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On “free” expression

January 12, 2010

sebpaquet Tweet 12 Jan. 2010 4:04 AM

From Sebastien Paquet's blog post on Weirdness

I had trouble sleeping last night, so I thought I would try counting Tweets. I picked up my portable, hand held gizmo and turned on the Twitter Stream. One Tweet, two Tweets, three Tweets . . . then I spotted an interesting post by sebpaquet that I thought might explain the recent financial collapse. I followed the link to his Twitter page, and then to his website, where I saw an interesting post on “How to Deal With Your Weirdness“. The more tired I got, the weirder I felt. This might help, I thought. I spotted a reference in the post to Prezi. I had heard of Prezi, but I had no idea what it was.  Sebastian gave it a rave review. Maybe Prezi could help me to deal with my Weirdness. Unlike normal people, I have always struggled with PowerPoint and Keynote. Sebastian embedded a Prezi in his post, but my gizmo couldn’t play it. But I was able to follow the link in his post to the Prezi website. Prezi, I discovered, is “a living presentation tool“. Unfortunately, to keep it alive, you have to keep feeding it money. Oh, there’s a free version, alright, but it’s probably as frustrating as PowerPoint, but for different reasons. If you wanna play, ya gotta pay.

Is there any tool that enables truly “free” expression? I do use Words a lot. It’s free. The learning curve was pretty steep (it took me years), but I didn’t have to pay anything for the lessons. Everyone around me used Words, so I picked it up pretty easily. But I later discovered that they use different versions in different countries. If I wanted to use Words in, say, France, or Italy, I would have to learn the version of Words that was used there. The software is free, but the training isn’t. Bummer! So I pretty much stuck with the limited version that I knew how to use. Words is pretty useful because most other people use Words, too, and you can exchange files in real time (but if everyone isn’t using the same version, you have to get Translator). If you want to save with Words, you have to buy Recorder. Recorder can be expensive, and if you want good quality, you also have to buy Microphone, which can cost a lot more than Recorder. I usually use Write instead. Write also took me a while to learn, but it was taught in school and everybody learned it. Unfortunately (you guessed it), they use different versions of this, too, in different countries. Bummer again! Still, Write is pretty handy if you want to save stuff you do with Words. However, if you want to edit your work, you have to buy Eraser. I also had to buy Pencil, Sharpener, and lots of copies of Paper, so it all got quite expensive in the end. I even bought my very own, personal storage repository — Pencil Case. You can put your own stickers on it and everything. Sometimes, I just use Think. It’s the only application that’s really free. And it works pretty well most of the time. Trouble is, it’s a single-user app. You can’t even buy a multi-user version. Not yet, anyway.

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