideas.

Roy: Perhaps also corporate sponsorship and all kinds of sponsorships from companies ...

RMS: That's just part of the same thing.

Roy: Ok. And when it comes to software freedom, the full future with people running entirely

[02:30]

free software, are you a pessimist or an optimist?

RMS: I'm a pessimist by nature, but that's irrelevant. We can't see the future. The future depends on you. So instead of speculating about what the outcome's going to be, which is not a useful question, I urge people to think about a different question, a useful question, what can I do to win

[03:00]

freedom for me and for others? That question will help you make the world a better place. Whereas thinking about whether to be pessimistic or optimistic doesn't help anything.

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