10 Aug 2009
On Returning to Blogging – At Fifty
I pretty much gave up writing personal essays for the web after I founded SFLC; just when RMS & I were getting ready for the making of GPLv3. It seemed to me then that everything I thought about from day to day was subject to attorney-client privilege, or was the internal business of SFLC, or was a diplomatic statement that shouldn’t be anticipated by a personal blog. I think institutional blogging is invaluable, and I love what my colleagues do at softwarefreedom.org, including the podcast. My course wikis at Columbia are experiments in teaching conducted whth my students & former students that are teaching me every day. I live in the web. But writing about the various things that matter to me, in real time, in the constant process of trying to hope efficiently that all of us could have more freedom? That’s a habit I had gotten out of.
But changing habits seems to be one of my responses to turning fifty last month. As my dear friend Conrad Johnson put it, “Fifty is interesting.” You feel, at least if you got here the way I did, both quite strong and terribly lucky. The movement I now realize it’s clear I’m giving my life to is on the verge of irreversibly changing humanity. I may yet live to see the world I have been dreaming of since I was still a boy.
And then again, you think at fifty, maybe I won’t. But billions of people now living are going to live in a world in which every Einstein is allowed to learn physics, regardless of whether she is rich or poor. Younger colleagues I work with–more skillful and farsighted captains than we were, I have no doubt–will win the final victories after which the ownership of ideas, with all that notion implies in the dis-empowerment of the vast majority of humanity, has become as repugnant as the enslavement of human bodies. At fifty just now, in the first years of the century, I can see both how our long-cherished hopes are going to come to fruition, and that the timescale of that process, because it is now only decades from completion, is roughly the same as that of my own life.
Like many other US Americans this year, in other words, I’ve learned that I may not ever get to experience retirement. My reasons are happier than many I have heard. But it does seem like common sense not to wait, in the older tradition, to publish my memoirs.
Memoirs, of course, are famously read for the indiscretions, which is why in general, the better the lawyer, the less interesting the memoirs (with some notable exceptions in every generation among trial counsel). But I’m not blogging here indiscreetly, a spirit I hope the commentators too will observe. Without that attraction, all that can be hoped for what is said here is that it will illustrate how those of us who are wrestling with the problem of technological and cultural freedom at the beginning of the 21st century think about our movement and its goals.
| personal | 2009.08.10-15:55.00
freemjd mentioned this post in "freemjd's status on Tuesday, 11-Aug-09 13:58:10 EST"
Looking forward to hearing more regularly from Eben Moglen. http://moglen.law.columbia.edu/blog/personal/bloggingatfifty.html #SFLC #FSFeq="">.?>
Looking forward to hearing more regularly from Eben Moglen. http://moglen.law.columbia.edu/blog/personal/bloggingatfifty.html #SFLC #FSFne="">:
Looking forward to hearing more regularly from Eben Moglen. http://moglen.law.columbia.edu/blog/personal/bloggingatfifty.html #SFLC #FSF
mlinksva mentioned this post in "mlinksva's status on Tuesday, 11-Aug-09 02:41:03 UTC"
Looking forward to more of http://moglen.law.columbia.edu/blog/personal/bloggingatfifty.htmleq="">.?>
Looking forward to more of http://moglen.law.columbia.edu/blog/personal/bloggingatfifty.htmlne="">:
Looking forward to more of http://moglen.law.columbia.edu/blog/personal/bloggingatfifty.html
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