Re: GNU Public Licences Revisited (again)

Arthur J. O'Dwyer wrote
(in article

> On Wed, 24 Aug 2005, Chris Sonnack wrote:
>> Arthur J. O'Dwyer writes:
>>> [Randy Howard wrote:]
>>>> There is nothing remotely similar between programming and
>>>> illegal acts. Unless you can point to a law that makes it
>>>> illegal to work developing commercial software (in general), the
>>>> above is a total crock of excrement.
>>> If murder was legal, you'd be cool with it?
>> No.
> But Randy apparently would, judging from his comment above.

Give me a $%^&*#@ break. If you want to start putting words in
my mouth, I will be forced into comparing you to a certain other
famous c.p troll. That's a line best left uncrossed.

> Yes. I was thinking yesterday that Stallman's much more of a Golden Rule
> believer than for example myself. Heck, I /worked/ at Microsoft this
> summer, making software to restrict the freedom of the consumer. Now, I
> certainly wouldn't want my /own/ freedom restricted in that way, but I'm
> cowardly enough to take money for doing unto others. Stallman wouldn't.

That's called being an idealist, not a 'golden rule' thing. As
I said before, Stallman isn't strapped for cash, like young
student programmers typically are. It's real EASY for him to
preach about what how you should live your life, because he
doesn't have to 'pay' for it. Stallman is perfectly happy
telling you what you should and should not be doing with your
skills. Try telling him what he should be doing on some other
topic sometime and see how far it gets you. In military
parlance, he isn't willing to 'lead from the front'.

> Duh --- "non-free software is wrong" /is/ the philosophical platform. It's
> an axiom.

It is a completely unsubstantiated claim, made by a group with
no discernible understanding of basic economic theory.

> But in general, moral judgments do not require justification beyond
> "I know what's right and wrong."

Which is convenient justification for anyone claiming whatever
they like. However, for others to accept them as valid, there
is usually a requirement for some supporting arguments.
Exceptions include 'charismatic' leaders like Jim Jones, or
David Koresh, where nothing but force of personality is needed.
Perhaps Stallman has a similar hold on his followers, because
there does not appear to be any solid underlying basis for the

>> That's one a lot harder. That it's a majorly undecided social issue
>> is a hallmark of two *morally* valid, conflicting, points of view.
> The free-versus-nonfree-software issue, however, is in your opinion /not/
> an undecided social issue? :P

It isn't even a question that 10% of the population is aware of.
The abortion debate is well known to almost everybody, and most
of them have a position (even if it is neutrality) on the topic.

> [...]
>>> IIRC, I asked what he thought about non-free screensavers, and he
>>> said something like, well, that might be okay.
>> But free screwdrivers and hammers would be okay? (They can be made so
>> cheaply that the material costs are close to zero--close enough to make
>> the point, I think.)
> Obviously anything free is okay! The question is whether /non/-free
> hammers would be okay --- and of course the answer is "yes," given that
> hammers cost money (in the form of raw materials) to produce.

Based upon the repeated ignorance of the fact that software
requires no raw materials to produce as well, or are you of the
opinion that electricity should also be free, as it is so useful
as a tool?

> (BTW, I
> noticed that his Web site says, "If you want to tell me about
> typographical errors in /Cryptonomicon/, thank you, but don't bother.
> I am aware that the book has many typos. The publisher and I are trying
> to fix as many as we can in a subsequent printing."

Troubling. If he was really concerned with that, he would want
as many reports as he could get.

Randy Howard (2reply remove FOOBAR)