[conspire] No more GNU HP Minis

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Feb 15 02:28:21 PST 2010

Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben at mrbrklyn.com):

> The position you made, and it is not without rationality, is that
> certain kinds of advocacy, like demanding GNU preloads from manufacturers, 
> is ineffective because, aside from the technical reasons you cited, a
> waste of time and provocative.  

Actually, you still didn't get it.  Once again, what I said was:

o  Your advocacy activity completely fails to advance your announced goal
   (getting more Linux preloads on new computers), completely aside from
   the separate question of whether the goal is a desirable one.
o  Your notion of how to bring it about completely lacks a credible plan,
   and seems to involve just making a lot of noise on LUG mailing lists.
o  I make alternative uses of my time and energy that I'm pretty damned
   sure demonstrably does a whole lot more good, making it extremely
   peculiar for you to chide me for my effective work, and urge me 
   to redirect time and energy to your ineffective work.

> I was told specifically the same exact thing about poverty and crime in
> NYC, and it took the Crown Heights riots to finally move the electorate
> towards doing something about it.

I very much doubt that you were told "the exact same thing" as what I
said, concerning your involvement with poverty and crime (whatever that
is).  However, let's run with the analogy.  This would be kind of like,
if I'm already running a Head Start program for poor preschool kids in
the South Bronx, and you start yelling at me that I'm "ignoring or
conceding to social forces that produce moral dilemmas" and am "detach
moral issues from education", because I declined to join you in a
supposed anti-crime, anti-poverty program of yours that I've already
shown you (to the best of my satisfaction) _doesn't work_, wastes time,
and just generates a lot of noise to hassle people already doing
important, productive work.

You want an analogy, _that_ would be the sort of thing it would have to

> But once there was a decision to do something about it, change came
> rapidly, and it was nothing short of a miracle.

Protracted ASCII-yelling at me doesn't "change rapidly" OEMs' preload
policies that -- as has been painfully and patiently explained to you --
are largely the product of identifiable market forces.  And, even if it
did "change rapidly" those preload policies, OEMs' preloads have a
strong tendency to suck and invisibly introduce crappy proprietary
drives for crummy free-software-hostile chipsets that would otherwise be
easier to shun and get rid of.  This has already been patiently
explained to you, too.

> The same can be said about the civil rights leaders in the late 1950's
> to the late 1960's.

It doesn't matter whether you wrap yourself in the ghost of friggin'
Martin Luther King.  You're still making a stupidly delusional, fatuous,
and self-congratulatory analogy that isn't supporting your point at all.

> Free Software is every bit as critical of an issue, or worse....

Then, isn't it about time you stopped using terrible tactics that don't
work and waste your time -- and, worse, attempt to convince others to do

I'm sorry, but repeating over and over and over how important free
software is (and it's _still_ not a proper noun, by the way) fails to
distract my attention away from the key point, that your advocacy 
ompletely fails to advance your announced goal, that the goal is a
pretty dubious one, that you completely lack a credible plan to bring
about what you say you want to have happen, that mostly you just make a
huge amount of noise, and that at least some, maybe most, of the people
you're trying to persuade are already doing a whole lot more good, doing
entirely different things.

> I don't see how this is vague or abstract.  

"People need education, positive goals, and feeling of reasonable
empowerment for a healthy Democratic society" is not vague and abstract?
If it isn't, I'd really hate to see what _is_.

> Not complain, but was perplexed by what I perceived as an inconsistency.
> You've explained that inconsistency very well, and I understand it now
> in detail.  

I have _not_ explained any inconsistency.  There is no inconsistency -- at
least, sure as hell not one you've mentioned.  Moreover, I actually
didn't offer to explain or justify myself, in the first place.

> "Mr Dillon, why do you rob banks?"  "Because that's where the money is."

If you're going to quote Sutton's Law aka "the Willie Sutton Rule", get
it right.  Sutton, not Dillon.  Willie Sutton.

> I am very interested in the efficiency of strategies for advocating Free
> Software.  But unlike you, I do believe that everyone needs Free
> Software.

You are bizarrely attributing to me a view I do not hold, and did not

This is really rather annoying.  Kindly don't do that.

> People do try to detach the implications of technological choices from
> moral decision making all the time.

Don't go conveniently vague on me again, Ruben:  You weren't talking
about just "people"; you were talking about me.  Ignorantly, on the
basis of a stupid, convenient, and lazy assessment of me personally.
That makes you look like a jerk, and it's rude.

I decided it was a poor use of my time and yours to read you the riot
act, but you're now pushing you luck.  I suggest you reverse course.

If you were not intending to talk about me, then you really need to
rethink how you write mailing list posts.

> First of all, I was asking for help with HP....

A distinction without a real difference.  Whether it's one OEM or a
bunch of them, the same points apply.

I'm going to have to ignore the rest, because it seems to fall back on
the same old madly flapping your arms about how important free software
is, which is all very well but irrelevant to antecedent discussion, and
I really don't have time for that.

In conclusion:  Please stop wasting your time with this harangue.
Please stop wasting my time with this harangue.  Enough, Ruben.

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