This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Best Definition of Freedom I've Heard

I saw Ralph Nader speak at Google yesterday, and he had the best definition of freedom I've ever heard. An excerpt from Nader's 2004 commencement address:

"Cicero, while we are quoting the ancients, once defined freedom as participation in power [bold added]. I think it is the best definition of freedom that I have heard. Freedom is participating in power such as a deliberative democracy, such as government, such as corporations, such as trade unions. People have to participate in those areas of power that affect their lives so intimately."

It sets a high-bar and makes me ask how the open systems I'm engaged in live up to it. I'm also not sure yet how to integrate meritocracy into this, which I think is important, especially for open source. Any ideas?

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