Mike Gerwitz

Activist for User Freedom

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authorMike Gerwitz <mtg@gnu.org>2021-03-03 21:09:11 -0500
committerMike Gerwitz <mtg@gnu.org>2021-05-18 21:51:50 -0400
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Slides and notes
These are the slides and notes that were presented at LP2021. The commits are squashed because some of the iterations contain unrefined thoughts that are a bit too raw to be presented and will come at a later time.
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+# generated
+/*.pdf
+/*.tex
+/*.blg
+/texput.log
+/*.bbl
+
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+# Build presentation
+#
+# Copyright (C) 2021 Mike Gerwitz
+#
+# This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
+# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
+# the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
+# (at your option) any later version.
+#
+# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
+# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
+# MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
+# GNU General Public License for more details.
+#
+# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
+# along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
+
+
+default: slides.pdf
+
+# TODO: No local init.el! Isolate required options so that this is actually
+# portable!
+%.pdf: %.org %-preamble.tex
+ emacs --batch -l ~/.emacs.d/init.el $< -f org-beamer-export-to-pdf
+
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+#+startup: beamer
+#+TITLE: Adopting Free Software Ideals
+#+AUTHOR: Mike Gerwitz
+#+EMAIL: mtg@gnu.org
+#+DATE: LibrePlanet 2021
+#+OPTIONS: H:3 num:nil toc:nil p:nil todo:nil stat:nil
+#+LaTeX_CLASS: beamer
+#+LaTeX_CLASS_OPTIONS: [presentation,bigger]
+#+BEAMER_THEME: Luebeck
+#+BEAMER_COLOR_THEME: seagull
+#+BEAMER_HEADER: \input{slides-preamble.tex}
+#+TODO: DEVOID(v) LACKING(l) RAW(r) DRAFT(d) AUGMENT(A) REVIEWED(R) | READY(,) REHEARSED(.)
+#+COLUMNS: %40ITEM %10DURATION{:} %8TODO %BEAMER_ENV(ENVIRONMENT)
+
+* About :noexport:
+This file represents the source code for the slides for my LibrePlanet 2021
+talk, as well as the notes containing the text I originally intended to
+say. There are a few things to note:
+
+- The notes are not /necessarily/ an intended transcript. As it tends to
+ be, when I'm in the moment, I may decide to do things slightly differently
+ and adapt to the audience. I may also forget something and end up having
+ to restructure what I was going to say.
+
+- This notes have not been updated to include what I did actually say. I
+ hope to provide a transcript in the future.
+
+- The checklists contain my original intent for this talk; I didn't purge
+ what I didn't get to.
+
+- See [[*Exporting]] for information on how to build the slides.
+
+* Project Notes :noexport:
+These notes serve as a reification of thoughts; means of organization and
+balance between the three groups; and a checklist to guide the development
+of the talk.
+
+** Topics
+*** All [6/8]
+- [X] What ideals am I speaking of?
+- [X] Be honest with yourself when you don't meet your ideals. Do not dilute
+ them, so that you can continue to work toward them. Do not be complacent
+ in your compromises.
+- [X] Set your goals high and know that you will /fail to meet them/ for
+ some time. Keep at it.
+- [X] By not admitting our faults, we set unattainable standards that drive
+ others away from our community.
+- [X] The below three groups of roles are often blurred. Distinguish them
+ throughout the talk.
+- [ ] Confirmation bias.
+- [X] Impracticality is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
+- [ ] Move forward.
+
+*** Activist/Advocate [9/14]
+- [X] My computing is unrelatable and impractical to others.
+- [X] My ability to be free is in part a matter of privilege (knowledge and
+ money). What good are freedoms that others cannot enjoy?
+ - Ex: my not running JS and still being able to use the web.
+- [X] We need advocates deep in communities that many of us do not
+ participate in, and we need to engage with those advocates, not reject
+ them as "open source" enthusiasts.
+- [X] Are you advocating or just bragging? One of those is not necessarily
+ effective and could alienate or turn off others to our ideals. It doesn't
+ help hearing all the ways that you're right and I'm wrong.
+- [ ] Waiting for everyone to realize you're right, as if the world will
+ change around you.
+- [X] Do not victim-blame (no shaming users of non-free software).
+- [X] Many users do not care about or understand the need for software
+ freedom. We need to be able to relate it in practical terms.
