[Fwd: Re: sad treacherous computing day]

Ben Finney ben at benfinney.id.au
Thu May 10 08:01:21 UTC 2007

On 10-May-2007, Alex Hudson wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-05-10 at 08:51 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> > This is the important point. It's very easy to rationalise a 
> > purchase of hardware containing treacherous computing technology 
> > with the fallacious logic of "It's possible to conceive of a 
> > non-harmful use; therefore, it's not certain that this is harmful; 
> > therefore, I can dismiss any argument telling me I shouldn't buy 
> > this."
> > 
> > That faulty logic has been distressingly common in this thread.
> As opposed to the logic that if the hardware comes with free 
> software drivers and is entirely under your control, then it's 
> pretty difficult to understand an argument which purports it to be 
> harmful?

You've snipped the point I quoted from RMS's message. If you're 
dismissing it without addressing it, that makes "difficult to 
understand" a bit hollow.

Here it is again:

RMS wrote:
>     Can TC be used to enhance security if it's used with free
>     software?
> If you can do this without contributing to any tendency to
> legitimize treacherous computing, then it is harmless.  But you must
> MAKE SURE you don't contribute to such a tendency.  Don't leave it
> to chance!

The purchase of the hardware, and the legitimisation of treacherous 
computing that results, is not improved by the control you speak of. 

"So long as I have control of my hardware, I'm alright Jack" doesn't 
reduce the tendency to produce and propagate this stuff, just like it 
doesn't get rid of proprietary software.

 \      "Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done |
  `\                                         for me?"  -- Groucho Marx |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben at benfinney.id.au>
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