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Re: emacs-losedows-builder

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: emacs-losedows-builder
Date: Sun, 04 Sep 2016 09:48:52 -0400

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  > This reminds me of arguments from the 70s with the growth of feminism. At
  > the time, there were some in the feminist movement who argued to ban the
  > use of "man" even when the roots of the word had nothing to do with gender.

The GNU Project has a policy of not using the term "win" in its
publications to refer to Microsoft Windows.

To be comparable to that 70s example, one would have to demand
stridently that everyone discard the word "winnow" and replace it with
"losenow", and likewise replace the name "Winchester" with

The similarity is obvious, but the differences overshadow it.

It is not surprising that one reminded you of the other, despite the
differences, because one similar element is enough to make an
association.  That is why we have so many mental associations.  A song
says, "Einstein reminds me of my dog."  I am sure the singer did not
intend that she should treat her dog like Einstein, or treat Einstein
like her dog.

  > in the
  > main it was seen as somewhat ridiculous and if anything gave ammunition to
  > the anti-feminist movement. I fear this discussion will do the same.

Since the two situations are so different, why why expect people to
respond the same way to both?  That would be irrational.

Irrationality does occur -- but why expect this particular
irrationality?  It would become likely only if there were a campaign
to distort the issue: to hype the similarity and distract attention
from the differences.  I trust you won't support such a campaign.

We have had this policy of avoiding the term "win32" for at least 15
years.  So far it has not generated a disastrous wave of irrationality.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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