Subject: Re: [ppc-mobo] Re: GNU License for Hardware
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 15:57:51 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "rms" == Richard Stallman <> writes:

    rms> When you insist on treating these questions as economic
    rms> questions, that is really a way of stating your choice of
    rms> values to base your views on.

Economics is the mode of analysis I know best.

But I do not insist that these are economic questions.  You can choose
your own mode of explanation.  But I do ask for more than your
intuition as support for statements like "proprietary software is
domination."  As you know, my intuition says otherwise.  Which makes
analogies dangerous.

    rms> Your values are the premises of your thinking.  If you start
    rms> from the view that the only relevant values are
    rms> materialistic, economic ones, there is no use in my arguing
    rms> with your choice.

I do not think that "the only relevant values are materialistic,
economic ones."  I do not know why you think I do.

I know the feeling of being dominated; however, it comes on me when
people start talking about having the government come and take money
from me ("software tax").  I have no choice; I must cough up; I am
dominated.  You softened it as much as you could, but there it is.
Not that I object to supporting software or other social projects.
It's the lack of choice.

But Bill Gates?  Huh-uh.  Thanks to your efforts and Linus's, two
among many, and a not insignificant effort of my own to learn how, I
can look Bill in the eye and Just Say No.  Or not.  It's _my_ choice,
not his.  I do not feel dominated by Bill's software.

I'm curious why you, of all the human beings on this Earth, would feel 
a sense of being dominated merely from contact with proprietary
programs.  I know you want to share, and that you can't share Word[1],
you can't even look at the source.  So what?  Who wants to share Word
when they can share Emacs?  OK, you've done that.  So share the Linux
kernel, or the Gimp, or a webserver, or ....  Infinite variety.

I don't think you're wrong to want to share Word, too.  But the
frustration you feel, as far as I can see, is just that: frustration.
One can't always get what one wants.  I don't see what justifies
promoting it to "being dominated," to an infringement of freedom.

OTOH, I don't think folks like me who focus on the expanding freedom
to share free software, and ignore the fact that Word is proprietary
(except that maybe we'd celebrate just a little bit more if we could
kill it with a free clone) are wrong, either.  And I resent it when
you say that my values are entirely materialistic and that I don't
know what freedom is.

    rms> But I don't agree with the premises.

I don't think you know what my premises are.  I know yours are opaque
to me, and I believe to many others; that's why I asked.

[1]  Straw man, I know.  Sorry about that.

University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."