Linux laptops, revisited (can any sleep like my PowerBook does?)
justin at jfindlay.us
Mon Jan 21 12:05:42 MST 2008
On AD 2008 January 21 Monday 04:58:24 AM -0700, Levi Pearson wrote:
> I just don't believe that there is a principle binding upon humanity
> to make all software free. That's where the religion comes in.
Neither do I. I use it because it makes *my* world better and blithely
believe that it would make the rest of the world better as well.
> > My reasons are partly idealistic, experimental, curious, and
> > practical. I believe that software as OSS is necessarily better for
> > the world, so I've made it the staple of mine.
> In the Japanese culture, rice is the staple of the diet. However,
> that's not *all* they eat. I don't imagine it would be very
> nutritious to eat nothing but rice.
Should I mix a little proprietary SW into my diet so that it will be
more nutritious? :-)
> Open source software is great because it does provide a lot of
> opportunity to exercise curiosity and experiment with stuff. Just
> because it is great doesn't mean that it should be the only way to
> make software, or that it is the only software that should be used.
I'm curious as to whether you have a positive counter argument for this.
> > Since OSS is developed in the open I am better able to learn
> > about/with it than its proprietary counterparts. The freedom to
> > copy, study, and modify it is an excellent benefit that proprietary
> > SW by definition cannot offer.
> Yeah, I hear this a lot. How much do you actually study and modify
> the Linux kernel? How often do you look at the source code to
> Firefox? Not very often, I'll bet.
I submit you hear it a lot because it's true. Just because *I* don't
read the source of all the SW I use doesn't negate the benefit.
Moreover, the OSS world is large and diverse and I suppose that there
are people out there hacking on most everything because they can.
> Would it be a great benefit to humanity if all the plans and specs of
> your home appliances were available? Probably not, as it would likely
> increase the cost somewhat and provide no benefit to anyone but the
> rarest purchaser.
I may be one of those purchasers. :-)
> There is no universal principle that mandates all software to be free.
> Free software is a great thing, but adhering to such an imagined
> principle provides no moral high ground, cuts off access to useful
> software, and generally does no good to anyone.
I hope my principles aren't imagined. I'm passionate about Free
Software goodness but maybe I'm unwittingly guilty of Free Software
religion as well.
> > Besides that I can get all the OSS I need without price. That is the
> > substance of my principle and I fail to know how this elicits your
> > condescension.
> I.e., "I'm a cheapskate, so I refuse to support working programmers by
> paying them money for their work." Nice principle there.
That's kind of a dogmatic argument.
> And you're calling me condescending? Maybe a little, but if we were
> to talk about music, I think I'd get a little of that back from
> you. :)
I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. That's not hard to
do since I am often given over to rhapsodic effusions in the place of
cogent arguments, but I always enjoy arguing with you because your
logic and scintillating wisdom act like detergent on the understanding.
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