11.04.09

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Godwin 2.0

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Recent smear campaign labels Boycott Novell a “software taliban”

Yesterday I found the following link to an insulting piece about critics of Mono, amongst other controversial elements that may prove harmful to the freedom of Free software. People whom the author disagrees with are being compared to the taliban. To be fair, the post may not be the original source of such strong terminology (it was most likely coined elsewhere based on prior observations where Boycott Novell specifically gets labeled that), but it is still akin to the cheapening of terms like “terrorism” in order to advance goals. Here is the part about Mono:

Whilst the software taliban’s fixation with Mono is unfortunate, their targeting of applications written using Mono is far worse. Many developers have chosen to use C# as their preferred language for application development on Linux. And a number of high quality applications have been the result. Why should the developers’ perfectly reasonable language choice result in the Mono uninstall fest that greets every new version of Ubuntu for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the application itself?

The title of this post is “The talibanisation of software,” where “taliban” is apparently some kind of a dodge/workaround for Godwin’s law.

“By using words like “taliban” they are dodging verboten insults like “Nazi” but coming across as shameless daemonisers nonetheless.”We have already explained how “religion” is used to smear passionate Free software proponents [1, 2, 3]; even “terrorism” is sometimes used as a slur. “It’s becoming more common,” says Glyn Moody, “we need to call it out as being Godwin 2.0″

Many of these tactics come about when the subject of Microsoft is brought up. A lot of people prefer to ignore Microsoft’s constant attacks on GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Now that an “open-source” (not really “Open Source”) company agrees to a partnership with Microsoft it is only reasonable to raise doubts, without the opposite side resorting to name-calling, smears, distortions, and so forth. By using words like “taliban” they are dodging verboten insults like “Nazi” but coming across as shameless daemonisers nonetheless.

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6 Comments

  1. satipera said,

    November 4, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Gravatar

    This sort of political demonising of floss has been going on for a long time. The comparison of Linux with “godless communism” in the spoof Shelley the Republican website a few years ago shows at what sort of an audience these type of remarks are aimed. It is however the first time I have heard the Taliban used in relation to software. Bogeymen change I suppose. I hesitate to single out a particular country but this sort of thing comes mainly from Usonians who have an ideological and or vested interest axe to grind.

    As the saying goes..”First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”.

  2. satipera said,

    November 4, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Gravatar

    This sort of political demonising of floss has been going on for a long time. The comparison of Linux with “godless communism” in the spoof Shelley the Republican website a few years ago shows at what sort of an audience these type of remarks are aimed. It is however the first time I have heard the Taliban used in relation to software. Bogeymen change I suppose. I hesitate to single out a particular country but this sort of thing comes mainly from Usonians who have an ideological and or vested interest axe to grind.

    As the saying goes..”First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”.

  3. TheTruth said,

    November 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Gravatar

    and you Roy would “NEVER” use the terrorism word to forward your own cause.

    You are above “cheapening” that word..

    Oh but wait…. YES YOU DO ….

    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/08/29/comparing-free-software-to-evil/

    So it’s ok for you to do it, but when someone else does it, it’s somehow bad.

    Talk about “talking out of both sides of your mouth”.

    Trouble with lying Roy, is you have to be good at it, and smart and have a good memory.

    It appears you are none of those things, so you taking the “high road” kinda makes you look like a troll, and a shill.

    But thats more than expected from you ROY, it’s a shame you are so bad it lying, perhaps you might try another line of “work”.. If you actually did work in the first place.. LOL..

    Good luck with that, and how does it feel for you to have the heat turned on you, with a critical eye..

    It’s funny, if it was not so pathetic…

    your_friend Reply:

    Do you think that harassing Roy like this proves anyting except the point made here and the previous article you referenced? Brilliant.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “TheTruth” is Mutex. He has been banned from IRC for personal attacks and trolling.

  4. satipera said,

    November 4, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Gravatar

    The Truth

    You seem so desperate to have a pop that you are comparing two articles of completely different types and then saying the author of the second is as bad as the author of the first.

    The first article is a personal statement of opinion that compares some people in the floss movement to the Taliban. The second article which you link to is reporting what other people have been saying. What you have done is as silly as accusing a crime reporter of being a criminal because of what he wrote about the crime.

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