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 May 18, 2006  |   Filed under: Meta, Personal  |   Tags: Freedom, Philosophy, Piracy, Theory

Once upon a time the open source community coined the phrase "Free as in speech, not as in beer". This simple phrase allows us to illustrate which meaning of the word free we are referring to. Even thought free beer is great (no doubt about that) and tastes better then a beer you actually paid for (proprietary beer?) free speech is what's important.

Free as in speech essentially refers to liberated or to having freedom. Freedom, to me, is a very fascinating concept. It seams everybody wants to have it but nobody actually knows what it is. We often talk about freedom in the sense of liberation. But what is it we are trying to liberate ourselves from?

This freedom seeking syndrome is something I find especially strong in what Americans refer to as generation Y. For you not familiar with this concept this is the generation of kids born between 1982 and 1995 (years may differ depending on what definition you use). This generation, my generation, is obsessed by freedom. We behave like some kind of neo-hippies bringing such things as free software, free speech, free mind, free body and free "whatever-else-there-is" out of the dark cupboard of previous generations. I know that we didn't invent either meditation, anarchy nor open source but we are the ones who made it thrive. We are the advocates of "free" (as in speech).

Now we are even breaking laws because it is our right to have free music, free movies and free software. But wait a minute, aren't we missing something here? Isn't this the same as beating the barman senseless so we can have free beer? What I'm getting at is that we are so blinded by our quest for freedom that we no longer see the line between free beer and free speech. Somewhere in the process we've lost touch with what’s really important (yes, I'm talking about "free as in speech").

As you probably understand I'm not saying free beer is bad (neither is free music or movies) I'm just saying it's not as important as free speech. This is the main reason for the existence of this blog. This blog is about "free as in speech" or rather "free as in freedom" (referring to liberation). This blog is about my fascination with freedom, my quest for freedom.

Freedom is taking over. Join the revolution.