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Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el

From: Arthur Miller
Subject: Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2021 15:08:32 +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. ]]]
>   > 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.
> But... I don't reject appliances in general for possibly having
> nonfree software in them.  If the appliance doesn't talk to a network,

Why not? Medical hardware mostly have access to some network to store
patients data nowdays. For the philosophy part, is it clearly stated in
the text it is ok to have some non-free software in hardware?

I am reflecting on philosophical theory and moral issue at the
hand. Given the text (part 8.) it comes out from the text that 
any non free software is unethical.

I believe you are in same position as Kant about the cathegorical
imperative and the famous example of lying to the murderer at the
door. According to critics one can't lie to the murderer at the
door. According to the Kant there is no problem to lying at the door.

I personally believe that problem is how people interpret Kant's
theory. I believe that Kant interprets this as contract
between rational beings (which leads to another critique of his
theory). I think he sees a murderer as non-rational being and thus we
are not obliged to obey him, i.e. we don't need to act rationally
ourselves and can lie to him. I don't know I 

> what's inside it is not a crucial issue, as long as it is not meant
> for anyone to change it.

I don't think this is strong enough argument. Intel's blob in cpus is
not meant for anyone to change it. Should we accept it? I think you
don't accept it. So "not ment to change it" is insufficient requirement.

I am not here to play the devil's advocate, I am just trying to point
out philosophical difficulties with the issue.

I draw parallel again with Kant and cathergorical (what we always should
do) versus hypothetical (what we should do sometimes) imperative.

I am not sure how to solve that, I just personally think there are some
fundamental difficulties in the GNU philosphy that has manifested
themselves with this discussion about repology and that maybe need to be
addressed. I am not sure I can offer any better solution myself either.

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