[OT] Protest the Novell-Microsoft Agreement - Sign Bruce Perens petition

Craig White craigwhite at azapple.com
Mon Nov 27 03:55:11 UTC 2006

On Sun, 2006-11-26 at 22:16 -0500, Ric Moore wrote:
> On Sun, 2006-11-26 at 17:58 -0700, Craig White wrote:
> > On Sun, 2006-11-26 at 17:53 -0500, Jacques B. wrote:
> > 
> > > My motivation is simple, to contribute to this important issue in some
> > > small way by reminding people that if they are going to sign the
> > > petition, they should be able to articulate why they did so and be
> > > ready to defend their actions.  To sign without being able to do that
> > > will leave that person looking like a fool if ever called to task on
> > > their position on the issue.  And furthermore it diminishes the value
> > > of the protest when it becomes obvious that many people who signed are
> > > really uninformed or ill informed.
> > ----
> > the only inescapable explanation for your motivation is that you think
> > that a significant number of readers of this list are either:
> > 
> > - to uninformed to have a reasonable opinion
> > or
> > - too willing display lemming like behavior and simply follow others
> > 
> > Once again I will state, I anticipated that the readers of this list are
> > capable of deciding on their own whether they wish to sign the petition
> > or not.
> > 
> > Either way, I think your proclaimed good intentions are rather insulting
> > to the majority of this list.
> Wow Craig! You really bit it off in this one! Playing Devil's Advocate,
> you wrote "the only inescapable explanation for your motivation" is a
> pretty finite assessment of another's intentions, which is patently
> impossible, ergo not "inescapable". At that point it becomes "My Way or
> the Highway", if we are not entitled to our own opinions and the right
> to express them. I had to learn how, myself. When someone expresses an
> opinion, that differs from my own, I can assertively respond with my own
> opinions or ignore the issue. Calmly and composed. 
> I wasn't insulted at all, I personally don't have much truck with Bruce
> Perens, (on my ignore list along with Stallman) and the entire issue is
> mute, as no one has done anything as of yet, IMHO. We've been though
> round after round of this FUD since way back when, and we'll be stepping
> through it again, is all. 
> Do I care? Most certainly. I just fail to see how signing a petition,
> which has zero value on a court of law, is going to actually accomplish
> anything in the long run. Yet, is does become a list. I do not wish to
> be on his list, for my own reasons.  
> You, according to my perceptions, seem to have an investment in this
> petition and that is your right. Yet, as I patiently teach inmates in my
> project, "No one has to live up to your expectations." The best way,
> IMHO, to disarm someone with opposing views is to thank them for
> sharing. <grins> And, it's not about the effect it has on them as much
> as it is about the effect it has on me. I am already predisposed to drop
> it and let it go, unless someone gets -personally- insulting, which is a
> boundary violation and requires "re-enforcement". You perceived personal
> insult? 
> Myself, I saw that he raised a point that an ill-informed opinion is
> like having no-opinion, if one does not care to research the facts for
> themselves. It's a point, sure. It's universally true, but in this
> instance most Linux users are wedded to this Ball and Chain Operating
> System and are pretty much informed, as you have mentioned. Damn near
> same side of the same coin, to my perspective. But, I start to perceive
> you saw an insult? Maybe an agree to disagree would be in order? <huge
> grins> and to think I'm making this sh*t my life's work... someone kill
> me now. Just one little bullet.  Right here <taps center of forehead>
> <cackles> Ric
no - to a large extent you are correct. Everyone is entitled to an
opinion, ill informed or well formed is probably a matter of perspective
and living in the US and seeing what my fellow Americans and I have
elected into office is sufficient for me to recognize that right or
wrong (in my opinion), everyone is entitled their opinion and their vote
(or not to vote).

Clearly, by itself, this petition has no bearing and certainly no legal
effect can be inferred in any way.

Whatever your truck is with Bruce Perens and Richard Stallman, it's
evident that we wouldn't have this list or this thing called Linux - at
least in any similar form without them.

I posted up the link to the petition without any discourse and labeled
it as [OT]. I didn't see it as a mission to do anything more than that.
When Jacques chopped off the information from the whois which clearly
tied Bruce Perens to the web site, techp.org (the site of the petition),
he deliberately chose not to see the connection and claimed that the
connection between the web site and Bruce Perens wasn't obvious. All
anyone has to do is to get a command line and type 'whois techp.org' to
see the connection. The fact that he did that and then challenged the
authenticity of techp.org's connection to Bruce Perens was not on the

Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, I don't much like people who
want me to embrace their religious view and thus be saved, I don't much
like people that want to tell me think about whether I want to sign a
petition and don't see much light between the two acts...both are
emitted from a point of view that they are more enlightened than I and
the thought that their admonitions are going to be helpful to me is

As for how signing the petition could accomplish anything - by itself,
it clearly won't.

If it causes some to contemplate, investigate, consider why Linux is
distributed as GPL license, what the Free Software Foundation and GNU
represents, where technology, capitalism and culture collide, then it's
a worthwhile exercise even if the petition itself is a futile process
that takes perhaps a minute to perform...at least some might feel the
reward for taking a position as it were. To that end, I attached a link
to a speech by Lawrence Lessig earlier in the thread which I consider
far more important than signing or not signing the petition.


PS: I hardly expect that killing you would be worth going to jail for.
There are four kinds of homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and
praiseworthy, but it makes no great difference to the person slain
whether he fell by one kind or another -- the classification is for
advantage of the lawyers.

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