06.10.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Watchdogs Are Not Advocates, But There May Exist Commonalities

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 12:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A dog

Summary: Advocates of GNU/Linux and justice do an important work; but there’s still room for criticism of those conspiring to harm both and such criticism sometimes involves harshness and bluntness (because the hard facts aren’t all happy and positive)

THE OLD notion of advocacy (Microsoft calls it “evangelism” because Microsoft is a cult) isn’t what it is today. Words change over time; they can lose their meaning or have their connotations subverted somewhat.

“…we’re actually extremely cautious and wait patiently before deciding that someone or something (e.g. institution or company) is becoming a lost cause — something that can no longer be reformed or salvaged.”Back in the old days (when I was a teenager) I was more of a GNU/Linux “advocate”; I later joined C.O.L.A. in USENET (newsgroups), where A stands for “Advocacy”. Techrights came much later, especially in light of realisation that positive activism was clearly insufficient so long as we’re under endless attacks we must respond to, often by exposing and deconstructing these attacks (and where they really came from). So here we are almost 14 years and 27,500 posts later. We have a large repository of information about attacks on GNU/Linux (and on actors that promote Software Freedom in some fashion). Last night we discussed how to set up a redundant array of backups or archives. It would be a shame to lose all the information we’ve gathered for so long.

One common complaint we’ve heard is that the tone of the site may be counterproductive, especially when we call out sellouts (albeit not prematurely), potentially alienating some people. But we’re actually extremely cautious and wait patiently before deciding that someone or something (e.g. institution or company) is becoming a lost cause — something that can no longer be reformed or salvaged.

“If the future we want is “Linux-powered” drone strikes and detention camps, then guess what? A lot of people out there will disagree. And rightly so!”The idea of negativism was discussed here a very long time ago. Techrights isn’t a place for smiles and claps. There are plenty of sites out there willing to pretend that everything is wonderful and the future is rosy. They cherry-pick examples of “wins” and tell us that Microsoft loves Linux. Come on, folks, need we really be that foolish? Realism and negativism are two different things, albeit less so when reality itself has many negative things about it. We are not living through wonderful times with the pandemic and all… and with something called Linux Foundation that would be suitably renamed GitHub Foundation or even Microsoft Foundation. The Board is almost entirely proprietary giants, many of which make money from surveillance and militarism. Hardly what Stallman had in mind when he started the GNU Project and a Finnish student coded a good kernel.

If the future we want is “Linux-powered” drone strikes and detention camps, then guess what? A lot of people out there will disagree. And rightly so!

The world isn’t going to become any easier a place to live in any time soon. Wage disparities are on the rise, not to mention unemployment, and longevity is already decreasing, in some countries even without accounting for the “COVID factor”…

“Watchdogs focus on the negatives which ought to be addressed. Advocates focus on positives to be celebrated and embraced.”Weapons are advancing (far too many nukes out there to keep out of “bad” hands), more internment/detention camps are being set up, and social control by surveillance now seeks people’s pulse! Sometimes in real time! For our “health and safety” of course!

Watchdogs focus on the negatives which ought to be addressed. Advocates focus on positives to be celebrated and embraced.

‘Watchdogging’ is something Techrights is better at, partly because it’s almost unique (alone) in covering particular subjects and angles. So expect us to remain as we are; no rainbows here, except maybe in casual memes.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  3. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  4. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  5. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  6. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  7. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  8. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  9. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  11. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  12. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day



  13. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  14. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  15. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  18. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  19. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”



  20. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)



  21. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub



  22. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022



  24. Peak Code — Part II: Lost Source

    "Debian and Mozilla played along. They were made “Yeoman Freeholders” in return for rewriting their charters to “work closely with the new Ministry in the interests of all stakeholders” – or some-such vacuous spout… because no one remembers… after that it started."



  25. Links 22/1/2022: Ubuntu MATE 21.10 for GPD Pocket 3, MINISFORUM Preloads GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  26. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)



  27. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."



  28. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  30. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects


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