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but seemingly part of the frustration is that the average consumer feels powerless

The average consumer could care less. They want to make phone calls, send text messages (over iMessage), surf Facebook, and take back to school pictures of their kids - and they just want it to work.

We need something similar to Godwin's law where anyone who argues that people don't care about something automatically loses the argument.

Of course people don't care more about iPhones than their own kids. Pick just about any X and people don't care more about X than their own kids.

That doesn't mean X doesn't matter, or people wouldn't care more about it if the understood it better, or wouldn't be better off if it was different, or that we shouldn't try to do something about it.

If we polled all smartphone owners and asked them how much they would pay to be able to own their phone in the way that Stallman owns his computer I'd bet a large amount of money that the median would be 0 cents and the average would be less than 1 cent. This isn't just a question of caring less. The huge majority of users do not care at all about this.

If we polled all smartphone owners and asked them who Stallman is, the majority of them wouldn't be able to tell you. That doesn't mean it doesn't affect them.

And if you're talking about a poll where you ask people whether they would like to have a larger selection of apps for their phone, or they think it should be easier for small developers to enter the market, or they think Google should have more control over their phone than they do, the majority of people are not going to choose less apps and less freedom at the same price.

The fact that you have to put it against dollars to get them to do what you want is just leveraging the fact that the median user is not rich to claim that nobody wants something that everybody wants because everybody also wants to save money (and the implication that the median person values it at less than a penny is hyperbole). Why should you have to pay extra for freedom? Should only the rich have it?

What you're really getting at by suggesting we poll people on Stallman, I think, is that they're uninformed, and AnthonyMouse is dead-on where he suggests rephrasing what it means to own your high-tech stuff so that it's comprehensible to the general public.

> The average consumer could care less.

You're presuming that the average consumer is uninformed, which I can understand, but it's not true in my experience. Most people I know are well aware that they're in a pickle.

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