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First, hyperbole is not mischaracterization.Exaggeration? Sure. I'll take that criticism.
For your examples of loss of freedom, you're right. Using Kindles, etc. changes the game of book ownership into rental. But your freedom is not diminished, since you can still buy and lend an actual book. If an author or creator of content wants to put their work out there under a restrictive licensing scheme, you and I will likely agree it's limiting and stupid, but it's theirs so they're free to make that choice, just as you and I are free to choose not to make use of their creation. We are also free to create and give away whatever we wish. The freedom is there.
Taking this back to the original post, let's say you're using the Chrome OS and only storing stuff in the cloud. You are still free, even with one of Google's laptops, to save your work in formats and on sites that are free. If you choose rights restricting formats and storage points, then the concern is valid, but you don't have to do that. Google isn't restricting you from using free methods, even if they want you to do everything in their cloud. For that matter, Google isn't taking away everyone's hardware and forcing the world to use their stuff. Just don't use it if it bugs you that much.
Getting back to my snarky chicken little comment, it can be taken two ways. One can take it as attacking someone for making false claims, or one can take it at the more abstract level of ignoring someone for so repeatedly saying something that you don't want to listen anymore. It is the latter sense in which I look at Mr. Stallman. That is not an attack on him or his character. It is a perception. Period. And from the converstaion in this thread, it appears to be a perception that is held by many. So in that sense, Stallman can be right in his statments 100% of the time, but if his way of delivery gets on people's nerves, they'll write him off. And in that sense, my qualification about the validity of his concerns is hardly meaningless, as it simply makes it plain that I have no animosity for the guy.
Still with me this far? If you still disagree, fine. We're all capable enough around here of offering our own interpretations and thoughts on the post.
It hasn't happened. Free tools exist, and they're wonderful. Non-free tools exist. Some are fine, some are crap, and some I don't touch. But their existence hasn't hampered my access to my data or anything I've created one bit.
That's my reaction against him, and it isn't one with animosity. People who want to remind me how often he's been right seem to ignore what I said, "not that his concerns are never valid."
He's a great guy for digital freedom and free tools, but the nay-saying against non-free, AS VALID AS IT IS, has not been a problem for people who are careful with where they keep their own digital stuff. That's all.
IOW, we may make changes that look good now, and later we realize what an awful mess it was. Or, we may make changes now that turn out to be awesome.
That's why I put progress in scare quotes.
We'll see where it shakes out when the gee whiz factor of it all goes away.
Besides rock, that is.
For myself, I aspire to be a polymath. How about you?