Free Software, Free Society - the Free Software Thread

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There's one thing about LibreOffice that drives me crazy.  It's when I want to separate text with a couple of dashes underlines, and it automatically draws a line.  I then can't type underneath this line, so the goal of separating a couple of paragraphs can't be done.


Like above.  It's just something I like to do sometimes.  Separate things with a small partial line.  Can't be done in LibreOffice, it seems.  I try, and it makes a solid line that I can't type beneath.

I press "enter" and it becomes a solid line underneath (IE, see below for a representation).  Can't delete it.  Can't alter it.  It's there, and I'm stuck with it.  I likely need to file a bug report.  It's one thing that drives me nuts about LibreOffice.


radiorahim radiorahim's picture

I just tried this on the machine I'm running now with Version (this is a build for Arch Linux as I'm running Antergos on this machine which is based on Arch) and I didn't have this problem.

I'll have a look at it later on a Ubuntu based machine and see if the problem is there.

Sometimes little glitches happen with a particular build for a particular OS...or with the package builders/maintainers for a particular GNU/Linux distribution.

If all else fails, file a bug report.




Thanks for looking into that.  I think it's something to do with autoformat.  It happens when I press three underlines ___ and then enter.  Pressing two underlines doesn't cause it.  I've discovered I can get the created solid line to go away if I then press Format/Clear Direct Formatting.  So, for now, I'll just have to remember not to enter three underlines in a row (limit it to two).  But yeah, if you find anything on your Ubuntu box, lemme know.  If not, then it probably means it's just some thing I myself enabled at some point (though I checked Tools/Options, and couldn't find anything).

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Looks like this is a feature and not a bug.

If you hold the shift key down while doing three underscores, there is no solid line across the page.

If you do three underscores (or three dashes) and then let go of the shift key and hit enter, there is a solid line across the page.



So keep the Shift key pressed when hitting enter.  I'll try it....  Yeah, seems to work.  Thanks.

I dunno about that being a feature.  Having a line show up upon pressing Enter and then having subsequent lines occur each time you press Enter seems a bit of a bug to me.  But yes, holding the Shift key down when pressing Enter does seem to solve it.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Found this article the other night which helped me figure it out

Also tested it on my Ubuntu MATE machine and it seemed to work okay.

It's also on the (most current) release.


radiorahim wrote:

Found this article the other night which helped me figure it out

Also tested it on my Ubuntu MATE machine and it seemed to work okay.

It's also on the (most current) release.

Great.  Thanks.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Because this is a seven year old thread, that has recently re-awakened in the last few months, perhaps a little on Free Software philosophy from the Karl Marx of free software:

Free software, free society: Richard Stallman at TEDxGeneva 2014


Took me a few minutes to figure this out, but patience is always rewarded:

Mr. Magoo

Given the thread we're in, I assumed it must be some sort of FOSS installer or similar.



KELTY.ORG: Quality since 1972.
Copyright (c) 2016 Some Rights Reserved.
Release 6 / Serial number 702533408 

You are in a small office at UCLA.
The office is walled with books. There is a desk with a computer, some papers and a coffee cup. A slightly hunched man is occasionally typing something on the computer.

 > What should I do?

 Sorry, didn't get that?

 > Help me!

 Try typing some commands, just like in an old school text adventure.

> Draw sword?

 Is 'draw sword?' a question?

> Draw sword!

What do you mean by 'draw sword!'?

 > Read book.

 You randomly take one off the shelf. It turns out to be a second-rate ethnography from the 1980s. You don't have time for this.

 > Drink coffee.

 That seems unwise. He seems to be fond of his coffee..

 > Take coffee.

 You reach for the coffee, but the man slaps your hand away..

 > Look at papers.

 The man turns around in his chair, and hands you this:


Publications books

Christopher M. Kelty Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software and the Internet Durham: Duke University Press, 2008.

articlesErik Gjesfjeld, Jonathan Chang, Daniele Silvestro, Christopher Kelty and Michael Alfaro (2016). "Competition and extinction explain the evolution of diversity in American automobiles," Palgrave Communications 2:16019 (2016) link | pdf

Kelty, Christopher (2016). “Participation”. In: Digital Keywords. Ed. by Benjamin Peters. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, pp. 227–241. (pdf)

Kelty, Christopher M (2016). “Robots Behaving Badly: Animation and Participation in the Study of Life”. In:Research Objects in their Technological Setting. Ed. by Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent et al. History and Philosophy of Technoscience. Routledge. (draft).

