At first glance of Richard Stallman, and you may think that he has just returned after a five year stay on a deserted island. But don’t let his image fool the innovative personality hidden inside of him. He has received a lot of heat from the press for his most recent comments in regards to the passing of Steve Jobs, claiming that “Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died” (Caulfield 2011 p.1) . Stallman has been recognized as one of the leaders in the free software movement, as well as the creator of the computer operating system GNU. At the core of Stallman’s ideas is “a form of sharing and mutual aid that is common inside an community or corporation, but not between organizations” (Brewster 2011 p.1). Stallman sees that society is heading in a completely wrong direction, as it makes strides in the technological world. He has become a firm believer that licensing and cloud computing will enable big corporations to dictate the path for the average person.

Even though Stallman approaches the technological future with extremist ideas, you cannot help, but find them somewhat appealing, especially the ease with which improvements to software could be made. Technology has made great strides up to this day, and many people have benefited from these new changes, but should people be afraid of where the future is going? Stallman has some reason to believe that. While many might disagree with his ideas, at least it’ll give them the option to choose their own future path, which may lead to deleting their Google account.


4 responses »

  1. lcs024 says:

    Stallman sounds like he would be a very interesting speaker who would undoubtedly spark heated debates among students. It is a pretty radical view to suggest that we should be concerned about where technology might take us and perhaps distance ourselves from it while we still can. It would be fascinating to hear his argument for why he feels that is the case and I feel it could potentially change students’ perspectives, or at the very least ignite some discussions.

  2. jhw026 says:

    It sounds like Stallman has some pretty radical ideas particularly about the technology industry. I think his views would be particularly controversial on most college campus’s where intellectual property rights are often a topic of debate especially surrounding filesharing software and the prevalence of the pirating of music, movies, text books, and more. I would personally be very interested to hear why he believes so deeply in the sharing of software and how he addresses obvious questions that will arise when we stop protecting the rights of software developers.

  3. alin01 says:

    Technology is advancing at such a fast rate that people often do not see the effects of that technology until much later. A speaker like Richard Stallman would be very appealing to me because it sounds like he would open many of us up to less than ideal world with big corporations pulling all the strings. It would also be interesting to see his view on sharing software in a capitalistic society like the United States.

  4. manderson12 says:

    It would be very interesting to hear Stallman’s extreme opinion that society is heading in the completely wrong direction. Technology and the internet is such a crucial tool in today’s society, that it would be hard to imagine our world without it. I am not familiar with his arguments, but his suggested changes is very intriguing. Stallman’s thoughts on where our future is going would stir up a good debate within our class.

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