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Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el

From: Arthur Miller
Subject: Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2021 14:35:34 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:

> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>   > How do you really imagin 'not-ignoring' something but never
>   > mentioning it? Are you going to secretely at home study it in some
>   > way bet never telling anyone? In that case you are buildin g a
>   > stigma around it.
> I think you're arguing against a purely theoretical paradox.

Maybe, I am not 100%, I am just trying to reason about the issue.

I think it would indeed be a theoretical paradox only, unless some
people didn't interpreted the guidelines so strictly that it not become
a practical issue. I think the guidelines should be re-worked slightly.

> If you look at the References node, and read what we actually do,
> you'll see that it is practical and clear.

To be sure we speak about same text I'll paste a link:


> You might still disagree with it, but at least you'll be disagreeing
> with something real.

I have red them before, a few days ago too. I don't disagree with them
in principle; I just think there are some slight problems with the text;
As I understand the goal of the text is to ensure GNU is not actively
promoting non-free software, which I completely support and agree.

I think the problem at hand here is how we, or some people, define
actively promoting something. Is a mere reference to existence a
promotion of something?

Remember your email about renaming Emacs repo from master to main, it
was a week or two ago. You wrote something about words and meaning, I
don't have the link to it now, so I can cite you, but I think same
reasoning applies here.

For the theoretical paradox: I am not sure if it is just a paradox.

We should always be very careful when we encounter a paradox. Paradoxes
does not exist in nature. When we see something as a paradox the problem
is always in our understanding of the nature (mathematical, physical,
philosophical, etc) or imperfection of human interpretaion of the world.

The problem here is that in philosophical issues (which I think this is:
an ethical question); we have to be consistent. We can't have a rule
that applies and not applies; a fact can not be truth and false at same
time. Thus if we are going to have a rule that guide our actions we need
to be consistent. I don't think that in real life we have such rigiourus
consistency as we can have in logics or mathematics, but for those cases
where we can't formulate such rule, we should clearly state when rule
applies. I think the paradox here arises because the text itself leaves
a little bit more for the interpretation than it should, and we have
people arguing here what is promotion and what is not.

Maybe more clear description of what is considered promoting is
needed. Maybe even taking a step back and relaxing a rule on what is
legitimate and what not.

In some previous mail you answered you had no problems with medical
hardware running non-free blobs. In order to be consistent in
philosophical sense, you should have problem with it. And if your
philosophy asks you to refuse all non-ethical (non-free software) then
you should refuse to use such machine. I don't think that is what you
suggest to anyone or would practice yourself but I think the philosophy
should maybe be a bit more clear about it.

Observe, I am just trying to reason about this. I might be wrong, so
please, I would be glad to what I understand wrong and the arguments.

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