Subject: Re: [Freesw] Re: FreeDevelopers
From: "Jonathan S. Shapiro" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 14:48:35 -0500

> I'm advocating that you free yourself and your
> neighbor while you can, and to stop worrying
> about which is the optimal way out. Just take
> an opening, any opening, and run.

Indeed, under your logic the right decision for various persecuted groups in
Nazi Germany was to flee to Russia -- which many did, only to arrive just in
time for Stalin's purges after the war. If you think running off cliffs is
fun, please don't let any of us stop you. We're good hearted folks, so we
all promise to wave as you go by. We'll stand around afterwords and measure
the size of the splat and talk about what a nice guy you were before that
tragic loss of synaptic function in the common sense part of the brain.

As for me, I plan to continue to invest deliberately and thoughtfully in
reputation and customer interactions, much as Ben does. A key value of
"free" software is in reputation. Reputation apppears to be the only tool
for building the type of trust relationships that can overcome proprietary
privacy invasion in the long term. Reputation isn't built by running off
half-assed and doing the first thing that comes to mind.

> This is no longer just about software development
> methodologies. With interconnected digital machines,
> this is about real personal freedom.

Indeed, which is why it must not be done badly and stupidly. Therefore, the
choice of method matters a great deal.

> You don't have to look far into history to realize that
> some notorious people would have loved to have secret
> code tracking everyone's moves and transactions to be so
> much more efficient in their purges.

Wonderful words. What the hell do they have to do with the FreeDevelopers
group and/or the silly proclamation you guys are touting?

Look, I have nothing against GPL [well, actually, I have quite a large
number of problems with GPL, but most have to do with it's legal failings
rather than with its intent], but for me GPL is a business decision, not a
religion. I suspect that most of the people on this list feel the same --
whatever license they have chosen is a matter of business realities, not
crede. Some of us *also* have a political agenda in a particular license,
but this list is about Free Software *Business*.