Apartheid. Making people second-class citizens by law. Terrible
practice. I’m glad that Rosa Parks stood up (or sat down) for herself
when she did, and I join the world in celebrating her life today.
What a fine and wonderful world we live in now, particularly in the
egalitarian wonder of the Internet, where age, race, gender and creed
… and where countless people are also invisible, also unheard.
The digital divide grows ever wider. As companies raise prices, crack
down on copyright violations, and festoon their code with legal
protections, people are left further and further behind.
That’s why I care so much about software freedom.
Most people see two parties involved in software piracy. There’s them,
and there’s the company. The company doesn’t generally lose much from
piracy, and may have even factored that into their marketing strategy.
The people who pirate software focus on what _they_ gain: powerful
software available _now._
But I see a whole web of relationships. I see potential alternatives
languishing because people don’t bother to try out something else. I
see startups and small businesses struggling with high software costs.
I see schools torn between the reluctance to raise tuition and the
need to prepare their students for the real world.
And I see people being locked out of this world. They are second-class
citizens by law and custom. They don’t have dollars for software or
the inclination or ability to modify it.
They do not sit at the back of the bus. They are outside the glass
windows, looking in.
Irine Yu asked me whether I’d follow Steve Pavlina and experiment with polyphasic sleep. I told her I had no plans of doing so because I like having a relatively flexible schedule. Life’s not about having more time. It’s about doing more with that time.
I’m glad Steve clarified that he’s not doing it because he wants to
squeeze extra hours out of each day, but because he wants to see if he
can hack it. It’s a good idea to keep your brain flexible. Step out of
your comfort zone. My fun braintwisting thing was learning Dvorak,
just for kicks. Who cared whether it made me faster or not? I just
wanted to know if I could reprogram my muscular memory. ;) That was
So get out there and stretch your brain!
Check out Read/Write Web’s great post about a grassroots-organized Web 2.0 conference.
Let’s do something like this back home! =)