Real Life Heroes

Richard Stallman's birthday wasn't too long ago. Although he's definitely a meme, completely crazy and totally odd, he's quite a hero. I'm sure you all know about all the great things he's done, but for those unfamiliar, he's the founder of the Free Software Foundation, he wrote the GCC and Emacs, created the GPL, invented copyleft, he's fought against DRM, software patents, etc.

The thing that concerns me though, is the idea of losing Stallman. I mean, I've never heard of anyone who's had such a single liberating impact in terms of the computers in peoples homes than himself, except for maybe Aaron Swartz, who's definitely a hero as well. If you don't know who he is, I recommend checking out his Wikipedia page and a documentary about him.

I suppose what I'm going on about here, is how infrequent heroes seem to be. As I've highlighted in a previous blog post, there are a tremendous number of ways that companies take advantage of us, not to mention how seemingly broken quite a number of governments are. While I never expect the world to be perfect, I know that there have been quite a number of people who've made quite a wonderful impact on peoples lives. In terms of libre software, we've definitely taken huge strides. Things that are hard to imagine ever being created today, like Wikipedia, are well and even thriving. There's still plenty of work to do, however, and it can feel very overwhelming.

To celebrate Stallman's birthday, I'm going to remember those who have had tremendously positive impacts on peoples lives (If you don't know who he is, you may want to read about Richard Simmons, for a non-digital hero). I'm going to try a few new things to see if I can move away from a few more proprietary platforms. I'll try to engage a little more with platforms that actually respect users.

And I might just drink a little less soda pop.

Richard Simmons

Aaron Swartz

(Peertube) Aaron Swartz — The Internet's Own Boy — HD — VOSTFR