New blog post: on the folly of redoubling your effort after you've forgotten your aim.
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- TE is short for Microsoft Technical Evangelist. This is the term used in Microsoft's official training material. See:
Look, there's that word, "evil." Now might be a good time to hit dict.org.
1. Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or
deprives a being of any good; anything which causes
suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury;
mischief; harm; -- opposed to good."
2. Moral badness, or the deviation of a moral being from the
principles of virtue imposed by conscience, or by the will
of the Supreme Being, or by the principles of a lawful
human authority; disposition to do wrong; moral offence;
3. Producing or threatening sorrow, distress, injury, or
calamity; unpropitious; calamitous; as, evil tidings; evil
arrows; evil days.
What a surprisingly rational and appropriate word. Microsoft, like any good cult, has one face to the public and another for members both designed to draw in and exploit by deception. The goal of the training manual is not to make Microsoft products better, it's the destruction of competitors by lying, insults and politics. Because the purpose of the intentionally inflicted suffering is personal and organizational gain I'd say the training material is essentially criminal, like robbery, fraud or rape. After reading Eric's fiery rhetoric, I expected the definition of evil to be dominated by the second meaning, perhaps with mentions of the devil, wickedness and other 16th century stuff ... oh wait, the 2006 definitions are more like that because they are truncated and somewhat circular.Jun 13, 2012
- if you take away a choice that someone has taken, you have reduced their freedom. Even if the choice is horrifically insane to you. At the root of it, that's what freedom is: the ability to make choices that other people think are batshit insane. Because if everybody was going to make the choice everybody thinks they should make, of what use is freedom?
Now, let us be clear: choosing slavery seems like an unlikely choice. Certainly it is a documented fact that most of the black slaves brought to the US were war booty, sold to west-coast Africans for sale to the U.S. Not defending that. Yet people choose jobs that are very reminiscent of part-time slavery. Soldiers in the US military commit to a term of service, and can be forced to renew that term. Workers in Europe are used to signing work contracts for a term, without an option to quit.
People in the middle ages, during a time of banditry and population decrease due to epidemics, chose serfdom in exchange for protection from the bandits. Did they choose poorly? Well, 1) they HAD descendants and 2) their descendants are no longer serfs. Over the long term, their choice was a good one compared to the people who took their chances with freedom, banditry, and disease, and didn't live to reproduce.Jun 13, 2012
- , you describe serfdom and peonage as choices because you think serfs have decedents. Population studies show that's not really true. The indigenous population in Peru, for example, was almost entirely wiped out and the existing population is some combination of Spanish with native. The same thing happened with the Norman invasion of England. A tiny conquering population came to dominate the gene pool. You might as well advocate primogeniture along with slavery because that's what happens when you strip people of their rights by allowing others the freedom to swing their fist into your nose.Jun 13, 2012
- Eric: Could your middle exist without Richard's extreme?Jun 26, 2012
- Jun 26, 2012
- Yes. That's the blog post that I am responding to. Here's the thing: if RMS didn't exist, I think that your writings would be left as the extreme position. I think that one reason the open source initiative has succeeded is that people see it as the more moderate and more palatable position. The thing is: moderate positions are always moderate relative to something else.
I'm not convinced of this; I'm just playing with a thought here.Jun 26, 2012
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