Stop The Bickering

Francois-Rene Rideau
07 Jul 1999 14:05:17 +0200 (Decklin Foster) writes in gnu.misc.discuss:

> --"So when you say 'free software', it's not like, 'here, take this
> for free', it's 'here, you are free to hack around with this.'"
> --"Exactly!"

And it could continue like that:

-- And when you say 'free market' or 'free exchange',
  it doesn't mean you get goods for free?
-- Exactly!
-- And when you say 'free speech', or 'free thinking',
  it doesn't mean that what you say or think is worthless?
-- Exactly!
-- You mean there is a difference
  between 'free of rights' and 'free of charge'?
  between 'free of shackles' and 'free of worries'?
-- Exactly!
-- You mean that the word 'free' has a deep philosophical meaning,
  despite the fact that in everyday life (and hype),
  it's mostly used to mean 'free of charge'?
-- Exactly!
-- Wow! I could never have guessed so!

Of course, in french, we have no problem with 'libre' being mainly used
for 'gratuit', which is why french is a better... Hum.
The corruption of the word 'free' by the sole meaning 'free of charge'
reminds me of George Orwell's 1984's Newspeak:
deprive words of their oldthinking meanings, and forbid old words,
so as to eradicate doubleplusplus ungood oldthinking.
Not that Orwell invented the practice, he only formalized it:
totalitarian church/states (communist, christian, down to antique empires)
have used this technique quite a lot.
Funny to see this technique successfully applied in 'free' America...
Wait, does that mean you can go to the US without paying your plane ticket?
Well, then, look out! I'm coming by next plane!

[ "Faré" | VN: Уng-Vû Bân | Join the TUNES project!  ]
[ FR: François-René Rideau | TUNES is a Useful, Nevertheless Expedient System ]
[ Reflection&Cybernethics  | Project for  a Free Reflective  Computing System ]
The problem with modern politics is that too many people are confusing
the concept of free market with the corporate interest of traders,
whereas nothing could be as foreign to free market as any corporate interest.