Questions Please… episode #1 interview

A new show called “Questions Please…” has distributed episode #1 in Ogg Vorbis format under a license that allows verbatim distribution (“Verbatim copying and distribution of these entire recordings are permitted worldwide without royalty provided this notice is preserved.”). Jonathan Roberts, the host, interviews Richard Stallman, Jeremy Allison and Jeff Waugh in this episode.

There is some exploration of the value of freedom and consideration of ethics in computing, including debunking a common myth about becoming more free by being free to discard your rights. During a discussion of what free software-related wishes the three interviewees had, Stallman noted that he wouldn’t oppose a law prohibiting proprietary software but he chose to take a different path working against proprietary software. Roberts followed up by asking:

Roberts: Do you not think though, Richard, that a law against it [proprietary software] is in many ways restricting those people’s freedoms to—

Stallman: No. That’s basically making a Russell paradox out of freedom. The freedom to give up your freedom, basically, conflicts with the idea of inalienable rights. There’s some rights that are threatened and important, and in order to make sure they continue to exist, they must be inalienable. When people’s right to sell themselves into slavery was abolished, that made society more free because it closed a path by which people became slaves.

Roberts: Okay, yeah, that’s a good point.

Link: Russell paradox.

One thought on “Questions Please… episode #1 interview

  1. About the statement: “There is no reason to buy an ipod”, I would just mention that you can run a free OS on the ipod: see, for example. Its still a little bit buggy, but they’re working on it.

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