Libre Not Gratis
Free as in Freedom
Fight the neoliberal software and computer hegemony
OpenDyslexic is a good reminder that typography is not just about the aesthetics of text but about the function of reading and comprehension. Accessibility is a core element of design, not an afterthought, we should all be thinking of supporting typefaces that aid people with various challenges.
Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.
the idea that you could look around and think, "That person goes for free and that person goes for free," was an ideal that changed me
Going to Cooper was a choice I made to take on debt, to engage with a community that had a civic-minded mission for pedagogy based on the idea of “free,” not in monetary terms, but “free” as in “liberatory” and even “oppositional.”
The reason I went to Cooper Union wasn’t because it was free. It was because it was free for everyone. We were all in it together.
Peter Cooper had achieved incredible upward mobility as an illiterate industrialist. Not having had a formal education himself, he developed the idea of a school that would be free to all, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or sex. And this was during the time of slavery, the verge of the Civil War. He fought for the rights of women, African Americans, Native Americans, the labor movement, but I think it’s important to point out that he was also fixated on monetary policy and economic regulation, with the purpose of fending off oligarchy and ensuring that the rich couldn’t manipulate markets. He knew that economic freedoms would be exploited to strip human freedoms. This is why it’s so critical to understand that the “free” in his vision of free education meant both gratis and liber.