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Why I think the idea of freedom is so hard to quantify
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Posted by: Ihavenoname ®

12/03/2022, 14:20:41

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Let me introduce two gentlemen who advocates for "freedom."

John Stossel, a Libertarian reporter. And Richard Stallman, a computer programmer who is involved in the "free and libre software" movement.

John Stossel advocates for limited government, "civil liberties," the U.S. constitution, and free speech. He does a good job exposing wrongdoings in government and elected officials.

But, he has flaws as well. He is a "free market" advocate. While I agree with most of his overall "free market" ideas like reducing regulations on job growth, he also endorsed ideas from shady companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Those companies are known to underpay drivers, and they also invade and store private information, something Stossel doesn't mention. Drivers have accused Uber of underpaying them too. Stossel doesn't mention that either.

And Stossel calls you "selfish" for not taking the questionable COVID vaccine, despite legitimate cases of life-threatening disabilities reported from taking the vaccine.

So you think vaccines should be mandated even if it can be potentially lethal? How is that freedom when you are forced to take a dangerous vaccine? Health and safety doesn't necessarily equal freedom.

Currently, Stossel is one of the only few decent mainstream reporters left (including those on other independent conservative sites). He used to work for ABC's 20/20 and FOX Business.

Then, there's Richard Stallman. A well-known computer programmer who advocates for freedom in "free speech" in software.

He started the GNU project, which provided software with the source-code completely available in the public domain. He advocates for the use of a proper GNU/Linux distribution with the source-code for that operating system freely available as well.

The idea is that software should be made to respect the user's freedom. Anyone can audit and modify the source code of the program. And more importantly, people can study the source code of the program and see what it does to their computers.

He rightfully advocates against "proprietary" software, meaning any software you use, whether it be on a computer, or on the internet, doesn't have the source code to the program. You have no idea what the program does to you. It may pose dangers like privacy invasions. He also calls out big tech companies for their misdeeds.

If you're interested, you can view the four essential freedoms of software to better understand this "free and libre software" debacle.

While Richard Stallman is a hero in the computing industry (including Gary Kildall and too many others to list), he also has flaws. Stallman is a progressive who shares mixed views. Some I agree with. Others, not so much.

He does correctly call out Uber and Lyft for privacy violations and underpaying of drivers, but he advocates for liberal ideas and Democratic candidates. Ideas include more government regulations, "climate-change" urgency (disclaimer: I'm not an expert on climate change), condemning "right-wing" extremism, and other things I won't get into.

He doesn't like Trump, calling him the "bully" and the "troll." Some of his criticisms of Trump has merit (like Trump calling out DeSantis, and his ego to an extent), but others seem more like "Trump-derangement syndrome."

He also praises actions from the 'Crats too. He often sides with our dictator and makes narrow-minded views on government authority. There's more, but areas like unionization are not my expertise.

He made certain comments on a particular subject that got him into trouble, which led him to resigning from a senior position on the Free Software Foundation. I'm all in for freedom of speech, but people have to think carefully on what they say.

Ironically, on his website, he posted a picture of an American flag that reads "America means civil liberties, patriotism means protecting them," despite his progressive views.

What's wrong with his views? Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. He does condemn dictatorship in China, but some of his views conflict with freedom as in a person's civil liberties. He cares about "freedom," but incompatibilities from his 'Crats endorsements makes it questionable. 

And that's why freedom is hard to quantify. Freedom in what?

From what I see, Stossel supports civil liberties, but has questionable economic views related to "technologies" as a means of life-quality improvements. Stallman rightfully supports freedom in computer software, but holds questionable and incompatible views on freedom in politics and economic policies.

I see myself as a middleman between the two. But sadly, I don't think freedom will never be properly quantified. It seems certain freedoms comes with a price tag.

Economic freedom, but maybe at the cost of the worker's civil liberties? Technological freedom, but potentially at the cost of practical convenience?

I don't know.

Modified by Ihavenoname at Sat, Dec 03, 2022, 15:12:29

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