I am trying to study for the two exams that I have upcoming for this week (Tues & Wed) that cover 6 subjects and am finding myself immersed in an wide variety of primary texts and commentary, as well as academic papers, on design, technology, culture, and narrative. This has lead to some interesting, if not down right amusing, juxtaposition of ideas and writing styles.
For your perusal today, I shall give you two exerpts, one from the introduction to the Futurist Manifesto and the other is from the FAQ at the GNU project.
Exerpt from “The Futurist Manifesto“, by F. T. Marinetti, 1909
We went up to the three snorting machines to caress their breasts. I lay along mine like a corpse on its bier, but I suddenly revived again beneath the steering wheel – a guillotine knife – which threatened my stomach. A great sweep of madness brought us sharply back to ourselves and drove us through the streets, steep and deep, like dried up torrents. Here and there unhappy lamps in the windows taught us to despise our mathematical eyes. `Smell,’ I exclaimed, `smell is good enough for wild beasts!’
And we hunted, like young lions, death with its black fur dappled with pale crosses, who ran before us in the vast violet sky, palpable and living.
And yet we had no ideal Mistress stretching her form up to the clouds, nor yet a cruel Queen to whom to offer our corpses twisted into the shape of Byzantine rings! No reason to die unless it is the desire to be rid of the too great weight of our courage!
We drove on, crushing beneath our burning wheels, like shirt-collars under the iron, the watch dogs on the steps of the houses.
“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”
Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
I will leave Edward Tufte’s principles of information design for another post…