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Re: Is this list informational or idealogical?

  Kendall --
      This was, in my opinion, very well put by you.  My conscience hasn't
  quite hit the point yours has in terms of not supporting or using any MS
  tools (as you can tell from my other postings on this list), but I
  really wanted to voice to everyone my support for your opinion that this
  list (and the Nader conference) can and should be about not just legal
  issues, but also about ethical and moral ones as well.  Laws are shaped
  and created by exactly these dimensions of our lives, and I don't mean
  this in any religious sense at all so I hope that statement doesn't make
  anyone queasy or shifting in their seats or anything (<grin>).
  Alan Glanz
  Kendall G. Clark wrote:
  > On Mon, 3 Nov 1997, Charles Kelly, NT*Pro wrote:
  > >I joined this discussion list hoping to hear an informed discussion
  > about
  > >issues in the computer industry which affect us as professionals and
  > >consumers. My perception when I joined the list was that the
  > discussion would
  > >be technically correct, factually correct, and even (perhaps...)
  > devoid of
  > >religion and personal vendettas.
  > >
  > >If the religious fervor of the messages I've seen on this list so far
  > are
  > >typical of the views which Mr. Nader proposes to speak on behalf of,
  > then I
  > >would say that Mr. Nader does not speak for me personally nor for
  > many
  > >thousands of other like me. Indeed such rhetoric may prove to be very
  > >counter-productive when dealing with an informed audience.
  > [major snippage]
  > >Thanks for listening to my viewpoint. I hope I was able to express it
  > without
  > >resorting to the personal and religious fervor that often creeps into
  > (and
  > >destroys) such a discussion.
  > Mr. Kelly, et. al.:
  > I don't know why the list can't have both kinds of discourse. All I've
  > been
  > trying to clarify is that there are two things that should be
  > considered when
  > you appraise MS: the legal situation and the moral/ethical/ideological
  > situation.
  > In other words, there are legal issues surrounding MS, and its going
  > to be
  > those that will change MS in a \\dramatic way\\, by intervention of
  > the DoJ or
  > by the resolution of a class-action suit, or if MS, for example, loses
  > big to
  > Sun over Java.
  > Those are absolutely important and thrilling if you happen to dislike
  > MS like
  > I do.
  > Now, the second set of issues are equally important, but in different
  > ways. My
  > whole point has been that even if there were no activity on the legal
  > front,
  > these other issues would still be live issues: MS would still be doing
  > things
  > that many people feel are unethical or just ideologically displeasing.
  > These
  > issues, while lacking the capacity for \\dramatic\\ change of the
  > situation,
  > are no less important as agents of change: I mean if every OS/2,
  > Apple, and
  > free Unix user gave in and used MS until MS were legally dismantled or
  > chastised, then there would be NO MS alternatives, there would be no
  > reason to
  > have an appraising MS conference, there would be no reason for any of
  > this.
  > Assimilation would be complete.
  > These are real issues but, unfortunately, the aren't real for
  > everyone.  Some
  > people don't think that business has any moral or ethical dimension;
  > others
  > think it does but that MS is ethically defensible. The first position
  > I
  > disagree with completely; the second, I think, arises frequently from
  > ignorance about the way MS practices business.
  > In other words, whether is it, strictly speaking, legal or not that MS
  > forces
  > computer makers to pay for a MS OS license for every machine they
  > sell, even
  > if I buy a machine without a MS OS at all, I'm only indirectly
  > concerned with.
  > It strikes me as a profoundly objectionable way to do business
  > ethically. I've
  > explained that to many people: some scoff, some mull, and some agree
  > immediately, but then say: but what alternatives to MS are there?
  > That's the
  > opening I'm looking for to say: Apple, OS/2, or Linux---depending on
  > their
  > needs, interest, and ability.
  > So, what I advocate is that this list can equally be a forum for both
  > kinds of
  > appraisals of MS. Why should we limit it to one or the other? Even if
  > all
  > legal actions against MS should fail, that still means that, in my
  > opinion,
  > they are a company I could never support in good conscience.
  > It strikes me as odd that many people will quit using MS or look for
  > an
  > alternative only if they lose a significant legal struggle. It's
  > totally
  > acceptable and totally American to abandon MS even before that. It's
  > called
  > freedom of choice. We have it and we ought to exercise it.
  > I didn't understand either this list or the conference it seeks to
  > enlarge to
  > be strictly concerned with legal issues. I know that Nader isn't only
  > interested in legal issues; the last time I heard him speak (on
  > C-span) he
  > gave what seemed to me a thrillingly compassionate (you would say
  > ``religious,'' but that's a terrible misuse of the word) moral AND
  > legal
  > criticism of the corporatization of American life. For whatever it is
  > worth, I
  > think Nader isn't interested SIMPLY in the legal aspects of a MS
  > appraisal.
  > Finally, I would like to make a small plea for linguistic precision: I
  > know it
  > is Usenet and Internet practice to belittle another's position that
  > you don't
  > agree with, especially when that other person is passionate about the
  > ways in
  > which they advocate their position. That belittlement very often comes
  > in the
  > form of calling the position ``religious.'' I submit that this
  > practice is
  > imprecise and also offensive. There's nothing vaguely religious
  > connected to
  > any of these issues, but there are, for many of us, moral and ethical
  > aspects
  > of MS practices (no, religion doesn't equal ethics/morality, nor vice
  > versa).
  > If you don't like ideology on this list, fine. If you don't like any
  > non-legal
  > appraisals of MS on this list, fine. But say that. Don't just call the
  > things
  > you don't like ``religious'' and think you've made a point. You
  > haven't.
  > Best,
  >         Kendall Clark
  > PS--I hope the tone of my reply is sufficiently dispassionate and
  > bloodless
  > that you will read for its meaning and not for its style.
  >  --
  > Linux is free. Life is good.