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Watchdogs Are Not Advocates, But There May Exist Commonalities

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.

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