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[school-discuss] ZIS Severed Dreams, a question of Liberty

onsdag 23. januar 2002, 16:03, skrev Michael Williams:

> I will seriously consider Edustructure, but I have reservations about the
> use of Java and MySQL.

What is your alternative? Its a bit confusing to reject things without 
talking about the alternative.

> I am uncomfortable with the "free" word, I think it causes more confusion
> than it's worth. I also don't think open source and commercial should 
> be mutually exclusive.

My impression that this is more a problem for English-talking persons
than for people in Europe. Europeans has to different word for free,
liberty and gratis. In Norway free mean liberty, and gratis is what
American's often think is free. You should call it liberty software
(but you didn't). The main idea is that you get paid to do services,
not to own your product so thight that your threatening the people who
use your software with user blocs, and bureaucratic and automatic
weakening of your privacy. 

To day the schools are used as mean for an unsecure and owner-oriented
politic that is a hindrance for learning. Learning demands openness,
trust, and creativity. Openness is the fundament for learning, and in
construction of all other technical things it is possible to inspect
the plans, drawings and so on with no hindrance. This is done to make
the constructions secure, and to protect life and property. Not the other
way around.

The price for this over-owning politics is that the closed parts of
the computer-industry gives an unnecessary opening for exploits,
viruses, and Internet-worms. It is not acceptable or understandable
from a teacher or a pupils view. That they should live with a
product-politic that weakening their platform for use of electronic
learning material, and strengthening the protection of a industry who
use the classroom as an gigantic product-training facility and a well
paid exhibition-place for liberty-weakening solutions. Solution which
learn kids to be consumers, not able to think for them selves, learn,
and create.

All other construct-businesses use other ways to protect their work
than keeping things closed - and they do it very well. If you look at
the technology stock-exchanges around the wold, you will be surprised
how many who build their products, or their solution on open
technologies, and how few that earn money with great success on for
instance Microsoft-technology or other closed source solutions. It all
come down to trust, and that demands openness.

Schools openness is the premiss for all kind of learning, teaching
and creativity. It is this kind of creativity who creates the modern
society. I could misinterpretate you, and ask if you are afraid for
straight forward competition on the expense of the future. But I have
a nagging suspicious feeling that many people has forgotten what
earlier generation has given away to ensure the liberty who are the
garantists for free (as in liberty), and well working societies. Not
the other way around as for instance Microsoft advocates tries to
persuade you. It has been proven that they who follows that part would
not earn money other than to Microsoft, and you have to pay this bill
when future generations has to learn to learn in grown opp age, not
when they are growing up when its more easy, and more secure to help
people to think for them selves. 


Knut Yrvin