This was the flow of a casual chat with a colleague in office yesterday. He wanted to talk about my inclination towards Free Software,and we got into an engrossing discussion.
I briefed him about the motive,consequence and path of the Free Software Movement. Touching upon the Freedom aspect,social significance and the technical ramifications it has and will continue to bring about.
Then,his immediate point was about the business models run on Free Software.This led us into the Free Software industry models like the Service,Support and Customised Solution providing scenarios.
He was rigid about his ideas about IT Business models being analogous to Proprietary firms.So,I had to bring up the essential topic of the quality of Technology that is emanating from Free Software,using the Internet as example,which thrives on Free Software. Then,came in Cloud Computing,and his Proprietary contenders would be seen misplaced in near future when we will all embrace Cloud Computing.
Also,I used instances of my acquaintances who are successful entrepreneurs today based on Free Software to manifest its potential in the current recession struck(and slowly recovering) world. Free Software provides the best platform for all the binary babies to become self sufficient and independent.
Talking about successful implementations of Free Software in the society-I mentioned Venezuela,Brazil and our own Kerala,which are fully “Free”. Then,the question of Government supporting it,and that it would be convenient if it was Leftist.His immediate doubt was that if I was a Leftist,and I knew that I had crossed the line between Right and Left,moving towards Left.Although,I am not fully convinced yet,and am in the process of comprehending it myself.
Talking about Indian Democracy(of which both of us were unhappy about),I suggested a two-party system to make some sense out of this chaos(without mentioning what exactly I had in mind).But,he immediately put out my thoughts and said-For a system like India to fall into the right track,we need to be under an appropriate Dictatorship for atleast a decade(Exactly my ideas,I have spoken to a few of you about this).
Then,again came the Profit making vs not-so much profit making Free Softare industry,according to him. I then told if he was fancied by the Profits of a certain Proprietary Company,it was ultimately at the cost of exploiting the society.And it would be the ethics and morale of the individual to decide upon.
Personal conviction is the greatest strength,and the lack of it is man’s greatest weakness.