Re: Supporting the free software movement

For what its worth, I believe that if we truly want to promote free
software, we need to begin reaching out to people outside of the
typical tech-sphere. A great place to begin would be with educators
and kids. There are many conferences not specifically related to tech
and free software where we could (and should) be promoting ourselves -
conferences related to homeschooling, science, education, etc. Because
we focus on those already interested in tech we miss out on a huge
segment of the population who is most interested in software that
works and is cheap/free ('as in beer', though they are likely
receptive to the ideals of free software 'as in freedom' as well).

I have spent most of the last year refocusing away from free software
and on my children and their education. This past winter/spring I ran
a class on free software in our homeschool co-op, where I gave out USB
thumb drives to my (4) students and explained the basics of free
software, how to contribute, etc and did my best to get them used
to/comfortable with it. One student chose to install on their own
laptop midway through, and, as far as I know has had no problems thus
far (I'd actually installed on another student's laptop in a
completley unrelated class the semester before as well). This fall
I'll be teaching a class in the same co-op on cryptography & freedom
online, where I plan to hand out usb sticks with Tails, teach students
to use GPG encryption and properly use Tor, i2P and other anonymous
tools online, while constantly reminding them of the need for free

It is only through this sort of outreach to kids and people who are
otherwise ignorant of the importance of freedom that we will ever be
able to build a knowledgeable society. The current focus of too many
free software projects is within themselves and the (relatively) small
tech sphere who already knows of their existence. We need to change
this, and begin to reach out to those who are 'just users' of our
software, if we ever want expand our reach and truly compete with the
proprietary software which is so ubiquitous in our lives today.

On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 9:11 AM, Richard Stallman <rms gnu org> wrote:
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

My question is intentionally broad.  I'd like to see what candidates
think about the free software ideals and how they would promote them.
I am not thinking of one particular issue, and if they surprise me
with ideas I never thought of, that would be great.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call.

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