Linus: Bill, how’s Linda?
Bill: The usual, still rich. She’s actually swimming with her amigas right now in my pool of money.
Linus: The wives of Paul O. of Intel and Sam P. of IBM? What are they cooking up this time? An anti-trust blush-on compatible only with one type of foundation? I bet Tessa Prieto is there too.
Bill: There you go again my red comrade. You know, everybody is a capitalist; Linda and I are just damn good ones. Don’t hate the playah, hate the game.
Linus: I have no problemo with capitalism. What I hate is capitalizing on knowledge. Knowledge should be free dude.
Bill: Mwehehe! Funny! Knowledge is property, an intellectual property. I’m just selling my property. Don’t preach man, we both know you didn’t intend to help the world through your lousy kernel, you didn’t even know that what you’re giving away is a big thing. It’s that crazy Stallman who made a big deal out of your kernel.
Linus: Whatever. The point is right now I’m helping others and you’re hoarding the world’s money.
Bill: Hey! How many starving children or cancer patients have you actually helped?! My foundation helps millions. I do help, I just don’t do it by destabilizing the economy.
Linus: Don’t give me that Gloria Macapagal destabilization speech. I give sexless geeks something to do, I let them fiddle my kernel! In return, these geeks enhance technology and human productivity.
Elson: Kakainin mo pa ba yan? (Points at Linus’ leftover)
Linus: Nope, I know when I’m full. (Looks at Bill accusingly)
Bill: Look, not just because your OS is for free means it’s good. My OS is great because I pay the best programmers to develop it. If we do things your way, the “free” way, many inventions would not have existed. Many inventions were made because a capitalist invested lots of money to commission it, you can only pool the best inventors if money is your common goal.
Linus: I know, I know. Bell Laboratories invented the transistor, laser and Unix. Thanks to mucho dineros. But that was the old system. Now it would make us all happier if knowledge is free. Knowledge is a fundamental right you know. Anyone would be happy to receive free knowledge.
Bill: (Murmurs to himself) Happy for you, knowledge thief.
Linus: I heard that, you greedy bast…
Elson: Tard… can you pass the mustard?
Bill: This is ketchup, not mustard.
Elson: Well they should have mustard. We should have a choice.
Linus: Even if it’s the stupid choice? (Looks again at Bill)
Elson: Well, it’s me whose going to eat isn’t it? Stupid or not, it’s for my satisfaction.
Bill: (Yawns, scratches tummy)
Elson: You can never satisfy all needs with a single paradigm. It’s like religion, you can’t ram it down people’s throats, let them choose.
Linus: (Blows nose using a used Jollibee tissue, not listening)
Elson: You (looks at Linus), you ordered the breakfast meal for the free newspaper, right? And you (looks at Bill), you ordered the value meal for the bundled fries right? You don’t want to have each other’s meal; you both want what you personally chose. So, we will all benefit if we have more choices and more paradigms to elevate our progress, right?
At this point, Linus opened his mouth to say something but a different voice came out: “Daddy, gising na, late ka na sa class mo, baka mapagsaraduhan ka nanaman ng pinto.”
It was my son Elo, waking me up.
Elo is a soft circular teddy bear I gave my girlfriend last year’s valentine’s day.