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DATE 2019-03-01

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MESSAGE
DATE 2019-03-19
FROM From: "Free Software Foundation"
SUBJECT Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] RMS article: "Install fests: What to do about the
From hangout-bounces-at-nylxs.com Tue Mar 19 23:06:08 2019
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Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] RMS article: "Install fests: What to do about the
deal with the devil"
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*Read and share online: *


Dear Ruben Safir,

In ["Install fests: What to do about the deal with the devil,"][1]
Richard Stallman issues both a caveat to free software novices who
would like to transition to using free software exclusively via an
install-fest, and a plea to install-fest organizers and volunteers not
to make injurious ethical decisions for the people availing themselves
of their help.

[1]: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/install-fest-devil

Stallman explains that, because of obstacles deliberately devised to
thwart reverse engineering, not all computers can function properly with
a [completely free distro][2]. And that a choice, therefore, often has
to be made, between freedom and convenience, between installing a
fully free distro that won't function as intended, and installing a
nonfree distro that will. He argues that this choice should be made
by the *informed* user alone, not silently by the install-fest
volunteer.

[2]: https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html

Stallman appeals to install fests to forgo the "tacit deal with the
devil" that suppresses the free software movement's message about
freedom and justice, and to take advantage of the teachable moment, to
introduce the user to the "moral dimension" of their computing
choices. He suggests a number of things an install-fest could do
(implement visual demarcations that help users understand when they're
about to "forfeit their freedom," give technical advice regarding free
software and free hardware, encourage users to lobby offending
manufacturers) in order to "retain full moral authority when it talks
about the imperative for freedom." Better the devil you know than the
devil you don't, and, ultimately, better no devil at all.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Rasata
Assistant to the President


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Free Software Foundation







Read and share online: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/rms-article-install-fests-what-to-do-about-the-deal-with-the-devil





Dear Ruben Safir,



In "Install fests: What to do about the deal with the devil,"
Richard Stallman issues both a caveat to free software novices who
would like to transition to using free software exclusively via an
install-fest, and a plea to install-fest organizers and volunteers not
to make injurious ethical decisions for the people availing themselves
of their help.



Stallman explains that, because of obstacles deliberately devised to
thwart reverse engineering, not all computers can function properly with
a completely free distro. And that a choice, therefore, often has
to be made, between freedom and convenience, between installing a
fully free distro that won't function as intended, and installing a
nonfree distro that will. He argues that this choice should be made
by the informed user alone, not silently by the install-fest
volunteer.



Stallman appeals to install fests to forgo the "tacit deal with the
devil" that suppresses the free software movement's message about
freedom and justice, and to take advantage of the teachable moment, to
introduce the user to the "moral dimension" of their computing
choices. He suggests a number of things an install-fest could do
(implement visual demarcations that help users understand when they're
about to "forfeit their freedom," give technical advice regarding free
software and free hardware, encourage users to lobby offending
manufacturers) in order to "retain full moral authority when it talks
about the imperative for freedom." Better the devil you know than the
devil you don't, and, ultimately, better no devil at all.



Sincerely,



Jeanne Rasata

Assistant to the President






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