The “Law of Unintended Consequences” states that “an intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes”. I wonder if some 100% legitimate aspirations and well-intentioned proposals to make the internet less “white and western” may have just such consequences.
_(this is a reformatted/expanded version of a comment I made in November 2013 on the Libre Office mailing list)_
- Today, our rights and the overall quality of our life heavily depend on how software is used around us. This is true also for people (including children) who don’t care much about computers, or don’t even have one. This is why in 2006⁄2007 I wrote a Family Guide to Digital Freedom and an associated website. My goal was to try to explain, in one place and in the simplest possible way, what everybody should know about software, digital technologies and digital culture, in order to protect their rights.
(historical note: this short interview had been asked by a parenting blog, and should have been published there, to explain why all parents should work to protect their children Digital Freedom. Then that editor changed his mind, so I put it online myself, in March 2008, at digifreedom.net. In the following years, I reorganized my websites several times… until this piece went offline. I put it back at this new URL, with (almost) all the links updated, in February 2014)
- (Historical note: I originally published this on 2008/01/12 at digifreedom.net, the website I set up as an online counterpart to that Family Guide to Digital Freedom which later on became the basis for my basic course. I have moved it here on April 24th, 2012, because I think the advice below it’s a perfect complement to something else published on this website in the same month (With leaders like these, Free Software will never win), and because here you can add your comments)
(this page is part of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2007 edition. Please do read that introduction to know more about the Guide, especially if you mean to comment this page. Thanks)
_(historical note: I first put this online in October 2006, at digifreedom.net. In the following years, I reorganized my websites several times… until this piece went offline. I put it back at this new URL, with (almost) all the links updated, in December 2013)_
(a piece originally published at Digifreedom.net in 2006⁄2008, put back online here on 2018/05/17)