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

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at redhat.com
Mon Jul 28 17:26:56 UTC 2008

On Jul 28, 2008, Antonio Olivares <olivares14031 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>> Feeling good and making for a better world, is there a better prize
>> than that? :-)

> How will that make for a better world?

Teaching people to value their freedom will make for more products
that respect everyone's freedom.  Avoiding the control afforded by the
artificial introduction of dependencies, that is only possible by not
respecting others' freedom, makes for a better world.

> they already get it by opening a shell terminal and typing the
> command uname -o.  That should suffice.  

Yeah, because that's so visible and it will contribute *so* much to
spread awareness of freedom to people...

> http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10000290-16.html?hhTest=1

> A better way would be to encourage users to not buy those Genuis
> Bars from Apple.

Heh.  Follow the links to figure what a genius bar is.  That's not
something for sale.

Matt Asay seems to be completely unaware of the works underway about
freedom on the web.

> Fedora follows all the sh*t rules of not including properietary
> crap,

It doesn't, and that's the problem.

> patented stuff, mp3 codecs, dvd playback shipping software

This has zero to do with abiding by the Free Software definition.
It's about legal risk avoidance.  There's a lot of Free Software out
there that implements the patents required to play mp3 and dvd.
Please don't confuse these topics again.  That's yet another FUD
campaign by the enemies of software freedom to confuse people and draw
them away from software freedom.

> [olivares at localhost ~]$ uname -o
> GNU/Linux

Good.  Learn from it.  Spread it.

> But it is not really Free :(.  (according to the FSF)

Right.  It's the GNU operating system, and it also contains non-Free
Software.  It only appears to be a contradiction if you conflate RMS,
FSF, GNU, Free Software, GPL, patent-avoidance, Free Open Standards,
no-DRM, etc, all under the same "I don't like this topic" umbrella.
But they're all separate issues.  Some of them are completely
unrelated to each other, some are closer.

>> > Where is the script that I shall run to make my system
>> a GNU/Linux system?

>> You don't need to run any script to do so, it already is a
>> GNU/Linux system.

> http://www.fsfla.org/svn/fsfla/software/linux-libre/scripts/

These will make your *kernel* free.  They have no effect on the rest
of the operating system.  They won't make it any more or less GNU.
They don't affect GNU software at all.

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}

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