Linux and Philosophy

Michael Halcrow mike at
Sat Jul 16 22:39:11 MDT 2005

On Sat, Jul 16, 2005 at 08:04:01PM -0600, Stephen Shaw wrote:
> I'm writing a paper for my ethics and values class at UVSC and my
> topic is Linux.  The approach that I'm taking is Open Source:
> Restoring Freedom.

And you would give Stallman an aneurysm.

> The idea is that Microsoft has stolen our freedom to choose and that
> with all the things that surround Linux and the Open Source
> community we regain that freedom of choose. ie apps, OS, etc.  I was
> wondering what others thought about this.

That's a stretch. There have always been viable proprietary
alternatives (Mac, OS/2, WordPerfect, Netscape, etc.). The Free
Software phenomenon has created another set of alternatives that
require users to agree to less anti-social terms in order to install
and use software. I would echo the sentiments of others on this
thread, that you should not single out any one company, but rather
focus on malevolent proprietary licensing terms vs. benevolent Free
Software licensing terms -- computer users can now choose whether or
not they are going to be good members of the community. I do not think
that the "increased choice through quantity of similar software"
argument really holds a lot of water.

The wonderful thing about a dancing bear is not how well he dances,  
but that he dances at all. 
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