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Sinisa "Sigma14" "" Milicic smilicic at
Sat Dec 2 22:55:50 UTC 2000

On Sat, 2 Dec 2000, Lord [INSERT NAME HERE] wrote:

> "Sinisa \"Sigma14\" \"\" Milicic" wrote:
> > 
> > > > Software = A program that can be run by a computer
> > > > Source Code = The text a programmer has written that can be translated by a
> > > > compiler so that computers can run it.
> > > > Free Software = Software that is delivered along with its Source Code and
> > > > the guarantee that anyone is allowed to run, reproduce, modify, translate
> > > > etc the Code as long as he keeps the copyright.
> > > >
> > > > Better definitions can be taken from the GPL.
> > >
> > > That's all very well and good for lawyers and for long, detailed
> > > articles. I was wondering if anyone could come up with something that
> > > encapsulates the concept libre software for Joe Sixpack. Such a thing
> > > would be invaluable for evangelising, but it looks like no-one else has
> > > any etter ideas than me.
> > 
> > OK.. what we should, in other words, do is take a model of J. Random Luser
> > and figure a way to enlighten his computer-half/whole-illiterate being
> > into seeing what lies beyond proprietary software.
> > If we want Andy Capp to USE and UNDERSTAND software libre, we lower the
> > advanteages of it to his level, we musn't use common sence. We mustn't get
> > into the situation Cro's only LuG's president got into. He was asked by an
> > old lady, when sne found out he was into computers, ('96.) wether he uses
> > Windows 95. He said he almost coredumped when he heard what she had said.
> > What I think the main problem of Andy Capp, J. Random and Joe Sixpack is
> > their intellectual capacity. You can't teach them the differences between
> > GNU/Linux and Linux, Linux and Software Libre (if they've even heard of
> > Linux, whche they persuambly have, and consider it to be somthing 'like
> > Windows, only gratis'), et cetera, because they won't follow you from the
> > word 'Hi!'. People tend to oppose rather then improve. That's how GNU
> > stared, right? So, what I would like to say, is that our advocacy case
> > should be based on equally accenting the why-not-to-use-proprietary sw, as
> > much as the use-free-sw-because-you-can-$foo.
> Generally speaking, a good point. I would caution against doing down
> people's intellectual capacity, though. I understand the issues around
> software pretty well because that's what I'm into. But do I know
> anything about car engines, for example? No. I'm sure there are plenty
> of Joe Sixpacks out there who do understand car engines, but don't
> understand software.

I'm sorry, I forgot to define intellectual capacity as the amount of
ratinal proofs, ideas and arguments one can comprehend in a unit of time.
> But we can't expect everyone to take the same amount of time to
> understand the issues as we have. We should perhaps study the
> environmental movement- they've been very effective at stirring up
> public opinion about pretty complex scientific issues, like global
> warming and acid rain.

The enviromentalists use the authoritainian, bombastic ways, that are most
likely to be faulty. For example, look their approach to nuclear power
plants. And to nuclear research in general. They've made people think
everyithing 'nuclear' is bad. The real facts are that in some areas of a
nuclear pp, the radiatino os lower then in the middle of the Sahara
desert, because there's no way background radiation could access those
areas, and the reactor cores are locked up enough not to radiate enough
energy into the area I'm talking about. 
My point is, that it would be great if we both stick to the facts and
propagate ion a way that impresses the masses. We cannot enlighten Andy
Capp without enlightening his darts team, his snooker team, his barmen
(and esecially barmaids :)) ). Wehn talking about J. Random Luser, we
can't rely on mouth-to-mouth advocacy, because it seems to me that's very
slow and uneffective for 'common people' (cp="People who, at best, think
of computers as word processors, opposite of hackers, in my
terminology). The cp tend to show characteristics of collecitves, sort of
one-mind types. They are ruled by mass medias, and it seems to me that we
should target mass medias as well as the politicians. Always keep in mind
that the goverment is based on the support of the people, and the people's
support is based on the mass medias.

"Mors EULAe, libertas softwarei!"

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