Just When I Think I Am Done

Tue, 30 Apr 2024

The battle for software freedom, a shared endeavor that unites us, may sometimes feel like an uphill climb, a tireless struggle against the ever-encroaching forces of proprietary software, which often seems like a relentless, many-headed hydra. There are victories, to be sure, that fill us with a sense of shared purpose and accomplishment. And yet, when we think we've made headway - perhaps convincing a school district to adopt free software or pushing through supportive legislation - just when we think maybe the ideals of free software have permeated the mainstream, that the world has started to see the ethics behind free software, a new challenge appears that yanks us back into the trenches and provides a chilling reminder of our ongoing struggle.

It might be a new, insidious legislation designed to lock down what users can do with their devices. It could be a corporation, once a supporter of "open source," slowly slipping back into proprietary software, citing "competitive advantage." It could be a government's push to adopt proprietary software for critical services. It could be the creeping suspicion that convenience often dulls people's concerns about losing their freedom. Whatever it may be, the threats never fade entirely.

These moments are disheartening, a painful reminder that the enemies of software freedom are tireless and resourceful. They see the power and liberation inherent in software that respects users' freedom to run, study, change, and share it. Their goals clash violently with the ethical principles I hold dear.

It's easy to feel disheartened and believe the battle is lost. Why fight for software freedom when there are "free enough" and convenient options available? But it's in these moments of discouragement that we must strengthen our resolve. The fight for software freedom is not over. The path is long, filled with setbacks and frustrations. But I refuse to succumb to cynicism or hopelessness. Our fight is not just for software, it's for the very essence of freedom in the digital age. It's about a fundamental principle: the right of users to control the software they rely on. It's about safeguarding our freedom, and building a future where technology serves humanity, not the other way around.

Just when I think I am done, there's a fresh reminder about the countless individuals who depend on free software and dream of a world where technology is a force for good, not a tool of control. It's a stark illustration of why we can't stop advocating for a world where software empowers users rather than controls them. We keep fighting not only for them but for the generations to come. There will be no final victory, only the unending vigilance that is the price of liberty.

We must continue to spread the word, educate people about the ethical failure of proprietary software, and build networks where users can support each other in transitioning to and thriving within a world of free software. Even when the victories for free software seem to increase, I know there is always more to be done. It's not enough to celebrate our successes. Every moment of complacency is a missed opportunity, a potential step backward. The road ahead will be challenging, but the goal - a world where all software everywhere respects our fundamental freedoms - makes this an ongoing battle worth fighting. Your role in this fight is crucial, and together, we can make a difference.

"Just when I think I am done" is more than a passing sense of fatigue. It's a reminder that the work is never complete. Freedoms can be fleeting if left unguarded. Only through tireless commitment to free software can we forge a digital world that truly belongs to its users. And I am committed, now and always, to this cause.