GNU discussion

Richard Franks spontificus at
Sat Jan 27 19:25:14 CET 2007

On 1/27/07, Renaissance Man <renaissanceman at> wrote:
> Well you managed to miss the point of my *metaphor* (not straw man),
> even though I spelt it out for you:
> "The point is real "freedom" is measured on a "whole picture" basis,
> not on an individual basis."

A metaphor is simply a linguistic model, a blunt attempt to predict
the countless variables which interact and effect the universe at
different layers, from quantum to molecular to planetary.

Emergence results from simple interactions, e.g:

As you point out, with Apple taking BSD software and 'competing
against BSD', the market share for vanilla BSD is reduced. You can't
however know whether in the medium-long term this is an 'overall good'
which sped up Freedom through other interactions in the future or an
overall bad. Apple geeks may migrate more easily to vanilla BSD
because they are exposed to the standard terminal, and are frustrated
at the limitations they find.

Maybe it could have benefited Linux in the same way if Apple was
granted the Freedom to make its modifications to that code-base?

I don't know. Neither do you. If either of us could predict the future
we'd be more likely to be down the bookies. Or somesuch.

It's okay to have opinions, but unless you actually can see into the
future, and have amassed evidence to that end.. then you're claiming
the role of prophet, whilst wearing the cloak of the

The bottom line is that thinking things in simple terms such as "all
non-free software is bad" is not historically valid.. and certainly
not the logical conclusion to draw simply from the belief that "free
software is great!".

With OpenMoko we have the chance to add another brick to the wall of
evidence showing the benefits of free software.. we don't need to try
to knock down the wall of evidence showing benefits from
closed-software - we'll dwarf that evidence in the end - real change
requires real work - words are cheap.. and none cheaper than knocking
something else down rather than building something of your own.

So let's build :-)


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