Richard Stallman Uses The Internet His Own Way

I am careful in how I use the Internet.

I generally do not connect to web sites from my own machine, aside from a few sites I have some special relationship with. I fetch web pages from other sites by sending mail to a program (seegit://git.gnu.org/womb/hacks.git[1] ) that fetches them, much like wget, and then mails them back to me. Then I look at them using a web browser, unless it is easy to see the text in the HTML page directly. I usually try lynx first, then a graphical browser if the page needs it (but I make sure I have no net connection, so that it won’t fetch anything else).

I also browse from other people’s computers, with their permission. Since I don’t identify myself to the sites I visit, this browsing can’t be connected with me.

One consequence of this method is that most of the survellance methods used on the Internet can’t see me.

Another consequence is that I never pay for anything on the Web. Anything on the net that requires payment, I don’t do. (I made an exception for the fees for the stallman.org domain, since that is connected with me anyway.)

I would not mind paying for a copy of an e-book or music recording on the Internet if I could do so anonymously, and it were ethical in other ways (no DRM or EULA). But that option almost never exists. I keep looking for ways to make it happen.

His experience is just so different the average user’s. I deeply respect and appreciate his relentless work on privacy, I just wonder how close he is to the average user  and how he can understand the infinite nuances of the media if he is eventually exposed to a very limited and filtered amount of information.

The Giant Kitten Machine

As Evan Williams, cofounder of Blogger and Twitter said, the Internet is “a giant machine designed to give people what they want.” . Williams continued, “We often think the Internet enables you to do new things . . . But people just want to do the same things they’ve always done.”

Eyal, Nir (2014-11-04). Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (p. 38).