On philosophy, hierarchy of orgs, definitions, and the logo

josX joshb at xs4all.nl
Tue Jan 2 21:51:06 UTC 2001

I was already here, but thanks.

>The creation of a Free Software Foundation Europe is an excellent 
>opportunity to clarify the distinctions between the FSF(E) and 

Yes it probably is.

>      This first requires that their foci be slightly shifted.

I take it you mean that their foci /are/ slightly shifted. (?)

>My interests are in the epistemic development of humanity through 
>the principal tenet of sharing informationally valuable software.  

Let me refrase and cut informationally unvaluable 'software' out: 
"my interests are in development of humanity through the sharing 
of software."
...that's great, keep it up!

>Software is any representation of information that loses no inherent 
>worth upon transmission between media (i.e., necessarily digital), 
>and currently includes software programs, software music, software 
>books, software art and perhaps eventually software brains and 
>who knows what else.  

Ok, anything deliverable through a digital cable == software...

>                      This is a grand and vague concern, and one 
>I believe should also be that of the FSF(E).  

very grand, and ... very, very /vague/.
Is 'software' that runs on a processor, and it's serounding
things not a big enough chunk to chew on? There are more orgs in
the world, we can't do everything, or we wouldn't get anything done
would we?

>Of those software types, GNU is concerned with improving the 
>epistemelogical value of software programs, specifically system 
>software, by ensuring the source code can form a mutable model in 
>the user's mind, enrich and be enriched by whatever else is in 
>there, and then be freely transmitted to other users.  

So it gets 'epistemelogically' enriched by what a user can add
to a program?; doesn't a user improve on the practicality of
a program, rather than on the 'knowledge-theoretical' plane.
(translation from my dictionary, first time I ever needed that
for an email ;) ).

You say a program gets better because GNU is conserned with the
software-programs, yep I see it everyday on my screen. (what else
is new)

>However the need for Unix-type system software is transient.  The 

yes, the need for a clean atmosphere is also transient, one day the
sun will blow everything to smithereens ;).

>GPL is already faced with painful contortions.  I would cheerfully 
>allow the death of GNU and the GPL if they began choking on, 
>respectively, irrelevance and complexity. 

Lets talk about curing it before we kill it out of mercy shall we?

>                                           They could then be 

THEN; then is not now.

>replaced by more appropriate, though equally transient, tools, and 
>joined by sister organisations devoted to improving the value of the 
>other software types.  It's the many small tanks principle (with 
>apologies to Alessandro).

how cute

>Jumping back to definitions of words -- the ebb and flow of a 
>language is notoriously unpredicatble: either 'software' will come to 

indeed, remember that in your next sentence...

>be accepted using roughly the definition above due to its 
>increasingly similar mode of transport and need for interpretation or 

that could be the case, yes...(although I don't expect it)...

>else the term will die.

...or not (see yourself 1 sentence above)
BTW why would the term die again?

>                         My best recomendation resulting from this is 
>that, pending the whims of fate, you adopt RMS-style exactness 
>over the word, always qualifying it as one of the aformentioned 
>subtypes, or preferably the infinitely better terms you will duly 

Thank you for your recomendation to use the word 'software' exactly
as 'software-programs'. Please let me define the default type for
'software' as 'software-programs'. AB-SO-LUT-LY BRIL-LIANT reasoning,
I'm stunned.

>In summary: 

>o  The firm philosophical stance Georg wishes from FSFE 

Can't Georg speak for himself? (sorry Georg)

>members ought to be concerned with high, broad and long aims for 
>humanity, and encompass more than software programs.

1) is this not already the case?
2) isn't it more important to get the next bug out of GNOME, than
aiming yourself at the high, broad and long aims for humanity?
3) doesn't a "firm philosophical stance" mean that you get that
bug and release it to everyone? Doesn't that mean that you need
to focus on here, now, and software (default-meaning), what already
is the case...?

>o  Encourage the creation of GNU sisters, under that broad 
>philosophical umbrella of FSF(E), for music, books, video, and 
>whatever else is webbable.

Go ahead, why don't you start with creating a sister org about

>o  Keep implementation details like the GPL out of FSF(E).

>o  For reasons I hope I've made clear, don't have a gnu on the 
>FSFE logo.

>(Abstraction, modularisation, encapsulation.  Whaddya know, 
>those software engineering classes did come in handy :-)

aha, worse than drugs: braindead university teachers.

"The FSF(E) should focus on everything that can be digital, because:
1) I believe it should {sorry man, you ask for it}
2) the word software will get that meaning or die
3) everything in the world is transient
and no GNU on the FSFE logo because that would limit FSFE to 

Did I get that right?

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