Free Software as a Commons
Lyon 27 Oct. 2011
Arturo Di Corinto
Software is not a ordinary object but an instrument good at building other tools and instruments.
Why software is so important? Like writing is an intermediary between us and the others, software is the intermediary between us and all every day’s activities.
Software instructs computers in writing letters, calculating, drawing, and it’s also useful for writing music, recording stories and ideas and projecting machines and environments, for recording climate changes or warning us of an earthquake.
Today, most part of our communication – and its democratization – relies on software, and since communication is a universal right, a basic human need, and the foundation of all social organization, we must be aware of the role of software in today’s communication.
Software is a peculiar language form through which people manage culture and knowledge accumulated over centuries and because of that it’s not a simple utensil.
Software is a cognitive artifact and it incorporates intelligence and work, it transmits meanings and values, it brings with it the idea of its creator and of its user.
The fact that its use is exclusive, limited in space and time, or vice versa that it might be modified, given, freely exchanged behind geographical barriers, makes a remarkable difference.
If language is the “operating system” of our society, software is the language of all new forms of immaterial production, and of scientific and technological innovation in the information society. Because of this it has to be free, that is freely usable, to favour the progress of all the society, of every society, because, otherwise, we would be all less free. Continua »