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Re: Documentation Standards was Re: [ox-en] UserLinux

On Sun, 7 Dec 2003, Martin Hardie wrote:

I dont accept this proposition that it is free/libre - as an elite
controls it and one has to be initaied into the elite in order to use

  In this we will have to agree to disagree.  I know of very few things,
including being literate enough to participate in basic human
communications at all, that would fit this narrow definition of what
free/libre is.

If information is power/control how is it free
whether its rivalrous or not is irreelvant.

  Whether information is non-rivalrous is not irrelevant, it is entirely
the point.  Physical rivalrous goods can only exist in one place at the
same time, and there is a natural need to arbitrate when these goods are
scarce.  Non-rivalrous goods like information do not have that limitation,
and this is what is meant by knowledge being free/libre in its natural
state.  It takes human intervention to create the centralization of

  In other words, if an elite controls knowledge then this is a *human
choice* and not a natural state.  This applies to the literacy required to
participate in the basic communications in society, and it also applies to
the creation of software.

  By educating and increasing literacy you are are further distributing
power such that one has control over their own lives, rather than allowing
that knowledge to be centralized and be used as a tool to control the
lives of others.

  I choose distributed freedom, not centralized power.

  If you believe that literacy is something only obtainable by an elite,
then you will unintentionally become part of the problem.  To ensure the
distribution of information and knowledge you have to first believe that
it is possible for human beings to become literate.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> 
 Governance software that controls ICT, automates government policy, or
 electronically counts votes, shouldn't be bought any more than 
 politicians should be bought.  --


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