+- [ ] Indoctrination in cynicism and purity.
+- [ ] The concept of user freedom naturally extends to other fields,
+ including SaaS, DRM, privacy, security, and human rights. But we have to
+ be careful as a community not to adopt too many principles and alienate
+ those who may otherwise agree with us.
+- [ ] Situational awareness: sometimes you should be an advocate instead of
+ an activist.
+- [X] Offering someone new to free software old hardware that isn't even
+ fully functional (e.g. S3 with Replicant) is out of touch with reality.
+- [X] Kids' games and their understanding of freedom.
+- [ ] Speak out against objectionable and incorrect metaphors
+- [X] People and organizations are approached by many different types of
+ advocates with many different types of agendas, some of them in conflict
+ with one-another. People only have so much bandwidth, and cannot please
+ everyone.
+
+*** Developer/Distributor [2/2]
+- [X] Free software should promote /practical/ freedoms---they should be
+ /designed/ for study and modification without having to deeply understand
+ the system at every level. Lower the barrier to entry.
+- [X] Choice of GPL as a form of advocacy.
+
+*** User [7/11]
+- [X] Cognitive dissonance.
+- [ ] Users can be advocates whether they realize it or not by setting an
+ example for others and helping to develop social and cultural norms.
+- [ ] Using non-free software /can/ be a form of anti-advocacy or a
+ repudiation of ideals if you encourage others to do so as well.
+- [X] There is not always a free replacement available, or the replacement
+ may not be practical for certain users.
+- [X] Certain software has a cultural aspect---using a free replacement may
+ not fill that gap. Games using well-known characters or storylines are an
+ example. Social media is another. That barrier is high, since change
+ involves not just oneself, but others in the community to adopt similar
+ changes and ideals.
+- [X] Freedom is not all-or-nothing. Work toward it incrementally.
+- [X] If freedom is put above all else, sometimes it requires
+ sacrifice. But that should not be /expected/---that's a personal decision.
+- [X] Don't feel bad or make excuses when ideals aren't met---be /proud/ of
+ how far you've gotten, and keep at it.
+- [X] The FSF, GNU, and others provide a clear objective and guidance, but
+ what of the /transition/, which involves a mix of free and non-free?
+- [ ] Using non-free software on behalf of an employer
+- [ ] Is there a difference in freedom lost between SaaS and ephemeral
+ software (e.g. a webpage you'll only visit once)? How about related
+ issues like privacy and security?
+
+
+* REHEARSED Slides [6/6]
+:PROPERTIES:
+:ID: slides
+:END:
+** REHEARSED Summary :noexport:
+#+BEGIN: columnview :hlines 2 :maxlevel 3 :indent t :id slides
+| ITEM | DURATION | TODO | ENVIRONMENT |
+|----------------------------------------+----------+-----------+-------------|
+| Slides | 0:36:19 | REHEARSED | |
+|----------------------------------------+----------+-----------+-------------|
+| \_ Summary | | REHEARSED | |
+|----------------------------------------+----------+-----------+-------------|
+| \_ Introduction | 0:02:10 | REHEARSED | |
+| \_ Spoken Intro | 00:01:30 | REHEARSED | note |
+| \_ Ideals | 00:00:40 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+|----------------------------------------+----------+-----------+-------------|
+| \_ Perspective | 0:10:00 | REHEARSED | |
+| \_ Black Boxes | 00:01:15 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ The First Hurdle | 00:03:00 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Unrelatable | 00:03:00 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Change | 00:01:30 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Journeys Have A Beginning | 00:01:15 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+|----------------------------------------+----------+-----------+-------------|
+| \_ My Story | 0:12:40 | REHEARSED | |
+| \_ My Journey | 00:00:40 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Discovery | 00:03:45 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Practicality | 00:01:45 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Copyleft and Advocacy | 00:01:50 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Barrier to Entry | 00:01:00 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Wifi | 00:02:20 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Impact of Gaming | 00:01:20 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+|----------------------------------------+----------+-----------+-------------|
+| \_ Social Complexities | 0:09:30 | REHEARSED | |
+| \_ Brand Recognition and Trademarks | 00:01:00 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Culture | 00:02:00 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Balancing Ideals | 00:03:00 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Moral Judgment | 00:02:00 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Hold Ideals Strong | 00:01:30 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+|----------------------------------------+----------+-----------+-------------|
+| \_ Conclusion | 0:02:00 | REHEARSED | |
+| \_ Quell Anger | 00:00:30 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+| \_ Unless | 00:01:30 | REHEARSED | fullframe |
+|----------------------------------------+----------+-----------+-------------|
+| \_ Questions? | | | frame |
+|----------------------------------------+----------+-----------+-------------|
+| \_ Thank You | | | fullframe |
+#+END:
+
+** REHEARSED Introduction [2/2]
+*** REHEARSED Spoken Intro :B_note:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: note
+:DURATION: 00:01:30
+:END:
+
+- Introduction
+ - Software engineer, hacker at heart.
