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Re: More FSF hypocrisy

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: More FSF hypocrisy
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 09:27:34 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 12:46:40PM -0400, Hyman Rosen wrote:

> You know,

> There's only so much skill fine tuning you can do when you fight dolls.

> Rjack, Therekov, amicus something, and all those trolls will NEVER see
> this or that. Their sole purpose is to make people loose time answering
> them and to polute mailing lists.

I'm not quite convinced of that - I suspect that one of them in
particular got "caught out" by the GPL in the past, and hasn't stopped
bawling like a 7 year old how he's really right.  Another stated some
while back that being disparaging about GNU was his hobby.

> They're paid for it.

Any particular reason you say that?  It's just that even the sort of
people who don't like this list working properly must have some sort
of standards, a level beneath which they just won't sink.

There are in this world, sadly, frustrated ineffectual people who get
their only sense of significance by mithering others, yet don't achieve
anything in their own right.  You can sometimes see people like this on
local club committees, and so on.  Trouble is, Usenet allows them to
gather, a bit like mosquitoes over a swamp.  Once they get there,
erradicating them is the Devil's own job.

> There's only one solution for this kind of people:
> 1. ignore
> 2. zero tolerance

> It's not a contradiction, the solution requires both.

> In 1, you just have to gain a little more shielding, you're getting
> affected by the line noise. Instead of increasing the strength don't add
> up to the interference.

> In 2, you can do lots of things: flag them as astroturfers, trolls,
> whatever, or outright shut them up. I go for the flag as soon as the
> typical signals are caught: either direct evidence, or a defiance of
> logic that can only be explained with the arduous intentionality of
> someone who's paid to do that.

> As for me, I haven't read a single thread of interest in gnu misc
> discuss for many years. Even those that could be interesting are quickly
> polluted by the trolls.

Yes.  Depressingly common on Usenet.

> I'm seriously tempted to just give this list away, but I'm still
> (naively?) hoping the list admins would do anything, but I suspect even
> they are long gone.

Oh no, we're still here.  :-)  I do moderation on some other GNU mailing
lists, but not this one.  The moderation is purely to exclude advertising
and, occasionally, excessive swearing.  Once you get into censorship, no
matter how good the reasons, you are on a slippery slope to being no
better than the people you're shutting out.  Paul Graham
<> discussed this with regard to blocking
lists for filtering mail; people set up a new clean blocking list because
of the corruption in the one they left, and in their turn become corrupt
themselves - the power goes to their head.

The other thing, I think these people are posting on Usenet rather than
the mailing list, and if they're not they could easily do so.  The
newsgroup isn't a moderated one.

It would be nice to just use a kill file; trouble is, that just fixes
the unimportant part of the problem.

The only practicable thing to do, as you suggest, is for everybody (hi,
Hyman!) to agree that the topic of the legal validity of the GPL under
USA jurisdictions has been talked out, and not to rise to the baiting
of these people who keep raising the topic (and who, I admit, are masters
at it).

> Rui

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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