Subject: Re: Kent, why do you use free software
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 08:43:20 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Erik Naggum
> I wish it were that simple.  Many software products are much better than
> any commercial entitty has produced in the same category, for instance
> GNU Emacs, because you have had so many volunteers over such a long time.

* Thomas Bushnell, BSG
| I think this is a near *automatic* benefit of copylefted software.

  Copyleft alone does not make a large group of volunteers nor make them
  hang around in numbers for a long time.  Something else does that.

| The attitude of competition that is so natural to humans is also much
| lower-key, absent some of the destructive elements that are so prominent
| in other areas of life.

  That must explain all the people who lose focus on what they want to get
  dona and instead fight other people and post lots of lies about them in
  order to feel better than them when they really are just the same or even
  worse.  Competitiveness is good for animals that benefit greatly from
  winning each a single fight and whose life is over if they lose.  It is
  generally a really bad thing for people who have to live on after a loss,
  which is why we form higher units within which we do not compete in order
  to engage another such higher unit.  Free software is basically all one
  such higher unit, but it is nonetheless competing just as much as those
  who compete at a smaller unit level: those who argue that Free Software
  should take over, like you do, are probably even more competitive than
  those who are satisfied to become better at what they do and better than
  their direct competition, but do not consider beating everybody a goal or
  even worth their while.  Such competitiveness is no better than that of
  the arch-enemy of quality software and _actual_ innovation and decent
  business practices everywhere: William H Gates III, and he is so paranoid
  about his "competition" that he has become a threat to all of mankind.
  There is an important distinction between being single-minded and being
  ultra-competitive.  Richard Stallman seems to be the former, but many of
  his followers are no better people than Bill Gates, and therefore turn
  just as bad when they do not "win".  This is actually really sad.

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.