Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft as Communism, Revisited

Soviet Microsoft

Summary: A very recent discussion of the "communist" smear against Free software

THIS is not yet another post reminding people that Microsoft -- not Free software -- resembles communism. We have done that several times before and so have others.

Ignorance and amnesia, combined with spin and deceit, can really make people believe just about anything, including the ridiculous claim that a scientific development model has something against capitalism. But that's just McCarthyism incarnated. As TechCrunch phrased it two days ago, "Microsoft users [are] more gullible" and Vista 7 is a recent example.

When it cut the numbers by operating system, Chitika a similar trend. Windows users are about twice as likely as Linux or Mac users to click on ads. All of this data comes from one advertising network, so I’d say it is more suggestive than scientific (I’d love to know if other ad network are seeing the same trends). But it is a large sample.

Anyway, a couple of days ago we had an interesting discussion in the IRC channel. It starts around here and below is an excerpt.

schestowitzWow. WHy is he insulting Allison? 11 12:21
phIRCe-localTitle: FSF is Asking for Money Again €« DoctorMO's Blog .::. Size~: 40.91 KBDec 11 12:21
*schestowitz removes channel operator status from schestowitzDec 11 12:21
kecskebakHe's saying Allison is not a born broadcaster - he's right about that. That video should have been done as an interview and it would have been much better.Dec 11 12:23
kecskebakI thought Allison looked very uncomfortable and self-conscious.Dec 11 12:23
schestowitzThe criticism of Allison is very unfair. It's understandable that critics will always -- and I mean ALWAYS -- be described as "bad" (just ask Dennis Kucinich), but Allison has actually done a good job explaining /slowly/ (to non-English speakers) what Free software means.Dec 11 12:24
kecskebakYes, but compare it to the Stephen Fry one.Dec 11 12:24
kecskebakI think the content of the video was fine, it was the format that was wrong.Dec 11 12:24
kecskebakSpeaking to the camera - "down the bottle" - is one of the hardest things to do. Even some actor's can't do it well.Dec 11 12:26
schestowitzI see insults directed at the appearance of RMSDec 11 12:26
schestowitzThey don't seem to understand that the hair has become a symbol that helps identify Stallman in the crowd. Many people in music and sports do the same thing because with different looks they simply lose their identity (and following).Dec 11 12:26
schestowitzkecskebak: yes, but Fry is in broadcastingDec 11 12:27
schestowitzI wouldn't want Fry to become Samba patchmasterDec 11 12:27
kecskebakWell, that's as daft as asking Allison to talk down the bottle and not as an interview subjectDec 11 12:27
kecskebakFSF did something that silly and stuck it on their home pageDec 11 12:27
schestowitzYesDec 11 12:27
schestowitzAllison responded to it in BNDec 11 12:28
schestowitz 11 12:28
phIRCe-localTitle: Ubuntu-ready Dell desktop looks like a nettop - News - Linux for Devices .::. Size~: 64.97 KBDec 11 12:28
kecskebakI think Allison is an incredible bloke and very, very brave for speaking out against MonoDec 11 12:28
kecskebakBut I think that criticism of the video in the blog was fair commentDec 11 12:28
kecskebakMicrosoft is dying - and cornered wounded animals are the most dangerous.Dec 11 12:29
kecskebakThat's why they attack you so much.Dec 11 12:29
cubezzzno, I don't think Stallman's appearance was because he choose to look differentDec 11 12:29
cubezzzhe just doesn't think about his appearanceDec 11 12:29
kecskebakI think the "vicious front end" referred to in the blog was not Stallman's appearance but his manner. I think that criticism is very unfair.Dec 11 12:29
cubezzzI've met other programmers with "Stallman hair" :)Dec 11 12:30
*zer0c00l has quit (Read error: 110 (Connection timed out))Dec 11 12:31
kecskebakI've always been amazed in videos of Stallman how calm and reasonable he is. I was expecting more spit and vinegar.Dec 11 12:31
cubezzzwell he's been attacked since the 80'sDec 11 12:31
cubezzznothing new thereDec 11 12:31
kecskebakSo to criticise Stallman's manner in that blogpost was very unfair in my view.Dec 11 12:32
cubezzzhe's a "communist" Dec 11 12:32
kecskebakSocialism is just for corporations, not the people. I notice Microsoft and the rest love state handoutsDec 11 12:32