Kelty, Christopher (2014a). “Beyond Copyright and Technology: What Open Access Can Tell Us about Precarity, Authority, Innovation, and Automation in the University Today”. In: Cultural Anthropology 29.2, pp. 203–215.

Kelty, Christopher, Aaron Panofsky, et al. (2014). “Seven dimensions of contemporary participation disentangled”. In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 66(3):474-488. DOI: 10.1002/asi.23202. (pdf)

Kelty, C.M. and Seth Erickson (2015). "The Durability of Software" in I. Kaldrack and M. Leeker There is no Software, there are only Services, Lüneburg, Germany: Meson Press.

Kelty, C. (2014). "The Fog of Freedom". In Gillespie, T., Foot, K., and Boczkowski, P., editors, Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

Kelty, C. M. (2013b). "There is no free software." Journal of Peer Production, 1(3).

Kelty, Christopher M. (2012). "This is not an article: Model organism newsletters and the question of 'open science.'" Biosocieties 7(2):140-168. (pdf)

Fish, A., Murillo, L. F. R., Nguyen, L., Panofsky, A. & Kelty, C. M. (2011). Birds of the Internet: Towards a field guide to the organization and governance of participation. Journal of Cultural Economy, 4(2), 157-187. doi:10.1080/17530350.2011.563069. [PDF]

Christopher M. Kelty “Logical Instruments: Regular Expressions, Artificial Intelligence, and Thinking about thinking,” in The Search for a Theory of Cognition: Early Mechanisms and New Ideas, ed. Stefano Franchi and Francesco Bianchini, Amsterdam, New York:Rodopi Publishers, (2011).

Christopher M. Kelty “Geeks, Internets, and Recursive Publics,” Cultural Anthropology 20, no. 2 (Summer 2005).DOI 10.1525/can.2005.20.2.185

Elise McCarthy and Christopher M. Kelty, “Responsibility and nanotechnology,” Social Studies of Science 40, no. 3 (June 1, 2010): 405-432. DOI: 10.1177/0306312709351762

Christopher M. Kelty “Beyond Implications and Applications: the Story of ‘Safety by Design’,” NanoEthics 3, no. 2 (2009): 79-96. DOI 10.1007/s11569-009-0066-y

Hannah Landecker and Christopher M. Kelty “Ten Thousand Journal Articles Later: Ethnography of “The Literature” in Science,” Empira: Revista de Metodologia de Ciencias Sociales, no. 18 (December 2009): 173-191.

Christopher M. Kelty “Collaboration, Coordination and Composition: Fieldwork after the Internet,” in Fieldwork isn't what it used to be, ed. James Faubion and George Marcus (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008).

Christopher M. Kelty "Trust Among the Algorithms" in CODE: Collaborative Ownership in the Digital Economy ed. Rishab Ayer Ghosh MIT Press 2005.

Hannah Landecker and Christopher M. Kelty "A Theory of Animation: Cells, Film and L-Systems" Grey Room Vol. 17 Fall 2004.

Christopher M. Kelty Free Software/Free ScienceFirst Monday,December 2001.

Book Reviews

Christopher M. Kelty "Steal This Review! (Review of Adrian John's Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates)Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences vol. 41 no. 2 (2011): 255-264.


Christopher M. Kelty, “Outlaw, hackers, victorian amateurs: diagnosing public participation in the life sciences today,” Journal of Science Communication (JCOM) 9, no. 1 (2010): C03.


Christopher M. Kelty, "What is the Internet that Anthropology may know it and Anthropology, that it may know the Internet?" (Presented at the American Anthropological Association Meetings 2015, Denver, CO: Panel: The Internet and Anthropology: Ten Years of Savage Minds, Organized by Alex Golub and Savage Minds).

Christopher M. Kelty, "Analog liberalism, vita activa, and the society of extras" (Presented at the American Anthropological Association Meetings 2010, New Orleans, LA; Panel: "Digital Liberalisms" convened by Gabriella Coleman and Dominic Boyer).

Christopher M. Kelty, “Don't Be Evil,” (presented at the American Anthropological Association 2008, San Francisco, Calif).

Christopher M. Kelty "Universal Internets: Hubs and Routers of Encounters across Difference" Presented on a panel discussion of Anna Tsing's Friction at the American Anthropological Association, November 2006.

Creative Commons License


> What kind of website is this??

 Perhaps just the normal website then?

> Thank you!


> Goodbye.

 Perhaps just a normal website then?

