Friday, July 04, 2008

Independently Independent

It's the 4th of July - the day that we in America celebrate our independence from Britain (no offense guys, we just wanted to do thing our own way).

It all started with a tax.

Back in the old days the British were hurting for cash due to the huge national debt they had run up fighting the Seven Years War - so Parliament decided it would be a good idea to tax the colonies since they were getting the benefit of military protection and... well... the British folks were tapped out (after having multiple taxes already raised).

The thing they passed was called the Stamp Act. The act required all legal documents, permits, commercial contracts, newspapers, wills, pamphlets, and playing cards in the colonies to carry a tax stamp. The only problem was - no one from the colonies was represented in Parliament when they decided this.

And that - taxation without representation - was the beginning of the end.

The British then kept on raising taxes on tea - and if you've ever been in England before you know how they LOVE their tea. Now, the colonists of the New World were used to drinking a bunch of tea (hey, they came from England!) - so they started smuggling tea in from The Netherlands (the Dutch ROCK!). This caused the incumbent tea folks to go crying to mommy (Parliament) and so they got their English tax waived - and only had to pay the American tax.

This made the tea cheaper than it was in England - and made the New World business people (some of our country's founding fathers) really pissed off. They dumped a bunch of tea in protest - and that was the beginning of how we came to fight the War of Independence.

I'm seeing the very fist stages of this in the technology world as well. People are getting tired of having their operating system dictated to them by a power they have no control over (Microsoft).

They are sick and tired of paying the OS Stamp Tax (Windows) and are tired of being ignored (really - Vista sucks!).

There are the rumblings of the smugglers (Mac OS X, Ubuntu, OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird) - and they are slowly gathering support from the "average Joe." Every revolution start with a single person.

So - if you're tired of the Microsoft tyranny - become part of the revolution! Download OpenOffice, switch to Thunderbird and Firefox (or Safari or Opera or Camino) and stick it to the warlords of unfair taxation!

Happy July 4th.

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