+ - Assistant GNUisance; GAC.
+ - But not speaking on behalf of the GNU Project.
+ - But I'm coming to you today primarily as an activist for user freedom.
+
+- While I am an activist, and I'll be giving advice to others like me, I'm
+ also a user and author of free software.
+ - I'd say a user foremost, since that's what I do each and every day---use
+ free software.
+ - But it took me a long time to get where I am today.
+ - And it wasn't easy.
+ - Us activists try to put on a straight face and paint a positive picture
+ of everything. Neglect inconvenient truths.
+ - But my not admiting to our faults, we risk setting unattainable
+ standards that may drive others away from our movement.
+ - And that's really what this talk is about---those hard problems of
+ software freedom. The process of adopting those ideals and
+ incorporating them into your own life. Ascribing them meaning and
+ identity within the context of all of the other things that are
+ important to you. And maybe then advocating for those ideals.
+
+
+*** REHEARSED Ideals :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:00:40
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Run, Study, Modify, Share
+
+**** READY Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- But first: what ideals am I talking about?
+ - Within the context of free software, I'm referring to the four freedoms.
+ - The freedom to run, study, modify, and share software with others.
+ - We repeat these freedoms again and again, but what do they /really/
+ mean?
+ - We reject being controlled by those who write software. We believe that
+ everyone should be free to do their own computing in a manner that
+ /they/ see fit. How they please. Not how someone else pleases.
+
+** REHEARSED Perspective [5/5]
+*** REHEARSED Black Boxes :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:15
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Magical Black Boxes
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullsubtext
+(Computer Literacy)
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- This isn't an easy concept to grasp for many people.
+ - Users look at devices like magic black boxes.
+ - They don't understand how the apps they use and the underlying operating
+ system works.
+ - Lack of computer literacy in our cultures.
+ - An app a program, and a program is a sequence of instructions for a
+ computer that someone else wrote. Someone else is instructing your
+ computer what to do.
+ - And since computers and devices are effectively extensions of people,
+ they determine what we can and cannot do. How we can and cannot
+ act. What we can and cannot see.
+
+*** REHEARSED The First Hurdle :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:03:00
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+``I love the concept of free software''
+
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- I want to tell you something my wife told me just a few weeks ago.
+- Nurse, shoutout to helthcare professionals holding our society together
+ during the pandemic.
+- "Love the concept of free software"
+ - That's a really powerful message.
+ - Of all my coworkers and interviews, I haven't heard such a direct
+ statement from anyone in my professional circle.
+ - /Some/ people know about free software, but usually in terms of "open
+ source".
+- Yet this nontechnical person is aware of these concepts.
+ - I assume he's non-technical because he continued to lament how a system
+ comes installed with Chrome and he isn't sure how to uninstall it.
+- This is one of the hardest parts of my activism! To try to get people to
+ internalize our ideals and understand why the are important.
+ - And yet, he's already done that. He's cleared the first major hurdle.
+
+*** REHEARSED Unrelatable :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:03:00
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Unrelatable
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- It's interesting to me how my activism was more effective through her
+ unintentional advocacy.
+ - Why is that?
+ - Certainly part of it is because she was there and I wasn't.
+ - The more people that can advocate on our behalf, the fewer places we
+ have to be.
+ - But there's a more fundamental reason.
+- Compare: community members and vaccine hesitancy.
+ - Being able to relate culturally
+ - My computing with an X200 using Libreboot and Guix System.
+ - My use of Replicant and its issues
+ - Not running JavaScript on webpages.
+ - But I'm still able to use parts of the web despite that by privilege
+ of my technical knowledge, something that your average user cannot
+ do.
+- The way I do my computing is unrelatable.
