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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] the way forward

From: Andrew Suffield
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] the way forward
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 17:28:48 +0100
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On Wed, Sep 07, 2005 at 09:02:15PM -0400, James Blackwell wrote:
> > You may not have noticed that you and yours at Canonical[...]
> I'll abstain from this (conflict of interest), other than stand by my word
> from last year that I don't work for companies that like to act in evil
> ways. 

Yeah, only for companies that act in evil ways through sheer blind
arrogance. "We're Canonical. What we do must be good because we're
good. We're good because what we do is good".

The two-faced nature of Canonical's PR belies that, though. It's
amusing to watch how they keep changing their tune. And how they so
fervantly deny that all their PR is PR (if you're talking to a
Canonical employee, you're probably hearing the party line, which
begins with "There is no party line").

Same shit we see all the time. Another company comprised entirely of
marketing and no product (just somebody else's product with new labels
stuck on it). Once you start looking at it skeptically, all the shiny
PR stops looking so shiny and starts looking rather more like a
painted facade.

Redhat are the shining example of how to run this sort of a business
in a vaguely ethical way: pay people to work on existing free software
projects as well as your own, and *don't pretend like you are doing
the world a favour*.

Canonical don't do that. Canonical employees don't work on other
projects, they embrace and extend. They don't do what the world wants
or needs, they do what they think the world should need and then try
to convince people they want it. They don't write software to make it
flexible and reusable, they write it once for the immediate task. They
tell all the world how great they are and how they're the solution to
everybodies problems if only people will trust them.

So, where else have we seen companies who behave like this?

Oh yeah. Microsoft.

Exactly the same, right down the the employees who honestly believe
the stuff they spout (except that MS employees eventually get wise,
quit, and get hired by google).

> Believe it or not, I've never read Ayn Rand, though I'm lightly familiar
> with her work from third party sources. A quick google shows the book
> still has a bit of impact upon society, so I apparently state something
> that is either true, or influential enough to merit study.

That is an accurate description of Scientology.

> In the meantime, I think that the essay clearly illuminates the importance
> of getting along with others.

Good grief, where did the Canonical hippie philosophy spring from? We
were talking about economics up until now.

There's no such thing as a rich hippie. "Getting along with others" is
a hippie ideal, not a capitalist one. The winners in capitalist
society get there at the *expense* of others, which generally makes
them very few friends along the way.

> > Having set out to be a destructive force to achieve a petty level
> > of personal gain, you and yours have succeeded today.   Let's see
> > what all our tomorrow's bring.
> I respectfully disagree.  I see many creations around that are materially
> better off today as compared to a year ago: 

Changing the subject quite spectacularly here. It is amusing that the
response was "here are things we haven't destroyed yet".

> In closing, I continue to wish you well.

This reminds me of 'Mars Attacks!'.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' : |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

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