The importance of being free

Being able to create is one of the utmost and fundamental axioms of the computer culture. The importance of being free, also. Free not as free beer, but rather as the right to mess with with the hardware and software you use. Study the code, tear the machine up, study the bridged RAMs and SLI’ed nVidias, et cetera.

Freedom though, includes freedom of choice.

Despite all the OS’s fuss and “wars” one has to chose his set of tools that best fit him and his needs. Lately I see many Linux- and GNU-heads stating that, well, you can’t be a hacker or believe in the hacker culture if you use a Mac (or Windows). “Go Linux.”

This approach reminds me the Marxist practices at USSR: we’re all the same, no matter what.

Hacker != Proprietary software

They say these two things can’t go together. We say, why not? The culture of sharing knowledge, code, tearing machines up, making customs solutions, studying how something is built, etc cannot be forced to be a possession only of one ideology or of the practice of using open-only software. Then it becomes proprietary itself. It’s contradiction in terms.

Speaking of freedom, people forget the actual freedom

Isn’t that a paradox? We are not the same. Each one of us is different. You have different needs than me, I have different needs than you. Forcing ideas and concepts to such narrow terms is not freedom at all. We need to re-think things again, re-challenge ideas, people.

It’s 2011, we need change

What’s the purpose of having many programming languages that satisfy different needs? It’s time to understand that we should separate the human factor and ideologies out of hardware & software and enjoy true free creativity without setting ourselves and our practices in vary narrow terms and bounds of  these ideologies.

Because, true creativity, innovation and progress won’t come by the people who use only GNU or only Mac or only Windows. They won’t come by Stallman, they won’t come by Jobs, they won’t come by Linus or Gates. They’ll come by the hackers, entrepreneurs and people who actually create, focusing on just to create without limiting themselves to certain sides or OS wars.

And this, reminds of Apple’s quote:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them. Disagree with them. Glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world. Are the ones who do.

It’s time to reconsider things.

posted: April 23, 2011
under: Computers, Software

4 Responses

  1. mary says:

    μου θύμισες λιγάκι αυτό το άρθρο που πήρα να διαβάσω χθες που δεν είχα ύπνο. δεν κατάλαβα και πολλά αλλά συ είσαι καλός σ’αυτά και ίσως έχει κάτι να σου δώσει:

  2. Mike says:

    “is the right to mess with with the hardware and software you use. Study the code, tear the machine up, study the bridged RAMs and SLI’ed nVidias, et cetera.”

    This simply contradicts the philosphy of windows and mac, thus why you must have linux.

  3. Apostolos says:

    Must? What I believe is a process rather than a finality. Finalities are for gods and governments, not for the human intellect.

    And btw, I was using Linux for 2 years.

  4. Mike says:

    No, what i meant, was not how *you* must have Linux, but how if you want to study the code etc. you need linux. Also what distro?