+ - And I lament that I cannot recommend my own practices to others.
+
+*** REHEARSED Change :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:30
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Many People Don't Like Change
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullsubtext
+(That Includes Me)
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- Wife doesn't even use free software herself
+ - Aware of the concepts.
+ - Doesn't like that people have control over her computing, but doesn't
+ like change.
+ - It's not enough to change how she does her computing. Yet.
+- Compare: both of us want to be vegan, and we don't need convincing, but
+ haven't done it after years.
+ - That's how my wife thinks about software freedom.
+
+*** REHEARSED Journeys Have A Beginning :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:15
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Every Journey Has A Beginning
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullsubtext
+(And Not Every Journey Has An End)
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- When you've been familiar with software freedom for a long time, it's easy
+ to forget where you came from.
+ - It's like that with most things.
+ - In my profession, I suffer from being unable to think like a
+ beginner. Missing the obvious. I've become myopic.
+
+- But to get from A to Z is a /process/. It's a journey, that takes time
+ and effort and, in the case of software freedom, completely changing how
+ one does their computing.
+ - Changing how one perceives the world.
+ - How one lives their life.
+ - It doesn't just happen.
+
+- Further, we're always evolving.
+- The goalposts of software freedom are always moving, as more and more
+ things become possible.
+ - It didn't used to be possible to run a free BIOS, for example. Now it
+ is. The goal has shifted.
+
+** REHEARSED My Story [7/7]
+*** REHEARSED My Journey :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:00:40
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+The year was 1999...
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- I didn't start out with free software.
+ - I grew up with Windows as a kid.
+ - I even started learning programming, about 20 years ago now, when I was
+ 10, using a proprietary language---Microsoft's Visual Basic 6.
+ - As a kid, I did what kids to best, which is mimic. I sought to follow
+ the example of the world that was around me.
+ - I learned to exercise control over the user. Introduce quotas. License
+ keys. Direct the user in ways that I wanted the user to act.
+
+*** REHEARSED Discovery :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:03:45
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+A Noise and A Bubble
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- But I don't have time to go into my whole life's story.
+- So how did I first discover the concept of software freedom?
+- But at some point, the laptop I was using, which was running Windows,
+ experienced hard drive issues.
+ - For those who don't know, hard drives contain spinning metal platters.
+ - It started making a grinding noise.
+ - I needed a way to use my system while I waited for a new hard drive, so
+ and I found that GNU/Linux distros have bootable live CDs, which ran in
+ memory, and so I could use without a hard drive.
+
+- I was fascinated by the level of customization that could be performed,
+ and I started digging into the OS a bit more.
+
+- One of the games I really liked on the system was Frozen Bubble. It was a
+ lot alike another non-free game I had played on Windows.
+ - And part of what happened next may have been a little bit of luck.
+ - Because a lot of games are compiled into machine code, just like on
+ Windows, but in a different format---ELF instead of EXE.
+ - But Frozen Bubble was different. When I opened the executable file, I
+ saw source code!
+ - Not minified or obfuscated source code. Actual, formatted source code
+ with sensible function and variable names, and comments. Source code
+ that looked like the preferred form of modifying the program.
+ - I was in excited disbelief. This was so different than what I was used
+ to on Windows. The operating system not only game with games, but came
+ with the source code!?
+ - Frozen Bubble is written in Perl, which is an interpreted language. I
+ didn't know Perl, but I decided to try to make some small
+ changes. Surely I was wrong. Surely I was missing /something/.
+ - But no. I relaunched the game and there my change was! I could modify
+ the game as I pleased! I was amazed. I felt empowered. I felt this
+ overwhelming sense of excitement.
+ - I wanted to know more. Why did the developer decide to do this?
+ - At the top of a file was the copyright header. Now, I didn't know
+ anything of software licensing at the time beyond the licenses designed
+ to /restrict/ users. To tell them what they /cannot do/.
+ - But this license appeared to be different.
+ - The license, its stated, was the GNU General Public License version 2,
+ published by the Free Software Foundation.
+ - It said that I'm free to redistribute it and/or modify it.
+ - So it wasn't just that I could /technically/ modify it---the author
+ was /encouraging/ me to do so!
+ - And while my memory is a bit blurry on the details, that marked the
+ beginning of my journey.
+ - I began to look into the GNU Project and the FSF and the philosophy
+ behind free software.
