Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Software and Freedom

Free Software Foundation vehemently supports free use and distribution of software. It is some thing like you get a good code you can share it with your neighbour. Once can't deny the role FSF and Open software has played in computing industry.

The freedom as proposed by fsf has a slight glitch. The code may be free to use but not easy. Let us take freedom in political domain. In all modern democracies freedom of people are ensured by rights and a right of expression is mentioned which is like a core, a base around which other freedoms rest. That is why importance to journalism is given even though it has no formal role in constitution. So is our software.

Let me explain. How many times have you [I am talking to Linux users] cursed your machine for not able to do something in your work, do you hate working on a console the whole day? The point is it comes free you can always download source of anything from net change it and start using it but the trouble in changing. Look at the amount of documentation, forums which one has to consult to.

It reminds me one of the Franz Kafka's short stories [which are extremely metaphorical]where a man always came for justice on door of law and the gaurd always refused him to go in. When the man was about to die gaurd told him you never went in the gate was made for you only.

So we have created free software but you have to be a geek or a coding god to understand and create your own stuff. My basic premise is software or code is software usage is an act of expression so whenever I tell this windows to do something someone has thought over and made windows such that it would be nice for me. But the glitch is that how could he think about all the possible needs of me. In such a diverse world with myriads of requirements who would go on making software for others.

We should create platforms where the user has more control over the system not in terms of open ness but ease of use also. Freedom needs its own enablers and checks and balances as well.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

K era

That K in title is not for Kyonki Chhaachh bhi kabhi dhahi thee. But for Knowledge With a capital and silent K.

It is a Knowledge economy. Global economy. Religion can be seen as having a source of knowledge.It can be the secret knowledge of the unknown [paradoxical hunhh], the right way of living, secrets and history of cosmos, or ethics. Common things about religion is the interpreters of knowledge or the gate holders of heaven, the learned people who bring common men, the lesser mortals in contact with divinity, supremity. They are agents of ascent.

But knowledge economy starting from printing press threw them off-gaurd. It brought that withhold virgin of knowledge to common man. Who can learn, read, discuss religion as they like. The role of the interpreter, the gatekeeper reduced to a peon. Now the same knowledge economy is going through a rift. Knowledge which was thought as free (so was water once) is a capital which has its own Capitalists.

There has been a fundamental shift in power or perception of power. It has moved from Land [Agriculture], Resources [Feudalism], Capital [Industrialization], Access or Control [ Post modern- Management Era where managers have control over other people's money]over cash to Access or Control of Knowledge. The line between last 2 is still blur.

Well coming back to knowledge pundits, the people who sit over vast heap of knowledge patent and IP protection is one of the things they have created to withhold knowledge.

PS: The word knowledge above is still a little bit blurry to me and i am sure even to knowledge manager and knowledge workers....