April 1, 2002

Why does <i>information</i> want to be free? Why not <i>cupcakes</i>?

By Robin 'Roblimo'
Miller

April 1, 2002, Cambridge MA: Richard M. Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, says he is shifting his energy from software to cupcakes and that the Free Software Foundation will now be known as the Free Cupcakes Foundation."
"Think 'free' as in 'freedom to eat cake, not 'free' as in 'beer,'" explains Stallman. "Not that we're against free beer, but cupcakes and beer don't go well together."

Many bakers have volunteered to give their time to the CAT [Cupcakes Aren't Tastykakes] project, and the group is now accepting donations of eggs, flour, milk, sugar, baking powder, vanilla and other flavorings, and of both whipped cream and glaze-style toppings. "We believe free cupcakes can change the world," says Stallman. "Information is already free, pretty much. Now it's time to make sure everyone has free cupcakes. I first had this idea when I was trying to make a printer work with a proprietary Unix system and realized I needed a sugar high to keep going, but all the snack cakes in the whole building were not only proprietary, but full of preservatives and locked in vending machines."

In response, Eric S. Raymond has launched the Open Cupcake Initiative. He insists that Open Cupcakes are not the same as Free Cupcakes, because, "we don't think cupcakes should necessarily be free, just that you should always bring enough with you to share with others." Raymond has also proposed a change to the U.S. Constitution's 2nd Amendment that, if passed by Congress and approved by the necessary number of states, would have it say, "A well fed militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bake and eat cupcakes, shall not be infringed."

Steve Crymore, CEO of Microbake, the world's largest commercial snack cake producer, said, "We support the idea of Open Cupcakes and have even launched a Shared Cupcake program ourselves, but the Free Cupcake Foundation is totally unAmerican. They are trying to put us out of business and stifle innovation."

Stallman says, "We don't care what Crymore and Microbake think. Cupcakes are for everyone, and should not be used to make a few people rich at everyone else's expense. And please don't confuse the Free Cupcake Foundation with the Open Cupcake Initiative. Neither the FCF nor I have anything to do with the Open Cupcake Initiative, and we were here first anyway."

Stallman notes that in addition to his Free Cupcakes Foundation activities he is developing a program called the Extensible Mastication And Cooking System [Emacs] that, he says, "will not only bake cupcakes but will chew and eat them for you, too."

This April Fools Day article was inspired by technology journalist Rebecca Rohan, who used, "Why does information want to be free? Why not cupcakes?" as an email sig one time too many.

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