Be Libre/Musings

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  1. Charter
  2. Muse
  3. Resources
  4. Discuss
  5. Plan
  6. Draft
  7. Refine
  8. Publish

This page is to collect any thoughts and ideas which may be picked up later for deeper consideration. What springs to mind?


  • Is it possible to elaborate a way of being, and ethical system with freedom at its core?
  • What do you want to be free of?[1][2] Or free to do?
    • i.e. what are the issues? (Some appear in the headings below)
  • Freedom - but not the freedom to restrict the freedom of others (copyleft).
  • Development as freedom[3]
  • Freedom Charter
  • Four Freedoms - goals articulated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941.

Libre technology

Wikipedia-logo-en.png Free software
Wikipedia has an article on this subject.

Visit Free software for more in depth information

Many are not aware that there are ethical considerations in one's choice of technology. The aim is to raise awareness and understanding in this respect.

Use, participate in the development of, and share libre technology.

  1. Libre software: how to be free with libre software.
  2. Libre hardware

Net neutrality

Wikipedia-logo-en.png Network neutrality
Wikipedia has an article on this subject.

Visit Network neutrality for more in depth information

  1. See issues raised here (follow links to original docs which have since been updated).
  2. F2C: Freedom to Connect 2012
  3. etc.

Libre knowledge

  1. Relevant discussion topics
  2. Live the libre vision

Open Access

  1. Publication review and impact (openness and transparency)


Wikipedia-logo-en.png copyright
Wikipedia has an article on this subject.

Visit copyright for more in depth information

  1. Brief History of Copyright
  2. History of copyright law (Wikipedia)
  3. Societal views on intellectual property (Wikipedia)
  4. strategies - "permissive" cc-by and pro[tect]freedom cc-by-sa, ...
    • CC "some rights reserved" vs copyleft (freedom [p]reserved) - author focus vs humanity.
  5. CC 4.0 insights


Social justice

Wikipedia-logo-en.png Social justice
Wikipedia has an article on this subject.

Visit Social justice for more in depth information

  1. Equality
    • treatment
    • opportunity
  2. Issues (global, local, ...)
  3. Human rights


What aspects of ethics and which ethical debates might be relevant?

Wikipedia-logo-en.png Ethics
Wikipedia has an article on this subject.

Visit Ethics for more in depth information

  1. Rights
  2. The ethics of life
    • Right to evolve
    • Taking one (or more lives) to save another (e.g. eating meat)
  3. Freedom
  4. Transparency
  5. Respect
  6. Philosophers of Ethics - see List of ethicists on Wikipedia.
    • Philippa Foot - virtue ethics
    • ...


Wikipedia-logo-en.png Philosophy of Freedom
Wikipedia has an article on this subject.

Visit Philosophy of Freedom for more in depth information

  • Freeing the mind
    • Healthy body, healthy mind ...

Philosophy and religion

Economics and Business Models

  • See this note on "economic growth".
  • In ICT: services-based business models: software development, support, training, ....
    • Not selling licenses to use [non-free] software
      • Analyse the comparative economics and deep sustainability of these different models.
        • e.g. people making a living directly or indirectly on the sale of non-rivalrous resources still consume rivalrous resources (e.g. food), pollute and otherwise have impacts on the environment.
  • In general: exclude models based on selling non-rivalrous resources beyond a reasonable return on investment.
  • Talk about Enabling Technology vs. Business Differentiation[4].
  • Peer production.
  • Examples:
  • Supporting producers of libre resources. Evaluate the various options:


Wikipedia-logo-en.png Sustainability
Wikipedia has an article on this subject.

Visit Sustainability for more in depth information

Understanding the concept

Understand who we are

  • Chris Jordan: Picturing excess
  • and see 'Earthlings' above
  • and any source describing human impacts on climate, biodiversity, etc.
  • Transcend ourselves

Redesign Civilization for Sustainability[5]

Wikipedia-logo-en.png Sustainable design
Wikipedia has an article on this subject.

Visit Sustainable design for more in depth information

  • Aims and aspirations? - vision of a sustainable world
  • Process? - how we get there?
  • Principles? - on individual, home, village, community, organisational, national and other levels?

Further questions

  • Would "More than 2 children" or "imports food" be anti-patterns?

External links of possible relevance/interest


"Progress" has some interesting implications in terms of freedom and equality.

Be Libre

This is the crux of the document. Suggesting patterns of being/doing which may be regarded as "libre" - extending one's personal freedom to self while minimising restriction of the freedom of others.

Every way of being/doing is optional. These are aspirations. Do what works for you and interpret it as you see fit.