 > Nothing "normal" about this website.

 Perhaps just the normal website then?

 > Bye.

 Is 'bye.' a question?

> Yes.

 Is 'yes.' how you really feel?

 > No.

 What do you mean by 'no.'?



Mr. Magoo

So you eventually unlocked a bunch of Kelty's own writings.  But do you have a transcript of when your patience was rewarded?


Mr. Magoo wrote:

So you eventually unlocked a bunch of Kelty's own writings.  But do you have a transcript of when your patience was rewarded?

Ha - not exactly, but one "reward" was discovering Kelty, and another was specifically this article:

[url= is no free software[/url]

Really interested to know what people (especially radiorahim) think of this.


radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Really interested to know what people (especially radiorahim) think of this.

Does free (libre) software solve every problem in the world?   Of course not.

But, it does help society deal with some rather big problems...because increasingly large parts of our lives are intermediated by computers.

In the workplace, unions have collective bargaining agreements that limit what employers can and can not do in the workplace, provide for certain levels of pay, benefits time off etc. for workers.

Free software licenses are like a global collective agreement that certain software developers agree to that give the end users certain rights and freedoms...specifically the "four freedoms" run the software, study the software source code, redistribute the software and to distribute modified copies of the software.

One can think of software that does not provide these four freedoms as "non union" or "scab" software.

And the "best" free software collective agreement, in terms of protecting end users rights is Version 3 of the GNU General Public License.

The unfortunate thing is that while capitalists make extensive use of free software (just about every stock exchange on the planet runs on servers that run free software...capitalists certainly don't trust Microsoft) and Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Ebay etc. wouldn't exist without free software, capitalists prefer to stick us end users (at the consumer end) with their proprietary crap.

The term "open source" was coined around 1998.   The idea around the use of this term was to downplay the political ideas of user freedom of the earlier free software movement.   "Open Source" and "Free Libre Software" folks are pretty much talking about the same software, but the issues they are raising are different.   The "Open sourcers" mostly talk about how the collaborative method of software development leads to better quality code at lower cost etc.

For the folks in the free software camp, the issues of quality and cost etc. are secondary issues.    The most critical issue for free libre software folks is the issue of freedom for the users.

When we advocate the unionization of workers we don't sell the idea of unionization based on the idea that unionized workers are happier and more productive (even though that might be true to some degree).    We advocate unionization because we think that workers should have rights.

Of course since the 1990's, things have changed a great deal.   The once cool fairly decentralized web has become highly centralized and under the thumb of a few large platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter.

We used to be fighting against a "Microsoft only" web.    The browser wars are over and Microsoft ultimately lost.   But now we have some new battles with a new set of tech giants.

Access to the net nowadays is increasingly via the use of smartphones and tablets that corporations like Google and Apple control and where we are spied on 24/7.    Big tech would ultimately like to see the end of the desktop/laptop PC, because it's much easier for the end user to exercise some kind of control over "old style" computers.

Then we have web standards bodies like the W3C and free software browser developers like the Mozilla Foundation that have caved in to pressure from the infotainment industry such that Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) is about to be baked into the core of the web.

I used to think of the net as a really cool thing.   Now I'm more inclined to think of it as one big corporate/government surveillance system.   These days the net sucks!

Sci-fi writer and net freedom activist Cory Doctorow gave this keynote address recently at the 2600 Hacker Conference.    I think it's worth a listen.   He's working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation on the "Apollo 1201 Project"...a project to rid the world of Digital Restrictions Management within ten years.

I also think that this article by Bruce Schneier "Power in the Age of the Feudal Internet" is worth a read.   Schneier is one of the world's top experts on cryptography and internet security.   He was one of the "go to" folks when journalists were trying to figure out the stuff that Edward Snowden was leaking from the NSA.   Most important, he's on "our" side...the side of the people.   His most recent book was "Data and Goliath" Considering that the guy is a computer scientist, quite a readable book for relatively non-technical people.

Free libre software may not overthrow capitalism, but a non capitalist future requires free software.






radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Some more thinking on these issues in this presentation by Dmytri Kleiner here "You Can't Code Away Their Wealth".

The term I've learned from Kleiner that I really quite like is "technological disobedience".  Cool 

Buddy Kat

Every environmentalist should have this free software from the EPA. Recently the govt annonced a bill to address environmental find out if your a target of this type of racism, this software can help. It shows the danger and exposure of many industrial gases and chemicals and assess your threat exposure via atmospheric conditions.