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FreeSoftware in Education - dividing the problem

I started fiddling with the
http://www.gnufans.net/cgi-bin/fsedu.pl?FreeSoftwareInEducation  wiki
and thought this list might be a better place to clarify my thoughts.

My issue: how to divide "the problem" of Free Software advocacy insofar
as it can be applied to the field/s of education/training/learning. 

My first thoughts were, as evident on the site, to differentiate
moments of advocacy according to those where philosophical, theoretical
or practical types of arguments and evidence are required.

Most attempts at advocacy can be classified in this manner and I find
it helpful to differentiate them this way IN MY MIND. I've found few
people actually use these words to handle issues currently under
discussion without a few glasses of good red wine. I use them to map the
way, not to walk the path though the distinction doesnt matter so much
after the second glass. The real difficulty I have found is that
discussions tend to lurch all over the place, hence clearly
differentiate philosophical evidence for philosophical issues, and ditto
for matters of theoretical and practical significance.

Advocacy on philosophical grounds involves the idea of freedom. More
and more businesses are taking up the idea of core values or
value-driven leadership. Sadly, schools lag a bit in this respect with
lots of good ideas expressed in vision statements and policy documents
but little engagement in values clarification when it comes to a
decision point. It has been said before, but choice of operating system,
platforms, packages, editors, etc is nigh on a religious one. All the
same promises and prejudices emerge in the reasoning we give and hear.
In this context, I argue for Freedom, Truth and Beauty. Free software
refers to a community-of-believers who quite obviously advocate a
moral/ethical position. Anyway, I digress...

My task is to catalogue the philosophical territory in terms of
argument/counter-argument. I think the case for and against Freedom has
been well made, the wiki might be a good place to build a running
summary on the matter. Also to build and advocate more presence of mind
for Truth and Beauty in the software industry. 
Note that most gut reactions against *nux are aesthetic concerns
(erggh, the command prompt!). Amazing how students get seduced by the
command prompt with a little knowledge/power. My current school have
disabled access to the Win(r) command prompt (apparently its a "security
next installment -> theoretical arguments (must go to class).

cheers, Neil Kelly

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