+
+*** REHEARSED Practicality :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:45
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Practical Practicality
+
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+- So I had unlearning to do myself, as both a user and as a software
+ developer.
+ - I didn't have anyone to help to guide me.
+ - I did have the FSF and GNU to serve as a beacon of light. As an
+ anchor. A lighthouse, as Snowden put it.
+ - It gave me something to work toward. To constantly improve upon.
+ - But it didn't give me advice that was /practical/ at the time.
+ - And that's setting off alarm bells for certain people, so let me
+ explain.
+
+- People often say that free software isn't practical.
+ - Not just opponents, but also users who /want/ to use free software.
+ - We counter, saying we've done it. Clearly I have. Clearly this
+ conference has. We're doing it now, as we speak.
+ - But are we trying to help, begin defensive, or just bragging?
+ - We have to be careful no to dismiss users' legitimate concerns.
+ - I just mentioned how my computing today is not relatable, right?
+ - What I consider to be practical for myself is absolutely not practical
+ to someone without the requisite understanding.
+
+- Someone saying that they're already there---that they have
+ freedom---isn't necessarly helpful
+ - I know the goal. Help me get to where you are.
+ - Don't just dismiss me.
+
+- We have to be practical about what we consider to be practical for other
+ users, especially those less experienced than us.
+- Keep that in mind. We'll continue to explore that concept as we go.
+
+*** REHEARSED Copyleft and Advocacy :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:50
+:END:
+
+#+BEGIN_CENTER
+#+ATTR_LATEX: :height 1.5in
+[[./images/tp/copyleft.png]]
+#+END_CENTER
+
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- Now, I want to pause there for a moment.
+ - We touched on the ideals of software freedom previously.
+ - But how is that actually enforced?
+ - Software is covered by Copyright law. Copyright grants a rather long
+ monopoloy over the ability to, well, make copies of the work. By
+ default, software is proprietary. Non-free.
+ - To grant users back the freedoms they ought to have, Richard Stallman
+ turned copyright on its head with the concept of Copyleft. This
+ philosophy is embodied in the GPL. The GNU General Public License.
+- Now, some developers write free software for technical reasons. This is
+ the focus of open source.
+- But some write it for philosophical reasons. And some write it as a form
+ of advocacy or activism.
+- What happened here?
+ - What lead me to discover software freedom?
+ - This program and its license. This game.
+ - I can't say whether the author set out to do that. But that's what
+ happened. Those of you writing software may never realize the true
+ impact that you actually have.
+- And that's why the choice of license is so important.
+- Choosing the GPL isn't just about ensuring that your software remains
+ free.
+ - It's also about making a statement. Advocating for the principles and
+ ideals of software freedom.
+
+
+*** REHEARSED Barrier to Entry :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:00
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Barrier To Entry
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- I also want to emphasize another aspect of Frozen Bubble.
+ - The low barrier to entry for modification.
+ - It helped demonstrate to me not just the freedom that I had, but the
+ viability of that freedom.
+ - When we think about software freedom, we shouldn't think about it just
+ in terms of licensing. We should also consider /practical/
+ freedoms. How to make the freedom to study and modify the software more
+ available for more users.
+ - That doesn't mean you have to write your software in a scripting
+ language, though certainly that might help.
+ - But it does mean being mindful to how high the barrier of entry is to
+ your program. Be mindful to the abstractions you create.
+ - Document the design and philosophy of the program and how it works.
+ - Empower as many users as you can.
+ - A skill that takes time to acquire.
+
+*** REHEARSED Wifi :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:02:20
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Device Drivers
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullsubtext
+E.g. Wifi
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- Alright, back to my story.
+- One of the most notorious problems when users switch to GNU/Linux is the
+ issue of wireless drivers.
+- Back in the day I had to use a tool called =ndiswrapper= which was able to
+ load Windows XP drivers on GNU/Linux. =ndiswrapper= is free software, but
+ the Windows drivers were non-free.
+ - Nowadays, more devices Just Work with a Linux-based system, but there's a
+ catch---it usually works because of what we call "binary blobs"
+ distributed with the kernel Linux. These are opaque and non-free.
+ - The linux-libre project strips those blobs to provide a fully free
+ kernel, but then many users notice their devices don't work properly.
+
+ - Generally, the recommendation for Wifi on Linux-based systems is to use a
+ card or dongle based on Atheros (hold it up). But that does not help you
+ if you don't have the money to spare.