cubezzzStallman can get pretty irritableDec 11 12:33
cubezzzpersonally, I like Stallman thoughDec 11 12:33
cubezzzno fake politenessDec 11 12:33
schestowitzcubezzz: RMS had a beard bad in the 30sDec 11 12:34
schestowitzHe was clean shaved before GNUDec 11 12:34
schestowitz /bad/back/Dec 11 12:35
cubezzzin the 30s? :)Dec 11 12:35
cubezzzhe's not that old Dec 11 12:35
schestowitzHis 30sDec 11 12:35
cubezzzah :)Dec 11 12:35
-BNc/#boycottnovell-[schestowitz] I like the new Thundebird, now I have tabs and sub-tabs.... tabs within other tabs for organisation. Splendid!Dec 11 12:35
cubezzzyes, he once had a crew cut if you go back far enoughDec 11 12:35
schestowitzcubezzz: yes, "communist" if science if the new communism :-)Dec 11 12:36
schestowitzThe power of spin and perceptionDec 11 12:36
schestowitzYou could go about drawing analogies between Microsoft and communismDec 11 12:36
schestowitz1) everyone is the sam...Dec 11 12:36
schestowitz2) One leaderDec 11 12:36
kecskebak3) One Microsoft way :)Dec 11 12:36
schestowitz3) No expression of code/thought (modification)Dec 11 12:36
schestowitzAnd so on...Dec 11 12:36
cubezzzI'm just repeating what people said on usenet in the 80's, it's all still there on google groupsDec 11 12:37
schestowitzI'm actually very surprised by how Linux advocates are daemonisedDec 11 12:37
schestowitzFor things they do not do or get distorted for the most partDec 11 12:37
cubezzzyeah. that's disappointingDec 11 12:37
kecskebakI think communism is a shock word like paedophile - it sort of closes the argument and puts the person beyond the paleDec 11 12:38
kecskebak'Religious' is also used for Mono critics to do the same thingDec 11 12:38
cubezzzno, I never thought of communism as a shock wordDec 11 12:39
kecskebakMany Americans doDec 11 12:39
cubezzzfor software at leastDec 11 12:39
schestowitz 11 12:39
phIRCe-localTitle: Experts Question Hungary's Role As European Open Source Leader - News - .::. Size~: 27.04 KBDec 11 12:39
cubezzzat most Stallman is a hybrid capitalist/communist with emphasis on the communist partDec 11 12:40
MinceRlolDec 11 12:40
*MinceR gets some hybrid cold/hot waterDec 11 12:40
cubezzzand true communism doesn't really existDec 11 12:40
schestowitzSadly for Microsoft, it has communism in itDec 11 12:40
cubezzzwarm water? :)Dec 11 12:40
schestowitzTheir EU head used to be a communist in the proper senseDec 11 12:41
MinceRwell, communism was an idea that was never implementedDec 11 12:41
MinceRs/was/is/Dec 11 12:41
schestowitzAnd one of its advocate (Fiegel or something) written extensively to advocate communism in Europe in his younge daysDec 11 12:41
schestowitzSo Microsoft has real communism baggageDec 11 12:41
schestowitzThey just hide itDec 11 12:41
MinceRwrite an article on that :)Dec 11 12:42
cubezzzI think of Microsoft as fascist, not communistDec 11 12:42
schestowitzMinceR: Microsoft communism?Dec 11 12:42
MinceRschestowitz: indeedDec 11 12:42
cubezzzdare I say the H word?Dec 11 12:42
MinceRthere is not a lot of difference between fascism and what was implemented as "communism" on earthDec 11 12:42
cubezzzcapitalism seems to fall apart if people get too greedyDec 11 12:43
kecskebakMinceR: Spot on. That's why the former communists are now running Hungary for the neo-LiberalsDec 11 12:43
schestowitzMinceR: OKDec 11 12:43
kecskebakThey didn't need any trainingDec 11 12:44
cubezzzbut this doesn't change the fact that we have FOSS, so in one small area we have real communismDec 11 12:45
cubezzzit's there if you want itDec 11 12:45
MinceRactually it isn't communism as long as it isn't public domainDec 11 12:46
MinceRsw still has an owner who could relicense itDec 11 12:46
MinceRi'm not sure if the legal system would even allow itDec 11 12:46
MinceRi wonder why are there 'quasi-public domain' licenses like the WTFPL, i remember hearing something like public domain not working the same way in all countries or somethingDec 11 12:47
cubezzzwell I suppose the gate keepers are really the maintainersDec 11 12:49
cubezzzbut anyone can be a maintainerDec 11 12:49
oiaohmMinceR: WTFPL is just for fun form of LicenseDec 11 12:52
oiaohmYes legally binding but not much better than Public domain.Dec 11 12:52
MinceRso public domain isn't legally binding?Dec 11 12:53
oiaohmPublic domain includes copyright expired works.   The expired works don't need a legally binding contract to make them such.Dec 11 12:55


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