a long rebuttal to the Linux-is-the-engine fallacy

Gordon Messmer yinyang at eburg.com
Sun Jul 27 23:44:53 UTC 2008

Marko Vojinovic wrote:
> For one, I am also a believer in FOSS and all that, am willing to acknowledge 
> appropriate credit to GNU, as a user I can say it is pretty good software. 
> Given that, I could even go that far to accept the name GNU/Linux ;-) , but 
> somehow I still refrain from doing so. Why? Because pro-GNU vocals are 
> pushing for it so much, that it just smells too fishy.
> All in all, while I do believe you are honestly trying to do something good, 
> the way you act simply invites people to resist you. I have not seen the 
> beginning (and probably the biggest part) of this thread, but I can imagine 
> that a simple comment like "I believe Linux should be actually called 
> GNU/Linux instead, here is a link why" (as OT inside some other thread) could 
> catch my attention in a much more inviting way (I could even get myself to 
> click on the link and read about it) than a thread of this volume, full of 
> dispute, arguments, "I'm right and you're wrong" posts and such.

The topic actually started when someone ask the list why FSF doesn't 
list Fedora among its Free GNU/Linux distributions.

> It seems to me that you are trying to work for your beliefs so hard that you 
> end up working against them. Being too vocal has precisely this effect, and 
> is the wrong strategy in my opinion. :-)

Some of us were content to answer the question simply, but others (a 
*very small* number of others) have responded with misinformation 

You seem to believe that if we simply remain quiet in the face of others 
who spread lies or misunderstandings, then everything will work out and 
everyone will be happy.  You're not the first to suggest it, but it sure 
seems like there aren't many people suggesting the same thing to the 
people who either don't understand licensing and copyright issues and 
contribute to a general lack of understanding in the community.

I understand that you'd like for us to all get along, but it isn't 
possible to create a community of educated people by *not* correcting 

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