Logo timeline

Matthias Kabel matthias.kabel at tyche.de
Wed May 9 18:50:58 UTC 2001

* Georg C. F. Greve (greve at gnu.org) [010509 18:35]:

>  jmn> I think you've just made a political error: you've ruled out
>  jmn> this logos without any justification (at least in the view of
>  jmn> anybody that didn't went to the meeting). Could you please
>  jmn> correct that ?
> Okay, let me try. 
> One part was always personal taste. We feel we cannot use anything
> that one FSFE member feels totally unhappy about since they need to
> live with it more than anyone else.

Ok, de gustibus non est disputandum
> Other crucial points (essentially raised about Anja drafts) were:
>  - A logo is a symbol for a organization/company/initiative. 

>    When selecting a logo, it is important to chose something fresh
>    that will get associated with you.
First NACK, second ACK. Why something fresh, look at some successful
organisations, they are using the same logo for a long time. The city 
of Rome uses SPQR in nice ancient letters for 2500 years. ;-)
No serious, I think we can use something not complete new, if it 
stands for something we support.

>    Both the "bridge metaphor" and the "Europa on the bull" themes have
>    been used a million times by so many people that people will
>    associate all kinds of things with it but _not_ the FSF Europe
>    (unless they were subscribed to this list).

Hm, the letters "f", "s" and "e" are used a little bit more.
We could use a strange draft that was never used before and nobody 
will associate with anything known, but it will not be associated with
Europe or free or software. I don't think that this would work.

>    They are "used up" and only people building bridges or
>    organizations dealing with ancient European myths could truly use
>    them.
What is against ancient myths, were are other symbols for Europe?
The twelve stars or the EURO? Not really and not for Europe as a whole.

>  - In order to be able to get free software in the press and make sure
>    the legal systems will be in favor of free software instead of
>    making free software illegal because they weren't aware of it, we
>    need to work with politicians and the press.

>    This requires a logo that will look professional to politicians &
>    the press.

Ok, most politicans and most journalists[1] are seen as stupid and maybe
this is correct. But most politicans and most journalists know more about
strange old things like Europa than Joe Average Hacker.

> The FSF Europe has the vision to not just hack a few lines of code
> today, we want to fundamentally change things and make sure free
> software will prosper on the long-term scale. This requires thinking
> in 30-year perspectives.

Yes, and in 30 years and longer no logo will be fresh, or do you wan't 
the discussion every year?
So I think you contradict to yourself.

I think the whole discussion shows one thing. There is a danger that the
FSFE will be a non-democratic organisation[2], that will try to rule all 
associated organisations. I think everybody on this list believes in 
freedom and free software and I thank everybody who is doing something for it, 
but as sombody wrote every kind of power can corrupt. 
Ok, there is no power, but somebody else wrote there is a lot of ego and this
can corrupt too. I think, that every non-democratic (and democratic too, but there
are some mechanisms to correct this) leadership causes in exaggerated opinion of
oneself and this causes to undervalue other people and their opinions and thoughts.
If there is real power to people who believe that they know the absolute truth than
it is time to leave the country, because than there is the danger of real repressions.
But there is no chance for real power for any free software organisation.

(I hope that this doesn't attack somebody personally, but my ability to read english
is much better than my ability to write.)

Kind regards

Matthias Kabel

[1] Here I strongly agree with Karl Kraus.

[2] As I remember from a mail from one member of the core team,
that is not seen as a problem for him.
Optimists believe that a democratic organisaton is the best form for a
organisation, pessimists fearing the same. I'm one of the pessimists.

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