October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks and software freedom

October 25, 2005 - Categories: -Uncategorized

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 are invisible...

... 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.

Polyphasic sleep and Steve Pavlina

October 25, 2005 - Categories: geek

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 cool.

So get out there and stretch your brain!

Web Dos Beta – Spain’s grassroots Web 2.0 conference

October 25, 2005 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Check out Read/Write Web's great post about a grassroots-organized Web 2.0 conference. Let's do something like this back home! =)