+ - And so we have a bit of a problem.
+ - On one hand, the wireless situation for a fully free GNU/Linux system is
+ wonderful compared to my experience 15 years ago.
+ - But that's only if you have money to spare.
+ - What of people that do not?
+ - What about people who wish to repurpose old hardware? Some people
+ consider e-waste to be a major ethical issue.
+ - In those cases, they may have systems that are fully free except for
+ one exception: the wireless drivers.
+
+- Let's think about someone exploring free software.
+- They want to dip their toes into GNU/Linux. Surely they want to use the
+ hardware they already have, not purchase something else just to give it a
+ try.
+ - But if they use a distribution that we recommend---me as an activist, or
+ the FSF on their list of endorsed distributions---then their hardware
+ may not work.
+ - What do we tell this person?
+ - Let's let that sit for a moment and move on. We'll be coming back to
+ it.
+
+*** REHEARSED Impact of Gaming :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:20
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Change Coupled With Addiction
+
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- Let's talk about my desktop, where I did most of my computing.
+ - Around the time that I built it, I was dual-booting Windows and
+ GNU/Linux.
+- For those who don't know, dual booting means that, when I started by
+ system, I had the choice of whether to boot into Windows or GNU/Linux.
+- Why? Why would I do that?
+ - The simple answer is: old habits die hard.
+ - It /takes time/ to upend the computing you've done for so long. To
+ learn new ways of doing things.
+ - This process was /incremental/.
+
+- But the biggest thing keeping me booting into Windows was a game.
+ - It was a very popular MMO that I'm not going to name. I was quite
+ addicted to it at the time.
+
+- Games are influential.
+- I'm not even a gamer, and yet I've mentioned games twice so far.
+ - How about a third: I first started programming at the age of 10 because
+ of a game that provided a level editor; I wanted to do more than what
+ it allowed.
+
+- I want to stay on this topic for a bit, because it's an important one.
+- There are a number of aspects to games beyond addiction that make them a
+ bit different than other software.
+
+** REHEARSED Social Complexities
+*** REHEARSED Brand Recognition and Trademarks :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:00
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Brand™
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- Games are more than just software.
+- They're also art. And with that, we have some additional complexities.
+- It may challenging to find a free replacement for a game because of issues
+ surrounding trademarks.
+ - For example, my kids want to play certain games because they have
+ certain characters that they recognize.
+ - It's not that it's impossible to make free software to replicate some of
+ these games---it is---but they'd be of no practical use to my children
+ if they didn't contain the characters they want.
+
+- And then to further complicate things, many AAA games have budgets in the
+ tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars and seem to me to be more
+ like interactive movies.
+ - That's something the free software community is not currently
+ well-positioned to counter.
+ - It's not that we /can't/, but to counter such a massive undertaking, we
+ need more people who believe in our ideals to work toward it.
+
+*** REHEARSED Culture :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:02:00
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Social Pressure
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- There's something else too.
+- Games are something that people can gather around and enjoy together.
+ - It can be ingrained in culture.
+ - Getting rid of a game, or replacing it with something free, may be more
+ challenging if all of your friends also play it.
+
+- We have this problem with social networks too---what good is a social
+ network that none of your peers use?
+
+- I avoid a lot of these problems by breaking social norms, or simply not
+ associating with certain people.
+ - I'm okay with doing this.
+ - But many people aren't. Or can't.
+
+- I used a vegan metaphor previously.
+ - But it was a bit shallow.
+ - Consider a party: you can be a vegan at a party and abstain from certain
+ meals. Or bring your own. Kind of like I do with free software.
+
+ - But with certain games like MMOs, or popular social networks, the
+ software isn't just a /component/ of a social even, it /is/ the
+ event---the means of communication.
+
+ - There is no abstaining or substituting while also communicating.
+ - Severing non-free software in such cases may mean severing social ties,
+ unless there's free software that is compatible.
+
+ - And while I've done that, and I'm okay with it, that's /me/.
+ - We can't demand or /expect/ that of others.
+ - We need to work with people to adopt replacements, to help them move
+ their community to another platform that respects their freedom, and
+ /then/ they can all enjoy freedom together.
+ - Freedom shouldn't have to mean isolation from one's peers just because
+ they don't share the same ideals.
