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Re: [OS:N:] Yes, it's gone on long enough, so I'll change the topic



On Tue, 14 Jan 2003, John Adams wrote:

> Dan Kegel wrote:
> 
> > Hasn't this thread gone on long enough?
> 
> Pretty much--Ed, you need to educate yourself technically and listen 
> better to stay in this discussion--but I'm going to toss in something I 
> hestitated to say earlier: The sorts of rants I've seen against Ed's 
> politics--at least, the politics Ed has been assumed to have--really 
> piss me off. I suspect I am probably closer to his (actual) point of 
> view than to most of the rest of yours, and I'm not enjoying the sort of 
> political bashing being thrown in on top of some well-deserved technical 
> criticism.

I think Ed has some valuable incites. I never denied that. But I
disagree with him fundamentally on several very critical issues.

> Finally, I don't think Raymond has the last word on open source. He was 
> the first to write extensively about it, and there's a lot of good stuff 
> in the book, but that's what happens whenever someone gets there 
> first--we don't take Freudian analysis or Aristotelian physics very 
> seriously these days, generally, but we do honor Freud and Aristotle as 
> pioneering thinkers. Raymond is a very sweet guy--my wife spent most of 
> an evening at OSCON last year singing with him, and let me simply say 
> I'm glad he, too, is married--but his politics, which are sometimes 
> downright nutty, color his observations in that book. So does the 
> particular moment in history when he wrote--a period of abundance in 
> certain areas which allowed a co-operative/collective effort to take 
> place under a competitive system without most of the sacrifices usually 
> associated with group efforts under competition, allowing us to pretend 
> open source is an artifact of the competitiveness rather than the 
> co-operativeness. If I were a better thinker, I'd go in and root that 
> stuff out myself so we could have a useful discussion.

Raymond is certainly not the last word... but what he says is 95.36% +-
2% on the money about the developmental process. He also has a lot of
valid things to say about the culture of the free software community.

Richard Stallman, also very excentric, has lots and lots to say. All of
it relevant... though idealistic to the extreme. And boy do we need
idealists!

If you want more scholarly work, check out Lessig's writings. He focuses
mainly on the importance of the internet, open-source/free software, the
free exchange of ideas, and how this all affects both our digital and
real-world civil liberties. His work is awe-inspiring. I highly
recommend reading "Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace" and "The Future of
Ideas". Lawrence Lessig (http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/lessig/).

There are a lot of interesting people expressing their thoughts on
paper and even with activism (even our very own Michael Tiemann). 
ESR and RMS and Lessig are the "big contributers" in this space
directly.

I hope I didn't diverge completely from what is really important to this
discussion.

> I mention this last because I've noted a tendency on this list toward 
> cult-of-personality style thinking about Raymond. I'm thinking in 
> particular of a time last fall when someone suggested a lobbying 
> organzation involved with gun control as a model for open source 
> political efforts. Someone else said (if memory serves), "Whoa there" or 
> "Slow down", suggesting such modeling was a bad idea, on the grounds 
> that Raymond didn't like gun control. That's just plain silly, for at 
> least two reasons.

Raymond's thoughts on the geek culture and free/open source software:
nearly always dead on. His political, religious, etc. views are seperate
in my mind. But the NRA is a VERY VERY successful lobby. Even if you
disagree with what they stand for, you can still learn something from
them.

Open Source Now! :)

-- 
____________
 /odd Warner                                    <taw {redhat,pobox}.com>
          Bit Twiddler - Operation Cheetah Flip - Red Hat Inc.
---------------------gpg info in the message headers--------------------
"Sometimes you need to build a fire to keep warm, but you can't,
 and you freeze to death."
                  -Jack London, "To Build a Fire", book-a-minute version





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