Pre-parenting advocacy

February 5, 2013 — Leave a comment

I don’t want to be different because I am a parent, but it is probably happening. I am not becoming conservative in most things, but I have changed how I do work. Before I didn’t particularly care about how much money I had. Now I care about a very specific amount, which is just enough that I can not be constantly stressed while hanging out with my kid.

For me, that means I become more lenient on software. I am not going to jump on a Mac or anything, but if someone wants to pay me to set something up for them, I am inclined to do it.

I am not really getting into any ethical grey area; most of my clients are non-profits still. My most commercial client is a feminist book publisher. I will never work for a defence contractor, I have hard lines I won’t cross (with the caveat always being holodecks; I would work on a holodeck!). But I have no problem helping folks with otherwise non-free software, from the OS up to certain types of web apps (like Google stuff).

When it comes to the web stack, it is all open. I can’t think of any software I run for clients on a web server that isn’t free. In fact, I think it is all GPL. Most of it is GPL, though nginx used a BSD-like license. But that isn’t sexy, and no one gets brochures or business cards trying to sell them on it. Free software, when both in freedom and cost, doesn’t seem to sit that well in the human psyche unless you’ve drunk the kool-aid from a different source.

Anyhow, another reference piece for myself: I am interested in how becoming a parent has changed me, or re-prioritized my life. From the looks of it, I am falling out of the zealotry of FOSS advocates. Maybe it is time I give this pragmatic approach a try…

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