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Re: [vox] Stallman on Slashdot
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Re: [vox] Stallman on Slashdot

Rick (Frederick) Moen wrote:
> Quoting Eric Engelhard (eric_cl@pacbell.net):
> > Why are you abstracting the argument to "foo"?
> Obviously, for the very reason one always uses a metasyntactic variable:
> Because the value of that variable doesn't matter, in the context under
> discussion.

No, not obvious at all. The value of that variable DOES matter:

I will not speak for your group unless you $foo.

$foo = feed me : not unusual
$foo = feed me  peeled grapes : hmmm...
$foo = peel each grape and feed them to me by hand as I lounge on your
naked wife : offensive, presumptuous, I'm getting my gun

(Note: this is humor and I am in no way equating RMS's request to

> > He made a concrete request that the SIG change their name as a
> > condition of his appearance.  It is this request that I indicated as
> > presumptuous.
> Yes, we know all that.  But you've failed to say how it can be possibly
> presumptuous for Stallman to decide and announce in advance what's going
> to decide how he spends his free time.

In advance? Did RMS publicly announce his intentions prior to the
invitation by the Texas SIG? This is a pertinent point. I admit that "I
will not speak with ANY group which does not acknowledge GNU's
contribution when mentioning Linux" is far less offensive. It doesn't
appear, however, that the Texas SIG had this information prior to the
invitation. Although RMS may have given fair warning by announcing his
intentions beforehand, he seems to have displayed a lack of etiquette
once engaged in the dialog with the Texas SIG. I agree with Rod: he
should have just politely refused.

> That was, of course, a highly rhetorical question on my part.  The point
> is that calling such conditions "presumptuous" or "coercive" or "a demand"
> is quite wacked.

Definitely presumptuous. RMS may or may not have valid arguments, but he
"overstepped the bounds of courtesy" by requesting (less loaded) the
name change. I'll concede that whether the "request" was "coercive" or a
"demand" is really the functions of the integrity of those involved in
the dialogue. For one, I am pleased that we are not now called GLUGOD,
even though I and many other LUGOD members acknowledge the HUGE
contributions of GNU.

Eric Engelhard - www.cvbig.org - www.sagresdiscovery.com
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