[Freedombox-discuss] Fwd: Translating expressions...

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at fifthhorseman.net
Wed May 25 02:27:00 UTC 2011

On 05/24/2011 03:31 PM, James Vasile wrote:
> On Tue, 24 May 2011 16:05:04 -0300, Nicolás Reynolds <fauno at kiwwwi.com.ar> wrote:
>>> First of all is the use of "Free World"[0] to refer to a certain sector of
>>> the world. As the Wikipedia reference says, it was coined during the Cold
>>> War to refer to US and other non-communist countries. In case you don't
>>> know, during those times the US government and it's agencies[1] not only
>>> promoted unfreedomness in Latin America and other countries, but also
>>> supported and trained dictatorships that tortured and murderer people por
>>> political reasons (Argentina, for instance, has 30.000 missing persons and
>>> 500 kids that were illegally adopted by military officers, but only 100 of
>>> which were returned to their families during the past 26 years). So "Free
>>> World" actually doesn't mean anything like it to us.
> When Eben speaks of the "Free World", I take him to mean "the community
> of people who so love freedom that they love free software and the
> culture of sharing".

If this is what he means, he must realize that he's making an allusion
(probably humorous) to the concept the OP refers to.  I can see why such
an allusion wouldn't translate or internationalize well, unfortunately.

There's a lot of political and cultural baggage in the phrase "the free
world", even within the USA (it evokes Ronald Reagan for me; not exactly
a non-polarizing figure).  It's probably a good idea to think through
how this sort of language would play out globally before deciding that
we really want to commit to using it.


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