Re: "Bad behavior" loosely defined

2021-06-23 Thread shulie
On 6/22/21 6:34 PM, Akira Urushibata wrote:
> We are computer specialists and we care about the truth.

that is always trouble

"Bad behavior" loosely defined

2021-06-22 Thread Akira Urushibata
A recurring theme in discussions of free software is whether we should
call the operating system "GNU/Linux" or "Linux".  Debates may get
intense but we all overlook one very important point.  We are
programmers and some of us have actually contributed to the OS.  But
many people involved in the discussions aren't.  One who has done work
on an OS sees things differently from one who has not.  This is a
crucial distinction.  But too often it is missed.

Ask people what an OS is.  Most won't be able to explain.  Then ask
them what OS names they know.  The likely reply: "I know that Windows
is an OS and MAC OS too.  I also hear that Linux is also an OS."  Some
people professing good knowledge of computers insist that Linux the
kernel is an OS.  Technically this may be correct.  But then Linux
would be very different from the widely known MS Windows and MAC OS.
It is much, much smaller.  Linux should not be discussed as something
comparable to MS Windows.  To avoid confusion we should call it an
"OS kernel" instead of just "OS".

We are computer specialists and we care about the truth.  This
attitude is necessary for the work we do.  Those who don't care about
the truth won't find and fix bugs.  However, most people aren't
computer specialists and may take a more casual attitude toward truth.
The truth is that Richard Stallman never defended Jeff Epstein.
Denying the truth has bad consequences.  Spreading falsehood is even
worse.  But unfortunately in the real world, truth does not wipe out
its adversary in one stroke.  Falsehood is often persistent.  And in
some cases it is resilient.
We see this happening all the time.  Firms that sell proprietary
software often know about bugs in their products but fail to fix them.
The revised version would be a step closer to "truth" but they don't
want that.

Activist fund Arjuna Capital has introduced a resolution to Microsoft
requesting a full investigation into inappropriate workplace sexual
harassment.  It seems this fund has a record of buying stock and
demanding reforms as a shareholder.  In this case they are claiming
that improper workplace conduct results in loss of productivity and
ultimately leads to devaluation of the shares held by the investor.
Arhuna Capital is demanding an investigation into the matter,
including allegations surrounding founder Bill Gates.

Note that Arjuna Capital is demanding the corporate board to
come up with the truth.  They aren't asking for the punishment of
those who engage in sexual misconduct, at least for now.

This approach is different from what we witnessed when allegations
that Richard Stallman "defended" Epstein appeared.  At that point
certain "free software leaders" including FSF board members made
mention of "bad behavior" in vague terms.  They did not investigate
the matter and report their findings.

Usually when someone is removed from a position of leadership, a
replacement is sought.  What characteristics should he or she possess?
Obviously the replacement should be void of the "bad" characteristics
of the outgoing person.  Imagine considering Donald Trump as a
candidate for the FSF board.  Would he make a good replacement?  The
answer: we wouldn't be able to tell because "bad behavior" is not
clearly defined.  Nobody can decide whether Trump has more of the
"bad behavior" or less of it.

It may be that the "bad behavior" is insisting that the operating
system should be called "GNU/Linux".  Donald Trump does not do that.
Neither does Bill Gates.  Both men admit having met Jeff Epstein.
Well then, is meeting Jeff Epstein "bad behavior"?  I don't know.
Has anybody told you?


You may notice that the above is a sequel to my posts in May titled
"Bill Gates in the news: Deja vu".

There is an additional purpose.  The following essay offers an
important observation, but I felt it may be difficult to get to the
point.  I wrote the above hoping that it would be of assistance.

The Practice of Ritual Defamation

  Written in 1990, this short essay by Laird Wilcox is pertinent today
  and specially applicable to the defamation of Richard Stallman.  The
  modus operandi described by Wilcox matches seamlessly the procedure
  adopted by Stallman's attackers.  We are reproducing it verbatim from
  the original with permission from the author.  A 5 minutes read worth
  one or two whole books on the subject.