[rescue] Re: Being jobless

Francisco Javier Mesa-Martinez lefa at ucsc.edu
Thu Jul 31 00:12:05 CDT 2003

On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 vance at neurotica.com wrote:

> On Wed, 30 Jul 2003, Francisco Javier Mesa-Martinez wrote:
> > > Just because the GNU toolset is GPL doesn't mean the GNU toolset
> > > wouldn't exist without GPL.  Where is that proven?
> >
> > In the fact that other toolsets could have been developed, and
> > distributed during the same timeframe, or even before. No GPL no GNU, no
> > GNU no GNU toolset :). Call it proof by existence... I guess.
> Just because something happened that way, doesn't mean it *had* to happen
> that way.

You are assuming a single possible outcome -which is why I am going on and
on on this thread :)- which is not the case. The GPL does not negate other
free development environments from happening. Since none of those parallel
outcomes has happened, there is a clear case to be made about the fact
that maybe the GPL had something to do with GNU's longetivity and
pervasivity. Also since the GPL and GNU are so tightly coupled you can not
have one without the other, hence you have to deal with it :). I am not
saying that it is good or bad licence, I personally do not care that much
about the politics. But I do not want to be naive enough to think that a
similar environment would have survived under a different set of
"politics" behind it, specially after having seen industry in action, one
can complain about the "radicalism" of the GNU people's politics, but to
be fair it is the only way of defending against industry sharks :)

Look at it in this way, since we are going of on the quick and diry
analogy route. We see a big field in which there is only one apple tree.
And you wonder, gee I wonder what this field does not have an orange tree.
I could go and say that the apple tree itself did not prevent orange trees
from spawning in that field, but however it means that the ground and
climate is only good for apple trees, and that maybe orange trees can not
survive under those same circunstances. Therefore the fact that there is
an apple tree does not negate a different reality in which the apple tree
is surrounded with orange trees. But it gives a clear indication about the
realities of that ground: i.e. there is a reason why there are no orange
trees. If the field did not have an apple tree, it does not mean that an
orange tree would have been there to fill its void either. You can wish
for oranges all you want, but right then and there if you are hungry, you
better like them apples.

*OK, my head hurts now* I never thought I would end up defending GPL and
Mr. Stallman, really sucks when I have to play the devil's advocate :).

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