Wednesday, December 2, 2009

honestly free

Honestly free is completely free, available to those literally without a penny. "Free" (small print: with shipping and handling and/or sales tax) is a LIE; it is not free.

Honestly free doesn't require setting up an account (even a free one), logging in, or using a password.

Honestly free does not ask you to do anything special. There are no ads, no surveys, no competition, no need for luck, no roundabout routes to get to what you want. It is not "free if you buy ...." It is not "you can win ...." It does not have to be earned or won in any way.

Honestly free has no subscription fees, entrance fees, or parking fees.

Honestly free is not a trick to get people to want more. It is not a preview and certainly not a teaser. It provides enough to be truly useful or entertaining. It is not artificially cut short; it is not snatched away after a certain date or a certain number of uses.

Honestly free leaves you alone afterwards. It does not ask for your gratitude, opinion, or recommendation. It does not follow you with ads or requests of any kind.

Honestly free is completely anonymous. It doesn't ask for an i.d., or proof of age or residence. It doesn't ask for your zip code.

Ideally, in an honestly free situation, the most despised, totally penniless, physically repulsive, foreign person with political, religious, and sexual views which are anathema to the community will be treated the same as the most beloved home-town-golden-boy movie star.

Let me head off an obvious argument here: I'm talking about free to the individual using the object or service. Yes, these things are usually paid for by taxes or philanthropy. This type of pre-payment is inherently different from individual pre-payment for specific goods or services. You must pay taxes for the town library and park whether you use them or not. And people who have paid no taxes -- the homeless, visitors from other cities, even scofflaws who don't pay their taxes (till they get caught and put in jail) can use them, too.

The typical public library provides some honestly free services. Many (most?) have a free parking lot and are within walking distance of many of their patrons. A homeless person with completely empty pockets can come in, take a book or magazine or newspaper from the shelf, and sit there and read it, undisturbed.