+ - Not to mention that just creates echo chambers, and also removes our
+ voice from that community.
+ - It perpetuates or even worsens the divide.
+
+
+*** REHEARSED Balancing Ideals :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:03:00
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Compounding Ideals
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullsubtext
+Small Contributions Grow
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- However, there /are/ situations that I can't just escape from. Where I
+ have to confront the unfortunate reality that I live in head-on.
+
+- Let's take schools for example.
+- Say you live in a district where students use non-free software or
+ services. Which is highly likely.
+
+- Now, there's something you have to understand.
+ - That school has already invested money into hardware, services, training
+ of staff and students, has put data into the chosen platform, and so on.
+ - Given all of that, one person voicing dissent isn't going to change all
+ of that. It's too expensive.
+
+- In my case, I arrived too late to my district to voice any input on the
+ process.
+ - I did meet with assistant superintendents of the district to voice some
+ concerns, but again, I'm just one person.
+ - Why are my ideals more important than the opinions of others?
+
+- But what if it were different?
+ - What if there were dozens of parents? Or more?
+ - They could have possibly prevented this before it started.
+ - They don't have to subscribe fully to our ideals. They just need to
+ know enough to /advocate/ for them. To care.
+ - They may not care enough about freedom for themselves, but maybe
+ they'll care for their children.
+ - Kind of how we may eat whatever we please as adults, but want our
+ children to eat healthy because it's good for them as they grow.
+
+- But how do we get those parents?
+ - Through advocacy.
+ - But what advice do we have to offer those parents?
+ - Don't let your child use non-free software?
+
+- I put the social and emotional well-being of my children above my ideals
+ of software freedom.
+ - And I suspect that most, if not all, parents do the same.
+ - But but forcing your child to participate in your activism when they're
+ too young to understand is not doing that.
+ - If they're old enough to understand and want to do so on their own,
+ great.
+ - But if they're young, like my children, then having them do things
+ differently in class than the other kids will increase social
+ anxiety. Decrease learning. Possibly open them to ridicule.
+ - It's one thing to ask myself to be strong in that situation. It's
+ another thing to ask my child to be.
+
+- And so we find ourselves in this situation that, unless we can connect
+ with parents and offer them better guidance, they're going to just see us
+ as extremeists, and not engage.
+ - This situation will simply perpetuate.
+ - And this is one of the ways non-free software is introduced to the next
+ generation---these companies gain strongholds in schools and push their
+ software so that students will get used to them and use them outside of
+ school. People don't like change.
+- But imagine if we taught /freedom/ in school. Sharing. Imagine what
+ impact that might have on our activism and advocacy. It would be done
+ /for/ us, by those who know how to teach best.
+
+*** REHEARSED Moral Judgment :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:02:00
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Moral Judgment
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- Let's consider this question carefully, because it's loaded, and it's a
+ question a lot of people ask themselves.
+ - Am I a bad person for using non-free software?
+
+- Well, why is non-free software bad?
+- Is it the program itself?
+- When you liberate a program---make it free---the code doesn't have to
+ change. So clearly the program itself isn't the problem.
+ - What did change are the terms---the license. Copyright, and in some
+ cases patents and trademarks, take away freedoms we would otherwise
+ have.
+ - A free software license grants those freedoms back.
+ - But from whom? Who is relinquishing that power?
+ - The copyright holder. Or patent or trademark holder.
+ - They are the ones who can otherwise tell us what we can and cannot do.
+ - They exercise their rights /over/ us, as an instrument of power.
+ - /That/ is what's bad. The power they have over us when we use
+ non-free software.
+- Users of non-free software, we say, are /victims/, not bad people.
+
+- But we do have to be careful with the terminology that we use.
+- People who don't hold our ideals as strongly as we do---or maybe some of
+ you watching this now---won't be happy being called victims if they don't
+ feel like they are.
+ - Because when you call them a victim for doing something they /want/ to
+ do, you're implying that they have poor judgement.
+- They may not want to be labeled victims /or/ bad people.
+
+*** REHEARSED Hold Ideals Strong :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:30
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Never Dilute Your Ideals
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullsubtext
+And Take Pride In Your Progress
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- There's been a theme throughout this talk.
+- We have these ideals, but there are a lot of challenges to meet them.
+- And sometimes guidance can be hard to come by, until you reach a certain
+ point.
