For Every Excuse a New Strategy

Sun, 10 Mar 2024

This post is intended to provide a humorous complement to the previous blog posts: To Advance Free Software, Learn To Argue, and To Advance Free Software, Listen Differently.

Ah, the familiar symphony of excuses when it comes to free software. We've all heard them when talking to people about ditching their freedom-draining proprietary software. The promise of control and freedom sounds fantastic. But then, the excuses creep in... insidious little voices whispering doubts. It's like a well-worn record, skipping from complaint to complaint. But guess what? It's time to change the tune. Let's tackle these free software myths head-on, break them down, reveal the liberating truth, and pave the path to digital liberation!

Excuse #1: "What About All My Files? Can This 'Free' Thing Even Read Them?"

Ah, yes, the compatibility conundrum. Picture this: You've spent years building your collection of files, and they're like your digital children. Now you're trapped on an island of proprietary file formats, desperately waving your precious documents at passing ships, hoping anyone has the right software decoder ring. But don't panic - for every mysterious file type, there's likely a free software hero ready to swoop in, and your files probably aren't destined for format-induced exile. Plus, you might be surprised about the free software support for abandoned formats your proprietary software forgot long ago.

Excuse #2: "Free Software Can't Possibly Have All the Bells and Whistles I Need!"

The misconception that free equals featureless seems rampant. Free software might not (yet) include 25 ways to add glitter to your text. Let's get real before you lament the lack of a magical "hyper-blur" button in your proprietary image editor. But do you need those? Focus on what you do need in objective terms, not on specific programs or ways to do it, and you might be surprised.

Excuse #3: "This looks different! My brain hurts..."

Change is scary; I get it. Habits are safe. Trading in the familiar layout of your proprietary programs for a slightly altered one feels like navigating a jungle in the dark. Yes, there's a learning curve, but you know your current proprietary software holds you hostage, right? Free software puts YOU back in charge. Switching takes bravery, but it's your first step toward actual control. And just remember the last time one of your proprietary programs had an overhaul in the user interface - you got through that, right? And here's the secret: Using software can be all about patterns. Learn a few new menu locations and shortcuts, and you'll be back to smooth sailing. Think of it as a brain exercise, keeping you sharp!

Excuse #4: "Okay, Okay, But What Happens When it Breaks? Who Do I Yell At?"

The support myth. There may not be a hotline to call, but have you tried calling those lately anyway? You won't find a bored customer service rep reading from a script in the free software world. Instead, with free software, the community is the support system. You unlock a treasure trove of passionate online communities. Vibrant forums, passionate developers - the very people who build the software are often happy to help when things get weird. Think of them as tech-savvy neighbors, always eager to lend a hand or troubleshoot that odd setting. With some searching, you might find more personalized help than you ever got from a paid hotline.

Excuse #5: "What's the catch? I'm used to things being difficult."

We humans are suspicious creatures. The idea that software can exist without us forking over cash feels wrong. Here's where free software shines. You're not just a customer; you're part of a movement. You gain freedom and control over your computing, knowing that you're not beholden to the whims of a proprietary software developer.

Excuse #6: "It's all too much! I want the easy option."

Choice can be overwhelming, especially if you come from a proprietary software world where only one way is allowed. Instead of just one program, you have many options. Need an image editor? There are several. A video editor? Take two. Take a deep breath, explore curated lists, or ask those helpful communities. You may find your perfect software soulmate.

Excuse #7: "This Is All Too Much! Can't I Just... Not?"

Yes, you can stay with the software equivalent of shackles of subjugation, keeping you under the thumb of the proprietary software. But picture a life where you call the shots. Your files, your tools, your rules. And if you don't like it? You help change the software itself! That's real power.

The Truth Bomb

It's not just about the software. Embracing free software is about reclaiming your freedom. It's shaking off the shackles of subjugation. So, challenge it the next time an excuse pops up, and don't let those excuses win! Embrace the adventure, the community, and the power to shape your digital world. Because freedom feels pretty darn good, and you might stumble upon a whole new world of tools and a community that has your back.

So, ready to break free?