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Re: On gratitude and free software

From: Alexandre Oliva
Subject: Re: On gratitude and free software
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2023 21:37:12 -0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.1 (gnu/linux)

On Sep 17, 2023, Akira Urushibata <> wrote:

> Dennis Payne wrote:
>> An argument could be made that Truth Social isn't exploiting Mastodon.

> This is a valid point.  One can argue that the conduct of Truth
> Social's developer/owner does not affect Mastodon.  Mastodon
> developers and users can keep doing what they have been doing.

Indeed, as long as there's no burden, one could argue that, because
software is not a rival good (*), but rather an anti-rival one, Truth
Social is even helping Mastodon, in as much as it is known that they're
using Mastodon.  In this particular case, there is some political burden
that sets that back, but I digress.  If it weren't for it, should
Mastodon be thanking Truth Social? :-)


The conversation on gratitude, and on spreading awareness of a software
project as an anti-rival good, connects with:

> We here like to talk about the GNU operating system.  There was a plan
> to bring it into existence: make free replacements of proprietary UNIX
> programs and eventually we would have a free OS.

By refusing to mention GNU, its opponents strive to deny to GNU the
benefit of users' gratitude, recognition, identification, alignment.
It's all part of a political struggle.

Same as throwing shit at Stallman: it's always been about diverting
people away from his revolutionary ideas, the same political struggle.

Those who support software freedom, who identify with the cause, tend to
align with others who do, and so we support and name GNU, we don't
mistake the fabrications for truth, we denounce that pile of lies.

Those who don't come up with various kinds of excuses to refuse to
acknowledge GNU and to cancel Stallman, and will pretend to support
justice and inclusion while unjustly excluding the movement leader,
which ultimately makes the entire movement a target for cancellation.

It's the same political struggle.

Alexandre Oliva, happy hacker          
   Free Software Activist                           GNU Toolchain Engineer
Disinformation flourishes because many people care deeply about injustice but
very few check the facts.  Think Assange & Stallman.  The empires strike back

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