+
+- This necessarily means that, unless you find yourself in a rather
+ remarkable position, you're going to find yourself using non-free software
+ as you try to figure out how to do without it.
+ - Despite being ideologically opposed to it.
+
+- And when it gets tough, it'll be tempting to justify your use of non-free
+ software in a particular case by reframing the issue, or possibly by
+ diluting your ideals---by saying that certain parts aren't important after
+ all.
+
+- Never dilute your ideals. Never.
+ - Don't make excuses when you don't meet them. Own up to it.
+ - Otherwise, you risk becoming complacent, and then stagnet in your
+ progress.
+ - That's where I was at one point.
+
+- Instead, set your goals high, /knowing/ that you will fail to meet them
+ for quite some time.
+ - Keep those goals strong.
+ - This is what organizations like the FSF and GNU are good for---they do
+ not leave any question as to where those ideals stand. They are
+ unwavering.
+
+- And then be /proud/ of the progress you make, however much, and the
+ freedom that you've gained.
+
+** REHEARSED Conclusion
+*** REHEARSED Quell Anger :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:00:30
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Anger and Cynicism Cloud Judgement
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- I used to look at everyone embracing non-free software with anger and
+ cynicism.
+ - But in reality, it's just that most people don't know about these
+ issues. Or understand why they're important to adopt them.
+ - When you see schools embracing non-free software and services,
+ advertisements non-free software, your friend or family member using a
+ proprietary program, your employer embracing non-free services, and so
+ on, rather than getting angry, take it as a call to action. Help them
+ to understand.
+
+
+*** REHEARSED Unless :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:DURATION: 00:01:30
+:END:
+
+#+BEAMER: \fullslidetext
+Unless
+
+**** REHEARSED Notes :B_noteNH:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: noteNH
+:END:
+
+- Not all of us find it within ourselfs to be as free as, say, Richard. We
+ all lead different lives. Under different circumstances. But what we
+ should all strive to do is to help one another, in the spirit of freedom;
+ not just for ourselves, but for /everyone/.
+- But why do we have trouble with our own freedoms? Because it's
+ impractical?
+- Impracticality is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
+ - Not at the level of an individual user, but as a society as a whole.
+ - All of these issues discussed here are of humanity's own
+ making. Non-free software isn't a law of nature. It's non-free because
+ we allow it to be so.
+ - It doesn't have to stay that way. I hope it doesn't.
+ - If enough of us speak out, we can change that over time.
+ - The smallest steps toward freedom add up. We don't all need to be
+ purists. We just need to be /aware/, and care.
+
+- And since my primary job now is a Dad, I couldn't help but end it with
+ this Dr. Seuss quote from the Lorax:
+ - "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to
+ get better. It's not."
+
+** Questions? :B_frame:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: frame
+:END:
+
+Some topic ideas:
+
+ - Free/Libre games my children play
+ - Ideals related to software freedom (SaaS, Privacy, Security, Human Rights)
+ - Non-free JavaScript for online shopping, banking, etc
+ - Employer using non-free software
+
+** Thank You :B_fullframe:
+:PROPERTIES:
+:BEAMER_env: fullframe
+:END:
+#+BEGIN_COMMENT
+Some ideas if there are no quesitons:
+
+ - Free games for children
+ - Ideals related to software freedom (SaaS, Privacy, Security, Huamn Rights)
+ - Non-free JavaScript for shopping
+ - SaaS, ephemeral software, reliance on another individual
+ - Shopping for nouveau-compatible nVidia card
+ - Employer using non-free software
+#+END_COMMENT
+
+#+BEGIN_CENTER
+Mike Gerwitz
+
+[[mailto:mtg@gnu.org][=mtg@gnu.org=]]
+
+=mikegerwitz@mastodon.mikegerwitz.com=
+
+\bigskip
+
+Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0
+International License
+#+END_CENTER
+
+
+* Exporting :noexport:
+For a non-interactive build, including all dependencies, simply run =make=.
+
+Once all dependencies are built, you should be able to simply export this
+buffer as a Beamer presentation (=C-c C-e l P=) to get an updated PDF (or
+you can just run =make= again).
+
+
+* Copyright and Licenses :noexport:
+This file Copyright (C) 2019 Mike Gerwitz.
+
+This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0
+International License. See [[file:COPYING.CCBYSA]] for the full license text.
+
+
+* Local Variables :noexport: