EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.04.10

Divisiveness

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Mono, Novell at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wireless and scissors

Summary: Thoughts and references about the notion that those who criticise troubles and ills are simply being “divisive”

A LOT of people have accused this Web site of being divisive. In fact, almost every Web site that ‘dares’ to criticise the unjust is bound to be smeared. The reasons for this were explained here before [1, 2], so we won’t be discussing them again.

A few days ago we found some interesting articles in PR Watch (CMD) that name MSNBC along with Fox News and others (whose divisive intent is obvious). They are rightly being accused of pushing an agenda rather than reporting news. “Cable TV Shows Rife with Hidden Flacks and Lobbyists,” writes the author, who explains:

Cable news networks like MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and Fox News routinely use commentators who have financial conflicts of interest that are undisclosed to viewers. Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, for example, appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, to discuss the economic crisis.

Here is another new one, titled “The Media-Lobbying Complex”:

President Obama spent most of December 4 touring Allentown, Pennsylvania, meeting with local workers and discussing the economic crisis. A few hours later, the state’s former governor, Tom Ridge, was on MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews, offering up his own recovery plan. There were “modest things” the White House might try, like cutting taxes or opening up credit for small businesses, but the real answer was for the president to “take his green agenda and blow it out of the box.” The first step, Ridge explained, was to “create nuclear power plants.” Combined with some waste coal and natural gas extraction, you would have an “innovation setter” that would “create jobs, create exports.”

As regular readers may know, we include many such links on a daily basis, but the reason for including them here is to show that the mainstream media can be no more than lobbying, no more than a farce. The effects of this range from environment to what people consider ‘normal’ ways of life. The media establishes norms and consensus.

There is another lesser-known aspect that the environment debate in particular is showing these days. Climate scientists are being bullied. And to use a parallel example, Mono critics have been bullied for years. Take Sam Varghese for example; he gets abuse from people whom he dares to criticise and companies that he dares to see as malicious. These people who bully the messenger, in turn, are suffocating and suppressing free speech through a form of retaliation. “Divisive Behavior” is the title of this post about the ordeals of Varghese. It’s a fascinating read.

Past Sins

Sam Varghese wrote an article about Matthew Garrett’s LCA talk “The Linux community: what is it and how to be a part of it” [1]. In page 2 Sam quotes Martin Krafft as asking about how Matthew’s behavior had changed between 2004 and the present, Sam cites some references for Matthew’s actions in 2005 to demonstrate. I think that this raises the issue of how far back it is reasonable to go in search of evidence of past behavior, something that I think is far more important than the specific details of what Matthew said on mailing lists many years ago and whether he now regrets such email.

If someone did something that you consider to be wrong yesterday and did the same thing five years ago you might consider it to be evidence of a pattern of behavior. If someone’s statements today don’t match their actions yesterday then you should consider it to be evidence of hypocrisy. But if someone did something five years ago which doesn’t match their current statements then in many situations it seems more reasonable to consider it as evidence that they have changed their mind.

Perhaps Varghese has received the type of abuse that Richard Stallman is always getting, so it’s a badge of honour really. Matt Lee from the FSF has had this little confrontation with The Guardian recently. He explains in his blog:

Upon my return to the UK, my colleagues at work informed me that I’d been in The Guardian, and sure enough, checking the newspaper’s website, I was there, as part of a collection of ’24 hours in pictures’ for August 10th, 2007.

This seemed like a reasonable mistake, but my attempts to contact The Guardian and also the photographer were not satisfactory. Unable to be able to get a free license (CC-BY or CC-BY-SA) of my own image, I made a copy of the image and promptly forgot all about it.

Watch how they characterise him. It all seems to suit the image that the FSF is very dangerous and those ‘hackers’ (intended in a negative sense) are against society.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. satipera said,

    March 4, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Gravatar

    I would argue that it is the forces of the majority and the status quo who are more likely to be divisive. Criticism of the majority or accepted view is often taken as an opportunity by some to cement themselves to the social majority or react in a self interested manner at the expense of the criticiser. Of course this is not always the case but there is a close correlation to this behaviour and social and financial advantage. This is not news but people can react to criticism by saying things they do not believe themselves but it suits them to say it.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Atheism faces this issue in the United States.

