High priced hepatitis C treatments spark massive public outcry and political debate in Spain – le blog davidhammerstein
At what point do we call a protest by the consumer class, by those who are (or want to be) happily bourgeois (to use a forgotten them) a political act? It used to be easy to characterise these sorts of things, but the ease of such characterisation dulled perception, analysis, and left a lot of powerful community movements unrecognised and forgotten.
Occupy gained a footnote and maybe even more. But it was also critiqued, as a movement, for ultimately being shallow and unprepared for its own success: for not having an political frame of action, let alone an ideological framework. The recent (and until Charlie Hebdo) ongoing demonstrations in the US against Black deaths at the hands of the police reached into what the old-school ideologues liked. There seemed to be a point, a claim, a thing to be achieved that would actually lead to a meaningful and lasting change. Is that still true?
But perhaps the change itself lies more with the logic of communication and thus community identity. Happened with television, and first radio; and was grossly exploited by demagogues.
The point here is finding hardware that can be configured as you like with free software. Naturally, I recommend Apache OpenOffice as a start. Runs on Linux, etc. But–and this is actually important–it’s software that exists now because of its contributors, who contribute as an act of rational choice.
One can find this sentence true in many locales: “However, it is unclear how much savings the centres are yet making, with a number of departments bound by legacy contracts.”
Legacy contracts live long after their signing. And as the ICT world tends to move in spurts and incoherently, the legacy contracts warp not just the holder but also a good part of the ecosystem into the wasteland.
There’s been an interesting discussion on open source project maturity. (See the initial message, http://goo.gl/zUqAkQ). There’s a point to having a good understanding of what open means when it comes to making things, and that point is most obviously pragmatic but also more abstract. Trust, the ability to work with someone or some company in good faith, is as important for open source as it is for any other environment, and arguably even more so. In the world of contracts, where future labour is guaranteed by contract, trust is enforced and policed by force. In open source….
Frustratingly, there is actually a solution to this seeming problem, and I’ve been trying to tell IBM and even Apple about it. I refer to the technology that runs UX Write. It works on the iPad and can be made to work on the desktop; and it already works quite well with MS Office Word. (Other modules coming, but these’ll cost.)
The point is that the office worker would not have to ditch the horse she came in for the new, untested one somewhere in the middle of the stream. Rather, there’d be an augmentation of tools. A better experience, not a deeply annoying one.