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Re: is down

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: is down
Date: 16 Dec 2003 13:20:20 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

Tim McNamara <address@hidden> writes:

> David Steuber <address@hidden> writes:
> > Bob Nelson <address@hidden> writes:
> >
> >> David Steuber <address@hidden> wrote:
> >> > David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:
> >> 
> >> >> What kind of people gleefully cause a considerable permanent
> >> >> damage to a charity instead of elsewhere "just" for the hope of
> >> >> monetary gains?  I hope that they are found and dealt with in
> >> >> proportion to their crime and the impact it will have.
> >> 
> >> > The kind of people who deserve a disproportionately harsh
> >> > punishment.
> >> 
> >> That type of attitude does not imply one of tolerance and
> >> understanding.  It conveys an absolutist view of ``good'' and
> >> ``evil'' and ``right'' and ``wrong''.
> >
> > OK, so I'm intolerant.  Suppose instead of breaking into a server
> > and doing who knows how much damage that people then have to spend
> > valuable time fixing, the miscreant instead took a sledgehammer to
> > the windshield of your car.  Would you not want at least
> > compensation for the damages and time to repair them?
> Herein lies a rub.  Your windshield is not available for free, given
> away and freely modifiable by others.  It's therefore easy to assign
> a value for compensation in the case of material damage.  In the case
> of damage to FSF sources and such, since it is given away freely to
> anyone who wants it, there is difficulty in assigning a value for
> compensatory or punitive purposes.

Savannah is the central server for the GNU project.  GNU is the most
important central component of almost every Linux-based operating
system.  Since Savannah is staffed mostly by volunteers, the downtime
will be larger than usual in commercial settings.  There is no
reliable possibility to salvage security problems by hiring outsiders
here.  So the slow remedy can't be helped much.  Development crucial
to Linux is slowed to a crawl for probably a month, and will pick up
much braked afterwards because of the necessity of developers to deal
with digital signatures and so on.  Considering the Linux revenues
that depend on such infrastructure, we are talking about a permanent
damage in the order of billions of dollars.

> Understanding their motives could have some value and benefit none
> the less.  However, simply becoming aware of the motives of
> criminals does not in and of itself reduce the risk of recidivism-
> the usual claims of the liberals notwithstanding.  While I'm a
> liberal to be sure, such twaddle is one of the worst failings of
> many liberal philosophies.  On the other hand, the "hang 'em high"
> mentality of many social conservatives has also proven to be a
> failure- punishment does little or nothing to correct behavior (this
> has been demonstrated in behavioral research time and time again).

Good, then let them just pay the damages.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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