Do/Be Freedom from/to
  • Freedom to help
    • yourself (use, learn with),
    • your neighbour (share copies) and
    • community (enhance and share) with libre software.
  • Freedom to help
    • yourself (use, learn with),
    • your neighbour (share copies) and
    • community (enhance and share) with knowledge.
  • Freedom to learn - shared knowledge appreciates.
  • Be an activist
    • Stand up for what you believe in.
    • Catalyse your organisation and colleagues towards libre software and libre knowledge, libre practices and policies (where applicable).
  • Freedom to use, learn, tinker, adapt, peer produce, share, ...
  • Freedom from vendor-lock.
  • Freedom from the dissonance caused by having to use non-free software (for example).
  • Go (run, walk, etc.) barefoot[6]
  • Freedom to be natural
  • Freedom from the tyranny of shoe manufacturers (and sales people)
  • Freedom from having to wash shoes and socks :-)
  • Ride a bike
  • Freedom to go anywhere the bike will take you (within safety constraints)
  • Unrestricted by concerns about carbon emissions much beyond manufacture of the bike.
  • Freedom from prejudice and stereotypes.
  • Freedom (of animals) from slavery and being property of humans for their use, consumption and entertainment.
  • Freedom from a whole lot of bad karma
  • Be compassionate
  • Freedom from anger, hatred and other negative emotions.
  • Take up a contemplative practice: yoga, taiji, ... train the mind
  • Free the mind from suffering and attachment.
  • Be in the moment
  • Freedom from regrets and anxiety about the future.
  • Be eclectic
  • Freedom from dogma, ....
  • Understand your environmental impact/footprint (feel the connection) and minimise it.
  • Extending freedom to live and evolve on the part of life on earth (ourselves included)
  • Become knowledgeable
    • Know thy self, know thy species, know thy planet
    • Do the maths, do the science, do the thinking, ....
  • Freedom from ignorance
  • Knowledge is liberating in the sense of broadening one's horizons to maximise potential (for career, making a difference, happiness, ...)
  • Making more informed decisions.


Thoughts on patterns, anti-patterns, aspects, classification, ...

(free association)


  • Are the concepts valid?
    • Sustainable - nothing is indefinitely sustainable (always specify a time horizon)
    • Freedom - there are always degrees of freedom in relation to other entities ...
    • Knowledge - does knowledge have to be true to be "knowledge"?
      • E = mc2
  • We are exploring just one line (or branch) of thought.


  • Freedom from?
    • regulation (e.g. "Free Schools" in the UK)
  • Restrict freedom X to enable freedom Y
    • e.g. restrict the freedom of a dangerous criminal so that others may walk around freely (and safely)
    • Restrictions we sign up to
      • Choices we can opt out of - e.g. restrict my freedom to socialise to study ... to free up more (desired) employment options ...
        • If opting out affects other people, do so with due process, timeously, transparently and compassionately.
  • Tragedy of the commons ... tragedy of enclosures.


  • In terms of sustainability, we are also talking about the freedom of future generations.
  • Freedom and responsibility
    • "mindfulness" and an understanding of interdependence (social, economic and biophysical) - by considering the freedom of others, including future generations (cf Amartya Sen's sources of unfreedom in Development as Freedom but without assuming unlimited abundance). Our own freedom depends on the freedom of others. We have collective responsibility.
  • Recall that "ethically in'defence'able discussion: cc-by vs cc-by-sa.


  • Humans are opting out[7] of (natural) evolution. Opt back in now before it is too late.
    • Anti-pattern: controlling evolution.


Wikipedia-logo-en.png Gross national happiness
Wikipedia has an article on this subject.

Visit Gross national happiness for more in depth information

  • Gross national happiness
  • Contemplate
    • become aware of inter-connections (internalise and behave accordingly)
    • free of being controlled by unconscious processes, ....
    • "Be water my friend" (Bruce Lee)
  • Practice non-violence.
  • Social contracts
  • Self acceptance (free to be one's self)
  • Social confidence (as others afford that freedom)
  • Technology lends new meaning to "mindfulness" (e.g. access to knowledge, Sensor web, ...).
  • Be an educator (if not an activist/evangelist too).


  • Money does grow on trees ... ultimately all resources come from the earth.
  • Economics - quality of life (businessman and fisherman story)
  • From "Corporate Social Responsibility" to ethical business and pervasive responsibility.



  • Pattern (broader than software): a questioning mindset, curious, inquiring mind, ..., explore alternatives, ....
    • Anti-pattern: referring to "Powerpoints" in stead of "presentations". A broader issue: e.g. "hoover", "intellectual property" and other words to avoid, etc. An unquestioning mindset.




  • Free, libre, open, gratis ...
    • non-free/non-libre = proprietary
      • what "property rights" are left in cc-by and cc-by-sa?
  • vers libre - used in English ... became 'free verse'.
  • Debian Social Contract and (GNU) freedom (differences?)
  • Words to avoid, ...
    • content - how about using "information"?
      • tricky replacing CMS with IMS.
      • materials - rivalrous mindset


  1. See for example Amartya Sen's book Development as Freedom
  2. See also the Buddhist perspective in the Four Noble Truths (the the 4th one is Freedom from suffering).
  3. See publications of Amartya Sen.
  4. The Emerging Economic Paradigm of Open Source
  5. "Uncivilized" societies don't need to be redesigned, but learned from and protected.
  6. (See Barefoot running on Wikipedia)
  7. Opting out ourselves, and making it very difficult for many other species.