Richard Stallman: Free Software, Freedom and Education

As per the schedule we were at IIT, Chennai to attend talk of Richard Stallman, founder Free Software Foundation and man behind the Gnu project. The title of the presentation was “Free Software, Freedom and Education



The event had over 3000 participants mostly from various engineering colleges across the city and area nearby, apart from ilugc members and fsftn folks. People were in queue to enter inside the conference hall few hours in advance.

So this time he started with Facebook, and how dangerous it is to use/share information there and how federal agencies are using it to spy on you. Then he spoke about how new age programming has resulted into writing malicious javascript code which results in fetching many valuable data of the users. He urged not to use/post today`s conf photo there and make sure to use browser with disable javascript mode.

Then came the old propitiatory OS and the harmful effect of it and how society is getting affected from it.  He even mentioned about Android ported on/by different vendors on there hardware is not a free software. He also mentioned how close is kindle and like services. He was also very unhappy about SAS model, as your data is not secure.

After one and half hour of general philosophy about free software, proprietary, DRM he spoke about the need of Free Software in Education.

According to him if a education system is not imparting education on Free Software nothing is going in correct direction. I would agree to him on that. I just hope some day our Indian Government realizes and removes the mandatory teaching of non-free software with free software alternative. It will not only save lots of money but will also give more independence to a user to explore more.

We saw  St IGNUcius in the last part of the session. It was all about Emacs. It was different RMS which i had seen before, the lighter side of him and i liked it.

Lastly came Q/A session he answered more than 20 questions. Lastly yes i became FSF-India member finally. 😀