This is a long overdue expression of gratitude to the wonderful people of the Free Software Foundation whom I fondly think of as the Gnu Clan!
The Gnu Illustration is representative of my own Shishalh Salish culture, our stories, masks, myths and illustration’s are predominately based upon the superiority of other life forms and species, and the inferiority of humans. For thousands of years our family groups have been identified by Clan, my family Clan is Stalashen, or Killer Whale, and with my birth right comes a responsibility to protect and care for the part of our Mother who we have long resided on in order to preserve it for life in the future to enjoy.
The people of the Free Software Foundation have voluntarily come together in order to preserve the freedom of software users, the rights of internet users and are working to free creative individual from the ongoing appropriation of our work by corporate entities through our egregious copyright and patent systems. They have come together under the banner of the Gnu. The Gnu is a powerful creature, but hardly so great as a Lion, a Lion can easily extinguish a Gnu so why not just be a Lion? What excellent feature that Gnu’s possess is their ability to come together, and work together to protect themselves from the Lion’s and all other threats to their existence. Individually it is impossible but together people stand a far greater chance of successful, healthy and productive lives, this is how the Gnu’s and the People are meant to function and survive, in cooperative groups, and it pleases me immensely to see this occurring on our Mother!
I do not define the Gnu Clan as a Clan in the tribal, twisted, vulgar sense but as a Clan of like minded individuals; with a clear understanding of the world that they exist in, how our interconnectedness effects each other, how it is better to learn from, share with, respect and support each other rather than oppress, control, limit and destroy each others freedoms, much less accept it in any form and further to share that freedom with everyone else without exception! The Gnu Clan are a collaboration of brilliant, individual human’s who have given me a great deal of hope for us all and for the generations yet to come, they are and long have been, an instrumental in my own efforts to continue to help other people within a traditional, ethical, non-restrictive way.
This illustration was not only created with software which came from the efforts of the Gnu Clan at the FSF, due to the Gnu Clan I am also able to share it by application of the Free Art License V 1.3. Gimp is the program which was used to create the Gnu aided by a gnu/linux OS which I installed myself, I encourage you to try these products out. Like a lot of people I have had no formal education in computer sciences, like a lot of people I use this tool because it is the tool we are presently using, and it like money, which is also only a ‘tool’, if not used cautiously can often more restrictive and harmful than helpful.
The Gnu’s are not new, the FSF has been creating solutions for people for thirty years, and I encourage you to go seek them out and discover what excellent tools they have created for us. You may not be the type of person who puts energy into illustration’s of Gnu’s, whatever your passion it is likely you will find what you need through them, or something someone else might benefit from. Just last week I had the opportunity to help engineer who’s system had failed and no longer possessed the tools needed to produce homes for people, and around here there is a desperate need to create shelter for the very many people who do not have any. The engineer told me the programs that needed to be reinstall were back in Colorado and was in doubt that I could do anything at all to get them back on track. Within half an hour LibreCAD was installed, and the houses will be built, thanks to Gnu Clan.
Because of the Gnu Clan, I no longer have to struggle with the moral dilemma that occurs when someone I know, appreciate and want to help has a technological problem. This becomes an issue for the modern, traditional, indigenous warrior because a big part of my personal fulfillment and identity comes other people, it comes from the responsibility I have towards taking care and helping others. Our survival and happiness depends in part upon ourselves, and how we chose to behave but also we depend on each other, we do not and cannot exist alone.
It is only common sense that we take care of ourselves and each other with responsibility and consideration. When it is your responsibility to help someone who asks you for that help that sometimes by giving them what they ask for you are not helping them. One example of this is when an alcoholic asks for help to obtain alcohol, obviously the worst thing one can do is help them achieve that goal.
Software and technological issues require the same consideration, often times the worst thing you can do is help people access some operating, software and hardware systems. Helping someone by restoring their defective product so they can use it again does that person and our community no little more good than giving an alcoholic liquor does. Also I do not feel compelled to subsidize proprietary companies by administering aid to the defective and harmful products that they have designed poorly. Frankly in my opinions these products that do little more than irritate me and waste so much valuable time, this is shameful. If you are a human being out there who feels the same way and are quite done with the corporate, controlled, restrictive and freedom restricting products available I suggest you give the Free Software Foundation some serious attention. Anytime anyone comes to me with a problem with software I help them by replacing their proprietary software with a rational product, I have been doing this for years and I have yet to have a single person who is unhappy with the FSF products.
The Gnu Clan has designed and shared such incredibly brilliant and easy to use products that even a traditional, indigenous person can access and use them and most importantly share and teach others about them! The Free Software Foundation is so wonderfully refreshingly Human. The secret to their products is hidden within the philosophy of freedoms and the ethical consideration, these have been long lacking within the Western economic and social structure and it pleases me that the Gnu’s are amongst us and I encourage you each and all to consider joining the Hurd!