  2. your_friend said,

    March 4, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Gravatar

    Violent hostility towards freedom and competition is the norm Microsoft and other large publishers seek to establish. Sharing is compared to violent crimes like “piracy” and murder. GNU/Linux is called “communism” “cancer” and those using it are called impractical idealists at best and terrorists at worst. It is a shame people fall for this kind of thing but the decline of broadcast will lessen it’s effectiveness. When MSNBC is just another web site, for example, it won’t be able to set the norm as effectively.

What Else is New


  1. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  2. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  3. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020



  4. Alexandre Oliva's Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

    Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.



  5. Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

    Links for the day



  6. Being Rich Does Not Imply Being Smart (Especially When One is Born Into Wealth)

    Presenting the 'genius' (college dropout, but that does not matter when the yardstick of wisdom is wealth alone), with his own predictions overlaid on top of his photo from the show of Bloomberg (another 'genius' whose supposed brilliance is measured using money alone)



  7. The Rise and Fall of Free Software

    "We simply need to make the movement less corporate, and more grassroots."



  8. Why You Should Adopt Debian 10, Not Vista 10 (Windows Vista With Microsoft's Latest Surveillance Add-ons)

    A little personal story and recommendation of Debian "Buster" (10) or Devuan (whose developers persist)



  9. Ethics by Exclusion

    It's the same old philosophical question; can excluding those who are perceived to be intolerant be seen as an act of tolerance?



  10. Even Worse Than Microsoft Inside the Board of the OSI

    The OSI has accepted people from companies that actively attack Software Freedom and there may be more on their way



  11. ZDNet Continues to Stuff Its 'Linux' Section With Proprietary Software of Microsoft

    The above is what the "Linux" section of ZDNet is going to look like throughout the weekend (and this is hardly unusual, either)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 21, 2020



  13. Links 21/2/2020: EasyOS 2.2.11 Released, Microsoft's Control of the Linux Foundation Increases and More Binary Blobs Arrive

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 20, 2020



  15. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman



  16. GNU World Order is a Personal Sacrifice, LinuxWorld Just Business

    As the Linux Foundation shows, Linux is just business (and proprietary software) as usual, software patents included, whereas it’s GNU that continues the Free Software Movement’s battles



  17. Links 20/2/2020: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU18, Mesa 20, VirtualBox 6.1.4

    Links for the day



  18. Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

    Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing



  19. Former Microsoft Employees Don't Like Talking About Past and Present Microsoft Back Doors (Designed for Spy Agencies)

    In a typical Microsoftian fashion, once they cannot defend the illusion/delusion that Microsoft values security the 'Softers' run away and block any further debate



  20. Techrights Warns Against Impending Extradition Efforts (Passage of Julian Assange to His Death in the United States)

    Imprisonment of journalists who are effective at exposing crimes (of the powerful, not petty crimes) must never be condoned



  21. Team UPC: Many Mouths and No Ears

    The mental condition of Team UPC gets more worrisome by the week



  22. Team UPC Insults Judges Because the UPC is Dead and UPC Lobbyists Have Nothing Left to Lose

    More judge-shaming tactics are in the mix; Team UPC seems to feel like there's nothing left to lose as the UPC is already dead (hope itself is next to die)



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 19, 2020



  24. China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

    The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go



  25. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  26. FFII Press Release: Germany Can No Longer Ratify the Unitary Patent Due to Brexit and the Established AETR Case-law, says FFII

    Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit and the established AETR case-law. The ratification of the UPC (Unified Patent Court) by Germany would constitute a violation of the AETR case-law, which was used during the EPLA negotiations in 2006 to consider a deal with non-EU countries, such as Switzerland.



  27. DRM (Proprietary Software) Already Makes Mozilla Firefox Broken, Unreliable, Undependable (Dependent on Binary Blobs)

    More people are beginning to realise that Mozilla resorted to self-harming DRM and self-inflicted damage that impacts Firefox; can Mozilla (re)join the anti-DRM coalitions?



  28. EPO and Other Patent Updates Over RSS

    Site syndication (over RSS feeds or XML/Atom) is vastly better than what became popular in recent years (censored, centralised, discriminatory "Social Control Media"); here are some feeds of interest



  29. When It Comes to a Unitary Patent System, Bad (or Intentionally Dishonest) Legal Advice Has Become the Norm

    The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent (UPC and UP, respectively) reinforce the old saying about lawyers being liars, doing anything to attract clients (to take their money); the UPC is basically dead, but fiction, falsehoods and outrageous fantasies still find their way into Web sites of law firms



  30. Links 19/2/2020: KDE Plasma 5.18.1, GNOME 3.36 Beta 2 and WordPress 5.4 Beta 2

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts