Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Jan 2011 11:53 UTC, submitted by SReilly
Internet & Networking "In the physical world, we have the right to print and sell books. Anyone trying to stop us would need to go to court. That right is weak in the UK (consider superinjunctions), but at least it exists. However, to set up a web site we need the cooperation of a domain name company, an ISP, and often a hosting company, any of which can be pressured to cut us off. In the US, no law explicitly requires this precarity. Rather, it is embodied in contracts that we have allowed those companies to establish as normal. It is as if we all lived in rented rooms and landlords could evict anyone at a moment's notice." Recommended reading. I'm no fan of Stallman, but despite a bit too much dramatisation towards the end, this article aptly illustrates in layman's terms why the 'net needs to be free, open, and unregulated.
Thread beginning with comment 455701
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Verging on self-parody
by sorpigal on Mon 3rd Jan 2011 19:17 UTC in reply to "Verging on self-parody"
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

Very transparent trolling, given that your name is "Ballmer Knows Best." 3/10. Try again some other time.

the only real difference between RMS and Steve Jobs is that Jobs gets paid to be an obnoxious ideologue

You think that RMS isn't paid? What do you think he eats? Wait, don't tell me, bugs, right? And he probably is homeless so he sleeps in the dirt! That explains his grooming habits! Grow up.

To get a book released to a market of any significant size, you need a publisher/printer, a distributor, and retailers - any of which can be "pressured to cut us off."

To get published initially there are barriers in both places. However, once a book has been published in the physical world it is far, far harder to 'retract' it, whereas in the digital world it's pretty easy (streisand effect notwithstanding). Did you miss this obvious point deliberately or are you just not paying attention? Oh wait, I forgot you're just trolling. Nevermind.

There are 2 possibilities here. Either Stallman is being disingenuous, or he's truly unable to grasp the reasons why an electronic transfer of money (possibly crossing international borders) differs from an in-person cash transaction.

Because he notes a difference between the online transfer of money and the meatspace transfer of money you think he must be being disingenuous? On what basis? He says "It's different" and you say "I KNOW IT'S DIFFERENT." I'm really trying to figure out your point here. Stallman's is pretty clear: Anonymous monetary transactions *should* be possible online, and they're not. Dare I assume that you at any time *had* a point by asking what it was?

So software designed specifically and solely for malicious use is A-OK in Stallman's eyes, just so long as it's Free Software(tm)? But not closed source software, because it might, potentially have hidden malicious functionality?

Obviously you don't grasp the difference between you attacking someone and someone else attacking you. If I take open software and use it maliciously, I'm harming someone else deliberately. That's on me. If I run closed software, innocently or maliciously, someone else is harming me. Stallman isn't trying to prevent you from behaving criminally, though it's a shame, he's trying to protect you from others who are making a specific kind of attempt to harm you.

Edited 2011-01-03 19:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Very transparent trolling, given that your name is "Ballmer Knows Best." 3/10.


And yet, you still replied.

Try again some other time.


Why would I want to do that? If the purpose of my post & username was trolling, then it's clearly worked on you.

"the only real difference between RMS and Steve Jobs is that Jobs gets paid to be an obnoxious ideologue

You think that RMS isn't paid?
"

As you have some problems with basic reading comprehension, allow me to repeat that sentence, this time with emphasis on the part that you conveniently ignored.

"the only real difference between RMS and Steve Jobs is that Jobs gets paid to be an obnoxious ideologue"

"To get a book released to a market of any significant size, you need a publisher/printer, a distributor, and retailers - any of which can be "pressured to cut us off."

To get published initially there are barriers in both places. However, once a book has been published in the physical world it is far, far harder to 'retract' it, whereas in the digital world it's pretty easy (streisand effect notwithstanding).
"

The detail that completely invalidates your point is "notwithstanding"? Well how wonderfully convenient!

Did you miss this obvious point deliberately or are you just not paying attention?


Get your own material, kid, I don't need you riding my coattails.

"There are 2 possibilities here. Either Stallman is being disingenuous, or he's truly unable to grasp the reasons why an electronic transfer of money (possibly crossing international borders) differs from an in-person cash transaction.

Because he notes a difference between the online transfer of money and the meatspace transfer of money you think he must be being disingenuous?
"

Stallman's being disingenuous by trying to imply that, in contrast to the internet, anonymous transfer of money is the norm in meatspace (that wasn't true even before credit cards, last I looked cheques and money orders aren't anonymous either).

I'm really trying to figure out your point here. Stallman's is pretty clear: Anonymous monetary transactions *should* be possible online, and they're not.


And how exactly do you suggest we implement anonymous online funds transfers? Or for that matter, how do you suggest we make ANY non-cash funds transfer truly anonymous?

"So software designed specifically and solely for malicious use is A-OK in Stallman's eyes, just so long as it's Free Software(tm)? But not closed source software, because it might, potentially have hidden malicious functionality?

Obviously you don't grasp the difference between you attacking someone and someone else attacking you. If I take open software and use it maliciously, I'm harming someone else deliberately. That's on me. If I run closed software, innocently or maliciously, someone else is harming me. Stallman isn't trying to prevent you from behaving criminally, though it's a shame, he's trying to protect you from others who are making a specific kind of attempt to harm you.
"

So you're saying that you consider the "harm" caused by non-malicious closed source software to be worse or on par with the harm caused by software such as LOIC (which is specifically and blatantly intended to be used maliciously), so long as the source is available for the malice-enabling applications? Do you have any notion how ridiculous that sounds?

Oh, and I have to pick out this little gem:

If I run closed software, innocently or maliciously, someone else is harming me.


Hahaha, seriously? And can you give any specific example how that harms you? Sorry, but the "evils of proprietary software" rhetoric starts to ring a bit hollow when you're comparing them to actual, tangible harms (such as the harm caused by DDoS attacks)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Verging on self-parody
by flypig on Tue 4th Jan 2011 19:50 in reply to "RE[2]: Verging on self-parody"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

And how exactly do you suggest we implement anonymous online funds transfers? Or for that matter, how do you suggest we make ANY non-cash funds transfer truly anonymous?

Without getting into the wider argument, there are many good ways that have been proposed to allow anonymous fund transfers online, such as using blind signatures. Here's a brief explanation about it: http://tinyurl.com/blindsig (PDF). There have been a whole variety of other approaches proposed with varying characteristics too.

There might be good legal reasons why you might not want to set up a scheme like this (e.g. money laundering), but technologically it could be done.

Reply Parent Score: 1

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

If the purpose of my post & username was trolling, then it's clearly worked on you.

I was pointing out that it was badly transparent, not that I wasn't going to feed you.

"You think that RMS isn't paid?


As you have some problems with basic reading comprehension, allow me to repeat that sentence, this time with emphasis on the part that you conveniently ignored.

"the only real difference between RMS and Steve Jobs is that Jobs gets paid to be an obnoxious ideologue"
"
Who do you think pays RMS and what do you think they pay him for? He is paid for what he does. If you wan't to call it being an obnoxious ideologue, fine. He still gets paid to do it. Which makes him no different from Jobs.

Not really sure why you tried to offer a defense that supports my point, but thanks.

"(streisand effect notwithstanding).


The detail that completely invalidates your point is "notwithstanding"? Well how wonderfully convenient!
"
It certainly does not. If I thought it invalidated my point I would not have brought it up and would have put the burden of bringing it up convincingly to you.

There is a certain amount of the streisand effect in play even in meatspace: A censored book might be hoarded, copied or republished by another party in an attempt to thwart censorship. Regardless, it's tangential to the point; even on the internet the effect is not a universal cure for all censorship. Even taking the effect in to account it's far easier to take a web site than to retract all copies of a particular book that may have been sold.

Perhaps you should look up the definition of "notwithstanding"? It means "In spite of" not "Not counting."

Get your own material, kid, I don't need you riding my coattails.

If plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery I think you ought not to object to that which, therefore, was the only part of my post that could be considered complimentary.

Stallman's being disingenuous by trying to imply that, in contrast to the internet, anonymous transfer of money is the norm in meatspace (that wasn't true even before credit cards, last I looked cheques and money orders aren't anonymous either).

In meatspace the anonymous transfer of money is possible, common and accepted. Anonymous transfer of money on the internet is only theoretically possible at the moment, not common and is viewed with suspicion. Whether or not it is the norm for most transactions in meatspace is irrelevant and does not make Stallman disingenuous; only your biased interpretation does that.

And how exactly do you suggest we implement anonymous online funds transfers? Or for that matter, how do you suggest we make ANY non-cash funds transfer truly anonymous?

You ask this as if it's such an imponderable that no reply is possible. I will just point my finger toward Google and let any potential reader trivially disprove your implication himself.

So you're saying that you consider the "harm" caused by non-malicious closed source software to be worse or on par with the harm caused by software such as LOIC (which is specifically and blatantly intended to be used maliciously), so long as the source is available for the malice-enabling applications?

It must take a very 'special' kind of intellect to read something so far fetched in to my comment. I specifically said that any malicious behavior on my part is my fault, having nothing to do with the license of the software. There are groups who work to prevent and punish malicious use of software and Stallman, without endorsing such behavior, is not a spokesperson for such efforts.

The only person trying to compare the morality of "using closed source software" and "using LOIC" is you. No one else is attempting to compare them. I was merely pointing out that Stallman is trying to protect you from others who attempt to harm you by giving you closed source software and not trying to protect you from harm you may do to yourself, or protect other people from actions you take (unless the action is giving someone else closed source software), again without endorsing those harmful actions. Free software is neither good nor evil and does not discriminate against fields of endeavor, even criminal endeavor, and that is not an endorsement of criminal behavior but merely a statement of fact.

Whether or not using LOIC is moral, or better, or worse than using closed source software in general, none of these things entered in to the topic until you brought them up.

If you want to debate the relative morality of these things that can be done, but to say that Stallman was making a declaration of opinion on a topic that you brought up later is ridiculous and representative of your desire to confuse people and incite negativity toward Stallman, and is not any reflection of reality.

Edited 2011-01-06 12:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2